Bank responds to cry of hardship

By Vatapuia Maiava 14 October 2016, 12:00AM

The Samoa Commercial Bank (S.C.B.) has launched a new financial scheme to help families who are unable to secure financial assistance elsewhere. 

The Small Development Loan Scheme for the Low Income Earners (S.D.L.S.) aims to increase productive investment, productivity of low-income families, employment, export and living standards of the population.

Launched yesterday at the Bank’s main branch at Sogi, the loan product aims to provide low cost financial assistance to the disadvantaged and low income segment of the community.

“The Loan Scheme is not aimed exclusively for the rural and farming community,” said S.C.B. Managing Director, Lemalu Ray Ah Liki.

“A higher percentage of the facility will be directed to the cultivation and development of suitable short term crops, especially taro, given its profitability and demand by overseas markets.

“Other short term crops like vegetables, taro, peanuts, banana’s and fruits can also be financed under the loan scheme.”

Lemalu explained that this is the bank’s way of helping those who struggle to get funds.

“This is for families who have problems getting loans from anywhere else because of the strict criterias,” he said. “They have no source of income but they do have the ability to work on vegetable stalls or taro stalls and they would like to enlarge their activities.

“We will give them the loans and we expect them to try and pay it back. That’s the whole idea. We want to help people who are unable to access funding for any reason.”

Lemalu said that this whole idea is to make the lives of low or no income families a little easier.

“We are putting this for those families, who don’t have the cash flow to qualify for a loan,” he said.

“We are providing the security and we are making everything easy for them. We want these people to succeed and improve the living standards. This is their opportunity.

“The people with good income don’t qualify because they can get a loan from any other source.”

Loan Scheme Conditions

•  Low interest rate for 6.5% per annum and loan amounts from $1,000 and $10,000.

•  Repayment periods spreading over 12-36 months, on a weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis, or when crops are harvested and sold.

•  Loan funds should be used for the cultivation and development of short term crops, taro, bananas, peanuts and other vegetable and fruit crops.

•  Loan funds should be used for the establishment and development of small business activities like elei, handicraft, food-stall, etc.

•  Loan funds should be used for the purchase of essential household items and doing home repairs.

Eligibility Criteria

•  Families with no or very low income.

•  Families who have farming land and need capital to develop their farming activity.

•  Families who need capital to start a small income earning activity.

By Vatapuia Maiava 14 October 2016, 12:00AM

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