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DBS announced on Wednesday that it has appointed Joyce Tee as its group head of SME Banking, making her the bank's first female head of its SME banking franchise.
Ms Tee - who was head of the bank's shipping, aviation and transportation businesses - will oversee the bank's SME banking businesses across the region and will report to Jeanette Wong, head of Institutional Banking Group.
DBS said in addition to implementing a consistent SME business model across the region, Ms Tee will focus on leveraging digital innovation to drive client acquisition and deepen existing relationships, as well as further extend support to SMEs in a more challenging economic environment.
She takes over the reins from Lim Chu Chong, who recently relocated to China to head up DBS's institutional banking franchise there.
Ms Tee started her career providing management consultancy and financial advisory solutions to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the US, working closely with the Small Business Administration and the US Department of Commerce. After spending 12 years in the US, she returned to Singapore and worked with OCBC Bank's enterprise banking unit for four years, covering the offshore marine and commodities sectors. She joined DBS in 2004.
Building a leading regional SME banking franchise was identified as one of the bank's strategic priorities six years ago. Income from SME banking grew 9 per cent to a record S$1.53 billion in 2015.