DBS provides S$6.2b collateral-free loans to SMEs amidst pandemic

The bank is now allowing small- and medium-sized enterprises to avail the loan digitally.

DBS has provided collateral-free loans to over 12,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore worth more than S$6.2b since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to DBS, this includes the S$1b loans approved for 2021, noting that SMEs comprise most of the loans, recording 99% of loans in the second quarter when Singapore imposed its first heightened alert period.

The collateral-free loans were primarily issued to the business sectors heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic such as food and beverage, retail, and building and construction.

DBS said it is allowing SMEs to accept loan offers digitally through IDEAL, its one-stop online corporate banking platform for faster access to working capital during this pandemic, noting that working capital and liquidity considerations were the foremost concerns for SMEs, especially in the middle of another heightened alert status due to the pandemic.

The new process could save SMEs up to a month in time savings as it removes physical meet-ups or arranging for document drop-offs.

“Worries over cash flow are not going to fade away any time soon, so what we have been focused on is ensuring that SMEs get the working capital they need into their bank accounts with minimal delay. Through the industry’s first digital loan acceptance solution, DBS is dramatically speeding up SMEs’ access to vital working capital while saving precious time for business owners,” Joyce Tee, group head of SME Banking at DBS said.

“By making banking more intuitive and invisible, our SMEs will be able to focus on more impactful aspects of fortifying their businesses during this period,” she added.

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