KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) member banks are remaining supportive in providing access to financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have been adversely affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.

ABM has 26 members comprising of commercial banks that currently operate in Malaysia. In a press release issued yesterday, ABM said that its member banks are aware of the importance of business continuity for SMEs and are ready to provide access to lending for eligible SME borrowers.

“The SMEs play a vital role in the Malaysian economy and are considered the backbone of the industrial development of the country.

“In light of the current movement control order (MCO), our member banks are still processing loan applications, though remotely, and accordingly there may be longer processing times for loan applications, ” it added.

Meanwhile, the association noted that interested SMEs should contact the participating banks to apply for financing under various facilities announced by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Recently, the central bank announced an increase in allocation for SMEs to Bank Negara’s fund by RM4bil, bringing the total allocation to RM13.1bil.

The fund, which is aimed at providing assistance to more SMEs in sustaining business operations and preserving jobs as well as to support economic growth, will be made available to the SME segment through the participating financial institutions.

As of April 2, financial institutions have approved around 1,300 applications under the three facilities namely Special Relief Facility, Agrofood Facility, Automation and Digitalisation Facility of Bank Negara’s Fund for SMEs, totalling RM682mil.

“This is in addition to the other financing provided to SMEs by the banks under their own financing schemes where for the first two months of the year banks have disbursed RM42bil of financing to SMEs, ” ABM said.

Besides that, ABM pointed out that SMEs can also contact Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd (CGC) through their portal to explore the various financing initiatives they may offer for SMEs.

imSME is Malaysia’s SME financing platform that matches business financing needs of entrepreneurs or SMEs to suitable financing offered by participating banks.

On the other hand, ABM said SMEs whose loan applications are not approved are advised to seek guidance and assistance from Khidmat Nasihat Pembiayaan (MyKNP).

MyKNP is an initiative by BNM to assist individuals and SMEs on how to improve their eligibility for financing.

“Such SMEs are also advised to consider alternative sources of funding for example the Malaysia Co-Investment Fund scheme (MyCIF) which is administered by the Securities Commission, ” ABM said.

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