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Public Bank Group Reported Net Profit Of RM4.28 Billion For The Nine Months Ended September 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

29 November 2021
 
Public Bank Group Reported Net Profit Of RM4.28 Billion For The Nine Months Ended September 2021
 
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, the Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank announced today that for the nine months ended September 2021, the Public Bank Group posted pre-tax profit of RM5.56 billion and net profit of RM4.28 billion, supported mainly by its core business of lending and deposit-taking.

However, the prevailing economic condition in 2021 has remained challenging amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. The reimposition of tighter containment measures during the third quarter of 2021 continued to dampen economic growth. For the third quarter of 2021, the Public Bank Group’s net profit declined by 1.7% to RM1.36 billion compared to RM1.38 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “During these trying times, the Group had undertaken multiple proactive initiatives in its business strategies and placed greater emphasis on risk management and productivity. These efforts enabled the Group to continue to demonstrate resilience in its performance by registering a net return-on-equity of 12.4% and an efficient cost-to-income ratio of 31.7% during the nine months ended September 2021.”

Continued Expansion in Loans and Deposits
 
As at the end of September 2021, the Public Bank Group’s total loans recorded an annualised growth of 3.0% to RM353.5 billion. Domestic loans grew at an annualised rate of 2.8% to RM330.5 billion. The stringent containment measures continued to weigh on consumer sentiments, leading to the slower growth in loans.
 
On deposit-taking, the Group’s total customer deposits grew at an annualised rate of 4.8% to RM378.9 billion, supported mainly by its low cost current and savings deposits which grew at an annualised rate of 12.2%. Domestically, total customer deposit grew at an annualised rate of 5.1% to RM350.5 billion.
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “The Group was able to achieve continued loans and deposit growth, albeit at a moderate pace. As at end-September 2021, the Group’s funding position remained stable with gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 79.7%.”

Sustained Growth in Non-interest Income

Amid the highly uncertain operating environment, non-interest income posted a decline of 2.9% in the first nine months of 2021, mainly arising from the reduction in investment income. However, the Group’s unit trust business, along with fee and commission as well as foreign exchange income continued to generate positive non-interest income growth.

Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “The Public Bank Group’s unit trust business, undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual, registered a pre-tax profit growth of 25.5%, compared to the corresponding period in 2020. As at the end of September 2021, Public Mutual managed a total of 170 unit trust funds with assets under management totalling RM102.7 billion and continued to capture a large retail market share of 32.9%.”

Efficient Cost Management

Overhead expenses increased by 3.0%, compared to the corresponding period in 2020.

Tan Sri Teh said, “With the increasing challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Bank Group has remained vigilant and continued to manage cost efficiently. The Group has constantly optimised its banking channels, intensified digitalisation initiatives and streamlined its banking operations to drive cost effectiveness as well as to improve customer experience. In the first nine months of 2021, cost-to-income ratio remained stable at 31.7%, as compared to the domestic banking industry’s cost-to-income ratio of 42.8%.”

Resilient Asset Quality

Tan Sri Teh added, “The Public Bank Group’s gross impaired loans ratio remained stable at 0.3% as at the end of September 2021. Despite the resilient asset quality, the Group stayed cautious and further bolstered its loan loss provisions pre-emptively amid the challenging economic condition.”

As at the end of September 2021, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio stood high at 320.8%, compared to the banking industry’s loan loss coverage of 120.5%. Including the RM0.4 billion regulatory reserves that has been set aside, loan loss coverage ratio was higher at 358.5%.

Repayment Assistance of About RM81.9 Billion for More Than 435,000 Customers

The Public Bank Group has been actively providing relief assistance to borrowers who face repayment constraint since the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. These relief assistance packages include loan moratorium, as well as the Targeted Repayment Assistance (TRA) and the Expanded Targeted Repayment Assistance (ETRA). The TRA and the ETRA are offered in various flexible packages to suit the need of different customers with varying financial condition.

