Alliance Bank Provides RM7 Billion In Targeted Assistance To Individuals And Businesses

Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad has reported that it had provided RM7 billion in targeted assistance to individuals and businesses in the financial year ended March 31.  This accounts for 16.4 percent of the Bank’s loan book.

The Bank has also simplified the process of obtaining a Payment Relief Assistance package and launched a WhatsApp business account to address customers’ queries quickly.

For SMEs, the Bank disbursed more than RM600 million in Special Relief Fund and RM120 million in the Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility provided by Bank Negara Malaysia.

The Bank also supports its customers by making available various non-financial solutions to help businesses better navigate the challenging times.

One such initiative is the BizSmart® Solution thatoffers hundreds of business products and services such as digital marketing and logistics at preferred rates to business owners. The platform provides complimentary webinars and resources such as business articles, market reports and training to upskill SME owners and their employees. 

In addition, the Bank started the #SupportLokal initiative to help local businesses fast-track the listing of their products and services on popular e-commerce sites such as Shopee, Pybli and Air Asia OURSHOP.

The Bank also provides free digital branding and marketing support to showcase their products and services on its corporate website and social media channels. It has since driven over 80,000 visits to listed businesses’ websites.

The Alliance Bank’s Branch-in-a-Tablet initiative simplifies and speeds up the process of account opening for consumers, most done anywhere, in 15 minutes. Similarly, this is done in “1-day, 1-visit” for businesses. Currently, more than 90 percent of the Bank’s individual accounts and over 70 percent of its business accounts are opened digitally.

The digital Know-Your-Customer (“eKYC”) solution launched in February 2021 enables customers to instantly open a savings account, apply for a credit card or personal loan via the Bank’s allianceonline mobile app without having to visit the branch.

Alliance Bank also digitised the financing process for Personal Loan applications. The digital Personal Loan solution provides an approval-in-principle in 10 minutes and funds in the customers’ account within 24 hours.

Personal loans originating from digital channels contributed approximately 14 percent of the total personal loan bookings in FY21.

To provide business owners with the convenience of account management on-the-go, the Bank launched the BizSmart® Mobile app in June 2020. Meanwhile, the first-in-Malaysia BizSmart® eTrade, a mobile trade financing submission platform, now contributes 30% of trade financing applications.

For FY21, the Bank’s revenue grew 7.6 percent year-on-year (“YOY”) to RM1.82 billion. Net interest income improved by 2.8 percent YOY to RM1.36 billion despite the multiple overnight policy rate (“OPR”) cuts.

This was largely driven by lower funding cost arising from deposit mix optimisation. Net interest margin stood at 2.30 percent, which is Top 2 in the industry. Non-interest income grew 24.8 percent YOY to RM456.7 million due to improved treasury and investment income, and higher wealth management and brokerage fees.

The Bank reported pre-provision operating profit growth of 15.3 percent YOY to over RM1 billion, stemming from better revenue and disciplined expense management. The cost-to-income ratio for the year improved to 44.1 percent YOY (industry: 45.7%).

The Bank’s FY21 121.4 bps net credit cost includes a management overlay of 71.2 bps as provision for higher risks due to the Covid-19 impact. The overlay takes into account the Bank’s assessment of its risks related to sensitive sectors and take-up of loan modifications.

The Bank’s CASA deposits grew RM4.7 billion or 25.7% YOY due to robust sign-ups of Alliance SavePlus Account. This resulted in an improved CASA ratio of 47%, which is the highest in the industry. SME loans improved 6.4% YOY largely from the take-up of BNM’s Special Relief Facility.

The Bank’s liquidity and capital positions are strong. Liquidity coverage ratio was above industry average at 150% (industry: 145.1%). Common Equity Tier-1 ratio was at 16.2%, Tier-1 Capital ratio at 17.2%, and Total Capital Ratio at 21.6%.

For FY21, the Board of Directors proposed an interim dividend of 5.79 sen, representing a dividend payout ratio of 25%.

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