Bank Negara Governor: Using disguise of being tied by regulations not valid excuse

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim said the ringgit is now priced more efficiently and increasingly more reflective of Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Financial insitutions which view that regulation makes market players “boring” have become too complacent in their comfort zone and should undertake a reality check, says Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim.

He said financial institutions must be aware of innovations that would be relentless in accessing and penetrating the traditional market long enjoyed by the banks. 

Muhammad said Malaysia’s financial institutions especially must not lay idle as innovations will be relentless in accessing and penetrating the traditional market long enjoyed by the banks. 

“Using the disguise of being tied by regulations is not a valid excuse,” he said in his keynote address “Public policy perspective – Some thoughts and contemplations from a central banker,”at the 40th Harvard Business School Alumni Club Malaysia anniversary dinner last Friday. 

“We have raised this many times, that the central bank will not hinder innovations in the banking system including those by non-banking institutions. So beware. Those bankers who are complacent and meek might experience the rug being pulled from underneath them,” he said. 

Muhammad said ultimately, regulations exist to promote a safe, efficient and sound financial system that is competitive and where consumers’ interest are protected. 

He pointed out regulatory regimes promote the foundation of trust and confidence that is crucial in any financial system. 

“If people do not trust the system, financial intermediation cannot take place in any shape or form. As the modalities for financial intermediation and payments are transformed by technology, regulation should play an active role in creating a similar environment of trust to ensure overall financial stability,” he said.

Muhammad said the boundaries of regulation will evolve to provide the freedom for participants in the Malaysian financial system to innovate and adopt technology to exploit efficiencies and create new and better solutions. 

“Solutions that not only deliver better experience for consumers, but that better align the responsibilities that we all carry as responsible citizens, to lift people out of poverty, provide fellow Malaysians a decent living standard, eliminate discrimination and protect our environment,” he said.

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