Maybank is planning to "aggressively expand" its retail small and medium enterprises (RSME) financing across Singapore and the region, it said on Monday.
The bank will be lending money to more businesses with revenues of up to $20 million, termed "retail SMEs" because they have simpler financing needs akin to those of retail or consumer banking.
The move follows the implementation of its RSME model in Malaysia, which has seen a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 30 per cent in loans since it was fully rolled out in 2013. Maybank Singapore said it expects to grow its total RSME loan portfolio by 40 per cent this year.
In the two years since the RSME business was officially launched here, SME loans have increased by more than 50 per cent and deposits have risen by almost 25 per cent, according to Mr Choong Wai Hong, head of community financial services (CFS) for Maybank Singapore.
"Our RSME business was a newly created segment which we identified as having great potential in 2011," said Mr Lim Hong Tat, chief executive of Maybank Singapore.
Mr Lim added that Maybank will be focusing on building its RSME portfolio regionally as the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community has resulted in countries placing increasing emphasis on smaller firms.
"ASEAN economies are powered by the SME segment, which generates about 50 per cent of employment and some 40 per cent of GDP on average," he added.
"The SME industry itself is growing by between 8 and 28 per cent CAGR in these markets and presents an untapped potential for growth."
Maybank has introduced its RSME model in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.
The bank also has online capabilities to help small business owners improve their productivity in areas such as payroll, collections and payments. Maybank intends to devise more innovative financing solutions to help business owners manage uncertainties around their cash flow.
"As the only bank with a presence in all 10 ASEAN countries, we are well-poised to help more small businesses capitalise on new opportunities to grow their business locally and access new markets in the region," Mr Choong said.
This article was first published on March 16, 2016.
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