Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP)

Temporary Bridging Loan Programme: Guide for Singapore SMEs

Enterprise Singapore’s Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) was a key initiative to support local businesses, offering financial stability during downturns with a 90% government risk share. 

Together with the SME Working Capital Loan, it provided crucial working capital access. Since its inception, the TBLP underwent several extensions and adjustments to align with economic recovery, including changes in loan limits (capped at S$1 million) and risk shares (reduced to 70%). 

This support mechanism expired on September 30, 2022. 

What is the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme?

The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) is a critical financial initiative developed to assist Singaporean businesses in managing immediate cash-flow needs during economic uncertainties. Specifically designed for local companies, the TBLP serves as a vital conduit for accessing necessary credit, enabling enterprises to maintain operations and sustain growth despite financial hurdles.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong highlighted the significance of such support measures in a ministerial statement reported by The Straits Times, emphasizing, “For many SMEs, access to credit is a critical lifeline to tide them through this crisis… While economic conditions have improved, such access to credit remains critical to our SMEs.” 

The TBLP has played a pivotal role in supporting businesses by offering timely financial assistance, which has been crucial for sustaining operations and fostering resilience among SMEs during challenging economic times.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP), businesses must meet specific criteria designed to ensure that the support reaches those most capable of contributing to the Singaporean economy. Here’s a breakdown of the primary eligibility requirements:

  • Business Entity Requirements: Applicants must be local business entities that are registered and actively operating within Singapore. 
  • Shareholding Criteria: At least 30% of the business’s shareholdings should be held directly or indirectly by Singaporean citizens or Permanent Residents (PRs). 
  • Physical Presence in Singapore: The business must have a registered address and be physically present in Singapore for at least six months. 

Originally scheduled to end in March 2022, the TBLP was extended for an additional six months, up to September 2022. This extension reflects the government’s ongoing commitment to supporting businesses as they navigate the post-pandemic economic landscape.

Additionally, it’s important to note that while the government assumes a portion of the risk, borrowers remain fully liable for the loan outstanding in the event of default. Banks will follow their standard commercial recovery processes before claiming against Enterprise Singapore for any unrecovered amounts proportionate to the risk shared.


Loan Features and Benefits

The Temporary Bridging Loan functions much like working capital loans with the long tenure of business term loans. It is a broad-based government-assisted scheme to help keep a business running during the pandemic, with a high loan quantum and low-interest rates.

Till 31 March 2022 1 April to 30 Sep 2022
Maximum Loan Quantum $3 Million $1 Million
Interest Rate Capped at 5% p.a. Capped at 5.5% p.a.


  • Maximum Loan Quantum: During the extended period (1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022), the maximum amount available is at S$1 million.
  • Maximum Repayment Period: A business can repay the loan for up to 5 years.
  • Maximum Interest Rate: A business can get the loan with the interest rate capped at 5.5% p.a.
  • Risk Share: The risk share is at 70%, meaning the government itself becomes somewhat of a guarantor for a percentage of the loan the business takes.

(The borrowing business is still responsible for repaying 100% of the amount. When defaults occur, the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) are obligated to follow their standard commercial recovery procedure before making a claim against Enterprise Singapore for 70% of the unrecovered amount.)

Benefits of Applying for the TBLP for SMEs

The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) offers numerous advantages for SMEs in Singapore, making it an attractive option for businesses seeking financial support. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved Cash Flow Management: The TBLP provides essential funds that help SMEs manage their day-to-day operations more effectively, ensuring they have the liquidity to cover operational costs, including payroll and other critical expenses.
  • Lower Interest Rates: As part of the government’s risk-sharing arrangement, the TBLP offers loans at comparatively lower interest rates. This makes financing more affordable for SMEs, reducing the overall financial burden during economically challenging times.
  • Increased Financial Stability: By offering a financial buffer, the TBLP helps businesses maintain stability during downturns, supporting continued operations and minimizing disruptions.
  • Access to Larger Loan Amounts: With the government backing a significant portion of the risk, financial institutions may be more willing to offer higher loan amounts. This increased capital can be pivotal for SMEs looking to invest in growth or expansion projects.
  • Flexible Repayment Terms: The TBLP is designed with flexible repayment options to accommodate the varying cash flows of SMEs, thereby easing repayment pressures and facilitating better financial planning.
  • Streamlined Application Process: The programme features a streamlined application process to expedite the availability of funds, helping businesses respond quickly to their immediate financial needs.

How to Apply for the TBLP

Step 1: Assess Eligibility

Before applying, ensure that your enterprise meets the eligibility criteria for the TBLP, including business registration, physical presence in Singapore, and the shareholding requirements. Understanding these criteria will help streamline the application process.

Step 2: Choose a Participating Financial Institution (PFI)

The TBLP is offered through various Participating Financial Institutions. Enterprises should select a PFI based on their specific needs and the competitive terms offered, such as interest rates and loan terms.

Which are the participating financial institutions?

