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UOB partners SMU to offer programme for small business bankers

UNITED Overseas Bank (UOB) has partnered with the Singapore Management University (SMU) to launch the UOB-SMU Banker's Executive Certificate programme - a tertiary education programme designed for small business bankers.

Touted as the first such programme in the finance industry, the course - which is part of a two-year employee training programme - will combine classroom-based study in the areas of credit and risk management, trade financing and regional regulatory frameworks with practical skills training.

Victor Lee, managing director and head of business banking, UOB Group, says the move is timely, especially because as Singapore's small businesses expand into new markets, they may face challenges such as international trade risk, complex customs regulations or having access to increased working capital.

"We expect a greater number of our small business customers to expand overseas in the next three years and as a result, their banking and business needs are changing. Small businesses need bankers with specialist skills who understand what it takes to do business across borders, whether it is in managing foreign exchange risk or navigating the regulatory landscape in different markets," said Mr Lee.

The bank expects to train 120 small business bankers by the end of this year.

UOB defines small businesses as companies with an annual turnover of S$20 million and below.