In 2006, ACCION International and ECOBANK Group (ETI) entered into an agreement to create microfinance institutions and offer financial services to low income target group in West and Central Africa.
As part of this agreement, ACCION brings its technical expertise and leadership in the microfinance sector while ECOBANK offers the opportunity to leverage its banking infrastructure.
In pursuance of the above, ECOBANK and ACCION launched EB-ACCION Savings and Loans Company in Ghana in 2006. EB-ACCION is jointly owned by ECOBANK Ghana (49% shares), ACCION (30% shares) through its investment subsidiary, ACCION Investments, ETI (6% shares) and IFC (15% shares).
The new entity was formed at the end of 2006 and got its license from Bank of Ghana in March 2008. Lending commenced on 26th March 2008 at both branches (Tudu & Abeka Lapaz). EB-ACCION Savings and Loans is meant to provide the template for most of the ECOBANK and ACCION Africa expansion.
ACCION has, over the past one year of the pre-implementation phase, provided extensive support in the preparation for the launch of EB-ACCION.
The objective of this project is to build a large scale banking platform offering tailored financial services to micro and small businesses.
The strategy is based on two key elements:
1. Introduction of cash-flow credit assessment instead of the traditional collateral-based assessment, and
2. Training a cadre of dedicated loan officers offering banking services through an intensive personal relationship with clients.