SCB eyes B8bn in SME loan scheme

SCB eyes B8bn in SME loan scheme

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) wants its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans outstanding under the Thai Bankers' Association (TBA) single financial account scheme to reach 8 billion baht by year-end.

The bank already extended 2 billion baht worth of loans under TBA's scheme to SMEs that adopted a single financial account since the beginning of this year, said Pikun Srimahunt, senior executive vice-president and head of SCB's SME segment.

To encourage SMEs to use just one financial account, SCB has launched several education programmes and promotional packages.

Under the TBA's single financial account scheme, SMEs are provided a special-rate loan at a fixed 5% over the first two years.

A new industry-wide lending approach starting next year requires banks to give greater consideration to financial statements submitted to the Revenue Department when considering SME loans.

SCB also provides clean loans to customers who use a single financial account. A clean loan means the bank charges an interest rate of up to two percentage points on top of the minimum retail rate. SMEs with annual sales below 75 million baht are eligible to receive minimum credit lines of 10% of annual sales.

Mrs Pikun said SMEs applying for loans under the single financial account scheme and using the SCB mobile app feature called Business Anywhere will also get a 25-basis-point discount off the regular rate. The bank uses data analytics to offer the rate.

SCB is also waiving the fee for fund transfers via the mobile banking app for one year. The bank's annual fee for the digital service starts at 3,000 baht.

SCB wants to provide non-financial support to SMEs under collaboration with its partners to encourage small operators to use single financial accounts.

The bank's assistance measures in terms of both financial and non-financial packages should improve SME business operations and prepare them for the single financial account implementation next year, Mrs Pikun said.

The scheme is intended to make it easier for SMEs to access bank loans and to improve the asset quality of the banking sector.

SCB shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 149 baht, up two baht, in trade worth 1.97 billion baht.

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