International Finance Corporation supports HFC bank

BY: Samuel K. Obour

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided a US$10 million trade finance facility to HFC Bank under the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Programme (GTFP). 

This would allow the bank to establish working partnership with a large number of major international and regional confirming banks in the programme, thus broadening access to finance in Ghana and helping the economy to grow.

 The trade transaction was signed in Accra and would guarantee the trade-related payment obligations of the HFC Bank. 

It is also expected that by tapping the risk mitigation provided by the trade finance programme, HFC will be able to enhance its global reach and gain familiarity in new markets. 

 The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. The global trade finance extends and complements the capacity of banks to deliver trade finance by providing risk mitigation on a per-transaction basis in challenging markets where trade lines may be limited. It has over 250 banks as part of its network. 

 The Managing Director of HFC Bank Ghana, Mr Asare Akuffo, told the Daily Graphic that HFC’s participation in the programme would enhance its capacity to provide trade finance solutions to its customers. 

 He said the facility had come at the right time as the bank deepened its imprint in the local corporate and small and medium enterprise (SME) sectors. 

 “The programme gives HFC Bank the capacity to collaborate with many banks across the world to facilitate trade for our clients. We are confident that our enhanced trade finance capabilities will boost our efforts to become the bank of choice for the banking community, especially the SME segment of the market,” he said. 

 IFC Vice-President for Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Jean Philippe Prosper, said IFC was committed to providing competitive financial products, especially to intermediaries such as the HFC Bank that can reach smaller and medium-sized businesses. 

 He said Ghana’s increasing trade required banks that could expand services to a wider range of clients and play a bigger role in the country’s rapid economic development.