KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 – Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will continue to collaborate with Sabah state government and the financial industry to extend the reach and depth of financial services to the local community and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The central bank, which today held a dialogue session with key representatives from associations of SMEs and business chambers in Sandakan, Sabah, said it would hold similar dialogues in the future to bridge the financial sector and local communities to ensure an efficient and effective ecosystem for SMEs.
Today's dialogue, chaired by assistant governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid, was held in conjunction with Karnival Kewangan Sandakan which will take place on Oct 12 and Oct 13 at Harbour Mall, Sandakan.
At the session, the Sandakan business community shared their views on the current business challenges.
“Among the issues highlighted by SMEs were (difficulties) in obtaining business licenses from the local authorities, the lack of financial and business management capabilities among the SMEs as well as awareness on the availability of capacity-building programmes and financing schemes for SMEs,” BNM said in a statement today.
In addressing the demand for capacity-building, the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) and a few other financial institutions have agreed to collaborate with the SME associations to educate and upskill their members.
Some local businesses also requested financial institutions to be more flexible in dealing with SME customers in the current challenging business environment.
While acknowledging these, Adnan Zaylani explained recent measures that accorded such flexibilities that enabled SMEs to restructure and reschedule existing facilities.
“SMEs were also encouraged to maintain active conduct of business current accounts which could support their financing applications to financial institutions and they may also benefit from the Skim Pembiayaan Mikro (Microfinancing Scheme) where they can apply for financing without collateral for up to RM50,000 from 10 participating financial institutions.
“SMEs also have options to source financing from development financial institutions including, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd and alternative finance providers such as peer-to-peer financing and equity crowdfunding platforms which are regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia,” he added.
For more information, visit BNM's website at www.bnm.gov.my