Euromoney has rated UOB as the world’s top bank for SMEs.

  • Ace Global
  • December 30, 2021

UOB has a reputation for being one of the top banks in the world when it comes to financing small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

On Monday (October 4), the Singapore bank said that it has won the Euromoney Global Awards for Excellence 2021 as the World’s Best Bank for SMEs, “based on its strong regional connectivity, knowledge, and support of SMEs to allow post-pandemic recovery and development.”

In February of last year, UOB provided $3 billion in rescue funding to enterprises affected by Covid-19 and has already granted money to over 20,000 SMEs across the area.

UOB has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Wee Ee Cheong, the company’s vice chairman and chief executive, said it is also assisting its SME clients in “digitally transforming their businesses, seizing cross-border possibilities, and progressing responsibly for long-term success.”

For example, in the first quarter of 2021, the number of transactions done through PayNow Corporate by UOB’s SME clients increased by more than 50 times compared to the same period in 2019. SME clients in the region that used UOB BizSmart, a package of cloud-based productivity products, saw revenue increase by 15% to 30% between April 2020 and March 2021, compared to those who did not.

UOB released four frameworks last year to make company sustainability easier. They lay out the requirements that businesses must achieve to have access to long-term banking products, reducing the need for SMEs to create their framework. The bank’s policies offer assistance in quantifying the environmental and social impact and make it easier for SMEs to get long-term funding.

Kim Heng, an offshore and maritime firm, received a green loan from UOB, allowing it to diversify its business by investing in renewable energy projects such as wind farms in Taiwan and Vietnam. By employing its data analytics-powered credit underwriting engine to get deeper insights into small company lending behavior, the bank claims it can personalize solutions to match borrowers’ demands.

The bank can more precisely estimate the credit quality of its small company customers by integrating extra information not typically utilized in the assessment process. UOB, Singapore’s third-largest bank by assets, claims to have assisted more than 3,500 enterprises in expanding their operations across Asia and facilitating $270 billion in commercial transactions. Another Singapore bank, DBS, was voted World’s Best Bank and World’s Best Digital Bank for 2021 at the Euromoney awards.

Last year, DBS helped the government make digital payments totaling more than $31 billion to help people and companies. DBS Vickers, DBS’s brokerage arm and a DDEx member, was granted a license to offer digital payment token services last Friday. Through DDEx, it will be able to directly assist asset managers and businesses in trading digital payment tokens.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said the bank’s digital, blockchain, and carbon projects were inspired by trends like hyper digitalization, which the bank believes will “reshape the post-pandemic world.”

Euromoney, a British journal, bestows the Euromoney awards.

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