Leading non-banking finance company Muthoot Finance on Tuesday said it would provide gold loans to Small and Medium Enterprises at lower interest rate for their working capital.

“Gold loans above Rs 10 lakh under the scheme will be given to SMEs at 12 per cent interest rate per annum as against 14-15 per cent levied by banks,” Muthoot Executive Director George Alexander told reporters here.

The Kerala-based company offers loans for personal use or business activity against gold jewellery for those unable to get formal credit from banks or financial institutions for short-term liquidity needs.

“The loan will be processed and given at our 4,200 branches across the country, including 487in Karnataka,” said Alexander while launching the scheme.

With 2,53,000 customers in 4,500 branches the world over, the 78-year-old company has 146 tonnes of gold reserves, said to be the largest holding by a NBFC in the country.

“We are targeting 10 per cent growth in big ticket customer base by 2018-19 from 4 per cent in fiscal 2016-17,” said Alexander.

Of its 487 branches across Karnataka, 250 are in Bengaluru with 2,614 employees and an asset base of Rs 3,365 crore in the first six months of fiscal 2017-18.

The company bought 65 per cent equity stake of Belstar Investment and Finance Private Ltd, a central bank-registered micro-finance NBFC.