In­clu­sion into The Mon­treal Group tes­ta­ment to hard work

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: The in­clu­sion of SME Bank Bhd into the The Mon­treal Group (TMG) is a tes­ta­ment to the hard work the bank had achieved in spurring the lo­cal small and medium en­ter­prises (SME) land­scape for the past six years.

TMG, founded in 2012, is an ex­clu­sive global fo­rum for sta­te­owned de­vel­op­ment fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion (DFIs) fo­cus­ing on as­sist­ing mi­cro and SMEs while en­cour­ag­ing the ex­change of ideas, best prac­tices as well as greater un­der­stand­ing of the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket for the growth of the seg­ment.

“SME Bank’s in­clu­sion into TMG isn’t just an hon­our for the bank, but also for the coun­try as Malaysia is the only Asean rep­re­sen­ta­tive within this ex­clu­sive global fo­rum,” said SME Bank group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus in an in­ter­view with NST Busi­ness.

“This is a con­tin­u­ous tes­ta­ment to our unique value propo­si­tion of fi­nanc­ing and be­yond fi­nanc­ing model in as­sist­ing SMEs, and we are con­fi­dent that our par­tic­i­pa­tion in the group will ben­e­fit the bank and stake­hold­ers.”

Thus, the SME Bank’s in­clu­sion into TMG is even more sig­nif­i­cant given the group’s strin­gent qual­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria.

“Mem­ber­ship into TMG is by invitation only and we started our mem­ber­ship ad­mis­sion process in June last year fol­low­ing a se­ries of re­la­tion­ship build­ing and con­tin­u­ous en­gage­ments with TMG,” he said.

“Within this time, we were eval­u­ated through sev­eral pa­ram­e­ters by TMG to as­sess our stand­ing which, I am pleased to say was up to the stan­dard.

“By Jan­uary 18, TMG’s sec­re­tary gen­eral San­dra Pélo­quin no­ti­fied us that we have been ap­proved as the new­est mem­ber of TMG. The of­fi­cial ac­cep­tance will take place at the up­com­ing an­nual meet­ing in June in Helsinki, Fin­land.”

Some of the cri­te­ria looked at were SME Bank’s fi­nanc­ing as­set growth of com­pound an­nual growth rate at nine per cent, its sus­tain­able bot­tom line with an av­er­age profit be­fore tax of RM30 mil­lion and the bank’s con­sis­tent div­i­dend pay­ment to its share­hold­ers since 2012.

The bank also ap­proved to­tal fi­nanc­ing of RM26 bil­lion and as­sisted more than 15,000 SME en­trepreneurs since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2005.

Its Up­ward Mi­gra­tion pro­gramme has also up­graded more than 800 SMEs to a higher level.

Radzif is con­fi­dent that the bank’s in­clu­sion into the group will be ben­e­fi­cial to SME Bank’s long term vi­sion — to be­came a full-fledged and spe­cialised fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion and an in­ter­na­tional bench­mark to nur­ture SME ex­cel­lence while keep­ing its man­dated mis­sion of de­vel­op­ing SMEs’ growth en­gine in line with the govern­ment’s eco­nomic agenda.

“The op­por­tu­nity for SME Bank to learn best prac­tices on mul­ti­ple ar­eas in­clu­sive of gov­er­nance, risk man­age­ment, hu­man cap­i­tal de­vel­op­ment, de­liv­ery chan­nels, prod­uct and ser­vice in­no­va­tions and other in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for po­ten­tial adop­tion.

“In­clu­sion into TMG would en­able us to tap an in­ter­na­tional net­work of DFIs and SMEs, which means Malaysian SMEs can now col­lab­o­rate with in­ter­na­tional SMEs to lever­age their prod­ucts and ser­vices,” he said.

Radzif said the bank was cur­rently in the process of fi­nal­is­ing the ca­pa­ble SMEs to bring with him to the of­fi­cial ac­cep­tance in Fin­land, as they will be ex­posed to net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties with other iden­ti­fied SMEs by other TMG mem­bers.

This is con­tin­ual tes­ta­ment to our unique value propo­si­tion of fi­nanc­ing and be­yond fi­nanc­ing model in as­sist­ing SMEs,

DATUK MOHD RADZIF MOHD YUNUS

Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor SME Bank

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