SME Bank Bhd expects its non-performing loans (NPLs) to decrease to 15% by year-end, from 17% recorded last year, given the bank’s good collection rate. Its Managing Director, Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus, said the bank was also collaborating with bank Simpanan Nasional to help customers make their monthly payments according to schedule. Datuk Radzif said that Malaysian SMEs still face issues and challenges in spite of all the recognition and assistance given. Many still lament the difficulty in obtaining finance while some faces uphill task accessing markets. He added that the tie-up would enable SME Bank to tap BSN’s vast network of 392 branches throughout Malaysia, especially in rural areas.