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Customers and Merchants Stand to Win Cash Prizes when They Use Public Bank’s QR Cross Border Payment Linking Thailand and Indonesia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

9 January 2023

Customers and Merchants Stand to Win Cash Prizes when They Use Public Bank’s QR Cross Border Payment Linking Thailand and Indonesia

Public Bank, in collaboration with Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet) launched the DuitNow QR Cross Border Payment Campaign to promote usage of Public Bank’s QR Cross Border Payment, applicable for transactions between Malaysia and Thailand (for both Outbound and Inbound Categories) and between Malaysia and Indonesia (For Inbound Category).

For Public Bank customers travelling to Thailand, they will be enrolled in the campaign for the outbound payment category when they perform QR payments by scanning a PromptPay QR in Thailand using their PBe mobile banking app. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s local SMEs merchants will be enrolled in the campaign for the inbound payment category when they accept QR payment from Thai and Indonesian travellers.

Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said the campaign will further boost the usage amongst travellers from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia who appreciate cashless payment connectivity.

“We are pleased to announce this collaboration with our long-time partner, PayNet. We believe that these campaigns will bring even better value to our customers. The campaign signifies the Bank’s continuous commitment to enriching its value propositions with consumer-centric offerings, and we look forward to more collaborations with PayNet to offer further payment systems innovation and convenience for our customers,” Tan Sri Tay said.

For the outbound category, more than 100 cash prizes await customers with the highest volume of transactions during the period from 14 November 2022 to 14 February 2023 with the first prize being RM3,000, while for the inbound category, more than 50 cash prizes await merchants with the highest volume of transactions during the period from 5 December 2022 to 5 March 2023, with the first prize being RM7,000.

To participate in the campaign for the outbound payment category, customers need to subscribe as PB engage users to scan on participating PromptPay QR in Thailand with a minimum spend of RM30. Meanwhile, for the inbound category, merchants in Malaysia are required to subscribe as PBe QR merchants and accumulate a minimum transactional value of RM250 from Thai and Indonesian customers.

As the first Bank in Malaysia to collaborate with PayNet to implement DuitNow QR cross-border payment since June last year, it again became the first Bank to extend its services to allow Public Bank merchants to accept payment from overseas payers while allowing PBe mobile banking users to perform QR payments to merchants overseas.

With the successful launch of Cross Border QR payment linkage with Thailand in mid-2021 and Indonesia in the first quarter of 2022, Public Bank will be launching the next Cross Border QR payment linkage with Singapore by the first quarter of 2023.

This campaign is opened to all Malaysian or Malaysian residents who have Public Bank accounts. Terms and conditions apply and for more information on the campaign, customers can visit https://www.pbebank.com/.

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Public Bank Conducts a Scam Awareness Initiative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
23 December 2022
Public Bank Conducts a Scam Awareness Initiative
 
Public Bank sees the importance of Online Security and is ever committed in providing a safe and secure banking environment to its customers.
 
To further empower and educate customers on ways to protect themselves against frauds and scams, the Bank has stepped up its efforts by conducting a Scam Awareness initiative at Pavilion Bukit Jalil from 25 November 2022 to 26 December 2022.
 
Public Bank's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said, "Our customers' online banking safety remains our top priority. The Bank is extending its efforts in reaching out to educate and assist the public on scam related concerns through this initiative."
 
The Bank has stationed its well-trained staff on-ground to ensure that the public is continuously informed and equipped with the necessary information and awareness on the different types of modus operandi involving frauds and scams.
 
In addition, the Bank has taken further steps by providing 24-hour assistance to customers via the Bank's Case Management unit. "As time is of the essence, Public Bank's hotline is made available 24/7 to assist affected customers with the necessary and timely assistance," Tan Sri Tay said.
 
In conjunction with the National Scam Awareness Campaign launched on 30 October 2022, the Bank has prepared various digital and non-digital materials to raise customers’ awareness on the importance of staying vigilant at all times, understanding the different types of modus operandi involving frauds and scams, ways to safeguard their banking information and other precautionary measures to protect themselves from scammers. 
 
