Standard Chartered pledges to increase SME lending by 45 per cent over the next five years LONDON, 27 September 2013 – Standard Chartered has pledged that its SME lending will continue to grow and will increase by approximately 45 per cent in its footprint markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East over the next five years.

Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC, said: “SMEs are the true backbones of a number of economies in which we operate – and also vital drivers of long term economic growth and job creation. By pledging to continue growing our lending at pace, we are demonstrating our commitment to further support our SME clients' needs and aspirations in and across our network in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

The commitment to increase SME lending was revealed at this year's Clinton Global Initiative, an annual event hosted by former US President Bill Clinton that brings together, with the aim of creating positive social change, heads of state, Nobel Prize laureates, leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, and major philanthropists.

The pledge to increase SME lending and expand the education programme is part of Standard Chartered's membership pledge to make commitments that focus on addressing a significant global challenge.

This commitment represents a continued flow of credit to SMEs by the Bank, a sector that's vital to fuelling emerging market economic growth. While many western markets have seen available credit reduce since the financial crisis, Standard Chartered continues to grow its lending.

Since the financial crisis in 2008, SME lending has grown continuously by about US$2 billion a year to US$21.1 billion in 2012, and the most recent full year results show lending being up 9.8 per cent in the last year alone*. This latest pledge will see SME lending increase to at least US$30 billion by 2018.

As a result of continued increases in training and development as well as investment across new systems for SMEs, Standard Chartered currently supports around 680,000 SMEs across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The lending and advances facilities will include: trade finance loans, business equipment loans, unsecured loans, overdrafts, leases, and mortgage loans/ loans against properties.

The commitment will also involve Standard Chartered expanding its SME education programme to reach 5,000 SMEs across 10 countries, so that young/ early stage business owners can gain valuable skills such as cash flow/accounting/balance sheet management, risk management, building business plans and budgeting. As the Bank recognises the impact women business owners can have to society, at least 20 per cent of the SMEs trained will be women owned.

*SME lending between 2011 and 2012.


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