KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Aug. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Leong Bank's ("HLB" or "Bank") commitment to Small and Medium-sized Enterprise ("SMEs") earned it the 'Best SME Bank in Malaysia' award for four years running by The Asian Banker at their Retail Financial Services Awards 2022. HLB was also named the 'Best SME Bank in Malaysia' by the Asian Banking and Finance at the Retail Banking Awards 2022.
Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said, "SMEs have played an important role in Malaysia's economic development and will play a pivotal role in the post-pandemic recovery. Recognising our steadfast commitment in supporting SMEs before the pandemic and throughout the challenging periods is meaningful. Our real differentiator has been our people, and the relationships they foster with clients and the SME communities nationwide."
"With SME banking division's reorganisation in 2017, we have close to 200 Community Business Managers ("CBM") and Cash, Trade & FX Specialists ("CTFX") serving SMEs nationwide. Our teams could proactively approach customers with the assistance needed to sustain their businesses, and provide advice on financial products, digitalisation, ESG and sustainability, mentorship programmes and networking opportunities, throughout the pandemic and now on their recovery and sustainability journey. We will continue developing CBM's and CTFX's capabilities to support SMEs as they re-strategise for post-pandemic growth. The recognition from these eminent organisations will motivate us further to continue being a valued SME ecosystem partner," added Fuda.
Kevin Ng, HLB's Head of SME Banking, said HLB's digital-first strategy is an important differentiator that provides clients with simple and frictionless digital experiences, enabling HLB to serve customers more efficiently and acquire new ones.
HLB was the first bank in Malaysia to offer customers a fully digital onboarding experience via its web application and iPads, eliminating branch visits for account opening. HLB also launched Malaysia's first biometric-based mobile eToken, providing greater security for the Business Internet Banking platform, HLB ConnectFirst, and convenience through smartphone access instead of a separate token/dongle.
"Since the pandemic, our approach of providing simple and frictionless customer experience has seen our SME banking portfolio grow over 20%. These awards would not have been possible without our customers' strong trust and support," added Ng.