Customers and the public can visit Public Bank's Online Security microsite at https://www.pbebank.com/onlinesecurity/index.html to stay informed on the latest trend of frauds and scams. Meanwhile, in the event a fraud took place or if customers noticed any irregularities in their bank accounts, customers can contact the Bank’s Case Management hotline at 03-2177 3555 or email us at pbesecure@publicbank.com.my for further assistance. STOP. THINK. BLOCK. #JanganKenaScam
 
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Announcing the Demise of YBhg. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 December 2022
 
Announcing the Demise of YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
 
It is with deep sorrow we announce that our Chairman Emeritus, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, the Founder of Public Bank, has passed away peacefully at 10:20 am today at the age of 92. Tan Sri Teh’s passing is a great loss to the Public Bank Group. On behalf of the Board, Management and staff of the Public Bank Group, we extend our most heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Tan Sri Teh’s family.
 
Tan Sri Teh founded Public Bank in 1965 at the age of 35. He was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Public Bank since its commencement of business operations on 6 August 1966. He relinquished his CEO position and was re-designated as Non-Executive Chairman of Public Bank on 1 July 2002. He retired as the Non-Executive Chairman of Public Bank on 31 December 2018, and was conferred the title of Chairman Emeritus and Adviser of Public Bank on 1 January 2019, and remained as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Public Bank.

Throughout his life, Tan Sri Teh had dedicated himself to build Public Bank as a strong banking group in Malaysia in support of the banking and finance industry. Tan Sri Teh had built a solid foundation and cultivated a strong corporate culture with a resilient business model for the Public Bank Group to continue on a solid growth path while navigating through challenges throughout the years. Upon relinquishing his CEO position in 2002, Tan Sri Teh with his visionary foresight, had put in place a clear management succession plan and groomed a strong management team which had continued to drive and manage the growth of the Public Bank Group. With the strong foundation and the excellent corporate culture built by Tan Sri Teh, the management team had continued to lead the Public Bank Group to greater heights since 2002.
 
The Board, Management and staff of the Public Bank Group would like to pay a special tribute for the immeasurable contributions Tan Sri Teh had made to the Public Bank Group. Public Bank has lost an amazing and visionary leader. Tan Sri Teh left behind a great organisation that only he could have built, and his legacy will be the perpetual foundation of the Public Bank Group.
 


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A BMW 330e M-Sport and Other Exciting Prizes  Await Public Bank’s Mastercard Credit Cardholders
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5 December 2022

A BMW 330e M-Sport and Other Exciting Prizes Await Public Bank’s Mastercard Credit Cardholders
 
Fancy a nice long drive in a stylish BMW for a holiday after the long-awaited post-pandemic recovery? Public Bank (PB) and Mastercard have the answer with the launch of the ‘Driven to Win’ campaign which gives away a BMW 330e M-Sport, as well as other exciting prizes such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung 65” UHD TV, Dyson V8 Slim Fluffy+ Vacuum and RM88 Cash Back to 321 lucky PB Mastercard Credit Cardholders.
 
To qualify for the ‘Driven to Win’ campaign, cardholders only need to spend using their Public Bank or Public Islamic Bank Mastercard Credit Card. Upsized entries are given to new cards and for usage on selected categories.
 
On top of that, New-to-Bank Public Bank or Public Islamic Bank Mastercard credit cards approved from 25 November 2022 until 31 March 2023 are eligible for a one-time RM300 Cash Back with a minimum of only RM500 accumulative retail spend within 60 days from the card approval date.
 
To support the post-pandemic tourism boom, the second campaign launched by Public Bank is the ‘Travel Further and More Campaign with PB Mastercard Credit Card’.
 
Great prizes ranging from travel vouchers by Holiday Tours, airasia points, 2-in-1 trolley bag sets and RM128 Cash Back are up for grabs until 28 February 2023.
 
Cardholders only need to make a minimum of RM2,000 accumulative travel-related spending in a month to stand a chance to win prizes. Not only that, cardholders are also able to convert RM3,000 of spending in a single-receipt into 0% instalment for 10 months.
 
“Mastercard is excited to collaborate with Public Bank on these two new campaigns as part of the organisation’s continued commitment to bring seamless and fulfilling experiences to consumers in Malaysia. While one campaign rewards cardholders for any spend and encourages the use of cashless payments, the other campaign awards them in the categories that they are highly likely to be spending in during this time of the year. With the reopening of borders and pent-up travel demand post-COVID, consumers are seeking priceless travel experiences. This campaign therefore ties in closely with their spending behaviour, enabling cardholders to be rewarded while they spend on their travel and indulge in memorable moments,” said Beena Pothen, Country Manager, Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard.
 
