September 06, 2005
StanChart Looks For More Malaysian Branches
StanChart Malaysia CEO Shayne Nelson wants to add to the bank's existing line-up of 31 branches when Bank Negara unveils new branching rules at year end.
Although the new plan is expected to mandate that foreign banks (as STAN is considered despite its century-plus tenure in Malaysia) open more rural branches in order to get permission to set up more-coveted urban outlets, Nelson argues that Chartered should get credit for its already-widespread network:
"We have not just been opening branches in the cities. We have 31 branches, of which seven are in the Klang Valley, two in Johor Baru and one in Penang.
The rest are in rural areas or smaller towns. The weighting of our branches are more non-city.''
Nelson also touched on the desirability of Malaysia as a banking market:
Malaysia has reached a stage where there is a potential for a big lift in GDP per capita. The demographics of Malaysia are strong where 42% of Malaysians are under the age of 25. So, as a financial services market, Malaysia is a good market,'' Nelson added.
He does not believe the consumer market will undergo a patchy stretch.
“At Standard Chartered, NPLs (non-performing loans) are down to 2% and the direction of our arrears and portfolio continues to improve,'' he said.
He said Malaysia's high savings rate will help reduce the aggregate indebtedness of the consumer in global terms and that the credit bureau was a great help in assessing credit risk.
(via The Star Online)