PAVING THE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY


Sustainable bank: The Bank Rakyat team is all geared up to be The Sustainable Bank.

KUALA LUMPUR: To realise its goal to become the ‘Bank of Choice’ for Malaysians, Bank Rakyat is embarking on a five-year transformation plan by integrating sustainability into its business strategies.

Its chairman Datuk Noripah Kamso said the three-phase plan, BR25, sets out the defined destination of the bank on where it should land in 2025.

“Bank Rakyat has an existing five-year plan expiring in 2022, which has been useful in keeping the house in order, focusing on operational excellence and ensuring the foundation is established.

“However, the defined destination, the aspirational evolution to where we want to be, is absent.

“Considering the three major forces that are profoundly transforming the entire global banking landscape – digitalisation, globalisation and regulation – the current board of directors have realigned the existing plan to the current BR25.

“With that, BR25 is aimed at preparing the bank to face upcoming challenges and remain relevant in the future, with diversification as the direction, ” she said, adding that part of the plan is also to restore confidence in its stakeholders by creating a foundation of integrity.

Banking strategies: Bank Rakyat chairman Datuk Noripah Kamso says Bank Rakyat is embarking on a five-year transformation plan by integrating sustainability into its business strategies.Banking strategies: Bank Rakyat chairman Datuk Noripah Kamso says Bank Rakyat is embarking on a five-year transformation plan by integrating sustainability into its business strategies.

Working towards establishing its identity of being a sustainable bank, BR25 stems from 3Ps as the focal points – people, planet and progress.

She emphasised, “The progress here doesn’t just mean profit, but also social development and shared prosperity.”

Five verticals

Anchored by five vertical pillars, BR25 is aimed at propelling the bank towards becoming a globally recognised catalyst for national development, through a range of financial services rooted in Islamic values, community spirit and sustainability.Customers and members

Through the first vertical focusing on its customers and members, Bank Rakyat aims to offer the most competitive financing rate, in order to contribute to improved economic and social development by end 2025.

One of the strategies is to reduce its reliance on personal financing from 89% to 70% in 2025, by diversifying its financing portfolios in areas such as housing, education, vehicle and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“We also aim to convert all our member shareholders to customers and increase the current number of 900,000 member shareholders to 1.3 million, ” she shared, adding that only 40% of its member shareholders are customers currently.

“Expecting our customers to be largely millennials, we also hope to increase the said group from the existing 10% to 30% and our customer database from four million to eight million, ” she said.

Digitalisation and analytics

In order to provide a seamless customer experience, the bank is gearing towards digitalising its products and services, as well as optimising analytics by unlocking the value of data to better target and serve its customers, reflecting the second vertical pillar of BR25.

She explained, “We anticipate the bank of the future will offer their customers, especially millennials, to bank everywhere but never at a bank. Thus, our aspiration is to focus more on embedded banking experiences, instead of just products.”

A new core banking system is set to go live by end November, while all delivery channels of primary products and services will be digitalised, one of which is its mobile application.

“Meanwhile, a digitalisation department is in the pipeline to drive the implementation of the bank’s digitalisation blueprint.

“We are also looking at transforming some of the brick and mortar branches into digital branches, ” she said, adding that the bank is looking at reducing to 117 branches from the current 147 branches.

Collaboration and partnerships

The third vertical is about leveraging the strength of partners through collaboration in the ecosystem, in order to accelerate common goals and innovation.

Among the partners it is looking at establishing closer collaboration with is academia, to garner actionable insights from research and strengthen the bank’s image as a thought leader in Islamic finance through published research.

To boost the growth in entrepreneurship, the bank is also keen to establish an SME centre, with the hope of listing two SMEs under the centre on Bursa Malaysia, while increasing SME financing to RM9bil from RM100mil.

“Our mandated role has always been about raising the social economic development of the community for the stability and prosperity of our nation, which is also part of our mandate as an agency of the Entrepreneur Development Ministry (MED) as well as a development financing institution (DFI).

“Therefore, we are committed to supporting the SME industry with a host of competitive Islamic financing solutions, to create new possibilities for SMEs and the community for the betterment and future development of our society, ” she said, adding that the bank will collaborate with five international partners to assist SMEs in the halal export market.

In the area of sustainability, Bank Rakyat is proud to be the first organisation in Malaysia to be accredited of as partner of United Nations in supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

People

Underpinning all these vertical pillars will be talents and human resources as the plan focuses on embedding a high performance culture through its fourth vertical pillar.

To better serve the millenials, who are the primary target customers, the bank is looking at bringing in young digital natives to result in at least 60% of its overall employees to be digital-savvy.

Understanding that growth can be significantly impacted by talents, Bank Rakyat also has a human resources blueprint in the pipeline, which integrates with its aspiration to becoming a sustainable bank.

Sustainability

By end 2025, Bank Rakyat is expected to have integrated sustainability into all its processes with a sustainability division in place, which is the aspiration of its fifth vertical pillar.

“In terms of revenue, 30% will be from the halal industry and credit compliance must be integrated to reduce credit risk and ensure sustainability.

“To achieve global recognition, we will continue to gear up in the halal industry, as well as do our part in social empowerment globally, ” she concluded.

BR25 is currently in its first phase, preparing to translate the broad strategies into action plans to be implemented beginning next year, which will then enter the second phase.

The third phase will be an ongoing process to monitor the milestones and KPI until 2025.


   

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