Thursday, 23 September 2021

Hong Leong Bank wins Best SME Bank in Malaysia Award for leveraging technology that enabled SMEs to operate more effectively







16 December 2020, Singapore – Hong Leong Bank received the award for Best SME Bank in Malaysia at The Asian Banker’s Malaysia Awards 2020.  




Hong Leong Bank provided a suite of digital solutions to its SME customers with access to financing


Hong Leong Bank (HLB) continued to transform its business in line with the evolving needs of its customers. The bank introduced ConnectFirst business internet banking with the first corporate eToken in Malaysia with biometric facial recognition technology for mobile devices, merchant payments and collections solutions with an all-in-one terminal. It leveraged technology to enable digital solutions for accounting, advertising, payroll and human resources (HR), as well as services such as WeChat official account setup, digital tax advisory and Bixzee eCommerce marketplace.




The bank offered financial programmes recognising the underserved market segment of new SMEs


HLB is the only bank that caters to businesses that have been in operations between six months to three years and are secured with a government guarantee. The bank also offers tailor-made programmes which include the Motorcycle Dealers Programme (MDP) with clean working capital for motorcycle dealers in Malaysia. It partnered with 16 state associations under the Malaysia Motorcycle & Scooter Dealers Association (MMSDA) which has over 6,000 members. HLB provided banking solutions to bolster the motorcycle and scooter industry and boost the overall small and medium enterprise (SME) growth in the country.




The bank leads in digital engagement, financial performance and risk management for its SME business


The bank implemented its digital initiatives and delivered growth in its SME accounts by 9%   and encouraged more than 75% of its clients to be digitally active. It also demonstrated strong risk management with a non-performing loan (NPL) of below one percent. It had a solid financial performance with double-digit revenue growth while keeping its cost-to-income ratio lower than its peers. 



About The Asian Banker


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


You may visit the Excellence in Retail Financial Services page at


For further information, you may get in touch with:


Mr. Mobasher Zein Kazmi

Head of Research

Tel: (+61) 452 514 145

Diary of Activities
Finance Thailand 2021
19 October 2021