The Singapore Government has introduced a slew of measures to combat financial challenges caused by COVID-19, these include a series of Government-backed loans to aid business in Singapore. One such scheme is the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP). It aims to provide greater access to working capital for a company’s needs at a lower cost.
What is the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme?
The TBLP is a government-assisted financial scheme to provide loans to SMEs to help during the COVID crisis. Any company from any sector can apply to the scheme to fund their business needs. The scheme has been gaining popularity in recent weeks with the business community because of its attractive features. These include a maximum interest rate of 5% p.a., loans up to $5 million, and a deferral of principal repayment for up to a year. The program is available from March 2020 till 21 March 2021.
Why is it easier to get a loan under Temporary Bridging Loan Programme?
The main feature of TBLP is the risk share agreement between the financial institutions and the government, under the agreement the government takes 90% of the risk of the loan. This means in case of default, the financial institution will follow the normal recovery process but if it can not recover the total loan amount, the government will pay the remaining 90% of the loan amount. This reduces the risk of lending greatly for financial institutions and thus they are more willing to provide loans under the program. Businesses have already found it easier, quicker, and more hassle-free compared to other loan programs, especially because no collateral is necessary, instead just a personal guarantee is requisite by most financial institutions.
What is the eligibility for a Temporary Bridging Loan Programme?
- Be a business entity that is registered and physically present in Singapore
- At least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean(s) and/or Singapore PR(s), determined by the ultimate individual ownership
What are the document requirements?
- NRIC Copies of All Directors/Shareholders
- Latest 2 years Notice of Assessment for All Directors/Shareholders
- Company Latest 2 Years Financial Report
- Latest 3-6 Months Company Bank Statements
These are the documents needed to apply for TBLP. Further supporting documents might also be needed by Banks and Financial Institutions.
What are some common misunderstandings related to TBLP?
These are some common misunderstandings businesses usually have with regards to TBLP that we want to debunk.
1.“The government has agreed to share 90% of the risk, will that mean my business is only responsible for the 10% in case we default”
While the government does have a 90% risk share agreement, this is between the financial institution and the government, and not between the borrower and the government. This means that the borrower is still obligated to pay 100% of the loan amount. If the borrower is unable to pay the loan, financial institutions are required to go through all methods of debt collection, before claiming 90% of the defaulted loan amount from the government.
For example, if a business takes a $2 million loan and is unable to make payments, financial institutions will have to go through the normal debt recovery process. Let us assume financial Institutions recovered $1 million under the recovery process, then they will make a claim of $900,000 on the remaining $1 million from Enterprise Singapore.
2.“I can apply for $5 million Temporary Bridging Loan with 2 different banks to get a total loan of $10 million”
All loans under TBLP are administered by Enterprise Singapore, which means their approval is required to get a loan under the scheme. Therefore, getting a total loan amount higher than $5 million is not possible. It is a limit set by Enterprise Singapore.
The process behind the scheme is as follows:
- Businesses apply for TBLP through a financial institution, who will carry out their evaluation based on credit scores and decide to either approve/disapprove the loan.
- If a financial institution approves the loan, they submit a request with the loan amount, for approval by Enterprise Singapore.
- Enterprise Singapore will verify if the business has any previous loans and the loan amounts before either approving or rejecting the loan request.
What are the Pros and Cons of Temporary Bridging Loan Programme?
- Businesses can get loans at a cheap interest rate with a high loan maximum amount.
- The program can allow you to pay existing loans that had a higher interest rate, therefore reducing expenses and allowing your business to have a higher cash flow.
- If your company is unable to continue daily business activities even with added cash flow and therefore unable to pay the debt, you as the business owner will be subjecting yourself to possible lawsuits as guarantors.
Where can I apply for Temporary Bridging Loan Programme?
The Financial Institutions where you can apply for a Temporary Bridging Loan Programme are as follows :
- Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd (OCBC Bank)
- DBS Bank Ltd
- CIMB Bank Berhad
- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
- Hong Leong Finance Ltd
- RHB Bank Berhad
- Standard Chartered Bank
You can use the services of our digital ventures LOL Corporate to apply for Temporary Bridging Loan and other Singapore Government supported loan programs
We hope we provided more clarity on the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and the requirements of the scheme. Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any more questions.