13 Jan 2009 – Researching The Family Banking: Edited 2017
1940 picture: in Chinese jeckets – LAM Soong Kee (grandfather) and LAM Ji Chiew (granduncle) with their families in Singapore.
Wikipedia stated Mr Lam Ting Yeu (supposedly LAM Tin Yue, my father) as the founder of the Kwong Lee Mortgage & Remittance Company some years and it is incorrect and now (2017) it has been corrected and edited. Will be traveling to Sarawak after the Chinese New Year to learn more and hopefully to take some pictures. My granduncle, LAM Ji Chiew was the founder of the Kwong Lee Mortgage & Remittance Company in 1905, not LAM Tin Yue (2nd row 1st right sitting on a chair in a white suit), my father who was born in 1911.
Began its operations in 1905 in Kuching, Sarawak, under the name of Kwong Lee Mortgage & Remittance Company, it granted loans against the security of export commodities such as pepper, rubber and other indigenous products. It provided the services of remitting money of migrant Chinese to their families in South East China.
It opened branches in Sibu (1923) and Singapore (1926).
After the Depression on 26 Oct 1934, the company was converted into a public company under the name Kwong Lee Bank/KLB 廣利銀行
Branches opened in Sarikei (1937) and Binatang (1973).
Kwong Lee Bank Limited which was later changed to Kwong Lee Bank Berhad on 15 April 1966.
In May 1982, Kwong Lee Bank Berhad was acquired by the MUI Group, a corporate group controlled by Malaysian business tycoon Tan Sri Dato Khoo Kay Peng. Exiting shareholders include Overseas Chinese Banking Corp OCBC Bank (which acquired a stake in the bank in 1964) and members of the Lam family (relatives and descendants of the founder Lam Ji Chiew). Kwong Lee Bank Berhad was renamed Malayan United Bank Berhad on 2 February 1983. Subsequently it was renamed MUI Bank Bhd. Under the MUI banner the bank grew from 11 branches (including Singapore) to 35 branches.
On 3 January 1994, the Hong Leong Group Malaysia acquired MUI Bank Berhad through Hong Leong Credit Berhad and renamed it as Hong Leong Bank Berhad HLBB. The acquisition of MUI Bank Berhad by Hong Leong Group Malaysia (which is controlled by Malaysian business tycoon Quek Leng Chan) followed shortly after an aborted takeover attempt of the MUI Group by another Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Dato Vincent Tan Chee Yioun (through his vehicle Berjaya Corporation).
Thus Hong Leong Bank can claim that it started in 1905.
Bankers know that history is inflationary and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard – Will Durant