Press Release 2012

UOB strengthens support for small businesses in Malaysia

Hires more Relationship Managers to cater specifically to small businesses

Kuala Lumpur, 5 November 2012 - United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) announced plans to improve service and strengthen support for its small business customers1. This is in anticipation of an increase in demand for funding as small businesses seek to seize the opportunities presented by the economic rise of Southeast Asia.

Under the initiative, UOB Malaysia will continue to invest in new technology to streamline processes, including shortening the loan application and approval time for small business customers.

Mr Raymond Chui, Head of Business Banking for UOB Malaysia, said, "We recognise that small business owners need to make fast decisions and by giving them greater certainty on funding access, we are helping these customers manage their business and working capital more efficiently."

"We are expanding our team of small business experts in Malaysia to help our customers take advantage of the business opportunities arising from the country's economic transformation initiatives and the rise in intra-regional trade."

"Under Malaysia's recently launched Economic Transformation Programme, the increased government's expenditure in infrastructure and public utilities will no doubt offer numerous opportunities for small businesses. By increasing our financing activities to small businesses, we will provide the necessary support for our customers to capitalise on Malaysia's economic progression."

According to a survey2 conducted recently by UOB Malaysia with their small and medium-sized Enterprise (SME) customers, two-thirds of the respondents (66 per cent) said they wanted to grow their businesses over the next three years, and of these, more than half (55 per cent) say they are expanding their businesses within Malaysia while 20 per cent are venturing further into ASEAN countries.

"We expect many small businesses to require funding to expand their operations and franchise or strengthen their working capital in the next few years. With UOB's strong balance sheet and deep understanding of the local business environment, we are well-placed to provide our customers with the necessary financing and expertise to take advantage of current market opportunities and to grow into bigger enterprises," said Mr Chui.

UOB brings financial services closer to small businesses UOB Malaysia has placed Business Relationship Managers in all of its retail branches to make financial services more accessible to small businesses. This arrangement not only brings greater convenience to small businesses, it also allows the Bank's Business Relationship Managers to form closer and longer-term relationships with customers whose businesses are located within the vicinity of its Business Banking centres and branches.

"With our extensive branch network across Malaysia, owners of small businesses can walk into any of the UOB branches for their business financial needs, from cash flow management to financing options. This approach to Business Banking demonstrates our commitment to the local communities and customers we serve," Mr Chui said.

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1 UOB defines small businesses as enterprises with an annual turnover of less than RM40million in Malaysia

2 The UOB Malaysia SME Survey 2012 was conducted among 450 Malaysian SME owners across multiple sectors to seek their views on business and economic sentiment, and key business priorities for 2013.

 

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