Media Release

Filter by
June 2024
20
Jun 2024
Public Bank to Continue Raising the Public’s Awareness of Scams and Fraudulent Activities

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

20 June 2024

 

Public Bank to Continue Raising the Public’s Awareness of Scams and Fraudulent Activities

 

As a continuous effort to raise public awareness of the risk of scams and their responsibilities to safeguard their banking accounts, Public Bank continues to spread awareness on scams and fraudulent activities by launching the PB Scam Prevention Campaign on 20 June 2024 at Menara Public Bank.

 

To amplify the ongoing scam prevention efforts, Public Bank is introducing the PB Scam Rangers, a mobile team comprising cyber security fraud experts who will travel around Malaysia to raise awareness, educate, and update the public on the latest scam trends.

 

Stationed at selected Public Bank branches, the PB Scam Rangers will engage with customers and the public with educational sessions, quizzes, interactive educational displays, and sharing of information where prizes and souvenirs will also be given away.

 

"Public Bank has been creating awareness of the latest fraud trends through email blasts, social media, light box security alerts, online security microsites, and mobile banking platforms with various content as well as through physical presence by participating in various roadshows and events. Through these consistent educational campaigns, we hope the public at large is well prepared with the essential knowledge regarding the various categories of scam modus operandi to prevent them from falling victim to scams," said Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Public Bank.

 

Public Bank's ongoing effort to strengthen banking security includes allowing customers to submit information on fraud or suspicious activity via the 'E-Fraud' form, which is available on the Public Bank login website.

 

As an additional option for reporting fraud scam incidents, customers can deactivate their PBe User ID and/or cancel the Credit/Debit or ATM card to prevent further losses should they notice any unusual account activity or suspect their accounts have been compromised.

 

In response to the growing number of consumers duped by phishing attempts, Public Bank has promptly integrated a new function called "Report Phishing Link" onto its website.

 

This function enables reporting of any dubious website or application that disseminates inaccurate information about Public Bank. With a dedicated channel and round-the-clock case management hotline, customers can also report any suspicious or fraudulent activities related to their accounts.

 

Public Bank has also introduced the "Kill Switch" function via PBe internet banking and PB engage MY mobile application to prevent unauthorised access.

 

The "Kill Switch" is one of Bank Negara Malaysia's key measures for combating financial scams. This new enhancement is a central switch temporarily disables all features, including Online Banking, ATM Card, and Credit/Debit Card access. After it has been disabled, the Kill Switch can immediately prevent unauthorised access to a customer's account through a single access point.

 

Apart from implementing various enhancements and these banking security measures, Public Bank has also kept track of reported mule accounts in the industry. Based on the mule database, approximately over 1 million customers, or 3.2 million transactions totalling about RM1.6 billion, were prevented from falling into fraudsters' mule accounts as of May 2024.

 

In addition, the Public Bank's transaction cooling-off period allows the Bank to review and assess transactions that display abnormal characteristics. This additional step is designed to minimise the risk of unauthorised transactions and potential fraudulent activities, ensuring the safety of customers' funds.

 

Since the introduction of the transaction cooling-off period, over 400

customers' transactions valued at approximately RM 2.0 million have been prevented from being scammed.

 

Public Bank will continue to work with the public to keep them informed of the latest updates regarding scams and fraud.

 

Meanwhile, customers are advised to remain vigilant and never disclose their User ID, password, and answers to the Challenge Questions to anyone. As fraudsters can initiate threatening calls impersonating enforcement officers, customers are advised not to be frightened by such threatening fake calls and to cut-off the call immediately.

 

If they experience any irregularities in their bank accounts or suspected fraudulent activity, they should immediately contact the 24-Hour Case Management, Digital Support Hotline at 03-2177 3555 or the National Scam Response Centre at 997 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

 

(From left) Commissioner Datuk Sri Ramli Bin Mohammed Yoosuf, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek, Dato’ Chang Kat Kiam and Ms Chang Siew Yen during the launch of Public Bank Scam Prevention Campaign

 

(From left) Dato’ Chang Kat Kiam, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek and Commissioner Datuk Sri Ramli Bin Mohammed Yoosuf revealing the PB Scam Rangers van

 

(From left) Commissioner Datuk Sri Ramli Bin Mohammed Yoosuf, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek and Dato’ Chang Kat Kiam posing beside the public transportation bus that will be raising awareness on frauds and fraudulent activities

 

* * * * *

11
Jun 2024
Public Bank Hosts Successful Inaugural Run for Change 2024 for Sustainable Health and Wellness

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

11 June 2024

 

Public Bank Hosts Successful Inaugural Run for Change 2024 for Sustainable Health and Wellness

 

Public Bank is delighted to announce the successful conclusion of its inaugural Run for Change 2024 at Padang Merbok Kuala Lumpur, which aimed to champion sustainable health and wellness. The event brought together over 1,200 Public Bank staff from diverse backgrounds to raise awareness about fostering a culture of sustainability and enhancing the quality of life through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices within the community.

