KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYAN BANKING BHD (Maybank) will be rolling out a new integrated system for businesses to better manage their assets, liabilities and risks.
The country’s largest bank in terms of assets has been developing the system for the past two years, which is called the Capital Adequacy and Risk Management (Carisma) system.
Group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the bank is slowly implementing it in various parts of business.
“We might be able to show results this year.
“The whole idea is, if you can manage your asset and liability based on today’s information, won’t you have a better competitive advantage compared to those who used last month’s information or even last week?
“I think we’re the only bank that we know which is working on this (system),” he told a press conference after the bank’s AGM yesterday.
The Carisma system project is led by Maybank’s group chief risk officer Gilbert Kohnke.
Farid also stressed on Maybank’s support for Malaysia’s economy, saying that it plans to disburse RM50bil of mortgages and RM35bil in SME loans in the next three years.
A total of RM12.2bil in new housing loans were disbursed last year.
As at Dec 31, 2018, Maybank had RM87.5bil worth of mortgages in its books, out of about RM500bil of its total loans.
The bank’s current loan size for SMEs is RM41.1bil, broken down into RM24bil for business banking and RM17.1bil for retail SMEs.
“This is a statement that we need to make, because there was a question, or maybe a curiosity, maybe unsure of banks and how banks performed in this day and age, especially in this current time.
“There was a statement with respect to whether we are supporting the economy. Just want to prove that point,” Farid said, adding that Maybank’s mortgage approval rate for eligible applicants as at March was about 80%, as compared to the industry rate of around 70%.
Group chairman Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin said the board’s main priority would be to drive a business strategy that would enable long-term value-creation for all stakeholders.
“We want to drive Maybank’s sustainability agenda by enhancing environmental, social and governance considerations within the group.
“Other aspects are to strengthen and institutionalise the compliance culture across its entire operations and ensure robust succession planning to prepare for long-term requirements,” she said.
Meanwhile, speaking on its 2018 performance, Farid said Maybank always prioritised liquidity and capital strength, and while it is a profit-maximising entity, the bank does it within certain parameters.
“We must be profitable, but our capital liquidity must be very strong. People might think it’s a balancing act, but not to us. It is something that we address quite aggressively,” he said.
He also said anything better than what is coming out from the negotiations between the United States and China would be better for the external environment.
But even in that scenario of uncertainties, he expects Maybank to still grow, based on the projected gross domestic product growth of its three key markets – Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Speaking on Maybank’s digitisation plans, Farid said the bank would maintain a conservative-yet-impactful investment to effectively deliver improved customer service through new digital products and services.
How the bank does it is by making the investment scarce, thus creating a bit of a competition within the bank.
“Our hypothesis is that when it comes to something very uncertain, you have to make the investment scarce to get the good ideas. You cannot be generous because you will waste a lot of money.
“Only the best ideas deserve to get the money. We created that kind of condition,” he said.
Farid added that Maybank also spent RM130mil on training, as it believes that the staff have the right to get reskilled as the industry moves forward to a new environment.
Even the entire board of directors went through 500 man-days of training to learn about artificial intelligence and data analytics, among others.
On potential mergers and acquisitions, Farid said the bank is always on the lookout but there is nothing interesting so far.
On Maybank’s exposure to Singapore water and power company Hyflux Ltd and whether there would be an impact on its earnings, Farid declined to comment, saying that it was against regulations to talk about specific clients.
However, he said any provision and recognition of impairment was done according to MFRS 9 and with the validation from its external auditors and regulators.
The AGM yesterday saw shareholders approving all the resolutions tabled, including the final single-tier dividend of 32 sen per share, the re-election of the bank’s retiring directors – Farid, Datuk R. Karunakaran, Cheng Kee Check, Fauziah Hisham and Sharifuddin Khalid – and the reappointment of Ernst & Young as the auditors for another year.