SMEs with loan application difficulties can seek help from Bank Negara, governor says

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can seek help from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) if they encounter difficulty with their loan applications, BNM Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Yunus said today .

She explained that despite claims that banks are more stringent in assessing credit profiles, general statistics have shown that loan disbursement has gone to pre-pandemic levels.

“Loans have increased, but there are cases of refusal that may not be considered justified.

“So introduce yourself, so that we can then assess each question accordingly,” she said after announcing Malaysia’s gross domestic product performance in Q3 (Q3) 2021 on Friday.

She noted that the decision to approve any loan application would depend on the bank’s assessment of the borrower’s ability to pay.

The governor was responding to a question about SMEs finding it more difficult to apply for new loans, especially those that had taken moratoria, and the fact that banks are more stringent in assessing their credit profile.

Nor Shamsiah pointed out that all the activity of banks revolves around providing financing, both to individuals and businesses, and due to prudent practices during good times, they are always able to meet the needs of financing viable businesses and individuals as the country goes through this pandemic.

She noted that loan disbursements to individuals and SMEs have increased by about 13.1% in the first nine months of this year, which is very similar to the level before the pandemic.

She urged SMEs to explore the options available through the central bank’s online funding benchmark platform, iamSME, which would help them match funding needs with the appropriate offerings not only from banks but also from banks. other lenders.

Borrowers could also use the financial advisory services offered by the Khidmat Nasihat Pembiayaan or MyKNP platform to help them with their loan application, she said.

To date, nearly 6,000 SMEs have been supported on these platforms, she added.

As for the BNM initiative, Nor Shamsiah said the central bank has put in place many lending facilities for SMEs to help them weather the pandemic and, more importantly, invest for the future.

The central bank also announced additional allocations worth 4.5 billion ringgit for its existing funds and two new funds dedicated to SMEs.

Earlier, when announcing third quarter 2021 results, Nor Shamsiah said Malaysia’s net financing to the private sector rose 3.9%, reflecting weaker growth in both outstanding loans and outstanding corporate bonds.

She said the stock of SME finance had increased by 3.2% by the end of September 2021, as higher growth in repayments outpaced that of disbursements in the quarter, following the transition to more repayment assistance. targeted.

For the business segment, she said business loan applications and disbursements improved in September as movement restrictions were eased.

Business loans outstanding rose 2.4%, supported by higher growth in working capital loans, she said.

“This expansion has also been mainly driven by the wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, and the manufacturing sectors, in line with the resumption of commercial activity as part of the reopening of the economy,” said she declared.

Regarding households, she said growth in outstanding loans had moderated to 3.2% due to containment measures and some base effects from the earlier rebound in loan growth in the third quarter. quarter of last year.

“Nonetheless, our flow of credit to households has followed an upward trend following the gradual relaxation of movement restrictions. This has been reflected in a steady increase in loan disbursements amidst higher loan demands in August and September, ”she added. – Bernama

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