Hong Kong's best bank for SMEs 2019: Hang Seng Bank
Hang Seng Bank
Hang Seng Bank’s chief executive, Louisa Cheang, has just come through her second year of running Hong Kong’s quintessential grassroots bank, and things seem to be going swimmingly for the former head of retail banking at HSBC. Small and medium-sized enterprises are Hang Seng’s core business, particularly the aspiring stallholders, traders and shopkeepers that line Hong Kong’s teeming streets. As they – and Hong Kong – have grown bigger and richer, Hang Seng has helped them along that prosperous journey to China and beyond – and this last year was no exception.
Hang Seng’s commercial banking division, which includes SME banking and is led by Amos Chan, reported a 35% leap in operating profit to HK$8.57 billion ($1.1 billion), while the bank approved 90% of SME loan applications.
Net interest income rose 33% to HK$9.33 billion, reflecting balanced growth in average customer loans and deposits. This lending expansion drove a 33% increase in credit facilities fees, while insurance income and remittance fees rose 24% and 16% respectively. From its new tech centre at its head office in downtown Central, Hang Seng has substantially upgraded its clients’ digital reach, launching its SME-facing channel BERI – Business/Efficient/Responsive/Interactive – which has been widely adopted in the market.