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Public Bank Clinched A Record “Best Bank in Malaysia” Award for 15 Years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
                                                                                                                          21 September 2021
 
Public Bank Clinched A Record “Best Bank in Malaysia” Award for 15 Years
 
A 15-year consecutive recognition as the “Best Bank in Malaysia” by Alpha Southeast Asia at its 15th Annual Financial Institution (FI) Awards recently, speaks volume of Public Bank’s commitment to excellence.
 
To add more feathers to an already overflowing cap, Public Bank also won the “Best Retail Bank in Malaysia” award for the third year with the past two awards won in 2020 and in 2018 when they first introduced the award.
 
Alpha Southeast Asia, was established in January 2007 and is the first and only institutional investment magazine based in Hong Kong focused on Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). Unlike most mainstream financial magazines, the winners of the annual FI awards are not necessarily the biggest banks by asset size but awarded on the basis of performance and growth over the past one year.  The awards are also exclusively and categorically open to only locally incorporated banks and financial institutions or banks headquartered in Southeast Asia.
 
The Alpha Southeast Asia in a statement issued mentioned that over the last fourteen years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, if there is one benchmark investors use to judge banks, it has to do with balance sheet strength. Public Bank easily epitomises how far a bank would go to stick to what it does best: plain vanilla bank lending and being there for its customers however intense the competition.
 
In keeping this award within the Bank for the 15th consecutive year, Public Bank continues to entrench its heels deeper and strengthen its local market position year after year, making the bank the most reliable, secure and strongest bank in the country by a wide margin, thanks to strong growth in loans and core customer deposits as well as its stable asset quality.
 
In their report the international publication also said that despite intensifying competition from government-linked banks as well as other private sector banks in the country jostling for a position near the top, Public Bank has remained steadfast and focused when it comes to the country’s burgeoning retail segment. In recent years, the Public Bank Group has continued to register strong growth Its sold retail banking franchise is a testimony to the resilience and strength of the banks’ business, customer relationships, people and processes. In the case of Public Bank, it is very much business as usual, thanks in large part to its ability to meet the demand and evolving funding needs of its retail customers in Malaysia.
 
Public Bank’s Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow said, “It is an honour to be bestowed with these two awards by Alpha Southeast Asia.  It is indeed a testimonial of our hard work and commitment to excellence.”
 
“All the triumphs and achievements over the last 55 years came with great efforts, resulting in Public Bank being recognized in the industry as the brand that is synonymous with excellence in line with our corporate tagline, “Excellence Is Our Commitment”.  The Bank has gained a reputation for its integrity, trust and good governance which drives its business through knowledge, expertise, hard work and focus on customer service driven by a sustainable approach.  Values such as integrity, trust and prudence are ingrained in our DNA and have been practised consistently throughout Public Bank,” said Tan Sri Teh.
 
Tan Sri Teh further added, “Moving forward, we will continue to entrench the excellent corporate conduct and uphold a high level of accountability and responsibilities to optimize our stakeholder values.”
 
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Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank
 
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Public Bank Aced Again at e-Payments Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
20 September 2021
 
Public Bank Aced Again at e-Payments Award
 
Public Bank has emerged again as among the biggest winners for the Malaysian e-Payments Excellence Awards (MEEA) 2021 by securing three awards for its outstanding contribution towards the growth of Malaysia’s e-payment ecosystem.
 
Awarded the Best MyDebit Bank, Best MyDebit (Acquirer – Bank) and Best IBG Bank, Public Bank has been winning these awards throughout the years. The Best MyDebit Bank in Malaysia award, for instance, was awarded to Public Bank for the fifth consecutive year.

MEEA is organised annually by Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), to recognise outstanding achievements of banks, businesses and government agencies that have contributed significantly towards excellence, innovation and growth of e-payments in Malaysia.