To find out more on the promotions, log on to Public Bank’s website at www.publicbankgroup.com or call PB Customer Service at 03-2170 8000.
 
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From left to right: Mr. Devesh Kuwadekar, Vice President, Business Development, Mastercard; Mr. Tee Chui Chee, General Manager, PB Card Services & Support;
Ms. Beena Pothen, Country Manager, Malaysia and Brunei, Mastercard; and Ms. Felina Saw, Senior Manager, PB Card Services & Support.
 
Public Bank Offers Exquisite Limited Edition Gifts “PB Golden Fortune Usher in the Year of Rabbit with Auspicious Gifts”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
1 December 2022
 
Public Bank Offers Exquisite Limited Edition Gifts “PB Golden Fortune Usher in the Year of Rabbit with Auspicious Gifts”
 
In conjunction with the forthcoming Chinese New Year Celebration, Public Bank is pleased to launch the “PB Golden Fortune Campaign” which is open to all new and existing individual Public Bank customers. The Campaign offer period is from 1 December 2022 to 28 February 2023.

Two exquisite limited edition auspicious gifts consisting of “24K Gold-Plated Triple Abundances of Wealth” and “24K Gold-Foiled Double Blessing of Happiness” will be offered under the Campaign, each represents an excellent piece of gold craft that symbolises prosperity and success. Both gifts are only available on first-come, first-served basis, while stock lasts.

There are two plans i.e. PB Golden Plan and PB Fortune Plan for customers’ selection. Customers can participate in the Campaign with the purchase of Unit Trust Funds (UT) or insurance products and at the same time place deposit in selected Current / Savings Accounts in order to get the exclusive gift(s). PB Golden Plan offers one “24K Gold-Foiled Double Blessing of Happiness” and PB Fortune Plan comes with one “24K Gold-Plated Triple Abundances of Wealth”.

PB Golden Fortune 2023 Campaign is designed for customers who are looking for a diversified investment portfolio. Customers can choose from a vast selection of UT that cater to various investment strategies and risk tolerance levels in accordance with their risk appetite in order to achieve their financial goals.

Customers can also invest in Single Premium Investment-Linked Insurance Plan or Shariah-Compliant Single Contribution Investment-Linked Takaful Plan that provides insurance coverage / takaful protection upon death or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and investment returns.
 
Customers can select the PB Golden Plan or PB Fortune Plan to be rewarded with the limited edition auspicious gift or collect both designs by signing up for multiple plans.

To find out more about Public Bank campaigns, customers are welcomed to visit any of our PBB branches or log on to PBB website. Terms and conditions apply.
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Public Bank Group Posted Pre-Tax Profit of RM6.31 Billion for the First Nine Months Ended September 2022 and Declared 4.0 Sen Second Interim Dividend
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
30 November 2022
 
Public Bank Group Posted Pre-Tax Profit of RM6.31 Billion for the First Nine Months Ended September 2022 and Declared 4.0 Sen Second Interim Dividend
 
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, the Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank announced that the Public Bank Group posted a pre-tax profit of RM6.31 billion and net profit attributable to shareholders of RM4.41 billion for the first nine months of 2022.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “Despite the prolonged headwinds in the global economy, the Malaysian economy remained on the recovery trajectory, mainly supported by improving domestic demand. Tapping on the growing economy, the Public Bank Group’s pre-tax profit improved by 13.5% for the first nine months of 2022, compared with the corresponding period in 2021. Net profit attributable to shareholders grew by 3.0% after taking into account the one-off impact of prosperity tax.”

The 9-month profit growth was mainly due to higher net interest income growth by 7.7% and lower loan impairment allowances by 70.0%, but partially offset by lower non-interest income by 11.0%.

Tan Sri Teh said, “For the first nine months of 2022, the Public Bank Group’s loans and deposits continued to achieve healthy annualised growth of 5.8% and 4.5% respectively. Backed by its strong fundamentals and prudent management, the Group sustained a resilient net return of equity of 12.4% and efficient cost-to-income ratio of 32.6%. Gross impaired loans ratio remained strong at 0.3%, despite the expiry of PEMULIH repayment assistance programme.”

