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Public Bank’s 56th Annual General Meeting Held On 23 May 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
23 May 2022
 
Public Bank’s 56th Annual General Meeting Held On 23 May 2022
 
In conjunction with Public Bank’s 56th Annual General Meeting held on 23 May 2022, the Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow is pleased to present a review of the Public Bank Group’s performance in 2021 and the Group’s strategic direction.
 
Performance Review
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “Despite various challenges faced in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Bank Group remained resilient and recorded pre-tax profit and net profit attributable to shareholders of RM7.37 billion and RM5.66 billion respectively in 2021, compared with RM6.29 billion and RM4.87 billion in 2020. The higher profit was mainly due to the low base effect in 2020 as well as positive loans and deposits growth achieved in 2021. Earnings per share increased from 25.1 sen in 2020 to 29.1 sen in 2021.”
 
Tan Sri Teh added, “In 2021, the Public Bank Group continued to outperform its banking peers. The Group is the most cost-efficient bank in Malaysia with the lowest cost to income ratio of 31.6%, as compared to the industry’s average cost to income ratio of 48.1%. In terms of asset quality, the Group remains the best amongst all Malaysian banks, with gross impaired loans ratio of 0.3%, compared to the industry’s average gross impaired loans ratio of 1.4%. The Group continued to sustain double digit net return on equity of 12.4%, which was well above the domestic banking peers’ average net return on equity of 8.9%.”
 
Tan Sri Teh further added, “Despite the challenging economic condition in 2021, the Public Bank Group was able to maintain a stable dividend payout. A second interim dividend of 7.7 sen per share was paid on 22 March 2022. Together with the first interim dividend of 7.5 sen paid in September 2021, shareholders would have received a total dividend of 15.2 sen for 2021, an increase from 13 sen for 2020.”

Total dividends paid amounted to RM2.95 billion or 52.2% payout of the Group’s net profit in 2021.
 
Proactive Assistance to Customers Affected by COVID-19 and Flood
 
The Public Bank Group remained committed to assist customers facing financial constraints amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Group has proactively engaged affected borrowers. 
 
Tan Sri Teh said, To date, the Public Bank Group has assisted about 24% of its borrowers with total loans of more than RM80.0 billion through various Repayment Assistance Programmes, benefitting 438,000 individuals and businesses.”
 
The Public Bank Group had also been actively promoting special financing schemes initiated by the Government and BNM to assist the SMEs in overcoming the COVID-19 challenges. Overall, the Group approved about RM3.4 billion for over 17,700 SME businesses under these special financing schemes.
 
Repayment assistance is not limited to only customers affected by the pandemic but also for customers who experience unfortunate events, such as floods. Recently, severe floods in several states in the country has affected many livelihoods. For customers who were affected by the floods, Public Bank has swiftly extended assistance to help them weather through their financial difficulties. To date, the Group has approved flood moratorium amounting to about RM1.8 billion.
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “Despite the expiry of some of the loans under the PEMULIH repayment assistance scheme, the Public Bank Group will continue to proactively provide further repayment assistance. The Group will also continue to provide financing support to SMEs.”
 
Healthy Loans and Customer Deposits
 
The Public Bank Group continued to focus on financing of residential properties and passenger vehicles as well as lending to SMEs for the purchase(s) of commercial properties and working capital financing.
 
Tan Sri Teh highlighted that, “The Group’s total gross loans and financing grew by 3.6% to RM358.0 billion in 2021, with domestic loans growing by 3.4%. The Group continued to sustain its leading position in the domestic retail financing with market shares of 20% and 34% in residential property and commercial property financing respectively, as well as 30% market share in hire purchase financing. The Group is also a leading SME financier with 22% market share in domestic SME financing.”
 
Tan Sri Teh added, “In terms of funding, the Group’s total customer deposits increased by 4.0% to RM380.4 billion in 2021, with domestic deposits growing by 4.5%. In particular, the Group’s low cost current and savings deposits recorded a strong growth of 11.7% during the year.”
 
Superior Asset Quality
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “The Public Bank Group’s gross impaired loans ratio of 0.3% as at the end of 2021, was well below the banking industry’s gross impaired loans ratio of 1.4%.”
 
The Group’s loan loss coverage ratio stood at 360.7%, significantly higher than the banking industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 129.0%. With the inclusion of regulatory reserves, the Group’s loan loss coverage would be higher at 383.2%.

