Hong Leong Bank Berhad has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad (CGC), to participate in their Portfolio Guarantee (PG) scheme to offer financing of up to RM200 million to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said that the Bank recognizes the important role that SMEs play in the growth and progress of the country and its economy. “As a community Bank, we are proud to support the growth of SMEs in Malaysia and we aim to be their one stop business management solutions provider for all their business needs.”

“We recognize that the main challenge SMEs face today is obtaining unsecured loan facilities, in order to grow their businesses. Through this portfolio scheme, SMEs who have viable business models but lack the relevant collaterals in obtaining the required credit facility can now have access to financing; which can provide them the necessary uplift to kick start and grow their business.”

“It is important that we extend the relevant support to SME so that they can focus on optimizing their opportunities while running their business efficiently. As part of our aim to be a one-stop business management solutions provider, the SMEs who secure financing from HLB through this scheme, will also have access to our business management tools such as the recently launched Connect First,” added Domenic.

HL’s Connect First is an advanced digital banking channel that is catered for companies who can easily conduct their own banking and business management services including account management, payables, receivables, liquidity management, trade, treasury management, e-investment and e-procurement. HL’s Connect First also provides an embedded HR solutions software that is known as ‘Kakitangan.com’, so that SMEs can efficiently manage their payroll accounts, Employee Provident Fund, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia and Social Security Organisation submissions.

“The SMEs continue to be the impetus for growth and we congratulate CGC in their efforts to enhance this sector through their various loan and guarantee schemes. We have great pleasure in working with CGC in support of the SMEs and congratulate them for their various programmes in uplifting the SME sector. ”In line with its strong entrepreneurial heritage, Hong Leong Bank strives to provide support and banking solutions to SMEs, by understanding their business challenges and requirements for growth.

“This agreement which is made possible via our partnership with CGC is yet another example of how Hong Leong Bank synergizes financing and Connect First’s hassle-free solutions, to enhance our customers’ journey, supporting them closely every step of the way. Hong Leong Bank remains committed towards supporting the growth of Malaysia’s SME segment, in helping SMEs achieve their business objectives and in turn contributing to the nation’s future economic growth,” added Domenic.

“We are pleased to ink our maiden partnership with Hong Leong Bank, which shares the same objective as we do – assist SMEs in achieving their business goals by addressing their financial needs. CGC’s commitment towards SMEs span over four decades and we have to date offered numerous financing options to suit the requirement of the SMEs; particularly the clients of our banking partners through innovative Portfolio Guarantee (PG) scheme,” said CGC’s President and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak. “With this collaboration, SMEs will now have more options to consider to access financing for their business,” said Datuk Zamree. Datuk Zamree added that the scheme would also be made available through CGC’s imSME, Malaysia’s first online SME financing/loan referral platform, which matches eligible SMEs to suitable financing products that are offered by the participating banks.

Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia was established in 1972. The core business of CGC is to assist SMEs; especially, those with inadequate or without collateral and track record, to obtain credit facilities from financial institutions by providing guarantee cover on such facilities. CGC has availed over 444,700 guarantees and financing to SMEs valued over RM63.7 billion since its establishment. To date, CGC had managed a total of 45 guarantee and financing schemes including 16 government-backed schemes.