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DBS signs cross-referral agreements with crowdfunding platforms to expand loans to SMEs

SINGAPORE – DBS Bank has signed cross-referral agreements with peer-to-peer (p2p) lending platforms Funding Societies and MoolahSense, it announced on Tuesday (April 19).

DBS said it is the first Singapore bank to collaborate with such lending platforms to further expand funding sources available to small businesses.

Under the partnership, DBS will refer some of the smaller businesses that it is unable to lend to, to Funding Societies and MoolahSense, said the bank in a statement.

In return, the p2p lending platforms will refer borrowers who have completed two successful rounds of fund raising to DBS for larger commercial loans and other financial solutions such as cash management.

To safeguard borrowers’ privacy, the bank and p2p lenders will only share information when they have obtained borrowers’ consent in advance.

“DBS’ partnership with Funding Societies and MoolahSense is a good example of how traditional and alternative finance providers can work together to support the funding needs of small businesses,” said Ms Joyce Tee, DBS group head of SME banking.

“Such partnerships are becoming common in markets such as the UK and we are pleased to partner two leading p2p lenders in Singapore in this pilot programme.”

Mr Kelvin Teo, co-founder of Funding Societies, noted this is a “win-win relationship that helps SMEs gain access to capital at all phases of their growth journey”.

MoolahSense chief executive Lawrence Yong added: ” Through this partnership, the funding continuum is being extended with more financing solutions to support the growth of local SMEs – the backbone of our economy.”

This latest initiative follows a collaboration between DBS and AMP Credit Technologies earlier this year on a new way of making credit assessments for small business loans.

Instead of relying on financial statements, personal income statements and physical collateral, the joint credit assessment takes into account electronically verifiable cash flows to assess the health of the businesses and their ability to repay. To qualify for the loan, the small business must accept card payments and have been in operation for at least six months.

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