The Group has also been proactively promoting 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.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “The Public Bank Group recognises the calamity brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and has been fully supporting the various initiatives by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia to address the impact. The Group’s strong commitment to assist borrowers affected by the pandemic, is further reflected in its recent proactive participation in the provision of the six-month moratorium under the PEMULIH, as well as the AKPK Financial Management and Resilience Programme (URUS).”

As at the end of October 2021, about RM81.9 billion or 25% of the Group’s outstanding domestic loans are under the Repayment Assistance Programmes, benefiting over 435,000 customers.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “The Public Bank Group remains mindful of the prolonged difficulties faced by its customers. The Group will continue to proactively engage with its customers and provide financial relief assistance to those in need.”

Overall, the Group’s various financing schemes and repayment assistance have benefitted about 1.9 million of its customers to date.

Healthy Capital and Liquidity Position

As at the end of September 2021, the Group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio stood at a healthy level of 14.1%, 14.1% and 17.2% respectively, while liquidity coverage ratio remained healthy at 145.6%.

Tan Sri Teh reiterated that, “The Public Bank Group continued with its proactive and prudent practices in capital management to ensure adequate buffers are maintained at all times to support its business growth and sustain financial stability, even during challenging times.”

Group’s Prospects

The Malaysian economy remains at a gradual recovery trajectory amid the easing of movement restrictions, beginning with resumption of interstate travel and reopening of more economic and social sectors as more than 95% of the adult population has achieved fully-vaccinated status. However, concerns on the lingering effects of COVID-19 and effectiveness of vaccines against new variants remain significant, which could continue to hinder the pace of economic recovery momentum.

Tan Sri Teh stated, “Despite the continued challenging environment, the Public Bank Group will remain steadfast in its efforts to strengthen its balance sheet, uphold its strong asset quality as well as enhance cost efficiencies further. While embracing the changes stemming from the pandemic, the Group will continue its pursuit of digital transformation and product innovation to strengthen long term business growth.”

Tan Sri Teh concluded, “With its resilient fundamentals, the Group remains well placed to navigate any challenges ahead and spur business growth as the country moves toward post-pandemic recovery.”

 
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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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Comments On The Budget 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

29 October 2021
Comments On The Budget 2022
 
We are very encouraged to note that the Government has again prioritised the Rakyat’s well-being as a key focus pillar when formulating Budget 2022. As widely expected, Budget 2022 is expansionary, but nevertheless a necessary one and comes at a pivotal time as Malaysia charts its post-pandemic growth.
 
With a renewed path mapped out and the country’s investment prospects reinvigorated, underpinned by Budget 2022, the Public Bank Group will continue to play its role in actively facilitating growth, while also continuing to engage with customers and providing assistance when and where necessary to aid in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of our national resilience. To this end, the Government’s ongoing initiatives in providing support by way of subsidies, grants, and various other measures of assistance totalling RM31 billion is lauded.
 
We applaud Budget 2022 which appropriately balances the mix between reducing income inequality, expanding on targeted assistance to households and businesses while also investing into the nation’s healthcare and basic infrastructures. Amongst specific measures include allocating RM8.2 billion to a newly-introduced Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia program which will benefit 9.6 million recipients and RM4.8 billion set aside to create 600,000 employment opportunities.  
 
Just as importantly, Budget 2022 also focuses on the future with spending allocated toward enhancing digital and technological infrastructures, while facilitating the transition of industrial sectors toward greater automation. It is important that no one is left behind in the eventual unfolding of this new age of development. To this end, the Government’s allocation of RM30 million to provide internet access to 40 low-cost housing schemes and RM700 million toward ensuring digital connectivity in 47 industrial areas and 630 schools in rural areas is very much welcomed. 
 
The Public Bank Group affirms its commitment in partnering the government and various stakeholders toward advancing sustainability-based agendas. The world has made progress in arresting the negative effects from climate change, but more can and needs to be done. Apathy will be the greatest injustice to our future generations.
 
