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Parliamentary Replies

Take-up and Split of Loan Capital SMEs and Large Firms, Interest Rates Paid by Banks and Expected Repayment Period for Banks

04 Sep 2020

Parliamentary Question by Associate Professor Jamus Jerome Lim:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) to date, how many companies have taken up loans that are backed by the $22 billion loan capital set aside as part of the Government's COVID-19 package; (b) what is the split of loan capital taken up by SMEs and large firms; (c) what is the interest rate that is paid by the banks for tapping on this loan capital; and (d) what is the expected repayment period for banks tapping on the loan capital that is set aside.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:

To help enterprises with credit and cash flow, the Government introduced and enhanced financing schemes, such as the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (“TBLP”), as part of the COVID-19 support packages. The TBLP has supported $13.1 billion of loans and 16,349 companies as of 31 Aug 2020. 99.7% of these companies are SMEs, and 0.3% of them are larger firms.

Under the TBLP, Participating Financial Institutions (“PFIs”) can choose to tap on their own capital, Government’s loan capital or the MAS SGD Facility for ESG Loans when issuing loans.  For Government’s loan capital, there is an interest rate of 1.9% per annum (“p.a.”) without collateral. The repayment period, for a PFI which borrows from the Government, is tied to the tenure of the loans offered by the PFI, i.e. up to 5 years. The MAS SGD Facility for ESG Loans provides funds to PFIs at 0.1% p.a. for up to 2 years, and requires PFIs to provide collateral.

For now, most of the loans supported under the TBLP are drawing capital from the MAS SGD Facility. Overall, we have lowered the interest rates charged by PFIs to borrowers for TBLP loans to a range of 1.5% to 3.0% p.a.