(From L-R) Kevin Ng, head of SME banking; Yow Kuan Tuck, managing director, business & corporate banking
and Charles Sik, managing director, personal financial services

Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has been awarded the Best SME Bank in Malaysia 2021 by The Asian Banker for the third year in a row.

HLB was also accorded the Best Cash Management in Malaysia 2021 award at The Asian Banker Transaction Finance Awards 2021 in August 2021.

These two awards are a recognition to the client focus approach HLB has taken over the past few years to ensure best-in-class banking and financial products and services to SMEs, commercial and corporate clients in Malaysia.

HLB was recognised for its SME customer base and loan book growth despite a challenging 2020, as well as for its digital banking products and services that have assisted SMEs in their digital transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bank was also acknowledged for its robust Payment Relief Assistance Programmes (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, HLB’s SME banking loans or financing portfolio has averaged over 30% growth each year – with that robust growth momentum continuing into its 2021/22 financial year

“We are extremely honoured to be awarded the Best SME Bank in Malaysia for the third year running, and be recognised as having the Best Cash Management solution for business clients,” said HLB group managing director and chief executive officer Domenic Fuda.

“As we move on from the various movement restrictions 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 include relief assistance through our various repayment assistance programmes, access to loan or 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.”

For the Best Cash Management award, HLB 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 documents to be submitted online for processing, and integrated APIs linking customers to ecommerce.

The bank will be expanding digital offerings in the coming 12 months to ensure its caters to the needs of a diverse range of clients.

It will also expand the implementation of its corporate online and mobile banking platform HL ConnectFirst in Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam in the 2022 financial year.


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