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Sun 20 Jul 2014 12:59 PM

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Banks urged to improve SME offerings

Report suggests big GCC banks should deploy new tools to optimise SME services and become market leaders

Banks urged to improve SME offerings

Big banks in the GCC can do more to tap into the SME segment, according to the findings of a new report.

The report, Innovating SME Banking in the GCC, was released by strategic consultancy firm de Kerros & Company, and suggests that SME financing should no longer be limited to smaller retail or specialised banks in the region.

The research argues that the GCC’s larger banks should seize a ‘first-mover’ advantage and innovate its products and services to become leaders in the SME segment, adopting a consumer-centric focus, based on client relationships and transaction-based products.

Tatjana de Kerros, managing partner of de Kerros & Company and author of the report, said: “Micro-enterprises and start-ups can easily access finance and benefit from dedicated support services within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“However, existing SMEs who are more likely to scale and exponentially contribute to job creation and economic productivity are being neglected in the Gulf.

“Banks have a unique opportunity to capitalise on this segment by optimising financial and non-financial product and service offerings that meet the operational and growth requirements of SMEs, while increasing their returns and supporting private sector growth.”