In a special Small Business Showcase episode, our CEO, Michael Sassoon, unpacked what Sasfin has been doing as a bank over the past year to further enhance our offerings for small and mid-sized businesses, allowing us to support this sector even further.
Here are the highlights of what he had to say.
Sasfin can offer SMEs term loans, revolving credit facilities and is about to go-live with an overdraft facility. We’ve also strengthened our team with exceptional talent under the helm of Sandile Tshabalala.
These changes have aligned well with an uptick in demand for credit from the SME sector, which we see as a highly positive development. When times are tough, credit tends to contract because businesses do not want to borrow. An uptick in credit applications, on the other hand, speaks directly to a more positive growth mindset. Businesses are investing in new activities and they are looking for credit partners to support those new opportunities.
Sasfin was based in Waverly for almost two decades. During that time we enjoyed exceptional growth and built a solid wealth, investment and business banking foundation. With our lease coming to an end, however, we were given the opportunity to step back and rethink what we wanted and what we needed as a business and we began a journey looking for a new space before the pandemic hit. We found a green building that supports our values and offers good savings, which is phenomenal for all of our stakeholders, and delivers a more collaborative work environment. Our brand has always been known for the human connection we bring, and we are looking forward to really bringing this back in 2022.
We are still facing many challenges – global inflation, rising interest rates, uncertainty around our own local politics – but there are also hug opportunities all around us. South Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit is always inspiring. Every day we engage with business owners we are finding solutions to challenges rather than only focusing on the problems. The requests for funding that we are receiving are all growth focused: we want to purchase a new machine, invest in a new property, expand into a new market, bring in more stock… This is an excellent yard stick of what is happening on the ground and is extremely motivating for us.
It's also the reason why we have invested in the ability to offer digital loans that were traditionally too small for larger banks to consider, leaving a large section of the SME market unsupported in their growth endeavours. We’ve expanded this offering to include term lending commercial property
Finance, revolving credit facilities and overdrafts, but what we’ve now added to that specialist capability is the ability to become a client’s primary bank, whereby a client can do all their banking with us, from general credit facilities, to specialised credit facilities.
In every challenge there is an opportunity, whether it’s an opportunity for personal growth, business growth or both. It comes down to perspective. Will you view a struggle as the end, or the beginning? Every day we get to make a choice. Yes, there are challenges. But there are also blessings, It comes down to how you look at things.
Watch the full video here: