New initiative to help local SMEs

|     James Kon     |

STANDARD Chartered Bank launched its enhanced business banking proposition at the Sejahatera Conference room 1 and 2 of the Royal Brunei Recreation Club yesterday.

The proposition aims at assisting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to drive commerce in Brunei Darussalam.

Some 100 guests and members of the media were present.

“We are aware that SMEs are a critical force in the global economy and Brunei, driving innovation, economic development and job creation,” said Country Head of Global Banking Pengiran Aki Ismasufian bin Pengiran Haji Ibrahim. “Over 90 per cent of the world’s businesses are MSMEs and are responsible for 80 per cent of newly created jobs in emerging markets. In Brunei, SMEs contribute over 50 per cent of employment in the private sector and over 1/3 of nations GDP.”

At Standard Chartered Bank, he said “We understand how critical it is in supporting our business clients because our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the markets we operate in.”

Country Head of Global Banking of Standard Chartered Bank Pengiran Aki Ismasufian bin Pengiran Haji Ibrahim
Head of Client Acquisition, Business Banking and Employee Banking of Standard Chartered Bank Jacky Teo. – PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI
Guests at the event

“As the only international bank in Brunei with more than 60 years establishment, not only do we have local knowledge you can bank on, we also have a network across 60 markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East-dynamic developing markets where we can help you to explore expansion and growth opportunities,” he added.

Standard Chartered Bank is also the only bank with a presence in all 10 ASEAN markets and is also a key player in the One Belt, One Road Initiative. last year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with China Development Bank which formalised a strategic partnership to facilitate trade and investment to China’s Belt and Road Initiative to the value of at least USD20 billion by 2020.

“We believe there is potential for SME growth in Brunei through niche offering and leveraging on our national strengths namely peace and stability, well-educated and highly literate workforce, growing expenditure, great infrastructure and digital connectivity,” he said.

“Standard Chartered Bank is leveraging on its global network to assist business particularly those engaging in cross border trade. As an example 70 per cent of our global footprint is currently located in the Belt and Road markets,” said Head of Client Acquisition, Business Banking and Employee Banking Jacky Teo.

Jacky Teo presented two new products at the launch – USD Multi-Tiered interest rate account and the Smart Business account.

The USD Multi-Tiered Interest Rate Account is a current account that offers attractive interest rates and is ideal for companies that trade primarily in the US dollar. The interest rate allows the business owners to earn bonus interest on idle fund without compromising on business liquidity. As the account grows, so does the interest rate.

Meanwhile, the Smart Business Account rewards business with a current account with up to 50 per cent rebate on their outward telegraphic transfers. The Smart Business Account holder will have access to use of the straight2bank business platform which allows business to perform transaction like authorising payments and view balances in real time.