Hong Leong Bank sees fintech as a growth driver for SMEs, when facilitated with the banking industry. HLB’s LaunchPad recently hosted an event entitled “Internet Finance & Accessing Credit” with the FinTech Association of Malaysia (FAOM). The event was attended by over 100 participants, including representatives from the Securities Commission Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, together with media as well as SMEs and entrepreneurs. As a startup mentorship programme, LaunchPad joins a growing family of incubators in the Malaysian startup scene, which include CodeAr.my and Cradle Investment Programme. The ‘democratisation’ of financial services brought along by fintech can open up avenues of finance traditionally seen as only reserved for larger companies. Terrence Teoh, Head of Group SME Banking, Hong Leong Bank said, “Peer-to-peer (P2P) financing providers within the FinTech space are important enablers, together with conventional banking facilities to support financing at different stages of a company’s growth. We see P2P financial providers complementing the banking institutions by reaching the underserved SMEs, especially those who do not meet the requirements of banking credit assessment, while conventional banks can take over that support when they grow in size and traction.”