Parliamentary Replies
Published Date: 22 October 2013

Reply to Parliamentary Question on SME Financing Survey




Date: For Parliament Sitting on 21 OCTOBER 2013

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Yee Jenn Jong, NCMP


To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether MAS's Annual SME Financing Survey 2013 has been completed; (b) if so, what are the findings as to the trend of accessibility of bank loans for SMEs; (c) whether there are MAS rules requiring a mandatory project track record period or other requirements with regard to bank loans specific to SMEs; and (d) whether the setting up of a credit bureau for SMEs will help worthy SMEs obtain needed working and expansion credit from banks.

Answer by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth on behalf of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of MAS:

1      MAS conducts an annual survey of major lenders to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to better understand financing conditions for SMEs.

2          The preliminary results for the 2013 survey indicate that SME lending grew by 9% in the year ending June 2013.  27% of SME loans were unsecured, 55% were secured on property collateral, mainly commercial or industrial properties, and the remaining 18% were secured on other forms of collateral.

3          MAS does not call for banks to require that SMEs meet a project track record or any specific requirement in order to get a loan.  All MAS expects is that banks and finance companies make prudent lending decisions, based on their own credit assessments and risk tolerance.  In evaluating loans, financial institutions would typically also consider their interests in keeping their customers. 

4     Credit bureaus can help the market function efficiently.  They help financial institutions make good credit decisions.  There are indeed existing credit bureaus in Singapore which provide credit evaluation and monitoring based on other corporate information such as company and shareholder details, supplier payment trends and litigation records.   

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