We are fully supportive of Budget 2022 and see it as an important platform to reignite the drive of the nation. Both the public and private sectors must work in partnership to spur economic recovery, while ensuring that the Rakyat’s welfares are preserved.  
 
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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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SMEs Remain Resilient with Public Bank’s
Financial Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
25 October 2021

SMEs Remain Resilient with Public Bank’s Financial Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
 
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to adapt to the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grateful for the financial assistance offered by Public Bank throughout the pandemic up until today, many SMEs are now steadily building their business momentum to capitalise on the reopening of the economy, including the resumption of interstate travel.
 
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, Public Bank has been offering financial assistances to help its customers to tide through the pandemic.
 
Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said the Bank has been weathering the storms with their customers through thick and thin throughout the years, including three global crises and is not stopping any time soon.
“We are in this together,” Tan Sri Tay said.

Although customers of the Bank are gradually getting back on their feet again financially, Tan Sri Tay stressed that Public Bank is always ready to "handhold them again at any time".

The improvement in the economy is greatly supported by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) with their ongoing proactive policy support and guidance.

Various financing schemes, such as the Special Relief Facility, Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility, Penjana SME Financing and others have all helped to put the whole economy on a better footing.

During the first lockdown in 2020, an event organiser who only wants to be known as Arif shared his worries, and was prepared for the worst.

“I am concerned of how to pay my bank instalments as I just only started a business with a loan and I have not made a profit yet,” Arif said.

All his staff was retained throughout the pandemic, as he expressed his gratitude to Public Bank which steadfastly stood by them by offering them a helping hand through the various financing assistance schemes, beginning with the first loan moratorium in 2020.

For motorcycle repair and sales business owner who only wants to be known as Sujendran, he is grateful that Public Bank’s assistance has not only took away his worries, but has also helped all his workers retain their job, ensuring that they are still able to put food on table. With the financial assistance, Sujendran can now afford to take a breather on his worry – which would have kept most SMEs up at night, not knowing what tomorrow would bring.

“I am less worried as I can sustain the business with all my workers working for the time being,” he said.

Arif and Sujendran are some of the 1.5 million customers who have received Public Bank’s first six-month loan moratorium between April and September 2020 offered to customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another SME owner who only wants to be known as Foo shared her concerns of the pandemic, and has prepared herself for the worst. “This include loss of income, shutting down my business, among others,” she said.

The biscuit manufacturer with more than 70 workers managed to tide through the pandemic with the subsequent repayment assistances offered by Public Bank.

Over 429,000 customers with more than RM76 billion loans continue to receive these targeted repayment assistances as of end September 2021.

Arif shared his experience applying for the financial assistance and said the process was smooth and approval was granted in less than a day. Adding to the list of positive experiences, Sujendran said:

“Public Bank staff explained to me patiently and they were empathetic when I asked for help,” he said.

Arif, Sujendran and Foo are among the SMEs who have received assistance via the various Government and BNM schemes which Public Bank has approved an amount of RM3.4 billion, assisting more than 17,000 SMEs.

Ensuring SMEs’ continuous access to financing is vital and despite the tough operating environment, Public Bank has approved more than RM12.7 billion of financing to more than 50,000 SMEs since the beginning of the pandemic.

What some of these SMEs have in common when sharing their feedbacks was that they were confident that Public Bank would continue to work hand in hand with them throughout these trying times.

“I have been a customer of Public Bank for many years. When I told the Bank my business was greatly affected by the pandemic and I needed financing to stay afloat, the Bank immediately understood what my needs are. The financial assistance was then granted without much hassle,” Arif said.

SMEs are the backbone of the nation’s economy and Public Bank has been reaching out to them to ensure that they have all the necessary liquidity to stay afloat through this pandemic.

“Every single ringgit that goes to them, will go a long way, from buying raw materials from suppliers to making a profit which will eventually be contributed as taxes payable to the Government. In the process, their employees and those working in the whole supply chains get to put food on the table for their families.”

