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Establishment of SME bank tops wishlist of SMEs

For now, businesses are cutting costs; 87% expect to break even or make profit

Mindy Tan
Published Thu, Oct 2, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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AMID escalating business costs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have renewed calls for a bank that serves businesses like theirs, even as they turn to rigorous cost-management strategies and turn to government and other support schemes for their financing needs.

Almost half the 240 companies - mostly SMEs - polled in the inaugural Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and American Express Singapore Business and Financial Strategy Survey said an SME bank would be the ideal solution; another 28 per cent said they preferred bank loans with higher risk-sharing by the government.

Victor Tay, the SBF's chief operating officer, said: "The SME bank in economies like Taiwan, Korea and Japan tends to take a longer-term stance. It does not look at immediate returns ... so it is more tolerant of risk-sharing."

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