Hong Leong Bank approves RM1.3b special relief facilities for SMEs

PETALING JAYA: Hong Leong Bank has approved RM1.3 billion worth of loans for SMEs as of April 30, 2020 under the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Special Relief Facility (SRF).

The facilities approved are for over 1,600 SMEs spanning across various sectors, from wholesale & retail trade, manufacturing, construction, to transport, storage and communication.

The bank said it enhanced and simplified the application and approval process for SME loans so that they can fast track the BNM SRF.

Its head of SME banking Terrence Teoh revealed that the bank has introduced flexibility in the process by allowing customers to apply via email and complete the process through digital consent acceptance.

“This not only played closely to our digital at the core strategy, but just as importantly, allowed us to help clients at a critical time during the movement control order (MCO), where physical restrictions inhibit the traditional way of doing things,” he said in a statement.

Hong Leong Bank managing director and CEO Domenic Fuda (pix) highlighted that SMEs which makes up of 98.5% of all business establishments in Malaysia have been hit badly during the MCO.

“We have been engaging with our customers throughout the MCO period to help where we can, including extending credit where appropriate and payment deferment where necessary to assist with their short-term cash flow management.”

Hong Leong is extending assistance to individuals and SME customers in the industry wide loan deferment program which was introduced on April 1, 2020 for six months.

It said that these initiatives have delivered timely support at a critical juncture during this pandemic to thousands of SMEs so that they can continue operating.

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