From Left to Right: Kevin Ng, Head of SME Banking; Yow Kuan Tuck, Managing Director, Business & Corporate Banking
and Charles Sik, Managing Director, Personal Financial Services
Kuala Lumpur, 17 December 2021 – For the third year in a row, Hong Leong Bank (“HLB” or the “Bank”) has been awarded the ‘Best SME Bank’ in Malaysia Awards 2021 by The Asian Banker, one of the most prestigious international awards in the financial services industry. Additionally, HLB also clinched the ‘Best Cash Management’ award in Malaysia at The Asian Banker Transaction Finance Awards 2021 announced back in August. These two awards pay tribute to the client focus approach HLB has had over the past few years to ensure that they deliver a best-in-class banking and financial products and services to SMEs, Commercial and Corporate clients in Malaysia.
HLB was recognized for its SME customer base and loan book growth despite a challenging 2020, as well as recognized for the digital banking products and services that have assisted SMEs in underdoing digital transformation during COVID-19. The Bank was also acknowledged for its robust Payment Relief Assistance Programs (“PRAP”) that enabled simplified, digital processes to ensure SMEs obtain the assistance needed timely to alleviate financial burdens and sustain their business through the pandemic. In the past three years, the Bank’s SME Banking loans/financing portfolio has averaged over 30% growth each year; with that robust growth momentum continuing into its 2021/22 financial year.
Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, “We are extremely honoured to be awarded the Best SME Bank in Malaysia for the third year running, as well as being recognized as having the Best Cash Management solution for business clients. This is a testament that our clients see us as a reliable, resilient and resourceful partner, especially during the past 2 difficult years.”
“As we move on from the various MCOs and the economy reopens, we will continue to proactively support existing and new customers as they strengthen their business resiliency during the next phase of the recovery journey, helping them to rebuild stronger and more sustainably. We have created wide-reaching initiatives built around our customer’s recovery needs, which includes relief assistance through our various repayment assistance programs, access to loan/financing to enhance cash flows and where needed assist with capital investments, as well as digital banking solutions to help businesses undergo digital transformation in a simple and seamless manner,” added Fuda.
For the ‘Best Cash Management’ award, the Bank was lauded for its efforts to provide new innovative payment and collection solutions. The new products and services, for example, include trade document upload which allows document to be summited online for processing, and integrated APIs linking customers to e-commerce.
Encouraged by the positive response from clients, the Bank will be expanding digital offerings in the coming 12 months to ensure we cater for the needs of a diverse range of clients. Furthermore, the Bank will be expanding the implementation of its corporate online and mobile banking platform HL ConnectFirst in Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam in the 2022 financial year.