 

The event went beyond being a race in conjunction with World Environment Day. It provided a platform for individuals to unite and make a meaningful impact on the environment. A portion of the participation fees was allocated towards purchasing young trees, contributing to the nation's green initiative. This initiative aimed to enhance environmental sustainability and promote the importance of preserving nature for future generations.

 

The run also encouraged physical fitness and the importance of healthy lifestyles among participants, especially youngsters. To make the event more inclusive, 100 students from the Public Bank Berhad Green Growth Asia Foundation (PBB GGAF) Eco-Schools programme and residents from three special homes—Lovely Disabled Home, Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Insan, and Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah joined the run. Public Bank sponsored the PBB GGAF Eco-Schools students and the residents from these special homes to attend, demonstrating our commitment to giving back to the community through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The PBB GGAF Eco-Schools students are partners in the Public Bank’s three-year ESG programme, and their involvement underscores the Bank’s commitment to sustainable environmental education.

 

Reflecting on the event's success, Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Public Bank, expressed his satisfaction and pride as he stated, “The inaugural Run for Change 2024 has been a resounding success, thanks to the dedication and commitment of all participants. Witnessing over 1,200 individuals unite for a cause that champions sustainability and community well-being is truly inspiring. This event highlights our collective responsibility towards the environment and emphasises the importance of inclusivity. Public Bank remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting ESG practices and contributing to a greener, healthier future for all. Together, we can make a lasting, positive impact on our world.”

 

Public Bank wishes to thank all participants for their enthusiastic support in making the event a significant milestone in its sustainability journey. The overwhelming response and the active participation have strengthened our resolve to continue organising events that promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility. We look forward to future initiatives where we can further our commitment to ESG principles, engage with the community, and inspire more individuals to create a sustainable and inclusive future. Together, we can make an enduring positive change.

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek (centre) cheering before the flag-off of the Run For Change 2024

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek (centre) together with the Public Bank Group’s Management and winners of the Run For Change 2024

 

The flag-off of the 10KM race

 

* * * * *

May 2024
20
May 2024
Public Bank Group Achieved Pre-Tax Profit of RM2.13 Billion for The First Quarter of 2024

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

20 May 2024

 

Public Bank Group Achieved Pre-Tax Profit of RM2.13 Billion For The First Quarter Of 2024

 

Highlights of Results for the First Quarter 2024

  • Pre-tax profit and net profit at RM2.13 billion and RM1.65 billion respectively
  • Total loans and deposits recorded annualised growth rates of 6.3% and 7.1% respectively
  • Net return on equity at 12.3%
  • Cost-to-income ratio at 35.4%
  • Gross impaired loans ratio at 0.62%
  • Liquidity coverage ratio of 136.5%
  • Common Equity Tier 1 Capital Ratio of 14.5% and total capital ratio of 17.4%

For the first quarter ended 31 March 2024, the Public Bank Group achieved pre-tax profit and net profit attributable to shareholders of RM2.13 billion and RM1.65 billion respectively.

 

As compared with the preceding quarter ended 31 December 2023, the Group’s pre-tax profit and net profit grew by 3.1% and 2.3% respectively.

 

As compared with the corresponding quarter ended 31 March 2023, the Group’s pre-tax profit and net profit declined by 3.5% mainly due to the non-recurrence of the positive impact of OPR hikes in the previous corresponding period.

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Public Bank commented, “Net income improved by 3.7% to RM3.38 billion as compared with the preceding quarter ended 31 December 2023. With a stable net interest margin/financing margin of 2.21%, net interest and financing income rose by 2.7% to RM2.71 billion. Meanwhile, non-interest income posted 7.9% growth to RM649.6 million. For the first quarter of 2024, the Group continued to sustain a commendable net return on equity of 12.3%, an efficient cost-to-income ratio of 35.4% and a stable asset quality with gross impaired loans ratio of 0.62%.”

 

Loans and Deposits Businesses

 

During the first quarter of 2024, the Public Bank Group maintained a commendable loan growth at an annualised rate of 6.3%. The Group’s domestic loans grew by an annualised rate of 5.9% to RM378.2 billion, outpacing the Malaysian banking industry’s annualised loan growth rate of 5.3%. The Group’s domestic residential properties financing, hire purchase financing and commercial properties financing grew by an annualised rate of 5.6%, 17.3% and 4.0% respectively.

 

During the quarter, total newly approved domestic loans increased by 10.2% as compared with the corresponding period last year. In particular, loans approved for hire purchase and SMEs increased by 27.2% and 11.8% respectively, which will contribute to loan growth for 2024.

