Nora: Un­cer­tain­ties loom over the global bank­ing in­dus­try

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Global de­vel­op­ments over the year have given the bank­ing sec­tor in­con­sis­tent in­di­ca­tors and these un­cer­tain­ties will con­tinue to take over the bank­ing in­dus­try this year.

Malayan Com­mer­cial Banks’ As­so­ci­a­tion (MCBA) pres­i­dent Nora Abd Manaf said there is not much chance of pre­dictabil­ity.

How­ever, she said the global bank­ing sys­tem is not only big­ger and more prof­itable but also re­silient than at any time in the past 10 years.

She added that banks in the United States are ahead on mul­ti­ple mea­sures as com­pared with their Euro­pean coun­ter­parts.

“Favourable gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) growth, tax cuts and ris­ing rates have fur­ther boosted the state of the in­dus­try. How­ever, many Euro­pean banks have be­come smaller, with­draw­ing from the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket and ex­it­ing for­mer prof­itable busi­nesses,” said Nora.

In the Asia-Pa­cific, she said the Chi­nese bank­ing in­dus­try has sur­passed that of the Euro­pean Union in terms of size and is do­ing well in terms of profitabil­ity.

“Larger banks re­ported a 5.3% re­turn on eq­uity in 2017. How­ever, the con­cerns over eco­nomic growth and the US-China tar­iff war are af­fect­ing prospects.

“Ja­panese banks, on the other hand, es­caped the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and have long suf­fered the ef­fects of slow do­mes­tic growth and low neg­a­tive in­ter­est rates.

“Much re­mains to be seen this year and un­cer­tain­ties loom on the hori­zon,” she said, adding that real GDP growth fore­casts by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund points to a de­cel­er­a­tion in all re­gions, in­clud­ing China and emerg­ing Asia.

Nora, who is also the Malayan Bank­ing Bhd group chief hu­man cap­i­tal of­fi­cer, said this in her speech yes­ter­day be­fore the sign­ing of the 19th col­lec­tive agree­ment (CA) be­tween MCBA and the Na­tional Union of Bank Em­ploy­ees (NUBE).

The new CA for the pe­riod Jan­uary 2018 to De­cem­ber 2020 will see a re­vi­sion in salary of 10% for cler­i­cal staff and 12% for non-cler­i­cal staff, ben­e­fit­ting around 20,000 em­ploy­ees in 20 MCBA mem­ber banks in the penin­sula.

The start­ing salary for the dif­fer­ent em­ployee groups will also be in­creased by 12% to 16%, with the max­i­mum salary raised by 16%.

The ar­rears in salary for the whole of last year is ex­pected to be banked in to staff for most banks by the end of this month.

Nora: Con­cerns over eco­nomic growth and the US-China tar­iff war are af­fect­ing prospects.

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