The First Ukrainian International Bank (FUIB) supports the Affordable Loans 5-7-9 state program and opposes the idea of its possible reduction.
FUIB has been working with the SME segment for many years, thus, it was one of the first to join the Affordable Loans 5-7-9 program, seeing in it a great potential for both business development and the country's economy as a whole.
According to Serhii Mahdych, FUIB's Deputy Chairman of the Board for Corporate Business, the program, originally designed to facilitate small, medium and micro businesses' access to bank lending for investment projects, has become one of the main anti-crisis tools that Ukrainian businesses can count on.
"In the context of negative macroeconomic trends, supporting small and medium-sized businesses by compensating for the cost of loans has become an important part of government programs in European countries and in the United States. Today, the discount rate on the dollar is close to zero, and on the euro is negative, which stimulates the growth of lending and economic growth in these countries. Thanks to Affordable Loans 5-7-9 program, Ukrainian entrepreneurs were able to get a financially helping hand in a difficult crisis period and save thousands of jobs, and today affordable loans help to restore and develop their business," said Serhii Mahdych.
Many clients of the bank have already managed to prize the importance and timeliness of state support. The Novalux company from Vinnytsia, engaged in distribution, was able to refinance their loan on favorable terms and service it first at 0%, and later at 3% per annum. According to the business owner, the saved funds help the company to optimize the financial burden, buy more goods, increase margins and continue to grow.
According to Serhii Mahdych, it was Affordable Loans 5-7-9 program that contributed to the almost abnormal for such a period increase in lending to the SME segment in 2020-2021. Currently, FUIB ranks second among the most active banks participating in the program, and the amount of loans at low interest rates issued by it exceeds UAH 6.5 billion. In the structure of the portfolio, the volume of anti-crisis and investment loans prevails over the volume of refinanced ones and proves the demand of entrepreneurs for loans for the purpose of further development and even expansion of the business, rather than its preservation.
Thus, thanks to available loans, FUIB's client Kod Zdorovya network of clinics from Mariupol was able to receive an investment loan at 9% for the purchase of medical equipment during the pandemic. According to the company, such an acquisition has become vital for city residents. Following the terms of the program, the medical center hired eighty-five new employees and reduced the loan rate to 5%.
"We believe that for the country's economy, Affordable loans 5-7-9 program has become the most powerful driver of its de-shadowing: only business who work officially and transparently can count on state support. For banks it became an impulse to invest even more in processes and quality of service, which only is beneficial to the clients. The program actually helped to level the price factor of competition between banks. Their other advantages like speed of decision-making, service and technologies came to the fore", Serhii Mahdych notes.
This opinion is shared by the bank's client, the head of the Kharkiv company Metallplast: “For the first time in the history of lending in Ukraine, it has become easy for small enterprises to get a loan. We can now choose not where it is cheaper, but where it is more convenient, where the services are better, where there are more opportunities."
Taking into account all factors, FUIB considers Affordable Loans 5-7-9 program as an effective tool to support and stimulate entrepreneurship, so it intends to further promote the development of the program and provide small and medium-sized businesses with available loan resources.
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