RHB Banking Group has partnered with Funding Societies Malaysia, a regional peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform, to expand funding opportunities for the underserved small and medium enterprise (SME) segment in the country.
In a statement here today, group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said the group’s SME business had grown at a compound annual growth rate of 17% per annum from 2014-2016. “As we continue to focus on growing our SME customer base, substantial energy and resources will be devoted to creating a differentiated and tailored value proposition for SME owners and their businesses as the SME sector form the backbone of the Malaysia’s economy,” he said. About 97% of business enterprises in Malaysia are SMEs.
Datuk Khairussaleh said Funding Societies would provide a platform for the SMEs to borrow directly from investors while RHB would provide the former with transaction banking services, trustee services for investors and (Know Your Customer) services.
Under the partnership, the first collaboration between a Malaysian bank and a P2P financing platform, investors are given the opportunity to invest on the platform from as low as RM100.
Malaysian Trustees Bhd will also perform due diligence checks on the SMEs to verify the destination of the funds and ensure that they are being channelled for the right uses.
Funding Societies is one of only six licensed peer lending platforms in Malaysia that is recognised and regulated by the Securities Commission.
It has recorded returns of more than 10% to investors.
Between June 2015 and February 2017, Funding Societies has originated almost RM90mil across 400 deals in Singapore and Indonesia.