UOB awarded Best SME Bank in Singapore and in Asia Pacific at The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2020
- UOB’s market leadership is anchored on its extensive regional footprint
- UOB builds on its ‘beyond banking’ approach to offer ASEAN SMEs a holistic suite of banking and digital solutions
- UOB rolled out COVID-19 relief measures and supported government initiatives to help alleviate the financial burden caused by the pandemic
Singapore, 29 June 2020 — United Overseas Bank (UOB) has been named Best SME Bank in Asia Pacific and Singapore at The Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Awards 2020.
UOB’s market leadership is anchored on its extensive regional footprint
The Bank’s established network of more than 500 offices across 19 countries is key to its ability to help SMEs tap overseas opportunities. Through the strength of its ASEAN-based network in particular, UOB is able to facilitate cross-industry and cross-border collaboration for its regional SME clients both intra- and inter-ASEAN.
In 2019, UOB deepened its presence within ASEAN with a new branch in Hanoi, Vietnam. Coupled with its branch in Ho Chi Minh City, the Bank will be able to support more SMEs as they invest in the country’s fast-growing cities. UOB remains the only Singapore bank to have established a foreign-owned subsidiary in Vietnam.
UOB also strengthened its presence in Greater China with the opening of its seventh branch in Zhongshan, Guangdong. Zhongshan is an important transportation hub set to support the ASEAN-Greater Bay Area trade flows arising from the manufacturing, information technology and logistics sectors. UOB is the first foreign bank to open a branch in Zhongshan.
UOB builds on its ‘beyond banking’ approach to offer ASEAN SMEs a holistic suite of banking and digital solutions
By anticipating the needs of SMEs, UOB expanded its market share in the region despite the challenging economic environment and generated solid revenue growth for the year.
The Bank continued to strengthen its support for SMEs by adding new solutions and services. For example, to help SMEs adopt digital solutions more effectively, UOB set up a dedicated team of 40 technology implementation specialists across the region. These specialists help SME clients to understand how their businesses can be digitalised to increase their efficiency and to compete more effectively in the digital economy. Through these efforts, the Bank has also seen the digital activity among its SME clients increase.
The Bank also launched UOB mCollect, a QR-based collections solution that digitalises the cash-on-delivery model. With UOB mCollect, businesses are able to collect payments from their buyers digitally at the point of delivery, helping businesses enhance efficiency, reduce cash handling risks and automate the reconciliation processes.
UOB’s strong partnership ecosystem also saw it strengthening its competitive advantage. For example, it provided SMEs with business management and digital expertise through its collaboration with Google on the SME Leadership Academy. Through in-person and online courses, the Academy helps companies accelerate their digital transformation and compete more effectively in the digital economy.
UOB rolled out COVID-19 relief measures and supported government initiatives to help alleviate the financial burden caused by the pandemic
Recognising the significant impact that COVID-19 would have on SMEs, UOB was quick to roll out relief assistance programmes to help alleviate the cash flow pressures on these businesses across the region.
Some of the measures include setting aside US$2.1 billion (S$3 billion) in relief assistance for SMEs in Singapore and offering businesses in Malaysia an automatic six-month moratorium on their loans. As at April 2020, UOB has supported more than a million individuals and businesses through loan moratoria and other relief measures.
With businesses having to cope with the restrictions put in place by their governments, the Bank also enhanced its digital channels to ensure that its SME clients can bank safely in their homes during this time. Through its efforts, UOB also saw a significant increase in its internet banking registrations and PayNow transaction volumes.
PayNow Corporate registrations with UOB grew by close to eight per cent from January 2020 to March 2020 while PayNow Corporate transactions jumped close to 30 per cent in the same period. UOB has also enabled SGQR payment acceptance for nearly 65 per cent of companies that have registered for the service in Singapore.
About The Asian Banker International
The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The Singapore-based company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums.
The company’s website is www.theasianbanker.com
You may visit the Excellence in Retail Financial Services page at http://awards.asianbankerforums.com/retailfinancial/
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