As you can guess, the coronavirus is pretty bad for enterprises.
Many businesses have already thrown in the towel and I have no doubt that many more will go belly up before the crisis is over.
Many more may not be facing bankruptcy, but still face cashflow issues due to the previous lockdown period – you can’t complete jobs and earn revenue during this period, but still have to pay salaries and other fixed costs during this period.
I am struggling to make it with the pile of debts that dragged me since that period.
The gov aimed at extending credit to SMEs to protect local businesses and local jobs during this crisis..
This includes generous subsidies on loan programmes for SMEs. If you look at the MAS website or check out the websites of various banks, you’d think it’s pretty accessible – you can apply in as little as 5 minutes.
But in my experience, not all banks are as helpful as they purport to be. One of the Big-3 banks I approached straight up replied to me that they’re only offering loans to businesses with annual turnover of half a million or more.
This automatically rules out most startups and small businesses. It’s bamboozling because there’s no credit analysis process – no 5Cs, no credit scores. They don’t care whether you’ve made a profit, they don’t care how long you’ve been in business, what your business model is, or whether you have ever defaulted on a loan.
If you’re not big enough, you’re not worth their attention, period. And they don’t even tell you this when they advertise for you to apply with them.
Now, I normally wouldn’t be so miffed about being denied credit. Banks tend to close their umbrellas during crises. That’s typical behaviour. What’s disgusting is to know that they’re suckling on the sweet teats of generous government subsidies – Ah Gong is bearing 90% of the risk of SME loans obtained during this period. I’m not sure how this subsidy is going to be passed down to SMEs. And they’re milking off the insincere PR by advertising all over that they “care” and profiteering over this crisis.
Now, I haven’t yet heard back from the majority of lenders. But seeing a Big-3 bank behave this way during a real crisis is utterly disheartening.