Best Microfinance Banks In Nigeria 2024: Have you ever wondered what a microfinance bank does exactly? 🤔 Does the “micro” imply that the banking halls have to be smaller than regular banks? Don’t laugh! I had that presumption while growing up.
A microfinance bank is a financial institution that provides financial services, such as loans, savings, and other financial products, to individuals and small businesses who have limited access to traditional banking services.
Microfinance banks majorly serve low-income individuals, micro-entrepreneurs, and small-scale businesses that are often excluded from the formal banking sector.
The concept of microfinance was birthed as a means to ameliorate poverty and promote financial inclusion. Microfinance banks aim to empower individuals and communities by providing them with access to financial services that can help them improve their economic situation.
These services typically include micro-loans, micro-savings, micro-insurance, and sometimes other financial products like money transfers and financial education.
Microfinance banks often employ innovative approaches to assess the creditworthiness of their clients since traditional collateral requirements may not be feasible for low-income individuals.
They may use group lending models, where borrowers form small groups and mutually guarantee each other’s loans, or employ other forms of social collateral. By providing financial services tailored to the needs of low-income individuals and small businesses, microfinance banks play a crucial role in fostering economic development and poverty reduction in many countries.
If you ever want to point out the difference quickly, ask the question, “To whom does this bank typically provide its services?” Low-income earners? Small businesses? Poor farmers? Then voila! It is a microfinance bank!
Let’s visit a few!
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TOP 10 Best And Biggest Microfinance Banks In Nigeria 2024 And Their Networth
1. LAPO MICROFINANCE BANK ( Net Worth #67.3 Billion):
LAPO Microfinance Bank (LAPO MFB) is one of the leading microfinance banks in Nigeria. Established in 2010, by Godwin Ehigiamusoe, LAPO MFB has grown to become one of the most prominent and successful microfinance institutions in the country.
It became a National Microfinance Bank in 2012. LAPO Microfinance Bank is an off-shoot of the Lift Above Poverty (LAPO) Organization, a poverty-focused Non-Governmental Organization.
LAPO MFB’s mission is to provide access to financial services to low-income individuals and microenterprises in Nigeria, with a particular focus on empowering women and promoting sustainable development. Their vision is to be the microfinance bank of choice for economically active poor people.
LAPO MFB offers a range of financial products and services tailored to meet the needs of their target market. These include savings accounts, microloans, group loans, SME loans, agricultural loans, housing loans, money transfer services, and microinsurance.
LAPO MFB has a wide network of branches spread across Nigeria, allowing them to reach and serve clients in both urban and rural areas. Their extensive network ensures accessibility and convenience for their customers. LAPO MFB places a strong emphasis on social impact and poverty alleviation.
They aim to empower low-income individuals and microenterprises by providing them with financial services, training, and capacity-building programs. By targeting women in particular, LAPO MFB contributes to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
2. ACCION MICROFINANCE BANK (AMB) (Net Worth #30 Billion):
Accion Microfinance Bank (AMB) is one of the prominent microfinance banks in Nigeria. Accion Microfinance Bank was established in 2006 as a microfinance institution in Nigeria. It is a subsidiary of Accion International, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to financial inclusion.
AMB’s mission is to economically empower micro-entrepreneurs and low-income individuals in Nigeria by providing them with easy and speedy access to financial services.
Their vision is to be a world-class microfinance bank, creating value for all stakeholders. Accion Microfinance Bank offers certain financial products and services with the goal of meeting the needs of micro-entrepreneurs and individuals with limited access to traditional banking services such as Microloans, Savings accounts, Target Savings, Insurance services and so much more.
Interestingly, AMB has embraced technology to enhance its operations and improve customer experience. They have implemented digital banking solutions, such as mobile banking and online platforms, to offer convenience and accessibility to their clients.
Accion Microfinance Bank aims to have a positive social impact by promoting financial inclusion, poverty reduction, and entrepreneurship. They provide training and capacity-building programs to clients, empowering them with financial knowledge and skills. The current MD/CEO of AMB is Mr. Taiwo Adesina.
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3. AB MICROFINANCE BANK (Net Worth #3 Billion Naira Share Capital): AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria is a prominent microfinance bank in Nigeria that provides financial services to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and microenterprises.
AB Microfinance Bank was established in 2008 and is a member of the Access Holding Microfinance Group, which operates in several countries across Africa, Asia, and South America. The bank’s headquarters is located in Lagos, Nigeria.
AB Microfinance Bank, headed by Klaus Mueller, offers a range of financial products and services including Microloans, Savings Accounts, Business Loans, Group Loans, Agricultural Loans, and Money Transfer.
AB Microfinance Bank operates an extensive branch network across Nigeria, with branches in various states and cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Oyo, Ogun, Delta, and more. This widespread presence allows customers to access the bank’s services conveniently.
The bank focuses on promoting financial inclusion by providing services to the unbanked and underbanked segments of the population. AB Microfinance Bank aims to empower individuals and businesses by granting them access to financial resources and opportunities.
AB Microfinance Bank places top priority on delivering excellent customer service. The bank’s staff members are trained to provide support, guidance, and financial education to customers, helping them make informed decisions and effectively manage their finances.
4. ASSETS MICROFINANCE BANK
This micro-finance bank relies heavily on its flexible loan application and repayment packages. This MFB is headed by Tope Oduseso who has had a wealth of experience in the microfinance industry.
Besides its flexible loan strategies, it also offers savings options with relatively enticing interest rates. Assets Micro-finance Bank also offers a wide variety of loans, investment, and digital wallet services. It has its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
5. FORTIS MICROFINANCE (Net Worth #20 Billion):
Fortis Microfinance Bank is a top financial institution based in Nigeria that specializes in providing microfinance services to individuals and small businesses.
