OCBC BANK (Malaysia) Bhd chairman Tan Ngiap Joo reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to projects that benefit Sarawak’s environment and community as well as promote economic growth when he met with Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg in Kuching.
Ngiap Joo said OCBC had a long history in Sarawak, being the first foreign bank in the state with its first branch established in Kuching 75 years ago.
“Leveraging the group’s strong franchise, we are dedicated to supporting our customers in the region and encouraging them to consider investment into Sarawak,” he said.
“This is testament to our commitment and resolute support of the Sarawak government’s aspirations and goals to lead the green economy agenda in the region.
“We would like to reaffirm OCBC Malaysia’s long-term commitment to Sarawak as the first and longest-serving foreign bank here, having been part of the local community since 1948.”
Ngiap Joo was accompanied by OCBC Group and OCBC Bank board and management senior representatives: group chairman Andrew Lee, chief executive officer Helen Wong, bank chief executive officer Tan Chor Sen, board member George Lee and OCBC Malaysia managing director, senior banker and investment banking head Tan Ai Chin.
Also present at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly building were state senior officials.
Ngiap Joo said Sarawak remained a vitally important part of OCBC Malaysia’s strategic thrust in contributing to the economic growth of Malaysia, which was an important key market to the group.
The bank’s commitment and support of Sarawak’s aspirations is seen in its lead arranger role in the state government’s RM15bil sukuk programme as well as patronage and sponsorship in sustainable-related conferences that the Sarawak government oversees.
Ngiap Joo also said, “OCBC Malaysia is encouraged in knowing that Sarawak has taken a pioneering role in the realm of sustainability, being a catalyst and leading the charge in the ESG (environmental, social and governance) agenda.
“As a key financial partner to Sarawak government and market leader in sustainable finance, we shall continue providing essential financial support towards initiatives that create positive impact on both our stakeholders and valued customers for a greener and more sustainable future.”
OCBC Malaysia is a strong advocate of sustainability and financial inclusion, with several pioneering efforts and initiatives towards the development of sustainable finance markets in Malaysia.
Early this year, the group unveiled ambitious decarbonisation targets in six sectors to achieve nett zero in its financed emissions by 2050.
It also recently announced that it had surpassed the SG$50bil (RM174.53bil) mark in committed sustainable finance for 2023, with current total loan commitments at SG$52.1bil (RM181.86bil), two years ahead of its target to reach SG$50bil by 2025.
OCBC Malaysia comprises OCBC Bank and its wholly-owned subsidiary OCBC Al-Amin Bank Bhd.
It has 38 branches nationwide, with three located in Sarawak – Kuching, Miri and Sibu.
The Miri branch was opened in 2006 and the Sibu branch in 2015.