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Locality Bank Guides Iraqi Bankers on Small Business Lending Strategies

May 14, 2024

Iraqi banking delegation, via Financial Services Volunteer Corps, visits Locality Bank

Pictured from left to right: Nadia Abdul Hadi Mohamed, Widyan Kazem Mahdi, George Sanchez, Husseinn Abdulameer Jaber Ibadi, Elsa Rizk, Aysia Moroney, Rana Daou, Wattan Al-Taie, Drew Saito, Ali Abdulkareem Ridha Kinani, Dani Zyad Salman Husaini, Alaa Fayeq Dharir Al-Salihi.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (May 14, 2024) – Locality Bank, in collaboration with the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC), hosted a distinguished delegation of Iraqi bankers at its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, May 13th, 2024. This initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, aimed to enhance micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Iraq.

The FSVC initiative is particularly pertinent given the challenging financial landscape in Iraq, where access to credit is severely limited, placing the country at 185 out of 190 nations according to the World Bank. Factors stifling MSME financing include inadequate lending processes, a poor grasp of MSME business models and risks, and stringent collateral requirements, as noted by the Iraqi Private Banking League (IPBL).

The delegation, visiting under FSVC’s program, engaged in comprehensive discussions led by Drew Saito, co-founder and Chief Lending Officer of Locality Bank, and George Sanchez, SBA Business Loan Specialist. The focus was on the bank’s successful local lending strategies and the innovative technologies it employs. Particular attention was given to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) program and its role in empowering local businesses, an area of keen interest to the Iraqi delegation.

“We were privileged to share our approaches to MSME financing and showcase how we leverage the SBA program to support local businesses,” said Drew. “These interactions are not only about sharing knowledge but also about fostering long-term partnerships.”

The program included exploring the relationship management practices that Locality Bank utilizes to support its clients, especially micro and small businesses.

Aysia Moroney, FSVC Program Officer for the Iraq project, stated, “The exchanges between Locality Bank and the Iraqi delegation were invaluable in assisting the delegation to gain practical insights on how they can strengthen their MSME lending processes and their support for small businesses in Iraq.”

“It was enlightening to share strategies for empowering small businesses with our Iraqi counterparts,” said Keith Costello, co-founder and CEO of Locality Bank.

“We hope these insights inspire meaningful advancements in Iraq’s banking sector to bolster their local economy.”

This event is part of FSVC’s ongoing efforts to foster a more inclusive and dynamic financial landscape for MSMEs in Iraq.

To stay up to date on Locality Bank visit www.localitybank.com.

About Locality Bank

Locality Bank is a digital-first community bank based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The bank serves local businesses by offering the traditional services of a community bank as well as user-friendly, cutting-edge technology. The digital-first community bank is located at 1400 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. To learn more, contact Locality Bank by calling 954-799-0900, visiting www.localitybank.com or via email at info@localitybank.com. You can also follow Locality Bank on Facebook, X, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.


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