In view of the favourable performance, Tan Sri Teh is pleased to announce that, “The Board of Directors is declaring a second interim dividend of 4.0 sen per share, which will result in a total dividend payout of RM776.4 million. The second interim dividend will be paid on 23 December 2022 based on the dividend entitlement date of 15 December 2022.”
 
Loans and Deposits Businesses

As at the end of September 2022, the Public Bank Group’s total loans expanded at an annualised rate of 5.8% to RM373.6 billion. Domestic loans grew at an annualised rate of 5.2% to RM347.8 billion, mainly supported by residential properties and hire purchase financing which expanded at an annualised rate of 7.4% and 9.9% respectively.

Tan Sri Teh further commented, “Supported by the improving economic conditions, the Public Bank Group’s total domestic loans approval surged by 30.2% in the first nine months of 2022, reinforcing the Group’s leading market share in the residential properties and hire purchase financing, which stood at 20.6% and 30.4% respectively.”

On deposit-taking, the Group’s total customer deposits achieved an annualised growth of 4.5% to RM393.3 billion during the same period. Domestic deposits rose by an annualised rate of 4.5% to RM364.6 billion, mainly supported by current and fixed deposits which grew by an annualised rate of 7.5% and 7.3% respectively.

Tan Sri Teh said, “The Public Bank Group’s liquidity and funding structure remained healthy and supportive of its lending activities, with gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 81.3% as at 30 September 2022.”

Non-Interest Income

For the nine months ended September 2022, the Public Bank Group’s non-interest income was lower by 11.0%, largely due to the lower unit trust fees, stockbroking income as well as investment income amidst the unfavourable market conditions.

Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “Despite the weaker market performance, the Group’s unit trust business through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual registered a        pre-tax profit of RM580.4 million in the first nine months of 2022, contributing 45% to the Group’s non-interest income. As at end-September 2022, Public Mutual continued to capture a large retail market share of 34.4%, with a total of 179 unit trust funds and total assets under management of RM88.7 billion.”

Cost Management

Overhead expenses increased by 6.3% in tandem with the resumption of economic activities. Notwithstanding this, the Public Bank Group continued to be the most cost efficient bank in the domestic banking industry, with the lowest cost-to-income ratio of 32.6% in the first nine months of 2022.

“Amid the high inflationary pressure, sustaining a high level of cost efficiency remains a competitive edge enabling the Group to continue implementing strategic plans to achieve business growth. The Group will continue its strategic investment in digital transformation and staff development to further strengthen long term productivity and business sustainability.” Tan Sri Teh said.

Asset Quality

As at end-September 2022, the Public Bank Group sustained a low gross impaired loans ratio of 0.3%, significantly lower than the domestic banking industry’s average gross impaired loan ratio of 1.8%.

Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “As the economy is gradually improving and with the expiry of the PEMULIH repayment assistance schemes, the Group has observed a stable repayment trend from customers. Despite the current challenges in the economy, the Group continued to maintain sound asset quality underpinned by its resilient loan portfolio and prudent lending practices.”

As at end-September 2022, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio stood at 339.5%, significantly higher than the banking industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 97.8%. Including regulatory reserves, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio was higher at 359.6%.

Overseas Operations

For the first nine months ended September 2022, the Public Bank Group’s overseas operations contributed 7.6% to the Group’s profit, mainly attributed to its Hong Kong and Indochina operations.

Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “The Group continues to see good business opportunities in Indochina, particularly in Vietnam. In the first nine months of 2022, Public Bank Vietnam’s profit grew favourably by 13.4% as compared with the corresponding period last year.”

Capital and Liquidity Position

As at the end of September 2022, the Group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio stood at a healthy level of 14.0%, 14.0% and 17.1% respectively, after deducting the second interim dividend. The Group’s liquidity coverage ratio also remained stable at 123.2%.

Tan Sri Teh reiterated, “Underpinned by its prudent approach in managing its financial resources, the Group continues to maintain a healthy balance sheet. This enables the Group to continue driving business growth despite the uncertainties in the operating environment.”

Group’s Prospects

The Malaysian economic growth gains further momentum as the nation continues its post-pandemic recovery. While external trade is expected to moderate amidst a slower global economic growth, domestic demand continues to support economic expansion, with the job market and income prospects improving. 

