KUALA LUMPUR: Financial institutions, especially Islamic banks, must focus on their traditional roles of mobilising liquidity and solvency support to the real economy in times of unprecedented challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a banker.
AmBank Islamic chief executive officer Eqhwan Mokhzanee (pic) said banks in Malaysia had come to the fore via schemes such as the moratorium, repayment assistance and targeted repayment assistance, and facilitated the intermediation of government and Bank Negara funds.
“Financial institutions need to recognise that the success and ability to remain profitable and relevant is intrinsically dependent on the long-term prosperity of the societies which the financial institutions serve, ” he said at the Islamic Finance News Asia OnAir Forum held recently.
Only in an inclusive society founded on human dignity and the sustainable use of natural resources, could customers and in turn, financial institutions thrive, he told the panel on “the opportunities for a back-to-basics approach and how Islamic finance can and will flourish”.
AmBank has formalised its sustainability framework with environmental, social and governance impacts taken into account, in its strategies, activities and portfolio.
He said the current pandemic was a painful reminder for the bank to re-think and re-purpose some of its strategic direction, policies, focus segment and corporate social responsibilities.
“We are accelerating our financial inclusion agenda by providing financing to the business start-up segment via the AmBank Islamic SME Biz Start-up-i. Our AmBank BizRACE 3.0 and BizCONFERENCES are capacity building platforms to support SMEs in the areas of halal, Industrial Revolution 4.0 and digitalisation, which would stand them in good stead for a post-Covid-19 era, ” he said. — Bernama