Providus Bank — how to get an SME business loan or financing

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Providus Bank Limited is a financial services institution — based in Nigeria. It operates as a commercial bank — with a regional banking license.

The bank’s head office sits at 54 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Other bank branches, are scattered across Lagos state — as well as cities like Abuja and Akure.

Providus utilizes cutting-edge technology, that delivers best-in-class customer satisfaction, be it in retail or commercial banking.

The bank concentrates on non-oil business sectors. Focus industries include agriculture, arts, ecommerce, entertainment, hospitality, mining and more. Within these industries, Providus serves large corporates, SMEs and governmental agencies.

Funding and types of business loans available through ProvidusBank

Providus is able to help companies of all sizes, big or small, with their funding requirements. The bank offers tailored business solutions and products — that will help your company both grow and operate on a daily basis.

Examples of finance products, provided by ProvidusBank, include your standard term loans, business overdrafts, foreign exchange and more. A range of corporate finance solutions are also available.

Other obtainable financial services include business advisory, portfolio management and relationship management — to name but a few.

Qualifying for a ProvidusBank business loan

ProvidusBank has a set of minimum funding requirements, that you must meet, in order to access a business loan. On top of these general requirements, there are also specific lending criteria — tied to the credit facility in question.

Providus will only be able to lend to businesses, that have the capacity to repay borrowed funds. The capacity to repay, is shown through having a business that generates regular positive cash flow. Your ability to generate cash, i.e. your business turnover, is what mainly dictates how much money Providus Bank will lend to you.

A further general lending requirement, is your business being one with a good credit history. Past behavior is an important indicator of future performance. Consequently, having a prior history of not meeting debt obligations — will likely hinder your chances of getting a loan with most banks in Nigeria (including Providus). This is especially true, in the case of unsecured loans.

Secured loans may still be accessible, despite having a poor credit history, as the actual collateral (security) pledged is of greater importance.

Other general business lending criteria can include:

  • Having a registered business or company — with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
  • Having a business or corporate bank account
  • Been trading for some time (1-3 years minimum)
  • Must have a good Credit Bureau Report — with no unpaid obligations or bad debt
  • Being an active customer of the bank

Providus can only fund companies that are registered with the CAC. The bank also tends to only fund businesses that have a Providus corporate bank account.

Those without registered companies, or corporate bank accounts — may want to consider getting a personal loan. Providus also has such consumer loans on offer.

Another option, is to apply for funding with SukFin. SukFin can provide you with alternative financing solutions.

How to apply for a ProvidusBank business loan

Before you apply for a Providus business loan — it is wise to do your research. Every business is unique — so it’s important to determine how Providus can actually help you. Start with finding out about the bank’s different finance options — identifying the most suitable products in the process. You may want to make a funding inquiry, which you can do, by contacting the bank via phone, email, mobile app or social media channels.

Making a loan application will commonly involve filling in an application form. In this form you will give various details of your company and state the purpose of the loan. It is this application form, together with any relevant supporting documentation, that Providus uses to reach a lending decision. All lending decisions will be made with reference to Providus Bank lending guidelines.

Loan approval, will come with you being issued an offer letter. Any terms and conditions, attached to the loan, will be highlighted in this offer letter. The steps you need to take, before funds can be advanced, will also be stipulated.

A list of key documentation, frequently requested includes:

  • Completed application form
  • Company profile
  • Business plan
  • Cash flow budget
  • Bank statements (12 months)
  • Audited financial accounts
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Valid means of identification (driving license, passport, voters card)
  • Proof of address
  • Details of collateral offered (if any)

Note. The exact documents, that the bank will ask for, depends on the facility of interest.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How long will it take before receiving funds from Providus Bank?

The factor that principally influences the time it takes for funds to be approved, and disbursed, is the credit facility sought. More complex financing solutions, require more processing time.

How long do I have to pay back a Providus Bank loan?

Funding is mainly tailored to your business needs. As such, money can be advanced for months or years.

How much can I borrow from Providus Bank?

Your borrowing limit, depends on your business’s capacity to repay. Generally, the bigger your company — the more money Providus will be willing to lend to you.

What is the interest rate charged on a Providus Bank loan?

Providus interest rates differ. Actual borrowing rates are determined by both your business’s trading history, and the finance product sought.

Does Providus Bank require collateral?

While there may be times when collateral is not needed — in general, Providus will require some kind of collateral.

As collateral or security, the bank may accept things like:

  • Obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN Bonds, FGN Eurobonds, FGN Treasury Bills etc.)
  • Obligations of state governments or agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria
  • Other non-government debt instruments
  • Physical assets e.g. real property
  • Third party guarantors (or collateral)

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