 

In terms of funding, during the first quarter of 2024, both the Group’s total customer deposits and domestic total customer deposits grew at an annualised rate of 7.1% and 7.3% to RM420.2 billion and RM391.9 billion respectively, supported by stable inflows in core deposits.

 

The Public Bank Group maintained stable liquidity with gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 82.0% as at the end of March 2024.

 

Asset Quality


The Public Bank Group emphasises strong credit risk management. As at the end of March 2024, the Group’s gross impaired loans ratio stood at 0.62%. The Group’s domestic operations which accounted for over 93% of the Group’s total loans, maintained a low gross impaired loans ratio of 0.41%. This was significantly lower than the domestic banking industry’s average gross impaired loans ratio of 1.62%.

 

Despite the stable asset quality, the Group continued to maintain a prudent level of provisioning with a loan loss coverage ratio of 168.7%, which was nearly two-fold that of the banking industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 92.1%. Including regulatory reserves, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio was higher at 200.0%.

 

Non-interest Income

 

In the first quarter of 2024, non-interest income increased marginally by 0.5% to RM649.6 million as compared with the corresponding period last year. Comparing against the preceding quarter ended 31 December 2023, non-interest income increased by 7.9%, led by higher income from the Group’s unit trust and stockbroking businesses.

 

The Public Bank Group’s wholly owned subsidiary managing its unit trust business, Public Mutual, remained the main contributor to the Group’s non-interest income. Despite continued market volatility, Public Mutual recorded robust performance in the first quarter of 2024, with 11.4% growth in pre-tax profit to RM214.6 million as compared with the corresponding period last year, contributing 10.1% to the Group’s pre-tax profit. As at the end of March 2024, Public Mutual continued to capture a leading retail market share of 35.8% with a total of 183 unit trust funds and a net asset value of funds under management of RM100.4 billion.

 

Overseas Operations

 

In the first quarter of 2024, the Public Bank Group’s overseas operations contributed 6.3% to the Group’s pre-tax profit, mainly from its Indochina operations.

 

Cambodian Public Bank Plc was the main contributor to the Public Bank Group’s overseas profits, with an increase of 5.7% in pre-tax profit during the quarter.

 

Indochina will continue to be the Group’s key focus area in its overseas business expansion. With its strategic expansion of business footprint, the Group has established an extensive total branch network of 76 branches in Indochina, including 40 branches in Vietnam, 32 branches in Cambodia and 4 branches in Lao PDR. Further, branch expansion plans are in the pipeline for the Group’s newly incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Bank Lao Limited.

 

Meanwhile, the challenging operating environment and the subdued property market condition in Hong Kong continued to weigh on the business of Public Financial Holdings Limited Group. The Group will remain cautious and prudent in maintaining its risk profile while tapping on any viable opportunities arising from Hong Kong’s gradual economic recovery.

 

Capital and Liquidity Position

 

In the first quarter of 2024, the Public Bank Group remained well-capitalised with common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio standing at 14.5%, 14.5% and 17.4% respectively.

 

The liquidity coverage ratio remained comfortably above the regulatory requirement, standing at a healthy level of 136.5%.

 

Group’s Prospects

 

Underpinned by firm fundamentals, a stable employment market and a diversified economic structure, the Malaysian economy is expected to improve in 2024 driven mainly by domestic demand. In addition, improving tourism activity and the ongoing implementation of multi-year investment and infrastructure projects are expected to further propel the domestic economy. 

 

However, the outlook continues to be subjected to downside risks, which include weaker-than-expected global demand, geopolitical conflicts and volatility in global financial markets.

 

Tan Sri Tay concluded, “Against this backdrop, the Public Bank Group will remain vigilant in its business approach and will continue to maintain its prudent risk profile to weather ongoing risks. Tapping on the improved economic outlook, the Group will continue to take a proactive approach to embracing growth opportunities. The Group will also continue to pursue digital transformation and further step up its ESG efforts to remain relevant in today’s dynamic business environment.”

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Public Bank

 

* * * * *

8
May 2024
Public Bank’s 58th Annual General Meeting Held on 8 May 2024

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

8 May 2024

Public Bank’s 58th Annual General Meeting Held on 8 May 2024


In conjunction with Public Bank’s 58th Annual General Meeting held on 8 May 2024, the Managing Director, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek is pleased to present a review of the Public Bank Group’s performance in 2023 and the Group’s strategic direction.

 

Performance Review

 

Tan Sri Tay said, “In 2023, the Public Bank Group achieved pre-tax profit of RM8.54 billion as compared to RM8.83 billion in the previous year. Net profit attributable to shareholders grew by 8.7% from RM6.12 billion to RM6.65 billion over the same period. As a result, earnings per share also increased to 34.3 sen. The Group’s stable profit performance was mainly due to continued growth in loans and deposits, improvement in non-interest income and lower loan loss allowances.”

