OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd’s subsidiary OCBC Al-Amin Bank Bhd (OCBC Al-Amin), has been named Islamic Bank of the Year 2014 for Malaysia by London-based The Banker, the world’s longest running international banking title.
In a statement Monday, the bank said this marked the first time a foreign-owned Islamic bank had won the award in Malaysia.
OCBC Al-Amin director and CEO Syed Abdull Aziz Syed Kechik said the award affirmed the strength and growth of the Bank since its inception in 2008.
“We are pleased with this timely recognition, especially so in the context of a country that has several strong Islamic banking players and that is establishing itself as an Islamic banking hub in the region.
“Alongside this honour, we continue to acknowledge the sound framework placed by the regulators that has made our success thus far possible.
“We will continue to perform our best for the local and international banking community as we expand further,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Banker editor Brian Caplen said the award was testament to the strong management, sound business model, innovative strategy and prudent risk approach of OCBC Al-Amin.
“OCBC Al-Amin’s award points to the strength of the Islamic banking sector in Malaysia. In a competitive market, the bank demonstrated an exceptional level of innovation and customer service, as well as strong overall growth to take the top spot,” said Caplen.
Syed Abdull Aziz said that with a solid footing on the corporate front, OCBC Al-Amin had in recent times been growing steadily in the retail sector as well, especially with the introduction of its new OCBC Al-Amin Xpres branches that offer greater convenience and accessibility to young urbanites and the Bumiputra segment.
“With the opening of two new OCBC Al-Amin Xpres branches in 2013, the bank now has 10 standalone Islamic banking branches,” he said.
He said OCBC Al-Amin had also expanded its foreign currency financing efforts in support of the country’s global Islamic banking positioning under the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative, and also enhanced its capability in Islamic Treasury with the offering of hedging and structured investments for its wholesale customers.
It remained a significant player in sukuk issuances and investment deals, and in the SME, unsecured and mortgage businesses, said Syed Abdull Aziz.
OCBC Al-Amin registered a 131% increase in pre-tax profit, from RM59 million in 2012 to RM136 million in 2013, its fifth full year of operation