Fabian Demicoli

MDB issues new scheme with revised collateral requirement after the Malta Chamber of SMEs highlights difficulties

Following problems flagged by members on accessing the MDB loan scheme, the Malta Chamber of SMEs discussed the matter with the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Hon Clayton Bartolo and discussions ensued. The revised system has now been given green light by the European Commission and the first local commercial bank has now signed up to MDB’s Small Loans Guarantee Scheme (SLGS), with a number of other commercial banks soon to follow suit.

The MDB COVID-19 Small Loans Guarantee Scheme (SLGS) is intended to support smaller businesses in taking out loans under the MDB COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme (CGS) without the need to provide high levels of soft collateral in the form of personal guarantees. 

Through the SLGS , the MDB provides additional protection to the banks by subordinating its rights to those of the banks in respect of the 10% of the loan which is not covered by the 90% guarantee under the CGS. In return, the MDB is obliging the banks not to request soft collateral in excess of 20% of the loans extended to SMEs. 

The SLGS is therefore a carefully thought equitable solution that addresses the concerns of smaller businesses regarding the high levels of soft collateral requested by banks (normally in the form of personal guarantees), while giving due regard for the risks faced by the intermediary banks. 

The SLGS applies to loan contracts of up to €250,000 that are concluded under the scheme as from 29 July 2020. Existing loan contracts of up to €250,000 that were concluded before this date are also eligible to benefit from this new scheme provided that the banks amend these contracts to reflect the new conditions.

The MDB is holding discussions with the banks intermediating the CGS in this regard.

The list of banks signed up to SLGS is updated on a daily basis on the MDB website on this link.

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