  • CIMB Bank Berhad
  • DBS Bank
  • ETHOZ Capital
  • FS Capital
  • Goldbell Financial Services
  • Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
  • Hong Leong Finance
  • IFS Capital
  • Innoven Capital
  • Maybank Singapore and Malayan Banking Berhad, Singapore Branch
  • ORIX Leasing
  • OCBC Bank
  • Resona Merchant Bank
  • RHB Bank Berhad
  • Sing Investments & Finance
  • Singapura
  • Standard Chartered
  • UOB Bank
  • Validus Investment Holdings

Step 3: Prepare Necessary Documentation

Compile all required documents, which typically include business registration details, financial statements, and proof of shareholding. Having these documents ready can expedite the assessment process by the PFI.

To apply for the TBLP, you must submit the completed Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) e-form that needs to include some information regarding your business, as well as some particular supporting documents. 

Some required details include: 

  • Company information, including paid-up capital and percentages of revenue derived from the production of goods or services 
  • Details of shareholders of your business entity and all corporate parents 
  • Past financial performance and financial projections 
  • Details on the required loan, including the amount of financing required 

For supporting documents, you may need to include:

  • Latest ACRA search of your business entity 
  • Latest ACRA search of corporate shareholders (if the shareholder(s) hold more than 50%) 
  • Latest 1-year financing statements 
  • Asset invoice (if any) 
  • Any other documents specified by the financial institution

Step 4: Submit Loan Application

Submit your loan application through the chosen PFI. This submission should include all the prepared documents along with a completed loan application form, which can often be found on the PFI’s website.

Step 5: PFI Assessment

After submission, the application will undergo an assessment by the PFI. This process involves evaluating the business’s financial health and its ability to repay the loan. Each PFI may have its own criteria for assessment, so it’s essential to meet or exceed these standards to increase your chances of approval.

Step 6: Follow-Up

If there are any queries or additional requirements from the PFI during the assessment, be responsive and provide the necessary information promptly to avoid delays in the processing of your application.

Step 7: Approval and Disbursement

Once the loan is approved, the terms will be finalized, and the loan amount will be disbursed to your business account, allowing you to utilize the funds according to your business needs.

For enterprises that need additional support:

Enterprises requiring further assistance or having specific queries can contact Enterprise Singapore directly at (65) 6898 1800 or submit an inquiry through their official contact page at https://go.gov.sg/askenterprisesg.

Tips for a Successful Application

Successfully applying for the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) involves more than just meeting the basic eligibility criteria. Understanding the nuances of the application process and the banks’ credit criteria can significantly increase your chances of approval. Here are some key tips to help ensure a successful application:

  • Understand the Bank’s Credit Criteria: Familiarize yourself with the credit assessment criteria used by the participating financial institutions (PFIs). This often includes factors like credit history, financial health, cash flow stability, and business viability.
  • Prepare a Robust Business Plan: Demonstrate the sustainability and growth potential of your business with a well-prepared business plan. This should highlight how the loan will be used to generate positive outcomes for your business.
  • Maintain Good Financial Records: Ensure your financial statements are up-to-date, accurate, and thoroughly document your business’s financial activities. Clear and organized financial records can improve transparency and trust with PFIs.
  • Showcase Financial Responsibility: Display a track record of financial responsibility, such as timely payments of previous loans and prudent financial management. This builds confidence in your ability to manage new debt.
  • Optimize Your Credit Score: Before applying, take steps to improve or maintain a strong business credit score. This may involve clearing outstanding debts or disputing inaccuracies in your credit report.
  • Provide Collateral if Possible: Offering collateral can enhance your loan application by reducing the risk for the lender, potentially leading to better loan terms such as lower interest rates or a higher loan amount.
  • Seek Advice from Financial Experts: Consulting with financial advisors or accountants can provide insights and guidance on strengthening your loan application and aligning it with the PFI’s expectations.
  • Be Transparent and Honest: Be honest and transparent in your communications and documentation with the bank. Misrepresentation can lead to application rejection and negatively impact future credit opportunities.
  • Respond Promptly to Requests: During the assessment phase, the PFI may request additional documents or clarifications. Responding promptly and efficiently can help expedite the review process.

Comparison with Other Business Loans

Criteria TBLP Working Capital Loan (WCL) Standard Bridging and Business Loans
Interest Rate Capped at 5.5% Up to 6%, set by the PFI Typically starts from 5-8% (Banks), 5-15% (Moneylenders)
Maximum Loan Quantum S$1M for businesses S$500,000 for borrowers (from October 2022 to March 2023), S$5M for borrower groups Varies; up to S$200,000 for Moneylenders
Repayment Period Up to five years Up to five years Up to six months (Banks), 12 to 24 months (Moneylenders)
Administering Institution Enterprise Singapore under the Enterprise Financing Scheme Enterprise Singapore under the Enterprise Financing Scheme Bank or Moneylending Institution
Purpose of Loan Provide temporary cash flow for downturns Provide working capital For asset acquisition and other business needs


Situations Favoring Other Loans

While the TBLP offers many advantages, there are situations where alternative financing options might be more suitable:

  • Asset Acquisition: If the primary need is for asset acquisition, a standard business loan might be more appropriate due to its structure around the asset’s value.
  • Short-Term Needs: For businesses requiring a short-term financial boost, a standard bridging loan with a shorter repayment period might be a better fit.
  • Smaller Loan Amounts: For SMEs needing smaller loans that fall well within the S$300,000 limit, the WCL might be more advantageous due to potentially lower interest rates and sufficient loan quantum.