PayNet, which is the nation’s network and shared central infrastructure provider for Malaysia’s financial markets, in its congratulatory letter said: “Public Bank’s commitment and holistic efforts to drive usage, acceptance, reliability, customer engagement and experience have made a significant impact in propelling e-Payments in Malaysia to greater heights.”

Public Bank believes in the importance of fulfilling customers’ experience in the new normal caused by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid the pandemic disruptions, Public Bank’s key digitalisation initiatives remained focus on enhancing convenience, efficiency, security and innovation of its products and services to deliver continued service excellence to its customers, particularly on the delivery of contactless and cashless digital payment service such as merchant online onboarding and online payment in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the physical contact between buyers and traders. 

Public Bank will continue to provide full support to boost the country’s migration to electronic payments by launching more e-Payment initiatives while continuously enhancing its digital banking platform, creating a unique and better user experience.

Apart from user experience, information security is another area that Public Bank focuses on to prevent cyber security threats. Ensuring a robust management of information security, Public Bank constantly reviews its policies and standards pertaining to information security and cyber threats management, ensuring a secure banking environment that is in line with the latest development, adequate and effective to mitigate possible future risks for customers’ peace of mind.

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Easy Cross Border Payment with Thailand Using Public Bank’s PBe QR Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

6 September 2021

Easy Cross Border Payment with Thailand Using Public Bank’s PBe QR Service
 
Public Bank Group has extended its PBe QR service to support DuitNow QR Cross Border Payment between Malaysia and Thailand.
 
Public Bank is the first bank in Malaysia to enable the DuitNow QR Cross Border Payment which facilitates retail-based QR payment between the two countries. This will pave the way forward when the borders are reopen post pandemic. The Bank will continue to foster close collaboration with Payment Network Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (PayNet), enabling transactions to more ASEAN countries in the near future.
 
“Our immediate focus is to push for greater financial inclusion by enabling Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the more efficient and safe options to accept payments from foreign tourists when our borders are reopened. PBe QR, on top of the existing domestic DuitNow QR payment services will be a catalyst to this, providing simple, cost-effective and secure solution to enable MSMEs to accept cashless payments,” said Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, the Managing Director of Public Bank.
 
Tan Sri Tay further added, “We are supportive of the nation’s push towards digitisation of various banking services and the creation of a financially inclusive society. With the increasing use of smartphones for banking, we are getting there and will continue to deliver the most efficient and convenient payment services for our customers.”
 
Businesses can enrol for the PBe QR service by self-registration from the Bank’s internet banking website or by approaching the nearest Public Bank branch for assistance. As a collective effort to push for e-payments, Public Bank is also waiving its acquiring transaction fees for DuitNow QR payments until 31 December 2022.

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Public Bank Group Achieved Net Profit Of RM2.91 Billion For The First Half Of 2021 And Declared 7.5 Sen First Interim Dividend
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

27 August 2021

Public Bank Group Achieved Net Profit Of RM2.91 Billion For The First Half Of 2021 And Declared 7.5 Sen First Interim Dividend
 
Highlights on Financial Performance

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, the Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank, announced today, “For the first half of 2021, the Public Bank Group posted pre-tax profit of RM3.79 billion and net profit attributable to shareholders of RM2.91 billion. The Group’s continued profitability was largely supported by its core business of lending and deposit-taking, and further driven by its non-interest income.”

Compared to the first quarter of 2021, net profit in the second quarter of 2021 declined by 9.5% to RM1.38 billion, mainly arising from higher preemptive provisions set aside for loan impairment.
 
Tan Sri Teh commented, “Last year, the Public Bank Group’s financial performance was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its spillover effect on the economy. Given the low base effect from a year ago, coupled with the recovery of the Malaysian economy into 2021, the Group registered improved performance in the first half of 2021. However, the spike of COVID-19 cases and the imposition of more stringent containment measures in the second quarter of 2021 had continued to weigh on the Group’s business performance.”
 
