I was at the Malaysia Building Society Berhad (MBSB) yesterday on some business and as I had to wait, I did what I usually do when I don't bring a book with me, stroll over to the brochures, take one each and then go back to the counter and read whatever I have. So I have put up there for you MBSB's Personal Finance - i (what's with these stupid names? Just call it what it is lah!) brochure.
Maybe I'm warped but if you read their tag line, it seems to hint at an element of recklessness: We put the money in your wallet, and the rest is up to you. Thankfully they had enough class to leave the apostrophe out. Let's break it down here. MBSB will put money in my wallet and the rest is up to me? Great! Now I can take this loan and finally afford to get into those top class karaokes or get me that dream foursome going, or wait, wait, now I can finally get that kilo of coke that I've been scraping and saving for. It's so easy! Sheesh. What kind of pitch is this? Mind you they went with this angle of pitch probably ignorant of the backdrop of increasing bankruptcies due to credit cards. Bernama reported on 21 May 2008 the following:
Then there's the brochure below titled "Exec-Entrepreneur" Financing - i (Pembiayaan Usahawan Muda-i). You may not be able to read what's written on it unless you download the picture and then enlarge it but I'll save you the trouble and put up what they have written in sequence:
(Yellow words) For those determine to succeed. - we make it happen.
Their Malay translation: Untuk mereka yang mempunyai wawasan untuk berjaya.
(Black bold) This package is offered to graduates to start their own business.
Pakej ini memberi peluang kepada graduan untuk memulakan perniagaan.
(I won't put the translations for the ones below)
- Payment period between 2 to 7 years
- Minimum RM 5,000 - Maximum RM 50,000
- Salary deduction from employer, Biro Perkhidmatan Angkasa (BPA), post dated cheque or standing instruction
- MDTA Takaful throughout the financing period
- One guarantor or collateral is required
- Joint borrower
Let's take it from the top:
'For those determine to succeed'
God. You know nobody checked this. They should pull the d out of the editor's arse, turn it around and then stuff it up his arse again. Unless he likes that, of course. Then don't bother. (Sorry, just couldn't help myself. How can you not crack an arsehole or sodomy joke in Malaysia right now?! Pun intended of course!)
Then let's consider their tag line 'For those determine to succeed. - we make it happen.' But how do they do that aside form chucking money at that Usahawan Muda? Nothing. All they talk about is the terms of the loan.
There is no value added service such as some rudimentary advice on what's available to them as a mode for starting their business - partnership, sole trader, company - private or limited, etc and some basics on the areas to keep an eye on (cash flow, regular expenses) and certain common pitfalls that afflict newcomers (selling the same thing without any added value).
This is important since they are pitching to graduates - people who essentially just came out of school. Because really, having looked at the personal financing 'features' and compared it to this one we're discussing - there's little difference in terms of what you eventually get (the former has a higher 'financing' loan amount - RM 75,000 and lower minimum RM 3,000.00). It's like being at a restaurant where they list 50 items on the menu but they all refer to the same dish.
I could tell you also about the MBSB Assist Personal Financing-i, which describes itself as 'an exclusive medical assistance package for UKM KESIHATAN clients/patients to assist their loved one.' but I'd be wasting both our time. The only significant difference from the "Exec-Entrepreneur" Financing - i is that the MBSB Assist option gives you a '5.5% flat profit-sharing rate' whatever the heck that is. We get 5.5% of the profit shared out amongst all of us? Profit made when? What if there's no profit? Argh. Okay, maybe I'm just dumb about this stuff. But if you get right down to it, it's just a slice of salad with the goddamned chicken. All I can say is what lousy financial products they have. Zero added value aside from loaning you money.
Sometimes I wonder you know. Is it just me? Maybe I'm the one who's missing something here. Maybe it actually all makes sense and it's me that's out of the loop of sense, both common and uncommon. Maybe, maybe, I should take some medicine. The type that makes me feel good. Yeah! That type of medicine. Then, then this will all make sense. Or I hope so anyway...