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Hong Kong's best bank for SMEs 2018: DBS


Piyush Gupta has transformed Singapore’s DBS Group since his arrival as chief executive in 2009. Its regional wealth management business has flourished, while a hefty investment in technology has paid off handsomely. The lender has also become a regional leader in small and medium-sized enterprise banking, providing world-class financial services to firms ranging from sole proprietors to medium-sized firms with annual revenues of up to S$200 million ($150 million).

Hong Kong is a market awash with highly investable smaller enterprises and well-run SME-focused lenders, yet DBS, by investing well and wisely, has emerged at the head of the pack. It reported a 17% rise in SME banking revenues in Hong Kong in 2017, while welcoming 12,400 new SMEs into its fold, taking its total to 75,300, or nearly a quarter of all Hong Kong enterprises.

Many of those brought on board last year were acquired thanks to its burgeoning digital channels, highlighting the importance of its long-standing dedication to technology. DBS Hong Kong’s seven SME-dedicated branches and 24 retail outlets provide smaller firms with a one-stop shop for everything from commercial insurance and express account opening to trade bills and remittance instructions.

DBS’s ability to take the long view is apparent, not least when it comes to its willingness to hold events that increase contact with its customer base and help clients interact with and learn lessons from a fast-changing world. A case in point is the bank’s quarterly ‘Industry disrupt events’, which help SMEs adapt to and benefit from the latest emerging technologies and market developments: clever ideas from a clever bank.