KUALA LUMPUR (September 21): The pandemic has changed the old ways businesses and owners make a living, shop, learn and play, with electronic transactions at the forefront, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
In his opening speech at the Malaysian Bank and Finance Summit 2021, Tengku Zafrul pointed out that in just one year until June 2021:
- the volume of electronic wallets increased by 89% to reach 468 million transactions;
- merchant participation in QR payments jumped 57% to one million records; and
- online banking volume improved 36% to 12.1 billion transactions.
However, he said new challenges are emerging in the form of more dangerous variants and growing community transmissions, reflecting the difficult path to recovery.
“Despite these challenges, I am optimistic that we are on the cusp of recovery,” he said.
Addressing the banking sector, Tengku Zafrul urged Malaysia’s financial institutions to adhere to the Principles for a Responsible Bank of the United Nations (UN) Environmental Program Finance Initiative to “build back better” in conjunction with the United Nations (UN) Environmental Program Finance Initiative. economic recovery of the country.
He said the banking sector must play its role in the climate and sustainability agenda.
“As a mobilizer of capital, the banking sector is essential in facilitating the transition of companies to low-carbon and sustainable practices through financing and investment beyond the pandemic, whether it is to support the adoption of renewable energies, new technologies or new ways of doing business. he said.
He noted that globally, 45% of the global banking sector had adhered to the Principles for a Responsible Bank of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative, of which 44 of them had formed a Net-Zero banking alliance. , planning to completely decarbonize their loan books.
“I urge more financial institutions in our country to follow suit, which will increase their activities with the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
“This will ensure the deep integration of sustainability into all areas of a bank’s business, strategic decisions and the appetite for supply credit,” he added.
Tengku Zafrul said that efforts like these will certainly complement the government’s adherence to the United Nations SDGs in its annual budgets.
“From Budget 2021, this functionality will be continued in Budget 2022, as well as through broader initiatives such as Malaysia’s 12th SDG Aligned Plan (12MP) and Shared Prosperity Vision 2030,” a- he added.
The role of banks and financial institutions in supporting national economic recovery