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Bankers laud various aspects of Budget 2021
Saturday, 7 Nov 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2021 rightly remains expansionary and, equally important, it maintains and even enhances the targeted financial support and fiscal reliefs for vulnerable communities and businesses impacted by the social, financial and economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, who is also chairman of The Association of Banks in Malaysia, said during times like these, ways must be found to assist struggling communities and businesses, the unemployed and those whose income had been significantly reduced because of underemployment, pay cuts or loss of business.

He said this budget also allocated around RM8.5 billion to protect and create jobs as well as provide various training programmes.

“Organisations should support this agenda and strive to preserve jobs, invest in re-skilling and up-skilling their employees, and take care of their workers’ welfare so that together, we can overcome this extremely challenging environment and uncertain period.

“In our view, organisations should not feel pressured to reduce staff costs by retrenching employees to maintain profits and dividends. All stakeholders must work together to ride out this storm,“ he said in a statement today.

Abdul Farid said he also believed ESG (environmental, social and governance)-related investments could stimulate economic growth, generate business opportunities and create jobs and was pleased the budget had measures to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, promote green investing and protect the environment and natural resources.

Public Bank Bhd founder, chairman emeritus, director and adviser, Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, also commended the government on formulating a budget which leaves no one behind.

“We applaud the government’s finger on the pulse of the nation in meeting the needs of the day through increasing the quantum of personal and corporate financial assistances and the expanding of various subsidy and financing schemes.

“During this trying time, Public Bank will continue to actively engage and assist customers by providing further assistance required under the expanded targeted repayment assistance programme,” he said.

Standard Chartered (StanChart) Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Abrar A. Anwar said inclusiveness and expansionary were keywords from Budget 2021.

He said as facilitators of cross-border trade, StanChart applauded the RM1 billion special incentive package for high value-added technology which would continue to attract quality investments and add value to the country’s economy.

“For companies looking at relocating to Malaysia, the extension of a special income tax relief for eligible non-resident individuals holding key positions for strategic new investments will be a considerable pull factor, on top of access to a diverse pool of talent and the country’s prime location in the heart of Southeast Asia,“ he said.

He said as a bank that was at the forefront of digital banking, StanChart supported the government’s commitment in moving Malaysia towards a digital economy.

Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd (BPMB) president/group chief executive officer Arshad Mohamed Ismail said the decision to extend the Digitalisation Transformation Scheme would help stimulate digitalisation initiatives with availability of funds until Dec 31, 2023.

“We believe these financial support schemes are timely and effective in catalysing national economic recovery.

“We at BPMB are also honoured to be given the responsibility to be part of this development agenda through the National Development Scheme, the Maritime and Logistics Scheme, the Sustainable Development Scheme, the Tourism Infrastructure Scheme and the Public Transportation Scheme,“ he said.

CIMB Group welcomes its role as enablers of the recovery, by participating in the expanded Targeted Loan Assistance Programme.

CIMB Group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said it was optimal that assistance to borrowers was done in a targeted manner to ensure funds were specifically channelled to individuals and companies in need, including those affected small and medium enterprises, B40s and M40s.

“This is more effective as those who can afford to resume their payment should do so to avoid incurring higher costs and to ensure the banking system remains healthy, backed by good asset quality to support additional lending activities,“ he added.


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