Number of SMEs unable to repay loans falls to 4pc

The number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to repay their loans has decreased from eight per cent last year to 4pc this year, BBK Group chief executive Dr AbdulRahman Saif has said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony where the bank rewarded employees for excellence and long years of service, the top official of one of Bahrain’s biggest banks said while this was good news, the global economic situation remains unfavourable due to political and economic instability, as well as rising interest rates.

In light of these challenges, the bank is committed to providing assistance to its customers and helping them adapt to the current situation, he added.

To support SMEs, the bank has implemented a number of initiatives, that include creating a new management structure focused on SMEs, increasing resources available to SMEs, reviewing procedures and policies to make it easier for SMEs to obtain loans and offering digital banking services to make it easier for customers to do business with the bank.

“BBK remains committed to helping its customers succeed. It will continue to monitor the global economic situation and take steps to support its customers as needed,” Dr Saif asserted.

Explaining that while the bank and the sector as a whole faces a number of challenges, including the global economic situation, the rapid increase in interest rates, and the lack of liquidity, he said BBK was working to address these challenges by focusing on SMEs, increasing resources, and offering digital banking services.

The bank is also committed to a long-term digital transformation journey, which includes opening five integrated digital branches, operating four digital branches 24/7, offering the ability to open accounts and apply for personal loans through the mobile app, becoming one of the first banks in Bahrain to offer Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

The bank is confident that these initiatives will help it continue to support its customers and grow its business in the years to come, Dr Saif concluded.




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