Datuk Lim Hong Tat, Head Group CFS and CEO of Maybank Singapore has been named the 'Retail Banker of the Year 2014' by The Asian Banker, a leading provider of strategic business intelligence for the financial services community in Asia which also publishes The Asian Banker Journal since 1997. The Award was presented in a glittering ceremony in Sydney, Australia on April 3, 2014. According to The Asian Banker, the prestigious 'Retail Banker of the Year 2014' Award is the highest award given to the most accomplished leader in the retail banking industry in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions after an exhaustive and stringent research process undertaken by an international panel of judges headed by the Chairman, Philippe Paillart who was the former Vice-Chairman and CEO of DBS Bank.
According to The Asian Banker, very few candidates will ever qualify for the prestigious career-recognising award. It honours achievements of an outstanding leader in the retail banking industry who has contributed significantly to the transformation of the retail bank as well as making a strong impact in the country and the industry. It also recognises significant achievements over the person’s whole career, his aspirational thought leadership towards the Bank and the entire industry and his effort to invest in staff development.
Datuk Lim is the first Malaysian banker to win this prestigious award. He joined the ranks of past winners comprising senior bankers from global banks and leading domestic banks operating in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions selected for the annual award.
According to Philippe Paillart who chaired the Council of Advisors, they recognised Datuk Lim’s achievements in leading Maybank’s retail banking arm towards its 2015 target of becoming the undisputed No.1 retail financial services provider and a formidable regional force. The Advisors were also impressed by the success that he had in building the Bank’s greater focus on risk, credit and pricing disciplines while gaining market share in key product portfolios. When the financial performance of the bank under his leadership was included, his position over and above all other candidates for the Retail Banker of the Year Award was assured.
Commenting on the award, Datuk Lim said “I’m honoured to receive the Retail Banker of the Year Award 2014 from The Asian Banker. This award is a tribute to all Maybankers especially in CFS who worked together as a strong team to transform Maybank to be the undisputed No. 1 Retail Financial Services provider in Malaysia by 2015. This award also recognizes the steady progress and outcome of Maybank’s transformation journey and best practices that had cumulated in Maybank scoring a hattrick with the Best Retail Bank in Malaysia Awards (2012-2014) from The Asian Banker”.
Datuk Lim added that the biggest challenge for Maybank is to sustain and further improve on its strong performance in a competitive business environment and to undertake the rapid deployment of proven and tested best practices and game changing solutions within the Group to harvest the opportunities in the Region.
Datuk Lim is a seasoned and experienced banker with over 30 years of illustrious career with Maybank Group where he first joined the Bank in 1981 as the bank’s scholar. As the Head, Group CFS, his responsibilities cover leading and driving consumer, retail SME, commercial banking and community banking distribution network across the Region with over 1,000 branches and serving more than 16 million customers with a combined deposits and lending book of over USD 144 billion.
In the same award ceremony, Maybank won two prestigious awards, the Best Retail Bank Malaysia Country Award 2014 and the Best Automobile Lending Business Award in 2014 for the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions from The Asian Banker.
The Best Retail Bank Malaysia Award is a hattrick for Maybank as it is the third consecutive time since 2012 the Bank has won such Award each year. The Award acknowledges the best retail player in Malaysia for consistently excelling in all key performance metric measures. In the product category for Automobile Lending, it is the third time since 2008 and 2013 that the Bank won the Award which acknowledges the excellence for automobile lending products and processes launched and implemented during the year.