However, downside risks remain stemming from inflationary pressure, lingering supply chain disruptions, global monetary policy tightening and geopolitical tensions which could further weigh on the global economy.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “The Public Bank Group will remain vigilant to the uncertainties and challenges. The Group will continue to build business resilience by maintaining healthy capital position, preserving asset quality, further strengthening its risk management capabilities and upholding sound corporate governance practices.”

“As the Group continues to leverage on its core banking business to grow its business, the Group will remain agile in strategy implementation to capture any business opportunities arising from the economic recovery and evolving business landscape.” Tan Sri Teh concluded.

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Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser
Public Bank Berhad

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Public Bank Among the First to Enable Google Wallet Payments in Malaysia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15 November 2022
 
Public Bank Among the First to Enable Google Wallet Payments in Malaysia
 
Public Bank Visa Credit and Debit cardmembers can now enjoy a convenient and secure way to pay in-store, online and in-app with Google Wallet.
 
As one of the first Malaysian banks to enable Visa cards on Google Wallet, Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said this rollout is part of Public Bank’s continuous effort to provide a seamless and secure banking experience for its customers through the digitalisation of banking services.
 
“Consumers’ shift to digital payments have accelerated over the past few years and Public Bank is confident that by enabling our cards on Google Wallet, we will add further value to our card members,” Tan Sri Tay said.
 
With Google Wallet, Public Bank Visa Credit and Debit cardmembers can pay by tapping their Android devices at any merchant that support contactless payment, eliminating the need to use the physical card. Apart from convenience, Google Wallet has multiple layers of security, including industry-standard tokenisation.
 
With the added convenience, Public Bank cardmembers will continue to enjoy all the benefits of their Visa debit and credit cards ranging from cashbacks and additional discounts from purchases that are only exclusive to Public Bank cardmembers.

To celebrate the launch, cardmembers who make four (4) Google Wallet retail transactions using their Public Bank Visa credit or debit cards will be rewarded with RM50 cashback. The promotion is valid until 14 March 2023. Terms and conditions apply. 
 
To find out more on the promotion, log on to Public Bank’s website at www.publicbankgroup.com or call PB Customer Service at 03-2176 8000.
 
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Public Bank and Public Islamic Bank To Increase Its Loan/ Financing Reference Rates By 0.25%
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3 November 2022
 
Public Bank and Public Islamic Bank To Increase Its Loan / Financing Reference Rates By 0.25%

Public Bank will increase its Standardised Base Rate (SBR), Base Rate (BR) and Base Lending Rate (BLR) / Base Financing Rate (BFR) by 0.25% effective 7 November 2022, in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) hike by 25 basis points from 2.50% to 2.75% on 3 November 2022. The Bank’s SBR will be 2.75% in tandem with the OPR while the BR will increase to 3.27% from 3.02% and the BLR/BFR will increase to 6.47% from 6.22%.
 
At the same time, Public Bank’s fixed deposit rates will also be adjusted upwards, effective on the same date.

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Comments On The Budget 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

7 October 2022
Comments On The Budget 2023
 
In the face of an increasingly volatile global economic landscape, we applaud the Government’s vision in setting out our nation’s near and medium-term course with a well-planned Budget 2023. It strikes the right balance between on-going prioritisation of the Rakyat’s well-being while guarding against potential challenges, and also sustaining Malaysia’s post-pandemic growth.

The Public Bank Group has played its role steadfastly in actively facilitating growth through the years. Our efforts will be intensified further as Malaysia continues to transition toward becoming a high-income nation. Budget 2023’s spirit of inclusiveness reflects the Government’s promise of leaving no one behind. The Government’s planned expenditure of a notably higher RM372.3 billion in 2023 with 37.2% allocated for programmes and projects under the social sector shows its resolve and commitment in reducing the income gap between the Rakyat and the development gap among the states. This will help ensure Malaysia progress successfully and sustainably as a nation.

Budget 2023 adequately addresses the current needs of the B40 and M40 groups through various cash assistance programs with widened eligibility criteria, tax incentives for home ownership and extension of employment-related initiatives, amongst others. Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) will also be supported through access to traditional and alternative financing options, tax incentives and extension of grants, amongst others. Issues like food security and preparedness for natural disasters were also addressed, in addition to infrastructure spending covering healthcare and education, and digital infrastructures to address development and digital gaps.

