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News & Events

[ 04-04-2013 ]
Alliance wants to beat estimated industry loan growth rate of 11% for SME business this year
<B>Miller:</B> ‘We aim to always outperform the industry. As we are (one of) the smaller banks, we should ensure that we stay ahead of the market.’
Miller: ‘We aim to always outperform the industry. As we are (one of) the smaller banks, we should ensure that we stay ahead of the market.’

KUALA LUMPUR: Alliance Financial Group Bhd's small and medium enterprises (SME) division aims to outperform the forecast industry loan growth of 11% and grow in the mid-teens' this year.

Its executive vice president and head of group business banking Steve K Miller said the SME segment could outperform the industry due to the healthy economic growth projected in the country this year.

“We aim to always outperform the industry. As we are (one of) the smaller banks we should ensure that we stay ahead of the market. As long as we are in the teens range for loans growth, I think it is pretty healthy,” Miller told StarBiz in an interview.

SMEs, which mainly consist of companies with less than RM25mil in turnover per annum, benefit when the economy grows as they are in the supply chain of key industries in certain bright spots of the national economy.

“Sectors such as retail tend to dominate the SME business. They also tend to benefit from where the people will spend their money on a day-to-day basis such as where people go to buy clothes, food, from the smallest of shops to retailers and these are the SMEs,” Miller said.

Miller also said growth in SMEs was also supported by certain development trends which fundamentally move these companies upwards.

“There are a lot of creative local retailers that are expanding within South-East Asia. They are jumping into places such as Indonesia and Vietnam. There are also companies that are thought of being in sunset industries but because of the changes in the labour market in Asia, quite a number of businesses have come back from China and other countries,” he said.

Miller said SME banking was still mostly about relationships as “we are servicing a customer with their life-savings invested in their business.”

On a related matter, Miller said he was delighted and humbled that Alliance Bank's SME Banking had won the Best SME Bank' in Asia Pacific, Gulf & African region award from the Asian Banker for 2013.

“We are the second smallest bank in Malaysia and we won this award. We are honoured to be the first Malaysian bank to be acknowledged with this international award for our SME Banking business model,” he said.

“We can tell our customers that we are good but the verfication through this award can give confidence to existing customers and will help us in the pursuit for new customers,” he added.

Alliance also looks to further improve its information technology systems, which he added, were already up to date.

Its Programme Lending Model has seen its loss rate at less than 2%, which was one of the lowest compared to the industry's average of 6%.