Standard Chartered lends helping hand to SMEs

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Standard Chartered lends helping hand to SMEs


Tim Hinton

Standard Chartered Bank Korea yesterday introduced a package of special services for customers to help their small and medium-size businesses grow.

“Like many other countries in the world, in Korea too, SMEs play a very important role in the economy,” said Richard Hill, chief executive of SC Bank Korea, yesterday, at a press conference held at the Banyan Tree Club & Spa in central Seoul. “It is also very important for financial institutions to provide financial support [to SMEs] and SC Bank is putting out efforts to provide them with an innovative and differentiated financial solution so that our customers’ businesses are able to grow.”

The bank said there is a growing need for improved financial service for SMEs tapping into overseas markets.

According to the London-based bank, it has launched a financial product that?allows an SME to renew its export financing limit from the bank once?a buyer?informs the?SME that it has received?ordered?goods. Normally, it takes longer for settlement to be made after goods are delivered.

It also launched a service in which an SME can sell its receivables?to?the bank before receiving?payment from a buyer, which will generate capital.

SMEs using the financial products will have to pay commissions.

“There are costs for the customers of doing that [using the products],” said Tim Hinton, global head of SME banking at Standard Chartered. “[But] we want it to be value-added, competitive.”

As for the risk to the bank, Hinton said, “The reason we think we can manage these risks is because we’re an international bank and we have many customers and we can assess the risk of many companies in a marketplace.”

“The SME banking segment is an incredibly important part of both our bank’s focus and any economy,” Hinton said. “We have an SME presence in more than 30 countries across our footprint but Korea is still our largest SME business. It’s an area of focus for us and it’s a particular area for growth focus.”

Kim Ki-bum, Korea head of SME banking for SC, said, “What we are proposing is escaping from the role of simply providing SMEs with loans based on their credit and state a new vision for SME financing.”

“We’re introducing a financial system in which customers are able to more efficiently manage businesses,” he said.

BY lee eun-joo []
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