"Ongoing engagement will continue and various flexible repayment packages will remain open for applications. We are committed to continue assisting customers who are still financially impacted by the pandemic," Tan Sri Tay said.

Public Bank’s digital platform enables a straight-through online process on customers’ submission for the repayment assistance. SMEs can continue to contact the Bank via SME Helpdesk, email or telephone. For further information, they may also visit the Bank’s website at www.pbebank.com.
 
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Enjoy Cuti-cuti Malaysia Promotions with Public Bank’s Debit and Credit Cards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
18 October 2021
 
Enjoy Cuti-cuti Malaysia Promotions with Public Bank’s Debit and Credit Cards
 
Public Bank has lined up multiple exciting card promotions to support Malaysia’s local tourism industry in tandem with the opening of interstate travels.
 
“PB Credit and Debit Cards members can enjoy great deals on flights, accommodations, food and beverages and holiday activities in Malaysia in conjunction with the reopening of various economic activities,” said Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek.
 
“Public Bank remains supportive of customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic amidst the economic recovery. The Cuti-cuti Malaysia promotions will support local businesses after one and a half years of living with COVID-19,” Tan Sri Tay said.
 
As a leading bank in Malaysia with strong presence in all towns in Malaysia and having extensive base of merchant businesses, Public Bank is collaborating with BIGLIFE (operator of the BIG Rewards programme) for PB Cardmembers to enjoy up to 100% Bonus BIG Points for redemption of flights, accommodations and tour packages. On top of that, Cardmembers can also enjoy Agoda’s and Klook’s attractive discounts on hotel and activities bookings with no minimum spend.
 
Reputable hotels, such as The Danna Langkawi, Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort, Eastern and Oriental Penang, Lexis Suites Penang, Fahrenheit Suites KL, The Chow Kit Hotel – an Ormond Hotel, Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur, MoMo's Kuala Lumpur, Best Western i-City Shah Alam, Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences Genting Highlands, Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Kuantan, Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, Grand Lexis Port Dickson, Lexis Port Dickson, Tune Hotel and many more are also open for Cardmembers’ list of places to go to for amazing experiences covering accommodations, spa, food and beverages with great savings and discounts await.
 
With many hidden gems, local delicacies, sumptuous food spread, idyllic beaches and spectacular natural wonders in Malaysia, Public Bank’s Cuti-cuti Malaysia promotions will quench the public’s thirst for a long awaited and much deserved holiday break.
 
The preparation towards transition from a pandemic to endemic operating environment with compliance with COVID-19 SOPs, as recently announced by the Ministry of Health will see the re-opening of many business sectors and will assist the upward momentum of the Malaysian economy. The travel bubble to Langkawi Island is one positive example of living in the new normal with SOPs.
 
To find out more on Public Bank’s Cuti-cuti Malaysia and other cards promotion, log on to Public Bank’s website at www.pbebank.com or call PB Customer Service at 03-2176 8000.
 
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Public Bank Provides Digitalisation Assistance to Business Enterprise
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
12 October 2021
 
Public Bank Provides Digitalisation Assistance to Business Enterprise
 
Businesses can now enjoy a wide range of digital business solutions with Public Bank PB enterprise Digital SME Assist programme. This programme is part of the collaboration with several tech companies to offer a sustainable platform for business enterprise to grow by enhancing their digital capabilities in tandem with their business expansion.

Launched in mid-April this year, many SME and Corporate customers have benefited from this programme with increased business growth and accelerated digital transformation.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting Movement Control Order (MCO) have further highlighted how crucial digitalisation is and the need to transition to a more digital-enabled environment for business survival. Public Bank recognises this and that businesses, particularly SMEs, require assistance to transform and digitalise their business operations in the most cost efficient manner in order to thrive in the new normal.

