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Navigating a pandemic as a small, niche bank is no child’s play. When you have to deal with a defaulting bondholder — with a couple of hundred million at stake — at the same time, it can easily turn chaotic.

Sasfin, the niche banker focused on small- and medium-sized enterprises, managed these turbulent headwinds quite well. The bank also decided to cut its floor space after embracing a hybrid working model and restructure its underlying units over the past two years in an act of nimbleness. Manoeuvrability is the friend of smaller businesses and the envy of their large competitors...

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