Budget 2021: Banks positive over support for Rakyat, businesses

The banking sector responds to Budget 2021.

Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Group president & CEO of Maybank

Maybank group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias lauds the Budget's enhancement of targeted financial support an fiscal reliefs for vulnerable communities and businesses.

“I applaud the initiative by the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysia to introduce the enhanced Targeted Repayment Assistance scheme for the B40 income group and micro enterprises, as well as the continuing assistance to SMEs and hard-hit industries like tourism.

“It is during times like these that we must find ways to assist struggling communities and businesses, the unemployed, and those whose income have been significantly reduced because of underemployment, pay cuts or loss of business,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Farid commended the allocation of about RM8.5bil towards protecting and creating jobs as well as training programmes.

He said organisations should invest in re-skilling and up-skilling employees, and not be pressured to reduce staff costs to maintain profits and dividends.

In his statement, Abdul Farid was also positive over the Budget's incentives for technology adoption, automation and digitalisation, as well as measures to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, Founder, chairman emeritus, director & advisor, Public Bank Bhd

Public Bank will continue to support the government's efforts by facilitating continued access to financing, especially for small and medium enterprises, says founder and chairman emeritus Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow.

“During this trying time, Public Bank will continue to actively engage and assist customers by providing further assistance required under the expanded targeted repayment assistance programme,” he said in comments following the tabling of Budget 2021.

In his statement, the commended the government's focus on protecting livelihoods and supporting businesses.

“We are fully supportive of the Government’s moves in ensuring the truly deserving, especially the B40 and unemployed, are fully taken care of, either through specific initiatives or targeted assistance.

“We applaud the Government’s finger on the pulse of the nation in meeting the needs of the day through increasing the quantum of personal and corporate financial assistances and the expanding of various subsidy and financing schemes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Teh expects the government's proposals to strengthen the various industries and continue with ongoing infrastructure projects as well as initiatives to encourage private sector investment to contribute to a broad-based recovery and economic growth in 2021.

Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group CEO, CIMB Group

CIMB Group commends the government's focus on the Rakyat via increased healthcare spending, especially given the resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

“CIMB welcomes our role as enablers of the recovery, by participating in the expanded Targeted Loan Assistance Programme.

“It is optimal that assistance to borrowers is done in a targeted manner to ensure funds are specifically channelled to individuals and companies in need, including those affected SMEs, B40s and M40s,” said group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad.

He added that the Budget also effectively channels financial resource to the consumer, such as via the initiative to allow targeted withdrawals from the EPF's Account 1 facility.

“We welcome that Budget 2021 continues to comprehensively build on Malaysia’s focus on reducing income inequality, healthcare spending, and targeted assistance to businesses.

“Proactive measures by the government include deepening engagements for job creation, training and reskilling, investing further in broadband connectivity and accelerating development in e-commerce.

“These long-term investments will reduce the digital divide at both levels of human capital and technological infrastructure,” said Abdul Rahman.

Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli, Group managing director, RHB Banking Group

Datuk Khairusalleh Ramli said the Budget is an expansionary one, which would limit downside risks to Malaysia's economic growth in the coming year as compared to 2020.

He noted that the government is also giving support to vulnerable groups in the economy, especially the B40 segment, while rolling out targeted plans to support small and medium enterprises that have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At the current juncture, the three risks that we are closely monitoring are the timing of a commercial adaptation of an effective Covid-19 virus vaccine, the path of global economic growth, and volatility in global financial market conditions.

“We will continue to play an active role in supporting our customers throughout this challenging time,” he added.

Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir, Group CEO, Ambank Group

Ambank Group is supportive over the government's call for banks to provide extended repayment assistance to B40 borrowes and micro enterprises.

“To date, AmBank is pleased to have approved close to 100% of repayment assistance applications for loans and facilities, amounting to more than RM11bil for individuals and SME customers,” said Ambank Group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd tahir.

In his reponse to Budget 2021, he commended the initiative to allow targeted EPF members to withdraw RM500 a month for a year from their Account 1 to give them more access to funds.

He added that the proposal to allocate RM1bil to incentivise technology and high-value added investments and Bank Negara's RM500mil High Technology Fund will allow local businesses to become more competitive globally.

Lastly, he said the government's implementation of infrastructure and transport projects will spur new growth areas in the economy.

Datuk Ong Eng Bin, CEO, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd

Budget 2021 is focused on helping Malaysian cope with the current challenges, especially those who have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and frontliners, said Datuk Ong Eng Bin, CEO of OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd.

Her added that the Budget lends much-needed support to businesses by making the economy more resilient.

“This is all noteworthy as the banking industry continues to work very closely with Bank Negara Malaysia and the Minister of Finance in playing our role to achieve the ideals contained in the Budget,” he said.
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Budget 2021 , Maybank , CIMB , Public Bank , RHB , OCBC


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