Continued Contribution from Non-Interest Income
 
Non-interest income was lower by 7.3% owing to the reduction in investment income amid unfavourable market condition in 2021. However, the unit trust business as well as fee and commission income expanded by 18.1% and 13.2% respectively in 2021, complementing the Public Bank Group’s profitability.
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “Public Mutual, a wholly-owned unit trust management company of the Public Bank Group, remained a major contributor to the Group’s non-interest income. In 2021, Public Mutual recorded a commendable profit growth of 22.8% and captured a market share of 34.6% in the retail private unit trust industry. As at the end of 2021, Public Mutual’s total assets under management stood at RM104.6 billion, with 177 funds under its management.”
 
Healthy Capital and Liquidity Position
 
The Public Bank Group’s Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio had further strengthened to 14.5% and 17.7% respectively as at the end of 2021, as compared with 14.0% and 17.1% a year ago. The Group’s Liquidity Coverage Ratio also stood at a healthy level of 127%, above the minimum regulatory requirement of 100%.
 
Tan Sri Teh said,The Public Bank Group will continue to be proactive in its capital and liquidity management in ensuring a healthy capital and liquidity position to support its long term growth as it pursues its strategic business objectives.”
 
Superior Returns to Shareholders
 
The Public Bank Group continues to deliver consistent and superior returns to its shareholders.
 
Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “An investor who bought 1,000 shares of Public Bank that was listed in 1967, and assuming that all rights issued were subscribed, he would now have 744,690 Public Bank shares worth RM3.4 million. Together with total gross dividend of RM1.7 million received and appreciation in share value, this would translate into an impressive compounded annual rate of return of 18.5% for each of the 54 years since 1967.”
 
Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”)
 
The Public Bank Group is proactive in its role in ESG management. To further mitigate climate related risk, the Group has conscientiously been working on embedding climate-related considerations in its business strategies and risk management.
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “The Group is committed to the nation’s sustainability journey towards a climate-resilient economy. To this end, the Group has set new commitments to drive its sustainability goals. The Group targets to achieve RM40 billion ESG-friendly financing by 2025, of which RM25 billion financing is for purchases of energy efficient vehicles and RM15 billion financing is for affordable homes.”
 
Digital Initiatives
 
The Public Bank Group’s digital strategies are clearly mapped out in its multi-year digital roadmap which will pave the way forward for the Group to move ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the market.
 
Tan Sri Teh said, “In the area of digitalisation, the Group will continue to make significant investments in technology to drive innovation and maintain a competitive edge. To stay ahead, the Group has accelerated its digital initiatives and implemented its multi-year digital roadmap in light of fast moving digital and technology trends.”
 
The Public Bank Group has also collaborated with various solution providers to help its SME customers expand their businesses by enhancing their digital capabilities through various digital business solutions.
 
Over the years, the Public Bank Group has been constantly enhancing its digital platforms to provide enhanced features and better customer experience while catering to the increasing demand for online and mobile banking services. In 2021, the Group’s active subscribers to PBe and PB engage have increased by a commendable 10.6% and 27.1% respectively whilst the number of internet and mobile banking transactions grew by an impressive 27.4% and 89.6% respectively. Total transactions of PB enterprise, Public Bank’s corporate online banking, rose by an impressive 88.8% whilst new companies registered on PB enterprise increased by 53.7%.

Outlook
 
Since the pandemic started over the last two years, the Public Bank Group’s resilience to challenges has further strengthened. The Group is poised to deliver long term business value, supportive of the broader economic recovery in 2022.
 
On the Public Bank Group’s strategic direction and outlook, Tan Sri Teh commented, “Malaysia’s transition to the COVID-19 endemic phase is set to further stimulate key economic activities. This is supportive of the banking sector growth. Whilst the Public Bank Group is cautiously optimistic of the economic outlook, the Group remains mindful of the various domestic and external uncertainties which could affect the economy. The Group will continue to be vigilant and agile, balancing growth and risks amid the changing business environment to ensure long term sustainability.”
 
The Group’s strong balance sheet and solid asset quality will provide adequate buffer for the Group to weather against potential risks while it seizes opportunities that lie ahead.
 
Tan Sri Teh added, “The Group will continue to strive for business growth in its core business segments, maintaining prudent credit policies and further improving cost efficiency. Coupled with sound fundamentals, cost discipline culture and superior asset quality, the Group stands ready to pursue all business opportunities and continue generating value for its stakeholders.”
 