Public Bank has identified pertinent areas for businesses in the current climate and collaborate with the solution providers in the fields of accounting, human resource, e-commerce, workforce, property management, digital marketing, mobile and network to assist the SME customers.

These vital solutions are provided through the several tech companies which the Bank has teamed up with for the benefits of the business customers.

The tech companies include Biztory, a cloud accounting system; Kakitangan.com, an online human resources system; EasyStore, an all-in-one e-commerce solution that allow SMEs to sell via online stores such as Shopee, Lazada, Google Shopping and other sales channels easily via a centralised platform; TimeTec, a cloud and app based workforce and property management solutions provider; Exabytes, a digital marketing platform that manages websites for online businesses and Digi, one of the top telco provider in Malaysia offering business mobile plans and virtual business telephone solution to cater to all business needs.

Apart from benefitting the business customers, this collaboration with the tech companies will also promote these local champions with viable products to grow exponentially. This is also one of the ways that Public Bank is supporting Malaysia’s local start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Business can look forward to more partnerships, and continues improvement to the tools as the fluids business environment continues to evolve in the new normal.

For further details and enquiries, customers may visit any of Public Bank branches, log on to Public Bank’s website at https:///www.pbebank.com/ or email to cms@publicbank.com.my.

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Public Bank Consistently Remains Fully Committed to Provide Financial Assistance to Customers Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic Amidst Economic Recovery
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5 October 2021
 
Public Bank Consistently Remains Fully Committed to Provide Financial Assistance to Customers Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic Amidst Economic Recovery

Public Bank continue to provide full support for its customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek.

“With the gradual reopening of the economy, Public Bank understands that there are still customers who continue to require assistance. We are committed to supporting all our customers during these challenging times,” he said.

Proactively ensuring the financial needs of its customers are attended to, Public Bank had been offering financial assistance which include moratoriums and targeted repayment assistance to suit their changing financial needs.

Public Bank has offered moratorium for about 1.5 million customers with over RM210 billion loans during the first six-month automatic loan moratorium between April and September 2020.

On top of that, Public Bank has offered various flexible targeted repayment assistances to assist its customers. As of end September 2021, over 429,000 customers with more than RM76 billion loans continue to receive these targeted repayment assistances.

A Multipronged Approach to Assist SMEs

Public Bank has also continuously supported the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which play an important role from generating employment to contributing to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Apart from repayment assistance, ensuring SMEs’ continuous access to financing is vital and despite the tough operating environment, Public Bank has approved more than RM12.7 billion of financing to more than 50,000 SMEs since the beginning of the pandemic.

On top that, Public Bank had also participated in various Government and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) schemes with an approved amount of RM3.4 billion which has assisted more than 17,000 SMEs.

Having access to finance by SMEs leads to creating employment, supporting livelihoods and contributing to the nation’s economy.

As one of the leading SME financier with about 22% market share, Public Bank remained dedicated to this mission which can be seen in its annualised growth of 4.6% with total financing of RM68.3 billion as at June 2021.

Another aspect that Public Bank looks at is assisting SMEs in capacity building.

“It is very important that SMEs understand the fundamentals of running a business, particularly during unprecedented times as this. We have organised roadshows to keep them abreast with the options that they have as the pandemic continue to present us with uncertainties,” he said.

Public Bank had also been organising roadshows prior to the pandemic to deliver quality advisory services and address the information asymmetry issues faced by the SMEs.

Drawing large crowds from the SME community nationwide, these roadshows help to elevate their awareness and knowledge on the availability of funds and financing schemes. The pandemic did not stop these roadshows, which are usually held in hotels.

Instead, it continues with virtual roadshow which showed a rise in SME attendees, with the next one scheduled on late October 2021 for customers in Sabah and Sarawak.

SMEs also continue to receive guidance from the Bank’s SME Helpdesk and SMEs may contact the Bank via email or telephone and for further information, they may visit the Bank’s website at https://www.pbebank.com.
 
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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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