First Capital Plus (FCP) is a wholly-owned Ghanaian Savings & Loans institution duly licensed by the Bank of Ghana (Licence No. FNB 0050) under the Financial Institutions (Non-Banking) Law 1993 (P.N.D.C L 328). Its head office is located at Amenfi Plaza on the Spintex Road.
The company commenced operations as a savings and loans institution on October 29, 2009, which marked a major transition in its operations. It operated for two years as a financial Non Governmental Organization (NGO) specializing in micro finance.
As a savings and loans institution, the company is authorised to provide a wide variety of banking services to the public including checking of accounts, savings accounts, investments, e-banking services such as ATMs, SMS Banking, Electronic Bill Payments, Funds Transfers, among others.
Within its first year of operations, FCP opened five branches in addition to its head office which was then located at Tesano. The company currently has 10 operational branches located at Spintex, Tesano, Accra Newtown, Makola, Ashiaman, Osu, Dansoman, Kasoa, Kumasi and Takoradi.
In June 2011, First Capital Plus launched its SMS Banking service (branded as SpeedBanking) and commenced its innovative flagship 24-hour Cash Deposit service.
SpeedBanking allows customers to deposit cash directly into their bank accounts in real time through an SMS (text message) anywhere, anytime, any day.
SpeedBanking is to revolutionize banking by expanding its frontiers to include a large section of the unbanked population.
William Ato Essien, CEO of First Capital Plus, speaking to Money Matters indicated that “SpeedBanking is a service that enables customers of First Capital Plus to deposit money directly into their bank accounts through a scratch card and their mobile phones, anytime, anywhere.”
Touching on the company’s Export Financing activities, Mr Essien said: “We provide pre-shipment finance to exporters of approved marketable goods and commodities by part financing their export orders. It entails the provision of short-term loans and advances for exporters, prior to the execution of export contracts.”
On requirements for accessing the export financing facility, the CEO stated: “We provide a maximum financing of up to 70 percent of the L/C value or the contract sum. Applicants should have been in the export business for at least 1 year and should have irrevocable and confirmed letters of credit issued by a reputable international bank acceptable to FCP and valid contract from a reputable foreign buyer.”
Majority of the indigenous manufacturing and foreign affiliated companies and service providers in the country make use of individuals, enterprises and companies in the distribution of their goods.
“We provide short term renewable credit to some distributors of these institutions through separate advances in current account facility for each distributor to finance their stocks and receivables.
The product requires the manufacturer/supplier to provide its corporate guarantee/comfort letter to cover the total facility amount extended to its distributor(s).
In cases where the manufacturer/supplier is unwilling to provide a guarantee/comfort letter as required under the program, the distributor will be required to deposit initial cash collateral of 10 percent of the total facility amount.
In all cases, the manufacturer/supplier will be required to recommend or give a letter of reference/confirmation on each distributor to be included in the program in line with individual distributor credit limits.
This programme involves the provision of short term financing of up to a maximum tenor of 180 days to customers engaged in the supply of goods and services and execution of small to medium-scale contracts for reputable institutions, international organizations and agencies.
“We provide funding to customers who have supplied goods /services or executed contracts for which invoices have been duly accepted for payment. The business should have been in operation for a minimum of one year with a satisfactory track-record.
Up to a maximum of 80 percent of the value of the receivables to be financed.
On the above, he mentioned: “We provide short term financing of up to a maximum period of 12 months to clients who supply goods and services to reputable and credit worthy institutions and organizations acceptable to us.
“The financing also cover clients who provide contract services especially to the mining and construction sectors. Up to a maximum of 70 percent of the LPO/Contract sum to be financed.”
Tenor per each transaction: Minimum of 30 days but not more than 180 days (in the case of LPO) or not exceeding 360 days in the case of a contract.
FCP provides credit facilities to SME manufacturing and trading companies.
The facility is designed to meet the credit needs of traders as well as manufacturers who need to stock raw materials for their operations.
Prospective clients must provide evidence of unexpired tenancy/lease for at least six months.
By Samuel Boadi