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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 and Public Islamic Bank to Increase Its Base Rate by 0.25%
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 May 2022

Public Bank and Public Islamic Bank to Increase Its Base Rate by 0.25%

Public Bank will increase its Base Rate (BR) and Base Lending Rate (BLR) / Base Financing Rate (BFR) by 0.25% effective 13 May 2022, in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) hike by 25 basis points from 1.75% to 2.00% on 11 May 2022. By this, the BR will be at 2.52% from 2.27% and the BLR/BFR will be at 5.72% from 5.47%.

At the same time, Public Bank’s fixed deposit rates will be correspondingly increased by 0.25% across all tenures, effective on the same date.
 
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YX Precious Metals Bhd Inks Underwriting Agreement with Public Investment Bank Berhad For Its IPO Exercise
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
21 April 2022

YX Precious Metals Bhd Inks Underwriting Agreement with Public Investment Bank Berhad For Its IPO Exercise
 
YX Precious Metals Bhd (“YXPM” or “Company”), a wholesaler and manufacturer specialising in gold jewellery, has today penned an Underwriting Agreement with Public Investment Bank Berhad (“PIVB”) in conjunction with its upcoming initial public offering (“IPO”) on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Bursa Securities”). PIVB is the Principal Adviser, Sponsor, Sole Underwriter and Sole Placement Agent for this IPO exercise. YXPM is currently a 100% owned subsidiary of Tomei Consolidated Berhad (“Tomei”), a company listed on the Main Market of Bursa Securities.

The IPO exercise entails the public issue of 111.65 million new ordinary shares in YXPM, of which PIVB has agreed to underwrite 48.38 million shares. The 111.65 million new shares will be allotted and allocated as follows:
  • 18.61 million shares will be made available for application by the Malaysian public via balloting;
  • 11.16 million shares will be made available for application by eligible directors and employees of YXPM, directors and employees of Tomei and its subsidiaries, and any other persons who have contributed to the success of YXPM and its subsidiaries (“Group”);
  • 18.61 million shares will be made available for application by all entitled shareholders of Tomei;
  • 16.75 million shares will be made available by way of private placement to selected investors; and
  • 46.52 million shares will be made available by way of private placement to selected Bumiputera investors approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia. 
Commenting on the signing of the underwriting agreement, the Managing Director of YXPM, Ms. Ng Sheau Chyn said, “The signing of the agreement comes at an opportune time as the Group is ready to leverage on the increased demand for gold jewellery products. By transitioning into a listed entity, we hope to maintain our growth trajectory to take us to the next expansion phase. We plan to utilise the proceeds raised from the IPO exercise to purchase new machinery and equipment as well as upgrade our existing operational facilities to enhance our operational efficiency.”
 
Mr. Lee Yo-Hunn, the Chief Executive Officer of PIVB, said, “We are pleased to be given the opportunity to play a key role as the Principal Adviser, Sponsor, Sole Underwriter and Sole Placement Agent in bringing a reputable company such as YXPM to the ACE Market of Bursa Securities. We are confident that this IPO will allow the Group to grow from strength to strength and we look forward to working closely with them as they transit to the next chapter of their business expansion plans.”
 
The Company is slated to list on the ACE Market of Bursa Securities by the end of June 2022.

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YX Precious Metals Bhd Managing Director Ms. Ng Sheau Chyn (left) and Public Investment Bank Berhad Chief Executive Officer Mr Lee Yo-Hunn (right)

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SFP Tech Holdings Berhad Inks Underwriting Agreement with Public Investment Bank Berhad For Its IPO Exercise
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
21 April 2022

SFP Tech Holdings Berhad Inks Underwriting Agreement with Public Investment Bank Berhad For Its IPO Exercise
 
SFP Tech Holdings Berhad, a one-stop integrated engineering and automation solutions provider is en route for a listing on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, has today penned an Underwriting Agreement with Public Investment Bank Berhad for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) exercise.
 
The IPO exercise entails a public issue of approximately 207.44 million new ordinary shares, where there will be 40.00 million shares available for application by the Malaysian public, 24.00 million shares available for application by the eligible directors and employees of the Company and its subsidiaries and other persons who have contributed to the success of the Group, while 100.00 million shares will be made available for application by way of private placement to Bumiputera investors approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia and the remaining 43.44 million shares will be made available by way of private placement to selected investors.
 
