Hong Leong Bank Awarded the 'Excellence in Leadership in Asia' for its Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Aug. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Leong Bank ("HLB" or the "Bank"), is one of the top six banks in Asia, and the only Bank from Malaysia awarded the Excellence in Leadership in Asia 2020 award at the prestigious Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2020. This new award category was introduced to honour banks' swift response to the pandemic; and acknowledged HLB for its agility, outstanding forward-thinking and commitment in extending support to customers and communities-at-large during the COVID-19 crisis.
Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB said, "Our approach as a community bank, is to proactively assist our customers manage and mitigate cash flow disruptions and social impacts through wide-reaching initiatives, delivered in a clear, simple and seamless manner. Early in February, well before government-imposed movement restrictions, we initiated a Customer Financial Relief Plan, allowing customers to restructure and reschedule their loans and financing in anticipation of the pandemic affecting their cash flow or income. We are very honoured our efforts are recognised and will double down our support to work through recovery together with our customers and the larger community."
Euromoney commented in its review that HLB's customers benefitted from the Bank's ability to look beyond the fringes of the envelope, with clarity of service and purpose when helping customers understand the different facilities and assistance made available by the Central Bank -- Bank Negara Malaysia ("BNM").
A key initiative carried out in response to COVID-19 was simplifying and digitising the BNM Special Relief Facility ("SRF") application process for SMEs, where applications are done via email or text with consent provided via digital signatures. With this strategic move, HLB has secured a total of RM1.36 billion for over 2,200 SMEs, while also providing an additional RM500 million from its own funds supplementing the SRF, filling the financing demand SMEs needed to reboot their businesses.
To support communities at large, HLB:
- Made a RM1 million donation to MERCY Malaysia through the Association of Banks Malaysia as part of a collective contribution to support critical preparedness, readiness and response to COVID-19
- Collaborated with its own SME customers to provide meals to 12 welfare homes during the Ramadan month
- Worked with social enterprises to ensure their beneficiaries have a sustainable income to weather the pandemic