SINGAPORE - United Overseas Bank (UOB) has partnered with the Singapore Management University (SMU) to launch a tertiary education programme designed for small business bankers.
The UOB-SMU Banker's Executive Certificate programme will impart specialist skills and knowledge necessary for bankers to meet the expansion demands of small businesses, UOB said in its announceemnt on Thursday.
The bank added that as Singapore's small businesses expand into new markets, they may face challenges such as international trade risk, complex customs regulations or having access to increased working capital. To address these, the new course will combine classroom-based study in the areas of credit and risk management, trade financing and regional regulatory frameworks with practical skills training.
Small businesses form the backbone of Singapore's economy, accounting for 99 per cent of local enterprises. Of the 28,000 local businesses that expanded overseas in 2014, more than 80 per cent were small-to-medium enterprises.
Said Mr Victor Lee, UOB's managing director and head of business banking: "We expect a greater number of our small business customers to expand overseas in the next three years and as a result, their banking and business needs are changing.
"Small businesses need bankers with specialist skills who understand what it takes to do business across borders, whether it is in managing foreign exchange risk or navigating the regulatory landscape in different markets. This is why the UOB-SMU Banker's Executive Certificate programme is timely, important and progressive as graduates will develop the skills necessary for the future."
The UOB-SMU Banker's Executive Certificate is part of UOB's career development programme to encourage continuous training and skills development among its employees. The Bank expects to train 120 small business bankers by the end of this year.
UOB said that approximately one out of every two small businesses in Singapore banks with UOB. They are mainly from the commerce, services and manufacturing industries.