 

The Public Bank Group’s total gross loans and financing grew by 5.9% to RM399.0 billion as at the end of 2023. Domestic loans grew by 5.9%, which was higher than the domestic banking industry’s growth of 5.3%.  The Group continued to sustain its leading position in residential property, commercial property and passenger vehicle hire purchase financing with market shares of 20.4%, 32.6% and 30.5% respectively as at the end of 2023. The Group is also a leading small and medium enterprises (“SME”) financier with 17.9% market share in domestic SME financing.

 

In terms of funding, the Public Bank Group’s customer deposits grew by 4.6% to RM412.9 billion in 2023. Domestic deposits increased at a faster pace of 4.8%. Core customer deposits accounted for 82.8% of the Group’s total customer deposits in 2023, of which fixed deposits accounted for 54.4%, current account contributed 16.9% and savings deposits accounted for 11.5% of the Group’s total customer deposits.

 

Tan Sri Tay highlighted, “In 2023, the 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 33.7%, as compared to the industry’s average cost to income ratio of 48.3%. In terms of asset quality, the Group’s domestic gross impaired loans ratio of 0.4% remained the best amongst the Malaysian banking groups. This was also significantly better than the banking industry’s gross impaired loans ratio of 1.6%. The Group’s resilient net return on equity of 13.0% was also well above the domestic banking peers’ average net return on equity of 10.0%.”

 

The Public Bank Group’s wholly owned unit trust management subsidiary, Public Mutual, remained the main contributor to the Group’s non-interest income. Despite unfavourable market condition in 2023, Public Mutual recorded pre-tax profit growth of 2.3% to RM798.0 million, and continued to capture the largest market share of 35.9% in the retail private unit trust industry. As at the end of 2023, Public Mutual’s total assets under management stood at RM97.1 billion, with 182 funds under its management.

 

Given that sufficient pre-emptive provisioning had been made since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Bank Group’s loan loss coverage ratio remained at a prudent level of 181.8% as at the end of 2023. This was higher than the pre-pandemic level and also significantly higher than the industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 92.0%. With the inclusion of regulatory reserves, the Group’s loan loss coverage would be higher at 212.8%.

 

The Public Bank Group’s capital position remained stable and healthy with Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 14.7% and total capital ratio of 17.6% as at the end of 2023. The Group’s Liquidity Coverage Ratio of 136.8% also remained well above the regulatory requirement of 100%.

 

Tan Sri Tay said, “In view of the Public Bank Group’s resilient financial performance in 2023, a second interim dividend of 10 sen was paid in March 2024. Together with the first interim dividend of 9 sen paid in September 2023, shareholders would have received a total dividend of 19 sen per share for 2023. This was higher than 17 sen paid in 2022. Total dividends paid amounted to RM3.69 billion, representing 55.5% of the Group’s net profit for 2023. The 19 sen dividend per share also translates to a dividend yield of 4.4% based on Public Bank’s share price of RM4.29 as at the end of 2023.”

 

The Public Bank Group remains committed to deliver consistent and superior returns to its shareholders. With stable performance of Public Bank shares coupled with consistent dividend payout, these will further enhance long-term value of shareholders’ investment.

 

Today, Public Bank is the second largest company and the largest non-government linked company on Bursa Malaysia with total market capitalisation of RM81.7 billion.

 

Strategies and Directions for 2024

 

Tan Sri Tay commented, “The economic environment is likely to remain challenging and uncertain, with persistent geopolitical risks and headwinds in the global economy. Against this backdrop, we will continue to be vigilant and agile, balancing growth and risks amid the changing business environment. With the Malaysian economy expected to remain stable supported by domestic demand, we will continue to drive business growth riding on potential growth opportunities.”

 

The Public Bank Group will continue to stay abreast with market development and take appropriate strategic initiatives to sustain its leading market share in the financing, deposit and unit trust industry. The Group will continue to ensure that it remains well-capitalised and well-funded. Coupled with its resilient asset quality and prudent loan loss reserves, these will enable the Group to generate sustainable profit moving forward.

In terms of overseas operations, the Public Bank Group has further expanded its business footprint in the fast growing Indochina region. Public Bank Vietnam opened eight new branches in 2023, bringing the total number of branches to 40. Today, with a total of 76 branches in Indochina, the Group is well-positioned to capture business opportunities within the Indochina region.


The Public Bank Group remains committed to drive sustainable best practices in line with its Sustainability Roadmap. With sustainability in mind, the Group targets to mobilise a total of RM100 billion in sustainable finance by 2030. In this aspect, the Group has mobilised over RM53 billion of sustainable finance since 2020. This covers financing portfolio such as energy efficient vehicles financing, affordable homes financing, corporate loans and Green Financing facilities.