Tan Sri Teh added, “Given the highly challenging environment, the Group had undertaken more proactive measures on recalibrating its business strategies and continued to place great emphasis on prudent risk management and enhancing productivity. These efforts enabled the Group to register a net return-on-equity of 12.9% and an efficient cost-to-income ratio of 31.6% during the first half of 2021.”
 
“In appreciation of shareholders’ continued support, the Board of Directors has declared a first interim dividend of 7.5 sen per share with a total dividend payout of RM1.46 billion, representing 50.0% of the Group’s net profit for the half year ended 30 June 2021.” Tan Sri Teh announced.
 
The dividend will be paid on 23 September 2021, based on the dividend entitlement date of 14 September 2021.

Continued Expansion in Loans and Deposits
 
As at the end of June 2021, the Public Bank Group’s total loans recorded an annualised growth of 3.7% to RM352.1 billion. Domestic loans grew at an annualised rate of 3.5%, underpinned by growth in the retail banking segment comprising residential property financing, passenger vehicle financing and SME financing.

Tan Sri Teh said “In the first half of 2021, the Group recorded a strong momentum in its loans approval, which reflects the Group’s strong commitment to continue enhancing access to financing for the customers. Additional impetus including incentives for car and property purchases as well as special financing schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia, had also further spurred the Group’s loan growth.”
 
On the funding side, the Group’s total customer deposits grew at a healthy annualised rate of 5.1%, of which the low cost current and savings deposits grew at an annualised rate of 11.2%. As at the end of June 2021, the Group’s funding position remained stable with a healthy gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 79.9%.

Steady Growth in Non-interest Income
 
In the first half of 2021, the Public Bank Group’s non-interest income increased by 6.4%, mainly arising from the good growth achieved in its unit trust business, fee and commission income and stockbroking income. However, this was offset by a reduction in investment income.
 
Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “Amid the current extremely challenging operating environment, unit trust offers a good alternative investment. The Public Bank Group’s unit trust business, undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual, continued to contribute positively to the Group’s overall profit. In the first half of 2021, Public Mutual registered a pre-tax profit growth of 32.2% compared to the corresponding period in 2020. As at the end of June 2021, Public Mutual managed a total of 168 unit trust funds with assets under management totalling RM103.2 billion and continued to capture a large retail market share of 33.3%.”
 
Efficient Cost Management
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “The Public Bank Group’s cost-to-income ratio remained stable at 31.6% in the first half of 2021, significantly better than the domestic banking industry’s cost-to-income ratio of 42.8%. The Group’s prudent and disciplined cost management continued to enable the Group to sustain cost efficiency, hence providing a stronger buffer to withstand economic challenges.”

Resilient Asset Quality
 
As at the end of June 2021, the Public Bank Group’s gross impaired loan ratio stood at 0.4%, well below the banking industry’s gross impaired loan ratio of 1.6%.
 
Tan Sri Teh added, “Despite its resilient asset quality, the Group continued to adopt a conservative stance in its preemptive provisioning to cushion against potential asset quality risks. As at the end of June 2021, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio stood high at 275.1% compared to the banking industry’s loan loss coverage of 111.8%. Including the RM0.7 billion regulatory reserves that has been set aside, its total reserves for loan losses was even higher at 331.5%.”
 
Ongoing Strong Commitment to Provide Repayment Relief Assistance
 
Tan Sri Teh commented, “The Public Bank Group remains mindful of the impact of the prevailing strong headwinds on the loan repayment capability of its customers. The Group has continued to engage its customers and provide flexible financial relief assistance to those in need. As at to-date, 23% of the Group’s outstanding domestic loans were under the Targeted Repayment Assistance.”
 
Since the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia in 2020, the Group has been constantly providing relief assistance to customers who faced cash flow constraint in repaying their loans. To facilitate greater convenience for customers, the Group has developed a digital platform to enable a straight-through online process on customers’ applications for the repayment assistance.
 
The Group also proactively promotes special financing schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia, such as the Special Relief Fund, Micro Enterprises Facility and Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility, to financially assist SMEs who need additional funds for their businesses amid the pandemic challenges.
 
