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Thursday April 29, 2010

BSN targets 26 Islamic branches by year-end

Bank plans to open one each in Terengganu and Shah Alam soon

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) is targeting to have 26 full-fledged Islamic banking branches nationwide by year-end as part of its effort to widen its footprint in the Islamic banking arena.

General manager and chief executive Datuk Adinan Maning said the bank planned to have at least two Islamic banking branches in every state.

It now has three Islamic banking branches – one each in Bangi (Selangor), Kelantan and Terengganu. BSN currently has a total of 380 branches nationwide.

“At the moment, we are still behind in our target of 26 but will strive to achieve it. We hope to add another two, one in Terengganu and another in Shah Alam.

“We will spend about RM250,000 per branch for renovation purposes and will probably convert some of our existing conventional banking branches to Islamic branches,’’ he told StarBiz.

Sulaiman Arif Arianto (left) exchanging documents with Datuk Adinan Maning. With them is Tatang B. Razak

Adinan said this after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BSN and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) here yesterday.

The event was witnessed by Indonesian Embassy representative and deputy chief of mission Tatang B. Razak.

Under the MoU, BSN would offer Indonesians working in Malaysia the flexibility to transfer their funds back home through BRI.

Adinan said BSN expected to undertake an average of 40,000 remittance transactions worth close to RM400,000 per month.

Asked whether BRI was keen to obtain a banking licence in Malaysia as reported by a local English publication (not The Star), its managing director Sulaiman Arif Arianto said it had no plan to do so.

BRI is Indonesia’s second-largest bank in terms of assets, with more than 6,000 outlets and 20 million customers throughout the country. It also specialises in micro-financing.

Adinan said the collaboration with BRI was another platform for BSN to widen its remittance services and hoped the synergy with BRI would be further strengthened with new initiatives in the future.

The new service is available at all 6,400 BRI branches in Indonesia and also extended to all BSN branches.

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