RHB Banking Group has approved over RM500 million Special Relief Facility (SRF) applications to more than 700 Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to help alleviate the short-term cash flow difficulties faced by them arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the SRF is part of Bank Negara Malaysia’s Fund for SMEs with an allocation of RM5 billion, made available under the RHB SME’s Financial Relief Assistance Programme to assist SMEs adversely affected by COVID-19 sustain business operations, safeguard jobs, as well as support economic growth.
In a recent statement, Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli, the group managing director at RHB, said that the bank has approved more than 700 SRF applications from SMEs out of over 1,500 applications received so far. This amounts in excess of RM500 million.
“The highest number of approvals granted are from the wholesale and retail trade sectors, at 31 per cent with the total facility amount of RM155 million. This is followed by 16 per cent from the manufacturing sector at RM79 million, while the rest are mainly for SMEs from the various services sectors,” he said.
In addition, the group also noted that eligible SMEs can obtain up to RM1 million in working capital financing at a financing rate of 3.5 percent per annum with a maximum tenure of up to 5.5 years.
Throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, business owners can submit applications for the SRF through RHB’s SME Online financing platform, accessible to both new and old customers.
Currently almost half of the SRF approvals are those with new financing relationships with RHB.
The group saw an encouraging 36 percent of SRF applications being submitted through the online platform and strongly encourage SMEs to make use of the digital platform particularly during this MCO period.
“The RHB SME Online Financing platform allows simple, fast and seamless application experience with a user-friendly interface where all data inputs and consent procedures can be done digitally. In the days and weeks ahead, we will also be proactively engaging our SME customers through Webinars or Zoom to conduct talks on SRF applications as well as provide advice on financial management during this most challenging period,” said Khairussaleh.