RHB Bank partners Funding Societies to offer P2P financing for SMEs

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): RHB Bank Bhd has teamed up with regional peer-to-peer (P2P) platform Funding Societies Malaysia today to expand funding opportunities for the underserved small and medium enterprises (SMEs) segment in the country.

The partnership signing ceremony was represented by RHB Bank group chief digital, technology and operations officer Rohan Krishnalingam while representing Funding Societies was its chief executive officer Wong Kah Meng.

RHB Bank group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said this partnership is the first collaboration of its kind in the market between a bank in Malaysia and licensed P2P operator.

"RHB and Funding Societies join hands together to cater to the needs of underserved SME customers in getting financing as SME businesses form the backbone of Malaysia's economy," he said in his welcome address at the partnership signing ceremony today.

RHB Bank's SME business has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% per annum for the last three years.

"As we continue to focus on growing our SME customer base, substantial energy and resources will be devoted to creating a differentiated and tailored value proposition for SME owners and their businesses," he said.

Under the partnership, RHB will provide Funding Societies with transaction banking services, trustee services for investors and know your customer (KYC) services.

"RHB will refer younger vintage SMEs to Funding Societies and in turn Funding Societies will inter-refer matured SMEs with complex and longer financing requirements and other banking services to RHB," Khairussaleh explained.

Moreover, investors are also given the opportunity to invest in the platform from as low as RM100 investment.

Funding Societies, which was officially launched in February 2017, is one of only six licensed peer lending platforms in Malaysia that is recognised and regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia.

"To date across three markets in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, we have loaned out approximately RM110 million across 500 loans, helping about 400 SME businesses.

"For the next twelve months we are really aiming to disburse between RM10 million and RM20 million loan for Malaysia SME businesses," said Funding Societies co-founder Kelvin Teo.