The National Assembly has enacted the ‘Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) (Amendment) Bill, 2020,’ which will make it easier for small and medium businesses to get loans (SMEs).
SMEs currently have access to less than 10% of private-sector credit, but accounting for roughly 40% of GDP, according to figures from the central bank. Financial institutions will also benefit from the modification because transactions will be more secure.
The measure will bring the secured transaction legal framework in line with international best practises. It will also likely boost the country’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, according to the World Bank.
The bill will now be presented to the House of Representatives for final approval. It refers to the legal system for establishing, perfecting, and enforcing security interests on moveable property. According to an official document, this is being done so that SMEs can better access finance by using their moveable assets as security for loans, such as receivables, intellectual property, inventory, negotiable instruments, agricultural output, petroleum or minerals, and motor vehicles.
Furthermore, SMEs’ security interests will be controlled based on their function rather than their form or traditional security terminology. This will also bring the regulatory legislation up to date with international standards.
A security agreement is not necessary under the law, and prior registration of a security interest based on the entity’s authorization is permitted. According to the document, a charge/security interest can be recorded for up to 5 years, which can be extended if necessary.
Registration in all sorts of security interests on movable property can be used to perfect security interests. Perfection can be attained in some circumstances, such as the ownership of tangible movable property or the right to monies deposited to a bank account, through possession or control, respectively. It went on to say that perfection by registration was previously unavailable for all forms of security interests.