Fortis Microfinance Bank was established with the aim of addressing the financial needs of the unbanked and underbanked population in Nigeria. It operates as a specialized microfinance bank, catering to the specific requirements of low-income earners, entrepreneurs, and small-scale businesses.
Like other microfinance banks, it also provides Microcredit, Savings Accounts, Financial Advisory Services, Money Transfer Services, and Microinsurance.
In addition to the similar services it provides, Fortis, like other microfinance banks aims to promote financial inclusion, empower individuals, and contribute to economic development, particularly in under-served areas.
By providing access to financial services and credit, Fortis Microfinance Bank seeks to improve the livelihoods of low-income earners, foster entrepreneurship, and contribute to poverty reduction.
Fortis Microfinance Bank which is currently headed by Kotiko Okoye operates through a network of branches located in different cities and towns across Nigeria.
These branches serve as access points for customers to avail themselves of the bank’s services and conduct their financial transactions.
6. FINA TRUST MICROFINANCE BANK:
Fina Trust Microfinance Bank is a popular microfinance bank in Nigeria. It is connected with LOLC Group, a renowned non-banking corporate entity in Sri Lanka.
Fina Trust Microfinance Bank was established in 2009 and is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. The bank aims to provide financial services and support to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and low-income earners who may have limited access to traditional banking services.
Fina Trust offers a range of financial products and services designed for it’s target market. These services typically include savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits, loans, and business advisory services.
By providing microfinance solutions, the bank aims to empower individuals and SMEs, promoting economic growth and development.
A key strength of this microfinance is that it strives to offer personalized and customer-centric services. It aims to build long-term relationships with its clients, understanding their unique needs and providing tailored solutions.
In addition to this and in line with industry trends, Fina Trust has been incorporating technology into its operations to enhance efficiency and improve service delivery.
This may include digital banking solutions, online transactions, and mobile banking platforms to make banking more accessible and convenient for its customers.
7. KUDA MICROFINANCE BANK (Net Worth $500 Million ):
Yay! 😎 Our own Kuda bank makes the list! Kuda was founded in Nigeria by Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha in 2019, Popularly known as the Bank for Africans, it has no physical banking hall.
The implication is that you must have a smartphone to operate an account with KUDA! This tech Microfinance bank is targeted at creating an inclusive atmosphere where everyone can have access to stress-free and low-cost banking.
Hence no more long queues at the banks, no more exorbitant transfer charges, ATM maintenance fees, etc! KUDA Micro-finance Bank also boasts of incredibly convenient loan packages.
Kuda Micro-finance Bank also guarantees referral bonuses for referring a new customer.
Without a doubt, the Kuda Bank app, being the leading digital bank, is here for the long run. Not only does the bank offer convenience, but it is also highly user-friendly, as it imposes minimal to zero fees for bank and card maintenance, unlike traditional banks.
While Kuda Bank still needs to take further steps to ensure users of its trustworthiness, it is undeniably a favorable advancement and a source of motivation for other financial institutions in Nigeria.
8. MAINSTREET MICROFINANCE BANK (Net Worth $20 Million):
Mainstreet Micro-finance Bank was founded in 2009 as a subsidiary of Mainstreet Bank Limited.
This Microfinance bank offers microloans, savings accounts, and other similar services that ensure that there is maximum economic inclusivity for all and sundry.
It was formerly known as Afri-bank Microfinance Bank and the Managing Director is Faith Tuedor Matthews.
9. MUTUAL TRUST MICROFINANCE BANK:
Mutual trust microfinance bank is a customer-centric microfinance bank headed by Josh K Oyebisi.
After its popular rebranding in 2016, the bank has been actively working to revolutionize the microfinance sector. It follows the trend of other microfinance banks to provide Microloans, savings options, etc.
True to the definition of a microfinance bank, loan applicants take less than 10 minutes to complete loan applications, and the processing speed could be as short as 9-10 hours. This is besides the flexible and stress-free repayment plans and options.
10. NIRSAL MICROFINANCE BANK
NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, also known as NMFB, is a microfinance bank in Nigeria that primarily focuses on agricultural financing and rural development.
NIRSAL Microfinance Bank was established in 2019 as a strategic institution under the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) framework. It operates as a non-bank financial institution and is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The bank has a strong emphasis on agricultural financing and plays a crucial role in supporting the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
It provides financial products and services to smallholder farmers, agribusinesses, and rural communities to promote agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and stimulate economic growth in the agricultural value chain.
NIRSAL Microfinance Bank offers a range of financial services tailored to meet the specific needs of its agricultural-focused customer base. These services include agricultural loans, working capital financing, asset financing, agricultural value chain financing, savings accounts, and other banking services.
One of the key features of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank is its focus on risk mitigation and innovative financing models.
It utilizes the NIRSAL Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) scheme, which provides a risk-sharing mechanism to encourage financial institutions to lend to the agricultural sector.
This helps to reduce the perceived risks associated with agricultural financing and increase access to credit for farmers and agribusinesses.
NIRSAL Microfinance Bank also leverages technology to enhance its operations and service delivery. It has implemented digital banking solutions to provide convenient and accessible banking services to its customers.
This includes online banking platforms, mobile banking applications, and other digital channels for transactions, loan applications, and account management.
However, just recently the MD of this microfinance, Aliyu Abdulhameed was sacked by President Buhari over fraud and corruption allegations. This has also led to reluctant funding by the CBN in the past year.