KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Malaysia is one of the 10 most benchmarked countries globally in terms of alternative finance regulation and one of the leaders in the Asia Pacific, says an economist.

Dr Margaret Miller, lead financial sector economist at the World Bank, said Malaysia is viewed as one the best in the region in the new and rapidly expanding field of alternative finance.

“What we clearly see based on the responses that we have got from other regulators is that Malaysia is one of the most benchmarked against other regulatory frameworks in alternate financing,” she told reporters at the launch of the World Bank and Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s “Regulating Alternative Finance — Results from a Global Regulator Survey”.

The survey notes that other most benchmarked jurisdictions include the United Kingdom, the US as well as Singapore.

She added that based on the global survey, countries that do not have clear guidelines will put alternative finance regulations under existing securities market, banking and lending regulations.

“What we see is that in this jurisdiction, to deal with this kind of new business coming up, they are adapting to what they have and regulating it under existing regulatory frameworks,” she said.

She said there is a huge opportunity to ensure financing to small businesses and immediate consumers, who have traditionally been unable to access financing, is through alternative financing, noting this would increase competition in financial markets globally.

Meanwhile, World Bank Group representative and country manager Dr Firas Raad said the digital economy ranks high on Malaysia’s development agenda and technology has facilitated the advent of alternative finance which is fuelling a significant change in financial inclusion.

“The survey can serve to inform policymakers and other stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges inherent in regulating these issues, both locally and globally,” he said.



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