Pursuant to the Underwriting Agreement, PIVB will underwrite a total of 64.00 million shares made available for the Malaysian public, the Group’s eligible directors and employees, and other persons who have contributed to the success of the Group.
 
PIVB, besides being the Sole Underwriter of SFP Tech’s IPO, is also the Principal Adviser, Sponsor, Sole Underwriter and Sole Placement Agent for this exercise.
 
Commenting after the signing ceremony, Group Managing Director of SFP Tech, Keoh Beng Huat said, “We are delighted that SFP Tech has reached yet another corporate milestone and we are very blessed to be at this point of our corporate growth. We are grateful to have the support of PIVB as our sole underwriter for our IPO, which signals a strong sense of confidence towards SFP Tech. We believe this listing exercise would enable SFP Tech to strengthen our public profile and amplify market awareness of our businesses especially on the provision of integrated engineering and automation solutions.”

Keoh further added, “The proceeds to be raised from the IPO exercise would be mainly utilised for our Group’s business expansion which includes the construction of our third manufacturing plant in Penang Science Park, and the purchase of new machinery and equipment. These plans form part of our strategies to grow our Group in the provision of integrated engineering and automation solutions to our customers.”
 
Also at the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of PIVB, Lee Yo-Hunn said, “We are pleased to be given the opportunity to play a key role as the Principal Adviser, Sponsor, Sole Underwriter and Sole Placement Agent in bringing a reputable company like SFP Tech Holdings Berhad to the ACE Market of Bursa Securities. With the Company’s growth strategies in place, we are confident that this IPO will strengthen SFP Tech’s financial position as it embarks on its next phase of their business expansion plans.”
 
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Company is expected to launch its Prospectus by the end of May 2022.
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SFP Tech Holdings Berhad Managing Director Mr. Keoh Beng Huat (left) and Public Investment Bank Berhad Chief Executive Officer Mr. Lee Yo-Hunn (right)

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Public Bank Recognised for its Contribution in e-Payments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

18 April 2022
 
Public Bank Recognised for its Contribution in e-Payments

Public Bank Berhad’s commitment towards the nation’s e-payment ecosystem is recognised once again with the two awards - The Best MyDebit Bank and Best MyDebit (Acquirer – Bank) awarded during the Malaysian e-Payments Excellence Awards (MEEA) 2022.
 
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.
 
Having won multiple e-payment awards throughout the years consistently, Public Bank is recognised for its efforts and taking The Best MyDebit Bank in Malaysia award for instance, was awarded to Public Bank for the sixth consecutive year.
 
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.”
 
Ensuring customers’ banking needs are met through the use of e-payment systems is part of Public Bank’s digitalisation initiatives focusing on customers’ convenience while ensuring security of its products and services.

Public Bank’s commitment to service excellence is seen with the uninterrupted service throughout the various movement restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this commitment continues with the gradual economic recovery, elevating customer experience further in the new normal.

As the first bank in Malaysia to accept cross border QR payments from Thailand and Indonesia, Public Bank remained at the forefront of e-payments services with this timely offering as it also helped to curb the spread of COVID-19 by reducing physical contact between buyers and traders.
 
This service continue to remain relevant with the opening of international borders where travellers from Thailand and Indonesia can opt to make payments to participating PBe QR merchants using their respective home country’s bank accounts.
 
This is further supported with Public Bank’s latest secured online payment solution – DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets launched early this year to further support the growing needs of a cashless economy.
 
DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets supports merchants in facilitating real-time payment acceptance via both online banking and eWallets and is a step forward by creating a more seamless payment experience involving various gateways, something that customers will appreciate.
 
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.
 
In addition, Public Bank recognises the need for businesses to transform and digitalise their business operations in order to thrive in the new normal and supporting businesses in their digitalisation journey, Public Bank offers its corporate customers with the PB enterprise Digital SME Assist Program.
 
Through this exclusive collaboration with various digital partners with expertise in the fields of accounting, human resource management, telecommunications and others, Public Bank’s corporate customers can enjoy exclusive privileges ranging from discounts and rewards on various digital business solutions. Corporate customers will also be able to stay up to date with the latest development of the industry with a series of webinars.
 
Hence with a holistic approach to support its customers, Public Bank continues to offer services that would assist its corporate customers to accelerate their growth by enhancing their digital capabilities in tandem with their business expansion.
 
