HSBC Malaysia expects its business banking to be growth engine

HSBC Bank Malaysia’s country head of commercial banking Andrew Sill said SMEs make up half of the customer base, contributing about one-third of the bank’s earnings, with SME businesses forming a large proportion of it. — Reuters pic
HSBC Bank Malaysia’s country head of commercial banking Andrew Sill said SMEs make up half of the customer base, contributing about one-third of the bank’s earnings, with SME businesses forming a large proportion of it. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd expects to achieve significant growth for its business banking segment via facilitating small and medium enterprises (SME) with a new enhanced proposition.

Country head of commercial banking, Andrew Sill said under HSBC Malaysia’s commercial bank, there are three segments — large corporate, international subsidiaries and business banking.

“SMEs have always been an important segment for HSBC Malaysia and a significant leg of our strategy for growth.

“The key strategy moving forward for HSBC Malaysia is to continue to not only develop the SME proposition to the existing customer base but also to acquire a new customer base as well and to build up our SME franchise,” he said in a media briefing here today.

He said SMEs make up half of the customer base, contributing about one-third of the bank’s earnings, with SME businesses forming a large proportion of it.

With SMEs making up 98.5 per cent of business establishments in Malaysia, he said it makes sense for the bank to target growth in the SME segment as a growth engine for its commercial banking.

Country head of business banking, Anita Tang said HSBC’s Navigator survey found that 81 per cent of businesses in Malaysia are still optimistic on growth this year, particularly segments which have benefited from the US-China trade tension.

She said the growth in the near term is likely to be driven by improving business productivity, investing in technology and entering new markets such as Asean.

Based on market insights, she said HSBC saw the need to provide SME on-demand support and new ways of banking for the latter.

“The enhanced proposition provides SMEs with dedicated relationship managers and banking specialists for their long-term growth, and a one-stop access to digital banking solutions, easy payments and collections, access to funding and resolution of issues,” she said.

Tang said HSBC had also strengthened its digital banking capabilities with new tools to operate and transact digitally.

“We already have the HSBC net trade transaction tracker that provides powerful tools to help customers manage their payments and collection, as well as enhanced trade finance services.

“HSBC had also successfully pioneered Malaysia’s first blockchain transaction. The level of interest for the technology is phenomenal, and once commercialised would be transformational to the industry,” she said.

She noted the huge opportunities for HSBC Malaysia in the SME segment and believes the enhanced proposition and additional new initiatives over the next 12 to 18 months could help the bank grow.

Meanwhile, on the US-China trade war, Sill said although the conflict does not benefit anyone, the uncertainties arising from it saw Malaysia becoming an interim beneficiary with an increase in manufacturing investment from multinational companies seeking an alternative base.

With Asean being a very important hub, SMEs from certain sectors would also start benefiting from the investment inflows by participating in the supply chain, he added. — Bernama

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