TRADE FINANCE | Roxanne Uy, Singapore

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s Yong Lee Boon eyes robust transaction banking opportunities in East Asia

The goal is for BTMU to become a top 5 global player in transaction banking.

Yong Lee Boon will be taking over as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s (BTMU) regional head of transaction banking sales for greater China and East Asia. Having worked eight years in China has equipped Yong with various perspectives brought about by interacting with global corporate clients. She has also acquired leadership exposure due to her country management experience in Malaysia.

Yong has a Graduate Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from the National University of Singapore and Masters in Business Administration from the University of London. Before joining BTMU, Yong was managing director, head of global corporate China, transaction banking at Standard Chartered Bank where she led the overall growth of the portfolio revenue.

In an interview with Asian Banking and Finance, Yong discusses her goals and strategies:

ABF: What makes you excited about your new position?
There are a number of areas to be excited about including the opportunity to join a great team to take the transaction banking business to the next level. Our vision is to become a top 5 global player in Transaction Banking.

Currently, East Asia is an exciting region especially given that Greater China is a key market for many of our clients. With the RMB internationalization and the China de-regulations, we have to constantly stay abreast of the operating environment and develop propositions to address clients’ needs. At the same time, we have many clients who are headquartered in this region who have expanded their business globally, and they have transaction banking requirements across multiple geography.

Another thing is the opportunity to be a change agent in shaping the bank’s approach and delivery of transaction banking services to our clients, especially for the global corporate client segment.

ABF: What three goals are you focused on?
We are focused on developing the sales team in adopting a solution-based approach when addressing client’s working capital management needs, being relevant to our clients and expand our share of mind and wallet in the Transaction Banking space and achieving financial performance.

ABF: What will you do differently in this position?
As part of the sales strategy, we have to move away from a product-oriented mindset towards adopting a solution-based approach. It will have to start with understanding our client’s needs and developing the right solutions.

Given that there are a few key themes be it financing; liquidity management; improve process efficiency and control as well as risk management that our clients’ look to the bank for support, I believe I will spend a fair amount of time in coaching our transaction banking team and internal engagement with our Relationship Managers.

ABF: What changes are you planning for?
We are planning for coaching the team to move towards solution-based marketing, and also to be the voice of our clients especially on our product developments and commercialization so that we can develop product and solutions that are relevant to our clients’ needs.

ABF: What are your key business philosophies?
We want to be relevant to clients, the bank and the various business partners. Transaction banking is quite commoditized these days, people are an important asset, and we have to invest in developing our team and people.

ABF: What previous positions prepared you for this and how?
Having spent eight years working in China has contributed much to my career development. It has given me exposure to the Global Corporate clients from China inbound and global origination perspectives. It also broadened my mindset in looking at new ways of doing things and be flexible in adapting to the fast changing environment.

The country management experience in Malaysia also gave me the opportunity to manage the business end to end and to have a balanced holistic view of the business.

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