Chartered Bankers: The key to driving ESG and sustainability in banking


AICB’s council members, newly conferred Fellow Chartered Bankers, the CEOs of AICB and the Asian Banking School at AICB’s 6th Chartered Banker Conferment Ceremony 2023.

CLIMATE change poses significant risks to the stability of the economy and as such, it is imperative for financial institutions to understand its complexities, and build their capabilities and capacity to mitigate climate-related risks in their operations, investments and lending practices.

Banks must ensure they have the right capacity building strategy alongside their business strategy to ensure the success of their sustainability and green transition journeys.

Chartered Bankers are the key to driving positive change in the industry and supporting Bank Negara Malaysia’s initiatives towards greening the financial sector, as shared in the Financial Sector Blueprint 2022–2026.

To aid in this pursuit, the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) recently held its 6th Chartered Banker Conferment 2023 ceremony at Bangunan AICB on May 20, to honour and recognise three newly conferred Fellow Chartered Bankers and 97 Chartered Bankers who have successfully completed the internationally recognised professional banking qualification.

Apart from Malaysia, the newly conferred Chartered Bankers also comprise bankers from the Maldives, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and more.

AICB, which is the sole professional body for Malaysia’s banking industry, helps bankers to achieve and maintain the highest standards of excellence and professionalism, as well as be technically sound, ethically centred and socially conscious.

AICB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim says that it is essential for bankers to understand the importance of embedding sustainability and ESG considerations into their every decision, thought and action.

“Responsible bankers play such an important role in contributing to our economy and society,” he says.

“As the banking sector is moving towards sustainability-centric initiatives and making stronger commitments towards financing green and environmentally sustainable activities, financial institutions must continue investing in their talents to build capabilities in climate risk and sustainability.”

AICB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim addressing the Fellow Chartered Banker and Chartered Banker conference at AICB’s 6th Chartered Banker Conferment 2023.AICB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim addressing the Fellow Chartered Banker and Chartered Banker conference at AICB’s 6th Chartered Banker Conferment 2023.

He adds that bankers and Chartered Bankers alike should always strive to continuously improve themselves and keep up-to-date with the times.

“You have to stay relevant to what is going on in the world and you can’t stop your learning process. To be a Chartered Banker, it’s a lifelong learning process and commitment,” he says.

“Things change so fast today. In the past, things used to change by the years, but now they can change in a matter of weeks or months. Take artificial intelligence like ChatGPT, for example, which created so many possibilities and opportunities, and this is just the beginning.

“So, we have to keep up with these rapid changes and developments to stay relevant.”

AICB’s chief executive Edward Ling adds that the institute aims to continue improving its suite of professional banking qualifications, offering industry-relevant and up-to-date programmes to ensure that aspiring and current Chartered Bankers are future-ready.

“We dream big and want to grow ourselves as a professional body to bring our influence to the region,” he says.

“Since we are the only professional body for bankers that can award the Chartered Banker status jointly with the Chartered Banker Institute, UK, in the ASEAN region, we actively look out for contemporary issues that our bankers can improve on so that they can learn very quickly and catch up with the times.

“We will continue to develop relevant qualifications and thought leadership events, not just as part of the Chartered Banker programme, but also through our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiatives. This is to ensure that everyone knows what they need to do, to perform their jobs ethically and professionally.”

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Fad’l Mohamed, who was conferred the Fellow Chartered Banker status at the ceremony, expressed that learning programmes such as these are crucial to ensure that industry talent is developed to be future-ready.

“One area that we have to really focus on is capacity building. We have to make sure that our people have the right skills and knowledge to advise clients and lead the industry to manage complex issues.

“This is very critical given the evolving regulatory, industry and global developments,” he says.

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Fad’l Mohamed (second from left) being conferred the Fellow Chartered Banker status by (from left) AICB’s chief executive Edward Ling, AICB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim, and Chartered Banker Institute, UK, chair of the Learning DevelopmentBoard Ian Hardcastle.Maybank Investment Bank Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Fad’l Mohamed (second from left) being conferred the Fellow Chartered Banker status by (from left) AICB’s chief executive Edward Ling, AICB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim, and Chartered Banker Institute, UK, chair of the Learning DevelopmentBoard Ian Hardcastle.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Berhad group managing director and chief executive officer Lee Jim Leng, who was also conferred the Fellow Chartered Banker status, adds that the Chartered Banker qualification represents a strong commitment of bankers to continuously grow and improve themselves.

“It’s more than just a piece of paper. It’s a commitment to learning as each course has its own difference in focus,” she says.

“So, it’s not about ending the learning process when you graduate with your degree or receive your PhD, as the learning never stops.

“Chartered Bankers still have to do a lot in terms of governance, ethics, professionalism and keeping themselves updated, so that they remain relevant.”

AICB recently launched the Certificate in Climate Risk programme to meet growing industry

demands and lead the industry’s future skills framework initiative, which will help identify future skills and competencies needed for the sector.

The institute will be updating its programmes and releasing new programmes based on industry developments as well, by engaging with industry experts to ensure their qualifications remain relevant and future-proof.

Once conferred the Chartered Banker status, members are required to complete a total of 35 hours of CPD learning every year.

Membership with AICB provides individuals with recognition, support and opportunities for personal and professional growth to advance in their careers. It is open to employees and former employees of financial institutions, as well as other individuals who intend to pursue a career in banking.

Today, there are over 700 AICB members who have joined the guild of Chartered Bankers in Malaysia, alongside the institute’s current total of over 34,000 AICB members.

The Chartered Banker status is jointly awarded with the Chartered Banker Institute, UK — the only institute globally that can award this status.

Those interested in signing up for the programme can visit www.aicb.org.my/qualifications/chartered-banker-qualification.

For more information on the other programmes offered by AICB, visit www.aicb.org.my to view the qualifications available.

To join upcoming events, register your interest at https://www.aicb.org.my/events/upcoming.

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