KUALA LUMPUR: The banking landscapeis rapidly changing with new customerdemands, products, services and competitors,so banks must constantly adjustto effectively meet the new challenges,said the Prime Minister.
”With Malaysia moving into the secondphase of the financial sector masterplan and capital markets master plan,where there will be further liberalisationand deregulation, competition can onlyincrease,” said Datuk Seri AbdullahAhmad Badawi.
“The banking sector requires tangiblechanges in the form of better infrastructureand facilities to serve its customers.
“This does not mean mere beautificationof operating premises, but alsochanges to the mindset of industry playersand employees.”
Abdullah was speaking at the launch ofCIMB Group – the culmination of CIMBBhd's acquisition of Bumiputra Commerce Bank and Southern Bank – and its new logo hereyesterday.
The Prime Minister said, in the face of increased competition,it was vital that the banking sector adopt a first-classmentality and a sense of urgency.
“The sector also requires more innovative products and services. In this regard, itis imperative that banks act less as mere savings and deposits outlets, and more asfacilitators for the public’s financial requirements,” he added.
He said the banking sector was a key driver of future economic growth, with theMalaysian financial services sector contributing 15.1% to Gross Domestic Product and employing 6.8% of the Malaysianworkforce.
He also advised banks to play a social role by ensuring quality banking services to all facets of Malaysian society, includingthe rural and less affluent population.
“A bank’s worth must be measured not only in terms of profits, but also in terms of howmuch it contributes to society,” said Abdullah, who also opened CIMB Bank’s first branch in Starhill Gallery here.
Over the next 12 months, the CIMB Group will be rebranding its existing 269 BumiputraCommerce Bank and 121 Southern Bank branches as CIMB Bank branches.
CIMB Group chief executive officer Datuk Nazir Razak said the group’s new banking model would be able to meet the entire spectrum of a customer’s financial needs, from cradle to retirement.