A collaboration agreement between Standard Bank Group, Africa?s largest banking group, and Caterpillar Financial Services Ltd. has been officially launched in Accra.

The collaboration — named Cat Financial Services, services provided by Standard Bank Group — will see Cat Financial provide a range of financial services to the Mantrac Unatrac Group of Caterpillar dealerships in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone.

Operations have been extensively launched in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, with plans to extend to the remaining countries over a period of time.

Ben Kruger, Standard Bank Deputy Group Chief Executive, welcomed the collaboration saying it is supportive of Cat Financial?s goal to increase its brand presence in Africa and grow business in southern, central and western Africa.

?We value our existing relationship with Cat Financial and their growth plans resonate well with our strategy.  We believe that this relationship provides a platform to strengthen these ties and provide further services to other countries in Africa.?

He added that as Africa?s natural resources are expected to drive strong growth and attract investments in the energy, infrastructure development and agric sectors, it is an optimal time for Standard Bank to provide the on-the-ground banking operations, staffed by expert teams familiar with local business conditions and regulations, to deliver for Cat Financial and its customers the highest quality of service, providing support to dealers and building long-term relationships.

?Our aim is to support the dealer network in the sale of high-quality construction equipment by providing a dedicated professional and wide array of financial plans, flexible payment schedules, and competitive rates,? said Mr. Kruger.

Kent Adams, president of Cat Financial Services and vice president of Caterpillar Inc, said: ?The combination of the globally recognised Cat Financial brand with Standard Bank, which is a well-respected and trusted financial institution within Africa, creates a powerful competitive advantage for our dealer networks to enable them to obtain financing for their customers and enhance their sale of equipment.?

Mr. Adams also said that there s a good cultural fit between Cat Financial and Standard Bank, which will ensure a uniform customer experience.

Cat Financial?s official distributor, Mantrac Unatrac Group, lauded the collaboration — with its CEO, Loufy Mansour, saying ?we are pleased to be part of the collaboration with Cat Financial and Standard Bank.

?Our customers not only want us to provide them with the right equipment, but also to be able to offer them integrated equipment purchasing solutions. The collaboration will make this possible for our clients, thus entrenching our position as the first-choice distributor of Cat equipment in our region.?

The benefits for customers will include a unique combination of Caterpillar marketing initiatives, deal structures and affordable financing options, together with a high level of flexibility.

A range of asset-related financial products and value add-ons will be made available to customers, subject to the regulations in each country. The initial value add-on products will be comprehensive asset insurance and credit life.

Standard Bank is the largest bank by assets and earnings, with a banking presence in 18 African countries.

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