Lending firm reaches out to more MSMEs

A LENDING company plans to expand its offices in the Visayas and Mindanao region on the back of the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

First Standard Finance Corp. president Jacqueline Tan-Sainz said they want to reach out to more MSMEs in the region as there is still a big percentage in the sector who encounter difficulty in accessing funds.

“We understand our role as a financing company to be the MSMEs’ partner when it comes to financial credit to help them grow their businesses, even if some of them haven’t realized they have that option,” she said.

First Standard Finance Corp. opened its 80th office in the Philippines in Mandaue City.

She said they are supportive of the government’s thrust to help MSMEs enjoy seamless access to financial resources. MSMEs may avail themselves of loans from P50,000 up to P50 million.

Sainz said the company plans to open 15 to 20 more offices in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We see a big opportunity in the MSME sector, many of which are run by young entrepreneurs. As we have helped many corporations start and expand, we also want to do the same for these budding businesses,” Sainz said.

The new office in Mandaue City is an addition to the growing network of the company, whose business is to offer collateral loans and credit lines.

The firm also launched its virtual office that will cater to digitally entrenched clients and facilitate the application process further. According to Sainz, this is part of the company’s efforts towards a “digitally-oriented enterprise to reach a wider market.”

“We bank on the trust of the clients. We offer real estate loans, vehicle loans and even small business loans,” she said.

The MSME sector comprises more than 99 percent of all the businesses in the Philippines and it accounts for 35 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

According to a report by the Asian Development Bank in 2018, the country has the second lowest rate of SME loans in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which is only amounting to 3.1 percent of the GDP. (JOB)