 

The Public Bank Group continues to develop and promote financial products and services that integrate ESG considerations into various aspects of banking. The Group fully supports Bank Negara Malaysia’s Value-Based Intermediation initiative. The Group has also proactively incorporated climate risk into its credit assessment process and identified new green financing opportunities. In 2023, the Group has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. This will pave the way towards the Group’s net zero carbon commitment.

 

The Public Bank Group continues to contribute on improving community well-being, including healthcare, education and raising environmental awareness. The Group has also become the first bank in Malaysia to contribute and participate in the Eco-Schools programme. This programme seeks to educate the young generation on environmental issues.

 

Tan Sri Tay highlighted, “Pushing ahead in digital transformation is also one of the Group’s sustainability agenda. In response to fast changing customer expectations, we have proactively built and enhanced our digital capabilities to meet our customers’ needs. With consistent investments made over the years, Public Bank’s mobile banking and internet banking continue to be enriched with new functions and features.”

 

The Public Bank Group launched a new mobile app, the MyPB App in November 2023. The MyPB App embeds lifestyle and complementary services for customers. This new mobile app is also equipped with various enhanced features, which includes seamless digital applications for credit card, home loan / financing and vehicle financing for retail customers.

 

In 2023, the newly registered users of the Public Bank Group’s mobile banking grew by a commendable 37.3%. The number of active mobile banking users also increased by an impressive 89.1%. For the Group’s PBe online banking, the number of new users grew by 3.4%. The Group’s corporate online banking platform, the PB enterprise, registered impressive growth in 2023. Total new companies registered on PB enterprise grew by a commendable 21.9%. The number of transactions performed on PB enterprise also increased by 41.7%.

 

The Public Bank Group is watchful of opportunities presented by financial technology, yet also mindful of cybersecurity risks. The Group has implemented various measures to safeguard customers’ online banking transactions. To enhance scam prevention effectiveness, the Group has introduced transaction cooling-off period for abnormal transactions. The Group has also migrated to PB SecureSign for a more secure authentication method. The ‘Kill-Switch’ function was introduced to allow customers to promptly deactivate their online accounts. With these measures in place, Public Bank has successfully prevented more than 940,000 customers from being scammed and about RM1.5 billion from being transferred into scammers’ accounts.

 

Tan Sri Tay highlighted, “We strongly advise customers to maintain a high level of vigilance to avoid being scammed. You actually hold the key to your own financial safety! There are three important rules of thumb that everyone should be alert about. First, do not click or give out personal information, including ID and password. Second, cut and block any suspicious call at once, for instance impersonation by callers as police officers, Bank Negara Malaysia’s officials and any other Government officers. Third, immediately call your bank or 997 for HELP, if you suspect that you have been scammed.

 

On investment schemes, do not trust promises of unrealistic high investment income or returns. These are all most likely investment scams. To be certain, you should always consult your bankers to avoid being scammed.”

 

Tan Sri Tay further commented, “Amid a challenging operating environment, the Public Bank Group will continue to forge ahead, building on its legacy of banking excellence which was founded by our late Chairman Emeritus, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow.

 

Looking ahead, the Group remains focused on strengthening its retail and commercial banking business. The Group will also continue to drive digital transformation and focus on its sustainability commitments. Amid the changing business environment, the Group will stay vigilant and agile. The Group will constantly adapt and improve in all aspects to remain relevant and ensure sustainable value generation for its stakeholders.

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek

Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer

Public Bank

February 2024
28
Feb 2024
Public Bank Group Achieved Net Profit of RM6.65 Billion for 2023 and Declared 10.0 Sen Second Interim Dividend

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

28 February 2024

 

Public Bank Group Achieved Net Profit of RM6.65 Billion for 2023 and Declared 10.0 Sen Second Interim Dividend


For the financial year 2023, the Public Bank Group achieved a pre-tax profit of RM8.54 billion and net profit attributable to shareholders of RM6.65 billion.

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Public Bank commented, “The Public Bank Group’s stable profit performance for 2023 was mainly attributed to the continued growth of loans and deposits, along with the improvement in non-interest income and lower loan loss allowances. The Group’s net profit grew by 8.7% in 2023. The resilient performance is also reflected in the Group’s net return on equity of 13.0%.”

 

The Public Bank Group recorded healthy loans and deposits growth of 5.9% and 4.6% respectively in 2023. The Group registered an average net interest margin of 2.20% during the year, contributing to a net interest and financing income of RM10.53 billion.

 

Non-interest income grew by 2.6%, contributed by higher income derived from the Group’s unit trust, foreign exchange and stockbroking businesses. 

 

With operating expenses prudently managed, the Public Bank Group’s cost-to-income ratio stood at 33.7%, significantly better than the domestic banking industry’s cost-to-income ratio of 48.3%.