“Public Bank’s proactive efforts in extending its financial assistance, coupled with the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia’s significant initiatives to revive the economy, have helped many customers to gradually improve their financial situation. To date, the Group’s various financing schemes and repayment assistance have benefitted about 1.9 million of its customers, Tan Sri Teh said.
 
“With the resurgence of the COVID-19 cases, the imposition of MCO 3.0 has posed more pressure on the borrowers’ financial conditions. The Group is very supportive of the Government’s latest measures in the National Recovery Plan, with continued active engagement with its customers to offer a six-month loan moratorium and various flexible repayment assistance packages, ” Tan Sri Teh further added.
 
Healthy Capital and Liquidity Position
 
As at the end of June 2021, the Public Bank Group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio stood at a healthy level of 14.3%, 14.3% and 17.5% respectively.
 
Tan Sri Teh reiterated that, “The Group will continue with its proactive capital management to ensure a stable and healthy level of capital is maintained at all times to support its business growth, with adequate capital buffers to absorb any potential shocks from the highly uncertain economic environment.”
 
In terms of liquidity management, the Group’s liquidity coverage ratio remained at a healthy level of 137.0% as at the end of June 2021.
 
Group’s Prospects
 
The Malaysian economy is expected to continue on a gradual recovery path, underpinned by the Government’s comprehensive measures introduced under the National Recovery Plan and the acceleration of the national vaccination programme. However, there remains an unprecedented condition of uncertainty if the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is not well contained.

Tan Sri Teh said, “Amid the still extremely challenging operating environment, the Public Bank Group will continue to proactively support the nation in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and assist to strengthen the path to stronger recovery through its role as a financial intermediary.”
 
“As strong headwinds persist, the Group will remain vigilant of the significant uncertainties on the road to recovery ahead. The Group will remain committed to disciplined cost control and prudent risk management in order to build ample buffers to absorb possible adverse shocks caused by the pandemic. With its strong PB brand, resilient asset quality and excellent customer service, the Group is well positioned to forge ahead with continued business growth and deliver its commitment of excellence to all its stakeholders,” Tan Sri Teh concluded.

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Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 August 2021
 
Public Bank Sponsors RM20,000 for UCSI 64th Merdeka Celebration National English Language Essay Competition 2021

After a successful run of the pilot programme in the 2019, UCSI University and Public Bank are bringing back the National English Language Essay Competition to pique the interest and love for the nation amongst the youth.
 
This competition is held in conjunction with the 64th Merdeka Day celebrations with the aim to encourage Malaysian secondary school students to be interested in social and community issues, and to express their thoughts through the art of essay writing using the English language. The topic of this year’s competition is “Malaysia celebrates its 64th Independence Day this year 2021. To you, what does gaining independence mean and how does it impact the future generation of the nation?”.
 
UCSI University will be giving away RM20,000 worth of prizes and tuition fee waivers of up to RM100,000 to the winners of the competition.
 
As the Main Sponsor of this competition, Managing Director of Public Bank Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek believes that this initiative would promote the use of English language as it is an important tool to equip the younger generation with English proficiency as a business language used worldwide.
 
Tan Sri Tay also said that the Bank’s affirmative action in this continuous collaboration is laudable as it will definitely enhance the prestige and importance in promoting the use of English language amongst our youths, and enhance our competitiveness in the long run which will benefit our country.
 
Public Bank has been active in the Corporate Social Responsibility projects that are beneficial towards nation building in various area, especially in the education sector. 
 
UCSI University’s Centre for Languages’ Director Daria Morozova, who is chairing the competition, said the competition was quintessentially the university’s way of inculcating the expression of love for the country among the younger generation.
 
"This essay writing competition is a step in the right direction for students to conspicuously articulate their ideas and ideals for how a nation should move forward,” she said.
 
This year’s competition is open to all students between the age of 16 and 20 and entries submission will be accepted until 31 August, 2021.
 
