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SME Bank’s Sabah Region Resolves Access to Financing Issue Through Its Mini XCESS Programme

KOTA KINABALU : 31 March 2017

KOTA KINABALU : 31 March 2017 – SME Bank continues to facilitate access to financing for SME entrepreneurs through the SME Bank Sabah Region Mini XCESS 2017. The sixth to be held this year, SME Bank targets to approve financing worth RM60 million from this half day programme to eligible SME companies for their business expansion.

SME Bank Mini XCESS is an annual event held with the aim to reach out to the SME entrepreneurs directly. Two sessions were organised by SME Bank’s Sabah Regional Centre during last year’s Outreach Programme and it attracted almost 250 entrepreneurs with approximately RM100 million worth of financing were approved.

Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus, the Group Managing Director of SME Bank said, “The annual outreach programme is one of our efforts in resolving issues pertaining to access to financing and the response from SME entrepreneurs thus far have been very positive. From January to now, we have engaged with approximately 1,500 SME entrepreneurs and Kota Kinabalu is the second last venue before we conclude the first series programme this year in Bintulu, Sarawak, scheduled to take place on 11 April 2017.”

He added, “Sabah Region has always been one of our focus areas and since the opening of our branches in Kota Kinabalu and Tawau, we have approved more than RM1.7 billion worth of financing and assisted a total of 1,727 customers. For this year, we are targeting to approve financing worth RM176 million to the SME entrepreneurs in Sabah.”

The significant numbers demonstrated that economic activities in Sabah are vibrant and it provides abundance of opportunities for SME businesses and its ecosystem to grow. The top three economic contributors in Sabah are services at 40.5%, mining & quarrying at 25.7% and agriculture at 22.5%.

SME Bank Sabah Regional Centre operates with three network of branches namely Kota Kinabalu Enterprise Centre, Tawau Enterprise Centre and Kota Kinabalu UTC.

In the effort to improve its customer service delivery, SME Bank has recently launched the Book Your Banker facility in its Mobile Application enabling entrepreneurs who are interested to apply for financing to register online, set the date of the appointment and choose the branch of their choice. SME Bank’s Mobile App can be downloaded through App Store or Play Store under the name SME Bank.

SME Bank’s commitment in assisting the SMEs to grow and remain competitive has been recognized internationally when the Bank became the first Development Finance Institution in Malaysia and ASEAN to be a member of The Montreal Group or TMG. As a member of TMG, SME Bank will have access to best practices on multiple areas such as governance, risk management, human capital development, delivery channels, product and service innovations, and other international standards for potential adoption.

Since its establishment in 2005, SME Bank has approved a total financing amounting RM26 billion and assisted more than 15,000 SME entrepreneurs. The Bank’s Upward Migration programme has successfully upgraded more than 800 SME businesses to a higher level. Meanwhile, CEDAR or Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank, has successfully coached more than 34,000 participants in various SME entrepreneurial training programmes.

The SME Bank Mini XCESS for Sabah Region was officiated by YB Datuk Haji Ramlee Marahaban, Assistant Finance Minister of Sabah. Other MITI agencies such as SME Corp., Matrade, MIDA, MPC, MAI, MSI and HDC also participated as strategic partners for the event.