 

Gross impaired loans ratio remained low at 0.59%, reflecting the Public Bank Group’s resilient risk profile of its loan portfolio. Given the sufficient pre-emptive provisioning allocated since the pandemic, loan loss allowances were lower by 57.1% as compared with 2022, with loan loss coverage ratio still standing at a prudent level of 181.8% as at the end of 2023.

 

Tan Sri Tay highlighted, “In view of the commendable performance in 2023, the Board of Directors of Public Bank declared a second interim dividend of 10.0 sen per share, which brings its total dividend to 19.0 sen per share for the financial year 2023. This represents a total dividend payout of RM3.69 billion which accounted for 55.5% of the Public Bank Group’s net profit for 2023. The dividend will be paid on 22 March 2024, based on the dividend entitlement date of 14 March 2024.”  

 

Loans and Deposits Businesses

 

For 2023, the Public Bank Group’s total loans and deposits continued to record healthy growth rate, increasing by 5.9% and 4.6% respectively.

 

Domestic loans growth accelerated by 5.9% to RM372.7 billion, outpacing the banking industry growth rate of 5.3%. Loans growth for residential properties financing and hire purchase financing grew steadily at 6.4% and 10.8% respectively. The Public Bank Group also continued to capture leading market share in its core lending segments, with market shares of 20.4% in residential properties financing, 30.5% in hire purchase financing and 17.9% in SME financing. Total newly approved domestic loans increased by 26.5% in 2023 as compared with 2022, supporting a healthy loans pipeline going forward.

 

Domestic deposits rose by 4.8% to RM384.9 billion, supported by stable and healthy growth of both core and wholesale deposits.

 

As at the end of December 2023, the Public Bank Group maintained stable gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 82.0%.

 

Asset Quality

 

As at the end of December 2023, the Public Bank Group’s gross impaired loans ratio remained stable at 0.59%, which was significantly lower than the domestic banking industry’s average gross impaired loans ratio of 1.65%. Domestically, gross impaired loans for residential property financing, commercial property financing and hire purchase financing stood at 0.33%, 0.62% and 0.26% respectively.

 

The Group continued to maintain a prudent level of provisioning with a loan loss coverage ratio of 181.8%, which was well above the banking industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 92.0%. Including regulatory reserves, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio was higher at 212.8%.

 

Non-interest Income

 

Non-interest income grew by 2.6% to RM2.48 billion in 2023, mainly attributed to the improved performance in unit trust, foreign exchange and stockbroking businesses.

 

The Public Bank Group’s wholly owned subsidiary managing its unit trust business, Public Mutual, remained the main contributor to the Group’s non-interest income. Despite the unfavourable market condition in 2023, Public Mutual recorded a 2.3% growth in pre-tax profit to RM798.0 million, contributing 9.3% to the Group’s profit. As at the end of 2023, Public Mutual continued to capture a leading retail market share of 35.9% with a total of 182 unit trust funds and net asset value of funds under management of RM97.1 billion.

 

Overseas Operations

 

In 2023, the Public Bank Group’s overseas operations contributed 5.9% to the Group’s profit, mainly from its Indochina operations.

 

Cambodian Public Bank Plc (“Campu Bank”) and Public Bank Vietnam were the main profit contributor to the Public Bank Group’s overseas profits. Campu Bank has a total of 32 branches across Cambodia, including the opening of one new branch in 2023. In Vietnam, eight new branches were opened during the year, making a total of 40 branches nationwide as at end of the year.

 

In addition, with effect from 1 January 2024, the Public Bank Group has converted its operations in Laos into a wholly-owned subsidiary, which is renamed as Public Bank Lao Limited. This is a step to further strengthen the Group’s business footprint in the Indochina region.

 

In Hong Kong, the challenging operating environment weighed on the Public Bank Group’s business growth. The Group remains committed in driving its business growth, maintaining a prudent risk profile and upholding sound risk management in its Hong Kong operations.

 

Capital and Liquidity Position

 

In 2023, the Public Bank Group maintained a healthy capital level with common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio standing at 14.7%, 14.7% and 17.6% respectively.

 

Liquidity coverage ratio remained above the regulatory requirement, at a healthy level of 136.8%. 

 

Sustainability Progress

 

The Public Bank Group continued to make progress in its sustainability journey in 2023.

 

On promoting sustainable financing, the Public Bank Group and several property developers are collaborating on property financing of green and sustainable development projects in Malaysia. The Group continues to focus on promoting its Green Financing Facilities, which covers 80 green and environmentally friendly economic activities. The Group also focuses on promoting financing for solar panel, affordable housing and energy efficient vehicles.

 

Since 2020, the Group’s domestic operations have mobilised over RM53 billion of sustainable financing, and targets to mobilise a cumulative of RM100 billion in sustainable financing by 2030.

