Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Fifty per cent reduction in $40m owed to Self Start Fund

Published:Monday | February 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Self Start Fund (SSF) is reporting a 50 per cent reduction in the $40 million owed by delinquent borrowers.

General Manager Sezvin Hamilton said the reduction resulted from the agency's sustained collection efforts undertaken in 2014.

"We had to slow lending for a little... and focus on collecting, in order to rebuild our portfolio. Our collection drive has been fairly successful as we have reduced that $40 million outstanding amount from last year, to about half," he told JIS News.

Hamilton said the SSF has also been meeting with clients, still in arrears, to discuss suitable arrangements for repayments.

"We have had a lot of delinquent customers coming in and talking to us, asking us to understand their difficulty and to help them chart a way, to repay us. We have also offered them some incentive, in that... where we charged them a penalty fee for not paying on time, we would ease up on... or even remove some of these charges," he informed.

The general manager stressed that the entity's success greatly depends on clients fulfilling their obligations, as "the SSF is a revolving loan scheme; so without repayments, other customers will have less money to borrow."

In that regard, Hamilton has urged the remaining delinquent borrowers, yet to meet with the SSF to discuss repayment arrangements, to do so as soon as possible.

He also indicated that the agency is moving to strengthen its business support service risk management, and collection regimes, to prevent recurrence of significant accumulation of arrears.

"We have come to realize that with a robust and focused collection methodology we can do much better and will not end up back in a situation where we have so much money owed by delinquent customers," he outlined.