Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), the country’s largest banking group by asset, aims to disburse RM13bil in financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) this year, up RM3bil or 30% from last year. Senior executive vice-president and head of community financial services Datuk Hamirullah Boorhan said this would be underpinned by growing demand for financing from SMEs amid a more efficient disbursement turnaround time. “We are committed to further improve Maybank’s disbursement turnaround time from currently five working days to two working days. “We hope this will further help SMEs to stay competitive in their respective industry,” he told reporters after the signing ceremony of the SME financing Portfolio Guarantee (PG) Scheme with Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC), which allocates up to RM1.5bil in financing, in Kuala Lumpur last Friday. Hamirullah said apart from financing facility, the bank also provided non-financing services such as the “Building Capacity and Capability for SMEs” programme to help improve the SME sector in the country. “We have reached out to more than 1,200 participants via face to face seminar this year and we will continue to offer this programme in the future after receiving positive response from the participants,” he said. He said to further assist SMEs, Maybank’s had also introduced the SME First Account, a business current account offering simplified solutions to fulfil SME needs at lower cost. “SMEs that registered for this account would be able to enjoy specific fee waiver and benefits,” he added. Maybank’s collaboration with the CGC began in 2013 when it became one of the first local bank to offer SME financing without collateral under the scheme. To date, the bank had approved RM3.2bil loans under the scheme to more than 6,000 SMEs. This latest allocation is in addition to the RM1.26 billion approved by Maybank in 2014 and another RM1.1 billion in the 2015 driven by the strong demand from the SME industry. “With this partnership, Maybank remains the leading supporter of CGC’s Portfolio Guarantee (PG) Scheme in Malaysia, with a total approved amount of RM3.2 billion to date,” said Hamirullah. He shared as well that some RM600 million of the RM1.5 billion signed today have already been disbursed. Meanwhile, CGC chief executive officer Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak said that he expects the RM1.5 billion PG with Maybank to reach out to 3,000 SMEs by year end.