Hong Leong Bank Berhad (HLB) was named the Best SME Bank in Malaysia for 2019 by The Asian Banker at the International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Convention held in Dubai recently.
Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, “We are honoured to receive such a prestigious award. The recognition as Best SME Bank in Malaysia is a testament to our strategic investment to boost the capabilities and offerings to better serve our local SMEs.”
“HLB continues to be at the forefront in adapting revolutionary and viable digital solutions to improve our SME customer’s banking journey by equipping them with the right solutions, helping them grow their businesses,” continued Domenic.
The awards jury commended HLB for the robust growth of its SME franchise, the use of HLB’s digital solutions to provide a frictionless SME experience allowing SMEs to focus on their core business.
Yow Kuan Tuck, Managing Director of Business and Corporate Banking said the bank had taken steps to build a strong servicing team as well as product offerings around SMEs by listening to and understanding their needs.
“Using customers’ data and insights, we are able to provide SMEs with holistic banking solutions strengthened by the personal touch of relationship managers who truly understand their businesses”.
Another key contributor to HLB’s SME winning strategy is its ability to integrate digital initiatives for SMEs.
Terrence Teoh, Head of SME Banking said, “HLB’s all-in-one POS payment system for merchants is a game changer while HLB’s strategic FinTech collaborations have bridged financing challenges to reach underserved SMEs; for example, peer-to-peer (P2P) financing providers within the FinTech space to support SMEs at different stages of a company’s growth.”
Adding further, Terrence said, “HLB SME Banking has strategic focus within the SME segment, which has shown significant growth over the past year. Our willingness to listen to SMEs and understand their needs make it easy for them to deal with us. Our community business managers make sure that we recognise their specific needs and we deliver on that, and more. After all, when SMEs grow, so do we”.
Understanding SMEs challenges, HLB has developed a suit of innovative and comprehensive digital business and financing solutions that serve the needs of SMEs from cash management, advertising and promotions (A&P) solutions, as well as property financing and working capital.
In addition to HLB’s own platform, HL ConnectFirst Lite, the Bank also collaborates with reputable, best-in-class partners, Biztory, Kakitangan, SimpleTax, WeChat and Digital Advert to put together a holistic, total Digital Business Solution to empower the SMEs of today.
SME loan growth, under its SME banking initiative, had grown by 25.4% year-on-year and 9.2% quarter-on-quarter as at 31 December 2018. HLB will continue supporting the transformation of SMEs into future-ready businesses in the spirit of Industry 4.0 through HLB SME Digital Solutions, while at the same time working closely with government agencies to provide financing to underserved SMEs.
The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services programme by The Asian Banker evaluates more than 300 banks and non-bank retail financial services players in more than 42 countries throughout the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and West Africa.