With innovative financing methods such as digital lending on the rise, it is essential to do so with responsible practices. This is why, Funding Societies is proud to join other world-class digital lenders such as Funding Circle and Lending Club as a signatory of the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights (SBBOR), making us the first and only signatory in Southeast Asia.

We were created to help creditworthy SMEs attain financing for growth, to be the ‘umbrella’ not only for shiny days but also for rainy days. Therefore, as a signatory of SBBOR, we promise to uphold the following:

1. The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms

Rates are transparent (annualised simple and effective interest rates are disclosed), there are no hidden fees (all fees and charges are disclosed upfront) and all key terms are clear and understandable to the SMEs.

2. The Right to Responsible Underwriting

Financing is only offered to SMEs who can afford it. Signatories should size the loan amount based on what the SMEs need and qualify for, instead of offering the maximum amount to maximise revenue. This is core to our credit assessment here.

3. The Right to Non-Abusive Products

We want SMEs to grow, and hence, we consciously avoid “debt traps” and hidden penalties on our platform.

4. The Right to Inclusive Credit Access

We help SMEs crowdfund without discrimination, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a funding society.

5. The Right to Fair Collection Practices

When SMEs face unexpected market shocks, they may sometimes be late for repayment by a week or a month (depending on industry), waiting for their own customers to repay. We try our very best to work out a fair solution for both our SMEs and lenders.

Thus, as a signatory, we self-regulate our conduct based on international standards and we believe that P2P lending can only achieve its fullest potential if it is “built on transparency, fairness and putting the rights of borrowers at the centre of the lending process”, the very spirit of the Small Businesses Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. When the rights of SMEs are protected, the rights of lenders are protected too; since they are two sides of the same coin.

For more information, please visit: responsiblebusinesslending.org/

Photo credit: Responsible Business Lending Coalition