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Freeman Cebu Business

Metrobank aims to tailor-fit offers for small scale traders

Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Acknowledging the need of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for capital access, banks nowadays intend to improve their financial product line and tailor-fit it with the needs of the underserved sector.

Filipino Cebuano Business Club Inc. (FCBI) president Rey Calooy said that small-scale businessmen are quite hesitant to approach banks for loan access, thus urging financial institutions to proactively present themselves to the former and address their needs.

He said that MSMEs aim to establish good credit rating with the banks but experience difficulty in acquiring credit since they do not have available documents that are normally required by the banks.

Although there are banks that now cater to smaller companies, he cited that they offer higher interest rates.

As a result, he added, that they tend to opt for informal lending channels.

He then encouraged banks to be less strict with their requirements, recognizing that most of the entrepreneurs run a one-man business and lack the time to process all the necessary documents.

He added that banks could also check the history and performance of a certain business in the city hall where they are registered for further credit investigation.

He also considered using other people’s money as a wise strategy to grow the business, emphasizing the balance of asset and liability.

Calooy along with other chamber members recently convened with the officials of Metrobank to discuss the sentiments of the MSME sector in terms of financial access.

FCBI serves as a business organization of MSMEs in Cebu and other neighbouring provinces such as Bohol and Leyte.

Meanwhile, Metrobank first vice-president Godofredo Cruz pointed out that they acknowledge the significant role of the MSME sector in the economic development of the country, thus expressing their intentions to support the segment especially in terms of credit access.

He also admitted that the MSME segment is way different from corporate accounts in terms of preparation, submission and compliance with the business requirements.

For instance, he added, that the bank could come up with a constructive financial statement from the current bank statements of the entrepreneurs if in case the latter could not provide the documents that could state the working capital of the business.

He cited that it has been the trend of the banks at present to focus on the SME segment and create a template of a product package that is tailored fit to the needs of such clients.

“We have improved our products for small-scale businesses. We must admit this is quite new for us so we have to team up with SME organizations like FCBI to work out on opportunities that could be helpful for the sector. We want to bridge the gap between the banks and SMEs,” he stated.

Cruz then suggested the idea of a second dialogue with the member companies of FCBI to collate their ideas and sentiments as part of the MSME sector for the bank to come up with right product for them. /JOB (FREEMAN)

BANKS

BOHOL AND LEYTE

BUSINESS

CALOOY

CEBU

CRUZ

FILIPINO CEBUANO BUSINESS CLUB INC

GODOFREDO CRUZ

METROBANK

REY CALOOY

SECTOR

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