More information available at https://apps.ucsiuniversity.edu.my/essay/.
 
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Educating Children on Financial Planning with the PB Journey Mobile Application
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
2 August 2021
Educating Children on Financial Planning with the PB Journey Mobile Application
 
Public Bank launched a new mobile application, the PB Journey Mobile Application (PB Journey APP) to assist parents in inculcating savings habit and educating their children on financial planning.
 
The newly launch app, which complements the PB Journey Programmes, focuses on children and parents for a start as part of the Bank’s priority on educating the younger generation about managing wealth.
 
This Application will provide the opportunities for more interaction between parents and children during the various Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
 
The PB Journey APP for parents and children comprises of two modules, the Pocket Money module and Goal Setting module where these features aim to create interactive learning between parents and children on the value of money and also achieving their savings goal.
 
Both parents and children can create a task under the Pocket Money module whereby their children will be rewarded with Pocket Money as soon as they complete the task, whereas for the Goal Setting module, it allows children to save pocket money and earn interest.
 
Parents can help their children set their savings goal where they can save gradually during the goal tenure selected to achieve their targeted goal amount. The goal’s interest rate is calculated daily and credited monthly at attractive savings interest rates.
 
By going through these modules, parents have the opportunity to educate their children on how to manage their pocket money and to inculcate the savings habit at a young age.
 
In addition, educational videos are made available in the PB Journey APP to educate children on financial planning, awareness on the importance of savings and to inculcate savings habit.
 
To register for the PB Journey APP, customers are required to maintain a WISE Savings Account (WISE SA) for their children followed by signing-up for Mobile Banking (PB Engage) and lastly, downloading the PB Journey APP.
 
Apart from this, the PB Journey APP also serves to complement the PB Journey Programme which was launched earlier with the purpose of supporting the Bank’s customers who are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The PB Journey Programme is designed to assist individual and non-individual customers throughout their journey with the Bank, be it students, fresh graduates, families, retirees as well as entrepreneurs and Small & Medium Enterprises businesses.
 
The pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation process for most businesses due to the various degrees of lockdown and control measures implemented by the government.
 
Consumers have quickly embraced this new norm of conducting their business using their mobile phone and the Bank will continue to enhance the PB Journey APP to provide financial access and features, and also seamless user experience to customers.
 
The PB Journey APP is available for download via Apple App Store, Google Play Store and HuaWei AppGallery. To find out more about PB Journey APP, customers are welcomed to visit any of our PBB branches, log on to PBB website at www.pbebank.com or call our toll free phone at 1-800-22-9999 during normal working hours. Terms and conditions apply.
 
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Public Bank’s Digital Platform Enables Convenient Opt-in for Moratorium
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

8 July 2021
Public Bank’s Digital Platform Enables Convenient Opt-in for Moratorium
 
In line with the Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi (Pemulih) announced by the Prime Minister, Public Bank’s customers can now opt-in for a 6-month moratorium from 7 July 2021 onwards. Opt-in submissions will be based on customer’s self declaration and no document is required.
 
Public Bank is offering a 6-month moratorium to individual, regardless of their income level, as well as microenterprises and SME customers who face loan repayment difficulty during this pandemic. Apart from the 6-month moratorium, customers may also opt for a 50% reduction in their monthly instalment payment for six months.
 
In addition to the above, Public Bank is also providing other rescheduling and restructuring of loan and financing arrangement as requested by customers. Public Bank would like to highlight that it has a full suite of extremely flexible and comprehensive repayment packages to suit the specific financial conditions of customers.
 
Customers’ Central Credit Reference Information System records remained unaffected by any form of COVID-19 repayment assistance.
 
