Building integrity and trust in Malaysia’s banking industry

  • 25 June 2019
  • Blog

Professional qualifications are vital if trust is to be restored in financial services, says Prasad Padmanaban, Chief Executive of the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB).

Malaysia has come a long way in the development of its banking and financial services industry, with the consolidation of its banking sector, significant advancements in the adoption of improved institutional infrastructure, risk management processes and practices (as well as enhanced governance and regulatory frameworks).

Banks in Malaysia are also well capitalised and have remained resilient throughout the last financial crisis. However, the many highly publicised scandals of misconduct globally had significantly undermined the reputation of the banking sector and highlighted the lapses in professionalism among bankers, which have resulted in the erosion of public confidence and trust.

Strengthening trust

In view of this, Malaysia continues to implement initiatives to further strengthen public trust, including the establishment of the sole professional body for the banking sector, the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB). With over 27,000 members and growing, AICB is governed by a Council of representatives from the Central Bank of Malaysia, The Association of Banks in Malaysia and the Malaysian Investment Banking Association.

Bankers are in the business of trust, so I can’t stress enough how vital independent, highly competent and professionally qualified bankers are to further strengthen corporate governance and contribute to financial stability of the banking system in Malaysia.

At AICB, there is a non-negotiable commitment to lifelong learning, and through the adoption of our Code of Professional Conduct, our qualifications and a clear disciplinary framework in place, we hope to raise the level of competency and professionalism in the banking industry to further support the financial wellbeing of the community.

Building resilience

With fast-paced technological developments in the banking sector today and a future that will most likely continue to be highly uncertain, bankers of the 21st century must also be resilient, agile, technologically proficient and, of course, ethically and professionally competent.

To this end, for the last two years, AICB has focussed on implementing a crucial industry-wide initiative with Malaysian banks to professionalise bankers through its qualifications.

We are also continuing to work closely with industry to ensure we incorporate the relevant knowledge required in our professional qualifications to meet industry needs. The key is to equip banking talent with the requisite skill sets and values to thrive in the evolving banking landscape – and strengthen public trust and confidence.