In 2006, Accion entered into an agreement with Ecobank (the leading independent regional bank in Africa)to create microfinance institutions through which to offer financial services to low-income entrepreneurs in West and Central Africa. As part of the agreement, Accion would contribute technical expertise and leadership in the microfinance sector, while Ecobank would offer the opportunity to leverage its infrastructure and extensive network of banks to help standardize and deliver high-quality financial services.
At the end of 2006, Ecobank and Accion launched Pan-African Savings and Loans (PASL) in Ghana. The entity received its license from the Bank of Ghana in 2008 and commenced lending the same month at two branches in the markets of Tudu and Abeka Lapaz.
Since launching lending operations, Pan-African Savings and Loans has experienced significant growth, now serving clients through a network of branches and satellite kiosks. PASL provides clients with access to credit and savings as well as debit cards for use across the country. In particular, PASL has successfully launched a diverse suite of savings products to meet a variety of its clients' needs. Accion helped conduct extensive quantitative and qualitative market research to determine clients’ savings needs and demand, which has contributed to the success of the deposit portfolio’s initial growth. Accion provided extensive support to Ecobank in preparation for the launch of Pan-African Savings and Loans, including training for loan officers, credit methodology and branch operations.