To facilitate convenient and efficient opt-in submission by customers, Public Bank’s digital platform enables a straight-through online process on customers’ submission for the repayment assistance. Customers may also continue to contact the Bank via email or telephone. The Bank has set up special repayment assistance helpdesk lines to provide more efficient assistance to customers. For further information, customers may visit the Bank’s website at https://www.pbebank.com
 
Public Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek said today, “With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and the imposition of a more stringent Movement Control Order, Public Bank reassures customers its commitment and provision of financial assistance will continue nationwide. We hope our customers will continue to remain optimistic as Public Bank will continue to support them to navigate through the pandemic.” 
 
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Public Bank Is Fully Committed To Provide Ongoing Targeted Repayment Assistance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
14 June 2021
 
Public Bank Is Fully Committed To Provide Ongoing Targeted Repayment Assistance

Public Bank reaffirms its full commitment to offer ongoing Targeted Repayment Assistance to support all customers who face loan repayment difficulty due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Bank’s COVID-19 Targeted Repayment Assistance Programme which was first launched in August 2020 comprises a full suite of extremely flexible and comprehensive repayment packages. These flexible repayment packages are made available for all segments of individual customers as well as microenterprises and SMEs, with various assistance in the form of deferment or reduction of monthly instalment payment.

To facilitate greater convenience for customers, Public Bank had also developed a digital platform to enable a full straight-through online process on customers’ applications for the repayment assistance. 

Public Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek said today, “The Public Bank’s Targeted Repayment Assistance Programme has been progressing very well. To date, this programme has assisted over 160,000 customers, with relief assistance amounting about RM40 billion and approval rate of close to 100% of total customers’ submissions. Public Bank’s proactive efforts in extending its financial help, coupled with the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia’s significant initiatives to revive the economy, have helped many customers to gradually regain their financial strength. Currently, more than 90% of Public Bank’s customers are paying their monthly loan instalment.”

Tan Sri Tay added, “However, Public Bank understands that the constantly high number of COVID-19 cases and the recent MCO may have posed renewed challenges to people’s livelihood. Many small businesses are also encountering a difficult period of financial constraint. While the Bank is mindful that the MCO is necessary to protect the safety and health of the people, the Bank will continue to play its part and remain fully committed to provide immediate assistance for customers who need financial help. The Bank assures its customers that it will continue to make available its flexible repayment assistance packages for customers to opt for the repayment option that best suit their financial condition.”

For the B40 segment, individual customers who have lost their jobs as well as SMEs / microenterprises that are not allowed to operate during the MCO, Public Bank is offering a loan deferment for three months, or a 50% reduction in the monthly instalment payment for six months.

Further, for individual customers who encounter a reduction in income, be it B40, M40 or T20, as well as SMEs and microenterprises, Public Bank will continue to provide different options of repayment packages allowing customers to make lower monthly repayment that commensurate with their income reduction.

To cater to the needs of the Bank’s varying customer base with different financial conditions, Public Bank has customised its repayment packages with accommodative monthly instalment reduction. Affected customers who face significant financial difficulties are offered a reduction of up to 75% of their existing monthly instalment under these flexible packages. Customers may also propose any other reschedule or restructure arrangement that suit their financial needs.

Public Bank’s customers who wish to opt for financial assistance will only need to reach out to the Bank and indicate their option of restructured repayment. All opt-in submissions will be based on customer’s self declaration and no document is required. Customers may contact the Bank via email or telephone, or through the digital opt-in platform available on the Bank’s website. For further information, customers may visit the Bank’s website at https://www.pbebank.com.
 
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Public Bank Group Achieved 15.1% Net Profit Growth In The First Quarter Of 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
11 May 2021
 
Public Bank Group Achieved 15.1% Net Profit Growth In The First Quarter Of 2021

Highlights on Financial Performance

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, the Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank is pleased to announce today, “The Public Bank Group started the year of 2021 with positive momentum. In the first quarter of 2021, the Public Bank Group achieved 15.7% growth in its pre-tax profit to RM2.00 billion compared to RM1.73 billion in the corresponding period in 2020. Net profit attributable to shareholders grew by 15.1% over the same period to RM1.53 billion.”

