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2022: Pivotal year for recovery, reform and future-proofing Malaysia

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026 was launched today by Minister of Finance, Tengku Zafrul Aziz.  The Blueprint which is themed, “Advancing Digitalisation for Recovery, Sustainability, Inclusion”, was launched during Bank Negara Malaysia’s MyFintech Week 2022.

Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, described the virtual event as an important event for Malaysia’s financial sector where, “…changemakers from finance, technology, government, business and other disciplines come together to discuss how we can shape the future of finance through technology and innovation.”

Over the next 5 days, over 180 speakers will speak across via 76 sessions, to discuss a broad range of issues ranging from environmental sustainability, the future of money, emerging technologies and the financial health of consumers.

Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah also wanted to highlight how the world was undergoing dynamic shifts before the pandemic, and that these trends are in sharper focus now due to the global health and economic crisis of the past two years.

The minister of finance shared, that during the pandemic, technological advancements in the financial industry have also enabled consumers to enjoy digital solutions throughout the financial value chain. For example, in 2020, we have seen merchant registrations for QR acceptance increase 164% and online banking transaction volumes increase 49%, relative to pre-pandemic levels.

She explained, “For example, the pandemic has highlighted and deepened long-standing vulnerabilities in Malaysia and many places around the world. These include the fragile state of social protection systems, under-investments in health and infrastructure, and the need to improve our education system.

As a result, vulnerable groups bore much of the economic, social and health cost of the pandemic and they continue to be at risk. This will affect economic and social resilience and thus not only our prospects to recover and bounce back from the pandemic, but also to deal with other existential challenges further ahead, like those in the environment and climate.

On the bright side, the pandemic has demonstrated the power and potential of finance to address the pressing problems of our time. The financial system has been resilient, with the ability to provide critical support to households and businesses during the difficult times, she added.

The minister of finance shared, that during the pandemic, technological advancements in the financial industry have also enabled consumers to enjoy digital solutions throughout the financial value chain. For example, in 2020, we have seen merchant registrations for QR acceptance increase 164% and online banking transaction volumes increase 49%, relative to pre-pandemic levels

The Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026

This blueprint is anchored on seven priorities:  Sustainability, Resiliency, New Realities for Finance, Economy, Financial Health and Inclusion, Start-ups and Regulations.

The blueprint sets out BNM’s vision for sector development over the next five years and their broad strategies to get there. There are five priorities that anchor BNM efforts:

a. First, funding Malaysia’s economic transformation;

b. Second, elevating the financial well-being of households and businesses;

c. Third, advancing digitalisation of the financial sector;

d. Fourth, positioning the financial system to facilitate and orderly transition to a greener economy;

e. And fifth, advancing value-based finance through thought leadership in Islamic finance

Tengku Zafrul explained that The strategies laid out in the Blueprint will be critical for the financial sector to navigate the oncoming challenges and opportunities – in turn, complementing the Twelfth Malaysia Plan.

Key expected outcomes include:

I. advancing digitalisation of the financial sector;

II. providing meaningful choice and access for consumers;

III. increasing the vibrancy of the funding ecosystem to meet Malaysia’s economic needs; and

IV. wider adoption of green finance and sustainability practices

The minister also looks forward to the upcoming entry of digital banks, digital insurers and takaful operators.

“Their impact to the development of the nation through the use technology and introduction of innovative financial solutions will improve the well-being of Malaysians, foster greater efficiency and contribute towards a more competitive financial landscape,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul concluded, “2022 will not only be a pivotal recovery year for Malaysia, but also a rare opportunity to reform and future-proof ourselves.”

Download the blueprint at this link: bnm.gov.my/publications/fsb3