AMBANK Group expects the consolidation of AmBank Bhd and AmFinance Bhd to be completed by its current financial year ending March 31, said head of retail banking Mohamed Azmi Mahmood.
The merger involves two aspects legal and operational and it is progressing well, he said at the launch of Redhall Gallery, the group's new mall-on-call in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Redhall Gallery is a joint initiative of AmBank Group, MasterCard International, which licenses the Redhall Gallery card, and e-Pedas Sdn Bhd, which provides an integrated customer management system.
Azmi said Redhall Gallery offered the convenience of tele-order shopping, and interest-free repayment using the Redhall Gallery credit card.
Redhall Gallery cardholders will receive catalogues featuring products ranging from apparel to entertainment.
All purchases will be automatically split into 10 equal monthly payments and charged to the Redhall Gallery card.
Azmi said Redhall Gallery cards would initially be offered to all AmBank principal cardholders and carry a minimum credit line of RM2,000. The RM20 annual service fee is also waived.
We expect to issue 100,000 Redhall Gallery cards within one year of the launch, and have set aside an initial line of credit worth RM200mil for this purpose, he said, adding that the card was expected to be available to the public within three months.
He said the AmBank Group currently had 150,000 active credit-card holders but planned to aggressively double the base this financial year through its many programmes and campaigns. He added that AmBank Group now had a customer base of three million.
Azmi said consumer loans grew by 10% for the year ended March 31, 2003, and the group had set a target of 12% growth this financial year.
Although the Iraq war and the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak had affected consumer spending and caused a slowdown in consumer loans, especially on the hire-purchase side, with the recently announced economic package and more new car models being introduced into the market, things are looking positive, he said.
He is confident the group's credit-card base and consumer loans would continue to grow. Consumer loans account for 60% to 70% of the total loan base of the AmBank Group.