We read, on a daily basis, of the stark realities of an environment increasingly ravaged   by the negative and far-reaching effects of climate change. Much progress has been made, but more will still need to be done. We laud the Government’s renewed focus on sustainability-based initiatives in Budget 2023, with more emphasis given toward enhancing green investments for the development of low-carbon, resilient and healthy urban environments. To this end, the Government’s higher expenditure of RM95 billion for development in 2023 will see allocations channelled to programmes and projects with high socio-economic impacts in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Public Bank Group has already embarked on this journey and reaffirms its commitment in partnering the government and various stakeholders toward advancing these agendas.

We are fully supportive of Budget 2023 which is expansionary but necessary in current times to sustain the post-pandemic recovery of the nation. We are confident that the continued partnership of the public and private sectors will enhance the resilience of our economy and strengthen our recovery, while enhancing the well-being of the Rakyat.
 

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

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Dedicated and Responsive Assistance for 
Public Bank’s Customers Affected by Frauds and Scams
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

29 September 2022
 
Dedicated and Responsive Assistance for Public Bank’s Customers Affected by Frauds and Scams
 
The five key measures to combat scams announced by the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah binti Mohd Yunos at the Financial Crime Exhibition 2022 held on 26 September 2022 will effectively raise the level of online banking security, Public Bank said in a statement today.
 
Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said Public Bank will continue to emphasise on banking security for customers to ensure that all customers can conduct their online banking transactions in a secure and safe environment.
 
Public Bank has taken further steps to address the rising trend of frauds and scams including providing 24 hours assistance to customers via its Case Management Unit. “The unit is staffed with specially trained and experienced staff to provide the necessary and timely assistance to affected customers. As time is of the essence, Public Bank’s staff will be available to assist you 24/7,” Tan Sri Tay said.
 
Upon receiving a fraud or scam report, access to the customer’s PBe Internet Banking and PB engage Mobile Banking will be terminated immediately. This will prevent further unauthorised transfers while the Bank expedite recovery of stolen funds.
 
To further empower customers, since March this year, customers can also self-deactivate their access to PBe Internet Banking and PB engage Mobile Banking under such circumstances via the PBe login page. Reactivation can only be done at the branch or by the staff at the Case Management Unit with the necessary verifications.
 
Staying vigilant is vital and Public Bank has also stepped up its efforts to protect customers’ accounts by introducing a series of counter measures in its fraud detection and prevention system based on the evolving modus operandi of frauds and scams. The system will flag out suspicious and abnormal transactions performed on customers’ account and they are constantly reviewed to determine the effectiveness. Customers transferring to any new beneficiary via PBe and PB engage will also be prompted with a warning message to alert customers to be extra cautious before proceeding with the transfer.
 
In addition, Public Bank has deployed a more secure authentication method via mobile app security token known as PB SecureSign (PBSS) on the PB engage Mobile Banking since August 2020 that can counter one of the fraud tactics by scammers using the Android Package Kit (APK).
 
The PBSS can only bind to one mobile device with a stringent activation process where customers who have registered PBSS on their PB engage are required to activate it via Branch, ATM or by contacting PBe Customer Support.
 
Public Bank will also enable transaction approval via PB SecureSign app (PBSS) for PBe Internet Banking by October 2022. Similar to PB engage, customers with PBSS activated can approve transactions in a more secure authentication method. This will replace the PBe Authentication Code (PAC) via SMS which will eventually be phased out.
 
Since 2017, Public Bank has maintained a record of about 100,000 reported mule accounts of the industry. Based on this mule database, for the first half of 2022, approximately 500,000 of our customers’ accounts were prevented and saved from the attempted fraudulent transfers of close to RM900 million to these mule accounts.
 
Public Bank is fully committed to work steadfastly with all parties to combat this security threat and has also embarked on intensive education efforts to keep customers updated of the latest trend and evolving modus operandi of frauds and scams happening.
 
These education efforts also include raising customer awareness on the importance of being vigilant at all times by NOT clicking on UNKNOWN links, safeguarding their privacy and banking information, being careful with suspicious apps before installing them to ensure that their devices remain secure at all times and other precautions needed to safeguard customers from frauds and scams.
 
Customers can visit Public Bank’s Online Security microsite at  https://www.pbebank.com/onlinesecurity/index.html and by staying informed, will help to keep scams and frauds at bay. Meanwhile, in the event a fraud took place or if customers noticed any irregularities in their bank accounts, they can contact the Case Management Hotline at 03-2177 3555 to seek assistance.
 
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