Success Stories and Testimonials

The impact of the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) is best understood through the success stories of the businesses it has helped. Here are testimonials from business owners who have benefited from the TBLP through OCBC:

  • Shipping Company: “The processing and disbursement was way faster than expected. It was a huge relief and allowed us to keep our operations running smoothly during a critical time.”
  • Building and Construction Company: “Fast response. I received a call and an SMS from OCBC to inform me when the loan would be processed. The clear communication and prompt service were exceptional and helped us plan our next steps with confidence.”

These real-world accounts underscore the efficiency of the TBLP in providing timely financial assistance and the vital role it plays in sustaining businesses through challenging periods. The positive experiences shared by these companies not only highlight the effectiveness of the TBLP but also reflect the commitment of participating financial institutions to support the business community.

Business Financing Options After TBLP

With the conclusion of the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP), Singaporean SMEs can explore other financing avenues to support their operations and growth. Below are some viable alternatives:

SME Working Capital Loan

This loan is designed to help Singapore enterprises manage their operational cashflow needs. As part of the Enterprise Financing Scheme, the maximum loan quantum for the SME Working Capital Loan (EFS-WCL) has been permanently increased to S$500,000 per borrower, effective from 1 April 2024. From 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2024, the limit remains at S$500,000 per borrower.

Note: There is an overall limit of S$5 million for the borrower group under EFS-WCL, with a total loan exposure limit of S$50 million across all facilities.


  • Max loan amount: S$500,000
  • Max Tenor: 5 years
  • 30% local shareholder requirement with no more than S$100 mil in annual turnover 

Bank Loans

Bank loans are conventional financing options offered without any risk-share from Enterprise Singapore, meaning the bank assumes full risk. For instance, UOB offers the UOB Business Loan, allowing unsecured borrowing up to S$350,000. OCBC, on the other hand, provides the First Business Loan, with a borrowing limit up to S$100,000.

Interest rates for bank loans generally range from 8.0% to 12.0% per annum, with loan terms up to five years. The strict criteria and higher interest rates reflect the bank’s full assumption of risk.

Non-Bank Alternative Unsecured Business Loans

This category includes legal money lenders among other non-bank financial institutions. These loans typically do not involve risk-share by any government body, leading to potentially higher interest rates and more.

Future Financial Planning

  1. Diversify Financing Sources: While government-assisted programs like the TBLP and SME Working Capital Loan provide substantial aid, relying solely on these can be risky. Diversify your financing sources to include bank loans, and consider alternative lenders to mitigate risks associated with any single source.
  2. Maintain Robust Financial Records: Accurate and up-to-date financial records are crucial for securing any type of loan. They not only help in meeting the strict criteria of banks but also facilitate easier application processes for government-backed loans.
  3. Manage Debt Wisely: Plan your debt management strategies carefully. Make use of lower-interest loans for essential business needs and avoid over-leveraging. Understand the terms of each loan, especially repayment schedules, to ensure they align with your cash flow.
  4. Stay Informed on Changes: Financial policies and programs can evolve, as seen with the TBLP and its extensions. Stay informed about government announcements and changes in financial regulations to make timely decisions.
  5. Plan for Contingencies: Set aside a reserve fund or line of credit to manage unexpected financial disruptions. This will provide a cushion, allowing your business operations to continue smoothly during tough economic times.
  6. Seek Financial Advice: Regularly consult with financial advisors to review your business’s financial health and to adapt your financial strategies as your business and the external economic environment evolve.
  7. Invest in Growth: Once stable, consider using secured financing for investment in growth areas. This could mean expanding your product line, entering new markets, or investing in technology to improve efficiency.


As the curtain closes on the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, its impact on Singapore’s SMEs endures. From providing substantial financial backing to facilitating smoother cash flow management, the TBLP has been instrumental in helping businesses withstand economic uncertainties and position themselves for recovery and growth.

Key Takeaways:

  • The TBLP is accessible to Singapore-registered businesses with at least 30% local shareholding and a minimum six-month operational presence in Singapore​​.
  • With loan caps at S$1 million and interest rates at 5.5%, the TBLP offers sizable, low-cost financing over a flexible five-year repayment period​​.
  • SMEs benefit from the TBLP through reduced borrowing costs and streamlined access to funds, aiding cash flow management and financial stability during downturns​​.

Urgently need funds for your business? As a dedicated loan comparison service, we’re committed to helping you find the best financial solutions for your business needs. Receive free quotes from a curated selection of top-rated financial institutions in Singapore and ensure your business stays financially healthy.

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