To find out more, customers are welcomed to visit any of Public Bank’s branches, log on to the website at www.pbebank.com or call the toll free phone at 1-800-22-9999 during normal working hours. Terms and conditions apply.
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Public Bank and Carsome Sign MoU for Car Financing Collaboration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
18 March 2022
Public Bank and Carsome Sign MoU for Car Financing Collaboration
 
Public Bank and Carsome officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for greater business collaborations on 18 March 2022 at Menara Public Bank, Kuala Lumpur.
 
The agreement was inked by Public Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek and Carsome’s Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Eric Cheng Kee Choon.
 
With this MoU, the Bank will be able to provide stock-financing and end-financing arrangement for the vehicles to its member Car Dealers and individual purchasers who have won the bids through Carsome online platform, as well as to extend wholesome financial products/services to Carsome’s customers.
 
According to Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, Public Bank through this collaboration aims to offer comprehensive financial services solution namely PB Current Account, PB Enterprise, Cash Management and Credit Card Merchant Service with preferential terms to Carsome and its member Car Dealers.
 
Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said, “This synergistic collaboration is in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s initiatives to accelerate the digitalisation of financial services, which include supporting the overall development of a dynamic fintech ecosystem in Malaysia. This collaboration will enable Public Bank to interface with Carsome’s online platform to provide a more efficient and seamless vehicle financing delivery system, thus further reducing processing time as well as minimising physical documentation for the financing of successful bidding of vehicles. Through this collaboration, Public Bank is confident to further improve our market share in the vehicle financing segment”.
 
“Being a leading financier in the automobile industry, Public Bank’s strong infrastructure will bring mutual benefits to this new relationship with Carsome. And Carsome will be able to leverage on our wide network of branches and HP Centres which are strongly supported by the trust in our PB Brand to extend market acceptance of its platform,” added Tan Sri Tay.
 
Public Bank is committed to support Malaysia’s transformation to digitalisation and will continue to initiate new or improve existing efforts in the future.
 
Eric Cheng, Carsome Co-founder & Group CEO said, “We are thrilled to be working with Public Bank, an established banking institution in Malaysia to offer financing solutions to our customers and dealer-partners. Our vision has always been to create an end-to-end integrated online used vehicle ecosystem; our partnership with Public Bank brings us one step closer to that, as we are able to give more financing options to our customers and dealer-partners when they transact with us.”

Carsome is Southeast Asia’s largest car e-commerce platform with operations across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. The company provides end-to-end solutions to consumers and car dealers, from car inspection to ownership transfer to financing, promising a service that is trusted, convenient and efficient.
 
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Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Tay Ah Lek (second from the right) exchanging the MoU with Eric Cheng (second from the left) witnessed by Dato' Chang Kat Kiam (right) and Aaron Kee (left)

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Planning for Your Children's Future Starts with Public Bank
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
15 March 2022
Planning for Your Children’s Future Starts with Public Bank
 
Public Bank has recently rolled out the PB Alpha Edu and the PB Journey Mobile Application.  These two innovative financial solutions were developed exclusively with the aim at helping parents plan ahead towards providing their children with financial security.
 
The PB Alpha Edu, a non-participating insurance plan with investment-linked features serves as an education fund while covering death and total and permanent disability (TPD).
 
Distributed by Public Bank and underwritten by AIA Bhd., the plan has a maturity benefit when the child reaches age 21.  Parents will appreciate the benefits of this plan where the premium paid since its inception will be harvested when their children begins their tertiary education. In the event if parents met with unfortunate events, they can prepare for such circumstances by adding the PB Education Protector Rider where their children will receive yearly income benefit while adding additional premium waiver riders will keep the PB Alpha Edu policy active without the need for premium payment for the remainder of the policy years.
 
The PB Journey App was designed to help parents teach their children good money habits or instill “Wisdom In Saving Early” (WISE) in a fun interactive way.
 
Through the learning modules, children can learn the value of money and how to be financially responsible under the guidance of their parents.  They can set their financial goals and be rewarded when the goals are achieved.  The earlier parents learn the advantage of teaching money management lessons to their children, the more financial savvy their children will come to be, a crucial life skill to provide for a child.
  