 

In 2023, the Public Bank Group has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials and tapped on their comprehensive methods to measure financed emissions. This will pave the way towards the Group’s net zero carbon commitment.

 

On community contribution, the Public Bank Group had in 2023 contributed over RM1.2 million on improving community well-being, including healthcare, education and raising environmental awareness. On this note, the Group has become the first bank in Malaysia to contribute and participate in the Eco-Schools programme to educate the young generations about the importance of environmental issues.

 

With its unwavering commitment to ESG, Public Bank has remained a constituent in the FTSE4Good indices, while also continuing to be recognised with an AA rating by MSCI ESG Ratings, as well as an ESG Corporate Gold Award by The Asset.

 

Group’s Prospects

 

Globally, the economic environment is expected to remain challenging with most major economies, such as the US, euro area and Japan expected to grow modestly. The global economy is expected to grow in 2024, with downside risks weighed by the anticipated downtrend in external trades, slower momentum in major economies, protracted geopolitical tension(s) and tight financial market conditions.

 

While not being insulated from these global challenges, domestically, the Malaysian economy will continue to be supported by steady domestic demand underpinned by growth in tourism activities, further progress of investment and infrastructure projects as well as proactive Government policies.

 

Tan Sri Tay said, “2024 is likely to be another year of challenges. However, given the domestic banks’ strong fundamentals with healthy capital and liquidity buffers, coupled with the sufficient pre-emptive provisioning and prudent coverage ratios, the banking sector will remain resilient in navigating any headwinds. The banking sector will continue to play its key role in supporting the nation’s development and serving the people’s financial needs.”

 

Tan Sri Tay concluded, “The Public Bank Group will remain focused on growing its core retail and commercial banking business, while strengthening its commitments in the areas of environmental, social and governance. The Group will ensure it remains relevant and resilient as it continues to serve the best interest of all its stakeholders.”

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Public Bank

 

* * * * *

19
Feb 2024
Public Bank Vietnam Limited to Acquire RHB Securities Vietnam Company Limited

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

19 February 2024

 

Public Bank Vietnam Limited to Acquire RHB Securities Vietnam Company Limited

 

Public Bank Vietnam Limited (“PBVN”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Public Bank Berhad (“PBB”), had on 19 February 2024 entered into a sale and purchase agreement (“SPA”) with RHB Investment Bank Berhad, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RHB Bank Berhad, for the proposed acquisition of the entire charter capital of RHB Securities Vietnam Company Limited (“RHBSVN”), representing 100% equity interest in RHBSVN (“Proposed Acquisition”).

 

Under the SPA, PBVN will acquire RHBSVN for a cash consideration of VND374 billion (equivalent to RM72.55 million based on Bank Negara Malaysia’s exchange rate as at 31 January 2024 of RM1:VND5,155), subject to adjustments based on certain terms and conditions of the SPA.

 

Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek said, “We are confident about the prospects of this strategic acquisition as it presents a good opportunity for PBVN to expand its financial services offering to include securities trading and to participate in the immense growth potential of Vietnam’s capital market.”

 

He further added that, “PBB first ventured into Vietnam in 1992 by setting up PBVN as a joint venture bank and subsequently obtained the 100% foreign-owned bank licence from the State Bank of Vietnam in 2016. PBVN has been operating profitably since its incorporation and business has since expanded significantly. PBVN currently has 40 branches located strategically throughout Vietnam and this strategic acquisition will allow PBVN to leverage on its existing clientele in Vietnam to grow the securities trading business. As such, this acquisition marks another milestone for PBB to further strengthen our regional presence and be a stronger player in the Indo-China market.”

 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances and subject to obtaining all the required approvals from the relevant authorities, the Proposed Acquisition is expected to be completed in the 2nd quarter of 2024.

 

* * * * * * *

8
Feb 2024
Introducing the New MyPB App with Global Payments, Cash Prizes and More! Download Now and Win Big in the ‘Happy Dragon Year with PBB’ Campaign

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

8 February 2024

 

Introducing the New MyPB App with Global Payments, Cash Prizes and More! Download Now and Win Big in the ‘Happy Dragon Year with PBB’ Campaign

 

Public Bank customers can now enjoy unparalleled banking experience with its newly launched mobile banking application, MyPB App. On top of that, customers stand to win cash prizes and cash back with two new campaigns held in conjunction with the launch as well while also ushering in the year of Dragon.

 

“A highlight of our MyPB App is the new Alipay+ Cross Border QR Payments, which ensures that customers can effortlessly make payments on a global scale, bringing unparalleled ease for frequent travelers to business professionals.” said Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Public Bank.

 

Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr. Tay further shared that the new MyPB App marks a new milestone for Public Bank’s continuous digital expansion and innovation.

 

To further delight customers, the “Win Cash with MyPB App” campaign has total prizes worth RM250,000 up for grabs for customers who uses the new MyPB App to make transactions from 1st February to 31st March 2024.

