KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Banks and financial institutions must help rebuild businesses post-pandemic, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which have been hit hard by the pandemic, and as the demand for financing rises in a reopened economy.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said as the pandemic also presented opportunities for businesses, especially in the area of digitalisation, banks therefore should help businesses, especially MSMEs, to modernise, digitalise, and transform their operations.

“Banks should do more to support high tech businesses. For example, banks must continue supporting and encouraging startups in the digital space. These new businesses are at the forefront of the innovative economy, and they must be given the facilitation they need,” he said in his special address at the 2021 Malaysian Banking and Finance virtual summit today. “Banks are also undergoing massive changes, especially those brought about by technology. For as the traditional brick and mortar model of banking becomes a thing of the past, and virtual banking becomes more widespread, these changes will have an impact on bank employees.”

Therefore, Mustapa said banks should be more aggressive in helping their employees, by introducing employment repurposing programmes, to reskill and upskill.

“Banks should also be more forthcoming in funding public-private partnership (PPP), or privatised projects in view of the fiscal challenges we are now facing,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said the 12th Malaysia Plan is due to be tabled in Parliament in the next few days, of which the government, through the plan, will put in place a number of transformations to address some of the structural challenges the Malaysian economy faces.

“The banking sector, as a key player in the economy, has an important role to play in achieving our economic development goals. Indeed, all these years, banks have provided a lot of support for businesses in the pursuit of growth and prosperity.

“Going forward, post-pandemic, businesses and Malaysians will be expecting more support from the banking sector,” he added.


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