Kuala Lumpur, 25 September 2023 – Hong Leong Islamic Bank (“HLISB” or the “Bank”) announced that it has been awarded the GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Banking) at the 11th Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) 2023 in Senegal.
GIFA is one of the most coveted awards in the Islamic Banking and Finance world, recognising exceptional performance and contributions in promoting social responsibility, adherence to Sharia authenticity and commitment to Islamic Banking. The recognition is a reflection of HLISB’s dedication to digital innovation and transformation within the Islamic Banking space, as well as implementing Value-Based Intermediation (VBI) across all areas of operations.
Dafinah Ahmed Hilmi, CEO of HLISB commented, “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award, which is a testament to our unwavering commitment in supporting our customers in entrepreneurship, community banking and financial inclusivity across the Islamic Banking sector. At HLISB, we are committed to being a trusted partner to our customers, and becoming an effective financial intermediary that explores latest developments and emerging trends to ensure we remain market-leaders in Islamic wealth management, the Halal sector, and investment intermediation. Aligned with our brand promise of being “Built Around You”, we look to continue curating financial products and services that are catered to the specific needs and lifestyles of our customers, as we aim to make Islamic banking more accessible, innovative, and sustainable for all.”
As part of expanding its Value-Based Intermediation initiatives over the past year, HLISB has launched its flagship initiative in partnership with SURI, a social enterprise empowering underprivileged mothers with entrepreneurial opportunities. This collaboration involved HLISB and SURI upskilling 20 single mothers from the B40 community with 3 months of intensive sewing and product development training, with a focus on using recycled and upcycled materials. Through providing opportunities for low-income single mothers, the Bank hopes to increase financial inclusivity and alleviate the community from challenging financial conditions and put them on the right track towards achieving financial freedom.
In line with improving and extending its VBI offerings, HLISB also rolled out a social finance program called ‘HLB Jumpstart - Micro Business” last year, which aims to help micro-businesses and underserved entrepreneurs build successful businesses by providing expansion opportunities, industry resources, and access to zero-profit and capital financing. The entrepreneurs are given access to valuable guidance and assistance from industry professionals, networking opportunities, digitalization tools, and branding and marketing support, empowering them to build and expand their businesses to generate more change in their communities.
Additionally, armed with its community investment DNA and commitment towards widespread financial inclusion, HLISB has continued to accelerate tailor-made digital financial solutions for various customers and communities, ensuring more people have easy access to banking services. One such initiative is HLB@Kampung, where the Bank helps to integrate a digital financial ecosystem in small towns across the country, equipping local businesses with digital banking facilities and empowering them to accept cashless payments and expand their capabilities. Whilst helping the town of Sekinchan, Selangor launch its “Visit Sekinchan Year 2023” tourism campaign earlier this year, the Bank equipped 258 local businesses with cashless payment services, enabling them with HLB DuitNow Starter Kits which include a DuitNow QR Code and a versatile All-In-One Payment Terminal, equipping the community with a seamless, contactless digital payment ecosystem. Moving forward, the Bank looks to continue this digital transformation across Malaysia, turning places like Pasar Tamu Donggongon, Sabah and the Kinta and Manjung districts in Perak into their own “Cashless Kampung”.