Bank of Valletta was an active participant of the Malta B2B Expo and Conference 2018 organised by The Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali on Friday 1st June 2018.
The main goal of this first ever business-to-business networking conference, was to serve as a platform to bring together local businesses to expand their network. Local and international expert speakers shared their insights and interacted with the audience. They addressed topics such as Change, Growth and Innovation. The event also saw the participation of Sir Clive Woodward, the Head Coach who led England’s rugby players to win the World Cup in 2003; Sahar Hashemi, OBE and entrepreneur best known for building two famous brands–Coffee Republic and Skinny Candy and Chris Moss, founder of the Orange Brand, creator of Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Magic Moments’ and Former 118 118 Chief Executive.
During this event, the Bank was represented by Mr Kenneth Farrugia, Chief Business Development Officer, who participated in a panel discussion. Among the issues discussed during the panel session, the procedures adopted by banks when sanctioning loans for small businesses was brought up. Mr Farrugia explained that the Bank adopts a four-eye approach when assessing both SME and corporate loans. “The perception of more stringent procedures may arise due to requirement insofar as small business proposals are concerned to provide the required level of detail to enable the bank to assess their proposals”. He also mentioned that Bank of Valletta is today positioned in the market as the Bank for SMEs, “as the result of the introduction of various EU guaranteed products such as the BOV JEREMIE and BOV JAIMIE financing packages aimed to facilitate access to finance for SME led projects supported by the presence of specialist business centres across Malta and Gozo.”
Other topics discussed during the panel discussion included initiatives that are currently being undertaken to support small businesses as well as the bank account opening procedures for non-Maltese residents. The speakers also tackled the main challenges that the Maltese economy is facing and the way they need to be tackled in order to sustain the growth of the economy going forward.