PETALING JAYA: RHB Banking Group said it is collaborating with Funding Societies Malaysia to provide a regional peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform to expand funding opportunities for the underserved small and medium enterprise (SME) segment in the country. In a joint statement yesterday, RHB Bank said its SME business has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% per annum for the last three years (2014 to 2016). “In line with our strategy of providing an ecosystem through partnership, we realise that it’s best for us to partner with Funding Societies who has the expertise in providing a platform for SMEs to borrow directly from investors,” the bank’s group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said. Under this partnership, the bank would provide Funding Societies with transaction banking services, trustee services for investors and KYC (Know Your Customer) services, whereby investors are given the opportunity to invest on the platform from as low as RM100. “This collaboration is part of our Digital Transformation road map, in which our core objectives are to leverage on the latest digital technologies and emerging business models to transform how we do business and engage with our customers,” Khairussaleh added. Funding Societies, which is co-founded by Harvard Business School graduates, is one of the leading P2P financing platform in Southeast Asia with presence across Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. It aims to be the most trusted P2P financing platform in Southeast Asia and has pioneered region-leading initiatives. Funding Societies Malaysia’s CEO Wong Kah Meng said this is the group’s first major collaboration since it was launched in Malaysia in February, adding the group is positive there will be more similar opportunities in the near future. The funding platform has recorded returns of more than 10% to investors, whereby between June 2015 and February 2017, it has originated almost RM90 million across 400 deals in Singapore and Indonesia. Funding Societies is one of only six licensed peer lending platforms in Malaysia that is recognised and regulated by the Securities Commission.