The PB Journey App, a digital banking product provides a seamless access to the Public Bank’s WISE Savings Account, which is open to all children below 18 years old with a minimum of RM1 deposit to enjoy attractive interest rates.  Another new added feature targeted to be launched in the first half of this year is the DuitNow QR payment services in the PB Journey App where children can also spend and keep track of their pocket money.
 
To find out more, 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 Remains Proactive in Supporting the Nation’s Post Pandemic Recovery
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
7 March 2022
Public Bank Remains Proactive in Supporting the Nation’s Post Pandemic Recovery
 
Amid the ongoing significant disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Bank has continued to prioritise supportive measures to help its customers and the community to navigate the prevailing challenges.
 
“Public Bank has been proactive in providing support to its customers since the beginning of the pandemic and will continue to provide repayment assistance to those affected by the pandemic while supporting the nation’s economic recovery,” said Public Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek.
 
In this highly challenging operating environment, Public Bank’s financial resilience and solid foundation built over the years have enabled the Bank to continue serving the nation.
 
Ongoing Assistance for Customers Affected by the Pandemic and Floods
 
As at the end of 2021, about 438,000 customers with total loans of about RM83 billion have received COVID-19 repayment assistance to manage their debt burden. Public Bank has consistently reached out to its customers to ensure that those in need of financial assistance receive the necessary help. The Bank has also set up various engagement channels, such as digital platforms and special repayment assistance helpdesk lines to provide more efficient assistance to affected customers and to keep them promptly updated with the various repayment assistance available.  
 
Repayment assistance is not limited to only customers affected by the pandemic but also for customers who experience unfortunate events, such as floods.
 
Recently, severe floods in several states in the country has affected many livelihoods. Public Bank has remained committed to provide relief to help the affected customers to weather their financial difficulties. Since 2016, the Bank has approved flood moratorium of about RM2.5 billion for close to 13,000 customers. The Bank is fully committed to continue providing relief to its customers whenever the need arises.
 
Providing Support to the Backbone of the Economy

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which is known to be the backbone of the economy, continue to receive undivided attention from Public Bank.

Public Bank is one of the major financiers supporting SME growth. As at the end of 2021, the Bank’s domestic SME financing portfolio stood at RM67.9 billion with a market share of about 21%.

Public Bank’s support for the SMEs remains unwavering during the COVID-19 pandemic where about RM3.4 billion of financing has been approved under special schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), benefiting more than 17,000 SMEs during this unprecedented period.

“Every single ringgit of financing that goes to SMEs will have a high multiplier effect, from the purchase of raw materials to paying employees’ salaries and eventually contributing taxes to the Government. Public Bank, as one of the main SME financiers in the country, will continue to provide financing access to SMEs in support of the nation’s economic recovery,” Tan Sri Tay said.

Promoting Greater Financial Inclusion For Households

As the largest financier of residential property in the country, Public Bank has over the years been consistently supporting home ownership, particularly affordable housing for the mass market.
 
Since 2016, Public Bank has approved more than RM35 billion for the financing of residential property costing below RM450,000.
 
The Bank’s effort in supporting affordable housing remained unfaltering during the pandemic, with more than RM7.7 billion loans approved for 27,000 customers in 2021 to support them to own a home. During the year, about 57% of the Bank’s newly approved housing loans was for the purchase of property costing RM100,000 to RM500,000.
 
Holistic Approach in Contributing to the Nation’s Economic Recovery
 
As a responsible corporate citizen, Public Bank has been consistently contributing taxes as well as providing consistent dividend payout to its retail investors and institutional investors such as the Employees Provident Fund.
 
Throughout the years, these have created value for its stakeholders through income generation with various spillover and multiplier effects, stimulating the economy and supporting employment in the process.
 
Going forward, Public Bank is fully committed to further strengthen its role as a financial intermediary contributing to the nation’s development.
 
“Public Bank is fully supportive of BNM’s Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026. Guided by the three broad themes under the Blueprint, “Finance For All”, “Finance For Transformation” and “Finance For Sustainability”, Public Bank aims to further propel its strength in banking to support the nation’s economic transformation and strengthen financial well-being for households and businesses, while accelerating the transition to a greener economy,” Tan Sri Tay said.
 
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Public Bank First Bank to Launch DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
28 February 2022
Public Bank First Bank to Launch DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets
 
Public Bank Berhad launched a new secured online payment solution – DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets in January this year to further support the growing needs of a cashless economy.
 
DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets supports e-commerce and m-commerce merchants in facilitating real-time payment acceptance via online banking and eWallets through simple redirection. This is a step forward and enhances existing payment gateways whereby customers can experience a more seamless cart to checkout journey all in one place.
 
Public Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said Public Bank had always put customers and the society first in everything it does.
 
“Providing the latest service in line with customers’ demand for convenience and security, Public Bank also prioritises Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts by providing greater financial inclusion for the unbanked in addition to enabling online merchants to easily accept payments in real-time through this new, cost-effective, and secure online payment solution,” Tan Sri Tay said.
 
With real-time debiting via payer’s Online/Mobile Banking account or eWallet and direct crediting into merchant’s account maintained by the banks, it is designed to meet the needs of and benefit both small and large businesses.
 
Peter Schiesser, the Group Chief Executive Officer of PayNet said, “Payments made using internet/mobile banking have witnessed a dramatic upsurge in the last 2 years. With this in mind, DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets was designed to elevate the user experience through a more seamless checkout process with the option of application-to-application payment redirection which significantly reduces payment friction and cart abandonment.”
 
DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets is operated by PayNet (Payments Network Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.), the national payments network and shared central infrastructure for Malaysia’s financial market. This new service will extend PayNet’s DuitNow ecosystem to include other digital wallets while maintaining compatibility with participating financial institutions.
 
Businesses can find out more about DuitNow Online Banking/Wallets service by approaching the nearest Public Bank Berhad branch for any assistance or email to cms@publicbank.com.my.

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Public Bank Group Posted Net Profit Of RM5.66 Billion For 2021 And Declared Second Interim Dividend Of 7.7 Sen
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
25 February 2022
 
Public Bank Group Posted Net Profit Of RM5.66 Billion For 2021 And Declared Second Interim Dividend Of 7.7 Sen

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, the Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank announced that the Public Bank Group recorded a pre-tax profit of RM7.37 billion and net profit of RM5.66 billion in 2021, compared to RM6.29 billion and RM4.87 billion respectively in 2020.

Tan Sri Teh commented, “The Public Bank Group’s sound fundamentals and business strengths in its core lending and deposit business continued to support the Group’s financial performance.”

The improved profit growth in 2021 was also attributed to the low base effect in 2020 when the COVID-19 unprecedentedly caused public health crisis which led to closure of most economic activities.

However, in 2021, the operating environment remained extremely challenging due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of new variants. Rising inflationary pressure and the unexpected flash floods in several states in Malaysia at the year end had posed further headwinds to the economic condition. These prevailing economic challenges continued to weigh on the Group’s profit performance with its net profit growing by a subdued 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, as compared to the third quarter of 2021.

“Despite the challenges in 2021, the Public Bank Group was able to steer through the difficult year with sustained balance sheet strength. The Group continued to demonstrate its resilience with net return-on-equity of 12.4% and efficient cost-to-income ratio of 31.6%,” Tan Sri Teh said.  

With that, Tan Sri Teh is pleased to announce that, “The Board of Directors is declaring a second interim dividend of 7.7 sen per share. The second interim dividend will be paid on 22 March 2022 based on the dividend entitlement date of 14 March 2022. Together with the first interim dividend of 7.5 sen per share, the full year dividend for 2021 amounts to 15.2 sen. This represents a total dividend payout of RM2.95 billion or 52.2% of the Group’s net profit for 2021.”
 
Continued Expansion in Loans and Deposits

For 2021, the Public Bank Group achieved total loans growth of 3.6% to RM358.0 billion. Domestic loans grew by 3.4% to RM334.6 billion. Domestic loans growth was mainly supported by lending for residential properties, hire purchase and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, the increase in total loans was partially offset by the moderation in corporate loans arising from large repayment from certain corporate customers.

In terms of funding, the Group’s total customer deposits grew by 4.0% to RM380.4 billion. Domestically, total customer deposits grew by 4.5% to RM352.6 billion. The Group’s low cost savings and demand deposits had shown particular strong growth of 11.7%, which had contributed positively to the Group’s net interest margin.

Tan Sri Teh said, “The Group was able to achieve continued loans and deposit growth, amid the highly intense competition in the market. As at the end of December 2021, the Group’s funding position remained stable with gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 80.0%.”

Continued Support from Non-interest Income

Non-interest income was lower by 7.3% owing to the reduction in investment income amid a volatile market in 2021. However, the continued expansion in unit trust business as well as fee and commission income, which grew by 18.1% and 13.2% respectively in 2021, continued to complement the Public Bank Group’s profitability.