 

Additionally, a second campaign, “Happy ‘Dragon, 龍’ Year with PBB” held in conjunction with the Chinese New Year festive season will also run concurrently from 9th to 25th February 2024 with cash back up for grabs.

 

Open to both PB engage users and the new MyPB App users, users can look forward to winning Cash Back prizes when they make mobile banking transactions through their mobile applications. Apart from mobile banking transactions, the MyPB App also offers lifestyle features such as ‘Wealth’ and ‘Expense Tracker’.

 

“In this very busy world, convenience is key. Instead of spend now, think later, the App allow customers to have a comprehensive view of their financial status in just a few taps, allowing for efficient financial management. These features empower individuals in tracking their personal financial health, aligning with Public Bank’s commitment to enhance financial literacy and well-being,” Tan Sri Tay said.

 

Further adding to customers’ convenience include application for financing facilities through the MyPB App, including home loan and hire purchase financing facility. Customers can download MyPB App from Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This App will co-exist and remain accessible with the PB engage App, which was launched since 2014, offering customers the flexibility to access banking services from either mobile banking application.

 

To find out more on this and other on-going promotions, log on to Public Bank’s website at www.pbebank.com or call PB Customer Service at 03-2170 8000.

 

 

* * * * * *

January 2024
23
Jan 2024
1,000 Trees Planted To Foster Environmental Conservation: A Joint Initiative by Public Bank Group and Yayasan Hijau Malaysia

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

23 January 2024

 

1,000 Trees Planted To Foster Environmental Conservation:

A Joint Initiative by Public Bank Group and Yayasan Hijau Malaysia


Public Bank Group, in collaboration with Yayasan Hijau Malaysia, is set to make a significant contribution to environmental conservation with the planting of 1,000 trees. The launching of the collaboration took place on 20 January 2024 at Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve with the commencing of 100 trees planted, observing the importance of preserving nature and aligns with the Bank's ongoing commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives.

 

To ensure the success and sustainability of the initiative, Public Bank collaborates with Yayasan Hijau Malaysia which has been actively promoting the importance of green technology with programme like Greening Malaysia through the National 100 Million Tree Planting Campaign 2021-2025.

 

Public Bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek said in his speech, “This programme is not just about planting trees; it is about sowing the seeds of positive change and nurturing a greener, more sustainable world. We recognise the critical role that businesses play in addressing environmental and social challenges. With this in mind, we are initiating a tree planting project that involves planting 1,000 trees.

 

Tan Sri Tay continued, “Preserving nature and fostering environmental consciousness are integral parts of our ESG initiatives. This programme also aligns seamlessly with one of the four sustainability themes that guide our Group’s sustainability agenda, namely “Protecting the Environment.”

 

Dr. Nurul Muiz bin Murad, the Chief Executive Officer of Yayasan Hijau Malaysia in his speech said, “I believe that Public Bank Group is dedicated to fulfilling its social responsibilities by harnessing innovation for the betterment of society, the environment, and the world. This involves efforts towards conserving Malaysia's biodiversity, enhancing the natural environment, and addressing climate change. Continuous initiatives, such as tree planting, play a vital role in preserving the environment for the benefit of future generations.”

 

Tuan Azhar bin Ahmad, Director, Selangor State Forestry Department emphasised, “The execution of this programme demonstrates Public Bank Group’s high priority and commitment in ensuring that the national forest heritage continue to be preserved and sustainable.  The Department has taken several initiatives to preserve and conserve the forest heritage in Selangor. Among them are replanting programmes in impoverished and degraded forest areas, awareness campaigns on the importance of forests and working with local community in the Malaysia’s Greening Programme.”

 

During the event, Tan Sri Tay together with Encik Syamsul Azuan bin Ahmad Fauzi, Chief Executive Officer of Public Islamic Bank Berhad, Mr. Lee Yo-Hunn, Chief Executive Officer of Public Investment Bank Berhad and Mr. Chung Yee Wah, Chief Investment Officer, Public Mutual Berhad presented the mock cheque amounting RM109,450.00 to Dr. Nurul Muiz bin Murad being the group’s contribution towards the tree planting programme.

 

The programme which saw 100 volunteers from Public Bank Group coming together serves as a crucial component of Public Bank Group's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, contributing to environmental preservation and conservation. The planting of the remaining 900 trees will be oversee and planted by Yayasan Hijau Malaysia and the Forestry Department together with Public Bank Group volunteers in mangrove forests across Selangor and Perak.

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek (centre) with our partners from Yayasan Hijau Malaysia, Selangor State Forestry and Public Bank Group’s Management team

 

Attendees from Public Bank Group, Yayasan Hijau Malaysia and Selangor State Forestry cheering before the tree planting session

 

* * * * * *