Tan Sri Teh commented that, “For the first quarter of 2021, the operating environment remained challenging as the Movement Control Order 2.0 was imposed to address the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Despite these challenges, the Malaysian economy gradually gained momentum, on the back of improved sentiment arising from the global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, together with various ongoing policy support. Under the improved economic environment, the Public Bank Group achieved better profit performance, driven by the continued expansion in loans and deposits businesses, and further boosted by fee-based revenue growth.”

During the first quarter of 2021, the Public Bank Group continued to achieve an efficient cost-to-income ratio of 31.8% and a high net return-on-equity of 13.5%.
 
Continued Expansion in Loans and Deposits
 
“The Public Bank Group continued to gain traction in its lending and deposit-taking businesses, despite the ongoing economic challenges,” said Tan Sri Teh.
 
As at the end of March 2021, the Public Bank Group’s total loans recorded an annualised growth of 4.8%. This was mainly supported by residential property financing, passenger vehicle financing and SME financing.

Tan Sri Teh further added, “With the low interest rate environment and economic stimulus measures, the Group recorded improvements in its housing loans approvals, with an increase of 26.5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. Besides that, the Group’s proactive promotion and participation in various special financing schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia to assist SMEs in overcoming their financial difficulties, had further contributed to the Group’s loan growth.” 
 
On deposit-taking, the Group’s total customer deposits achieved an annualised growth of 2.9% and domestic customer deposits registered an annualised growth of 3.0%. The lower-cost current and savings deposits continued to grow at a strong pace during the quarter with an annualised growth of 18.4%.
 
Strong Growth in Non-interest Income
 
Non-interest income increased by 16.6% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2020, mainly supported by the stronger growth achieved in the Group’s unit trust business, fee and commission income as well as stockbroking income.
 
Tan Sri Teh added, “For the first quarter of 2021, the Public Bank Group’s unit trust business which is being managed by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual, remained the main contributor to its non-interest income. Public Mutual recorded a commendable performance in the first quarter of 2021, with its pre-tax profit growing by 33.6% quarter-on-quarter to RM216.6 million. As at the end of March 2021, Public Mutual continued to capture a large retail market share of 32.2% and managed a total of 166 unit trust funds with assets under management totalling RM101.3 billion.”
 
Prudent Cost Management
 
Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “The Public Bank Group remained as the most cost-efficient bank in Malaysia, with cost-to-income ratio of 31.8%, significantly better than the domestic banking industry’s cost-to-income ratio of 42.8%. In light of the ongoing challenging operating condition, the Group will continue to manage cost prudently in order to sustain profitability.”  
 
Stable Asset Quality
 
As at the end of March 2021, the Public Bank Group’s gross impaired loan ratio stood at 0.4%, well below the banking industry’s gross impaired loan ratio of 1.6%.
 
Further, the Public Bank Group’s loan loss coverage ratio was maintained at a prudent level of 247.0% compared to the banking industry’s loan loss coverage of 111.8%. Including the RM1.1 billion regulatory reserves that has been set aside, its total reserves for loan losses was higher at 337.7%.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic had posed a downside risk to the banking industry’s asset quality. However, on the back of various relief and stimulus measures initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia, coupled with the Group’s resilient credit profile, the Group is in a better position to navigate any asset quality risks.”

Provision of Repayment Relief Assistance

Since March 2020, in support of the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia’s initiatives, the Group has been constantly providing relief assistance to customers who faced financial difficulties amid this unprecedented crisis.

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Public Bank Group provided a six-month automatic loan moratorium to relieve customers’ repayment difficulty. As the six-month moratorium expired in September 2020, the Group had rolled out various flexible loan repayment assistance packages under the Targeted Repayment Assistance and Expanded Targeted Repayment Assistance programme to assist customers with various financial difficulties. Customers from different income segments, such as the B40 and M40 as well as SMEs and microenterprises have been offered assistance by the Group to help them navigate their current financial challenges.

