HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, which has been in the country for more than 120 years, has joined the fray when it comes to expanding its market.
Deputy chairman and chief executive officer Irene M. Dorner said the bank would continue to capitalise on its lead position across the Islamic and investment banking services segments.
“With the upcoming establishment of the Islamic banking subsidiary, we plan to introduce new and innovative products to our clients with a view to be a one-stop financial supermarket,” she said.
Dorner added that after-sales services were still a crucial factor and this would be another facet that would be addressed in the bank’s strategy.
For Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd, which was only established two years ago, the decline of the traditional bank has led to new opportunities and challenges.
Group chief economist and global research head Baljeet Grewal said that with the blurring of distinctions between retail, merchant and investment banks due to deregulation, innovation and sound industry knowledge were important, especially in the bank’s area of expertise – Islamic banking and financial services, particularly for the real estate sector.
“This means a focus on human capital and the enhancement of product knowledge, risk management, distribution channels and new products to ensure that clients receive a commensurate degree of syariah-based expertise,” she said, adding that the bank would aggressively roll out more real estate projects locally and in the region.
Baljeet said the bank’s strategy for the retail segment would also come to fruition this year, in conjunction with other investment banking products.
For Middle Eastern banks that have opened branches here, the strength may well lie in their network at home, which these banks use as leverage.
Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp (M) Bhd corporate and investment banking head Asim Basharullah said the strength of the bank lay in its ability to play a prominent role in cross-border trade and investment flows between the Middle East and the South-East Asian region.
“We’ll continue to strengthen our position in this area and we also intend to follow our Malaysian clients wherever they go for business in the region because we believe there’re ample opportunities for all financial institutions to play a role,” Asim said.