Tan Sri Teh highlighted, “The Public Bank Group’s unit trust business, undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual, registered a commendable pre-tax profit growth of 22.8% in 2021, as compared to 2020. As at the end of December 2021, Public Mutual managed a total of 177 unit trust funds with assets under management increasing by 4.3% to RM104.6 billion, capturing a large retail market share of 34.6%.”

Efficient Cost Management

The Public Bank Group remained vigilant in cost management. In 2021, the Group recorded a marginal increase of 1.4% in overhead expenses.

Tan Sri Teh said, “The Public Bank Group continues to pursue its cost optimisation strategy by focusing on optimising discretionary spending, concentrating on developing its talent pool as well as building digital solutions that improve customer experience and operational efficiency. On the back of the continued income growth, coupled with cost discipline, cost-to-income ratio remained at an efficient level of 31.6%, as compared to the domestic banking industry’s average of 42.8%.”

Resilient Asset Quality

On asset quality, Tan Sri Teh commented, “The Public Bank Group’s gross impaired loans ratio remained stable at 0.3% as at the end of December 2021. As the economy remained uncertain, the Group continued to be prudent on building preemptive provisions. Loan loss coverage ratio further strengthened to 360.7%, significantly higher as compared to the banking industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 129.0%. Meanwhile, loan loss coverage ratio inclusive of regulatory reserves further increased to 383.2%.”

Assistance for Customers Affected by the Pandemic and Floods

With the COVID-19 pandemic heavily weighing on the economy, the Public Bank Group has implemented various flexible relief assistance packages to assist individuals and businesses who face repayment constraints since 2020. 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 needs of different customers with varying financial conditions. Further, the Group also actively participates in the Financial Management and Resilience Programme, a comprehensive repayment relief programme launched in collaboration with Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (“AKPK”) which offers longer-term repayment assistance and financial management assistance to borrowers to overcome their financial difficulty.

The Group is also a participating financial institution for 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 added, “As at the end of December 2021, about RM83.4 billion of domestic loans have been approved under the Repayment Assistance Programmes, benefiting nearly 438,000 customers. As for special financing schemes initiated by the Government and Bank Negara Malaysia, the Group has extended about RM3.4 billion of financing to more than 17,700 SMEs.”

Tan Sri Teh further added, “The Group’s strong commitment to its customers is further reflected in its recent proactive participation in the offering of repayment relief for customers affected by the recent floods. Further, the Group is also a participating financing institution of the Disaster Relief Facility initiated by Bank Negara Malaysia, offering financing facility with a low financing rate of up to 3.5% per annum, to alleviate the financial burden faced by the SMEs.”

Tan Sri Teh added, “Climate change has increasingly become a global issue due to its damaging and disruptive impact not only on the environment, but also human health and the economy. Over the years, the Group has increasingly integrated environmental considerations into its daily banking operations. This year, the Group has established its sustainability commitments and set specific goals to lead its actions in addressing climate change risk.”

Tan Sri Teh reiterated, “The Public Bank Group places great importance on environmental, social and governance issues, as the Group understands that ultimately, a business with good practices is one that will flourish and sustain over the long term.”

Healthy Capital and Liquidity Position

As at the end of December 2021, the Group’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio stood at a healthy level of 14.5%, 14.6% and 17.7% respectively, while liquidity coverage ratio remained healthy at 127.3%.

Group’s Prospect

After navigating a bumpy and uneven recovery in 2021, Malaysia’s economic growth is anticipated to accelerate in 2022. High vaccination coverage and active vaccine booster shot rollout are expected to support consumer and business sentiment amid sizeable fiscal support and accommodative monetary policy. However, the ability of the vaccines to guard against any new COVID-19 variants remains a concern to the strength of the recovery.

Tan Sri Teh said, “As the economy gradually recovers, the Public Bank Group will continue to focus on further strengthening its business resilience, including preserving asset quality, maintaining cost discipline and upholding high standards of corporate governance.”

Tan Sri Teh concluded, “The Public Bank Group will continue to remain agile and responsive to the changing environment to ensure long term sustainability of its business and to better serve the interest of all its stakeholders.”
 
Tan-Sri-Dato-Sri-Dr-Teh-Hong-Piow.jpg
Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow
Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Adviser of Public Bank
 
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