For SME customers who seek additional funds for their businesses in this difficult time, the Public Bank Group has been proactively promoting various financing schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia, such as the Special Relief Fund, Micro Enterprises Facility and Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility. These funds are offered at competitive interest rates and flexible tenure, which aim to help these SMEs go through this challenging period.

The Public Bank Group remains mindful of the prevailing headwinds on the repayment capability of its customers and continues to engage its customers to provide further financial assistance to those in need. As at the end of March 2021, the Group’s various financing and repayment assistance had benefitted about 1.8 million customers.

Healthy Capital and Liquidity Position

As at the end of March 2021, the Public Bank Group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio stood at 13.8%, 13.8% and 16.9% respectively.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “Ensuring a stable and healthy capital position remains a key priority to the Public Bank Group. Its capital strength will continue to safeguard the Group from any financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Group continues to manage its capital proactively and ensure adequate capital buffers in pursuit of its organic business growth as well as strategies to cope with the new business normal.”

Tan Sri Teh further added, “As for liquidity management, the Public Bank Group ensures sufficient liquidity buffer is maintained at all times. The Group’s liquidity coverage ratio continued to stand at a healthy level of 128.3% as at the end of March 2021.”

Group’s Prospect

The Malaysian economy is poised to continue on a recovery trajectory, underpinned by continued policy measures and additional stimulus packages as well as the wider rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations. The less stringent COVID-19 containment measures have reignited domestic economic activities, hence helping to boost business and consumer sentiments. Furthermore, monetary policy remains accommodative in support of a sustainable economic recovery.  

Tan Sri Teh commented, “With improved operating environment, the banking industry is expected to achieve better performance in 2021. Nevertheless, the Public Bank Group is mindful of ongoing downside risks that could pose further disruptions to the banking business. Thus, strategic business direction, prudent risk management practices and cost efficiency measures will remain on the Group’s business agenda so that the Group can continue to withstand uncertainties and respond appropriately to any changes.”

“While the Public Bank Group remains cautiously optimistic about the economic outlook, it will continue to strive hard for business growth in its core business segments in order to continue generating value for its stakeholders,” Tan Sri Teh concluded.

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Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank

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A 50% Cash Back Awaits Public Islamic Bank Credit Cards-i Cardmembers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
1 April 2021

A 50% Cash Back Awaits Public Islamic Bank Credit Cards-i Cardmembers

Public Islamic Bank is offering New-to-Bank Cardmembers of the Visa and Mastercard Platinum/Gold Credit Cards-i 50% Cash Back for their first online and grocery transactions using these cards.
 
As part of the Bank’s effort to offer more value to Cardmembers with the latest benefits and features, these newly launched cards are Shariah-compliant under Ujrah concept that complement the lifestyle of today’s Malaysian discerning consumers.
 
En. Syamsul Azuan, CEO of Public Islamic Bank Berhad said, “The Public Islamic Bank Credit Cards-i is part of our initiative to provide a wider range of Shariah-compliant banking products and services to meet the ever changing needs of our customers, both Muslim and non-Muslim.”

Adapting the minimalism concept, the cards have very distinctive “wau” design and other than the interesting design, it also offers cash back features.

For Public Islamic Bank Visa Credit Cards-i, it offers up to 4% Cash Back on online and overseas transactions while Public Islamic Banks Mastercard Credit Cards-i gives up to 4% Cash Back on groceries and departmental stores transactions.

Another value-added benefit is the 0% management fee for Flexipay and Balance Transfer for the Cardmembers. Cardmembers will also be donating to a good cause while spending as 0.1% of the total dining transactions amount will be donated to Yayasan Waqaf by the Bank.

To find out more about this Card, customers are invited to meet our customer service representatives at any of our branches, log on to Public Bank’s website at www.pbebank.com or Public Islamic Bank’s website at www.publicislamicbank.com.my or call PB Customer Service at 03-2176 8000. Terms and conditions apply.

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