NCCI wants help for business funds trapped at SME Bank

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) is calling for urgent assistance from the government and Bank of Namibia to business depositors at the SME Bank, which is under liquidation.

The NCCI says it is extremely worried about businesses that banked with the SME Bank, whose funds are now locked into a liquidation process, this completely stalling the operations of such businesses.

“Our members who deposit their revenues in SME Bank accounts are unable to pay suppliers, including their employees, because they do not have access to their funds at the SME Bank.

“The closure of this bank is not of our members’ making and key stakeholders especially government, which is the majority shareholder, and the Bank of Namibia, which is the regulator should make urgent provisions for business depositors with positive balances to access funding through other financial institutions to support their operations,” NCCI CEO Tarah Shaanika said in a statement on Friday.

Shaanika added the NCCI could not allow more businesses to close at a time when economic hardships and the financial squeeze are already crippling businesses. He said every effort must be made to ensure the impact of the “mess” created at the SME Bank on the wider economy in general and business operations is minimised.

Shaanika also called for alternative funding for start-ups and SMEs through the Development Bank of Namibia during and after the winding up of the SME Bank.

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