Singaporean banking major and financial services corporation DBS has reportedly sanctioned more than $1.1 billion as loans to over 3,500 micro and small enterprises. This loan disbursal initiative comes under the financing schemes of “Enterprise Singapore”, a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore.
As per sources, the approved loans account to almost 80 per cent of all the government assisted SME loans sanctioned by the banking major since March. Of the 3,500 loans approved so far, around 30 per cent have been sanctioned to customers having no prior relationship with DBS and over half for customers with no borrowing history in the bank’s record.
Sources cite that the average loan quantum was $ 250,000 for customers having no borrowing history with the bank. Apparently, two out of every three customers have been reported to borrow $ 200,000 or less out of which over 800 have borrowed $ 100,000 or less. The borrowers of these loans comprise customers from different fields including services, general wholesale, building and construction, food and beverages and the retail sector.
Joyce Tee, Head of the SME Banking Group at DBS, has quoted the bank’s intention to double its support to micro and small enterprises in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. She has further added that most of the SMEs have been facing a cash crunch due to the government’s safe distancing and circuit breaker measures. Amid the outbreak, many companies have come under the radar of lenders and may not be familiar with appropriate financing solutions to meet their working capital needs, added Tee.
For the record, DBS has been working with key stakeholders to deliver working capital support to the most challenged micro and small enterprises. The bank is also working in collaboration with the Federation on Merchants’ Associations to provide solutions to cash flow challenges before heartland enterprises.
According to DBS, Singapore has over 15,000 heartland enterprises spread across 14 towns in the country comprising various business establishments ranging from kopitiam owners to service providers.