Cuban bank to offer loans to self-employed without collateral

4b744347dc8fa83ec8bde50b394af0a9_LHAVANA, Cuba, Sep 2 (acn) The emerging Cuban self-employed sector will have access to loans up to 10 thousand Cuban pesos to be granted by the Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA), in a effort to boost the use of external sources of financing by them.

Greicher La Nuez, business manager of the BPA, said this measure will get in force in the next future and aims at getting a closer working relation with the self-employed sector.

According to the official, since 2013 there are several forms for the self-employed to back up their requests for a loan, like co-signers, or valuables and mortgages, but the lack of them have had a negative impact on the amount of applications.

Now, applicants will use as a guarantee of payment a banking account that will be created for that purpose, where they will deposit a fourth of the monthly amortization (200 pesos), La Nuez explained

This will help boosting a culture of saving, and once the loan is paid back in full, the monies deposited on the account can be used as collateral for a larger loan, if so desired.

In an effort to make funds available at a faster pace, the bank set a three-day deadline for loans to be granted in every branch throughout the country.

This is a risky operation for the BPA, she said, therefore the amount is limited. She noted that bank officials will go over the feasibility studies carried out by the applicants in order to determine the probable success of the venture, and take into account the previous banking records of the self-employed

The bank also extended the grace period for the amortization of the loan from 5 to 10 years, and reduced the amount of paperwork needed for this operation.

Out of almost half a million self-employed persons in Cuba, up to July this year, just 2,482 of them had approached a bank looking for a loan to finance their businesses.

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