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AwardsBest Bank Awards

Malaysia's best domestic bank 2021: Maybank

Maybank

Maybank’s decision to commit nearly $12 billion to a sustainable finance framework goes a long way to explaining why it deserves Asiamoney’s best bank award in Malaysia yet again this year. The announcement by Malaysia’s biggest lender in July 2021 drew attention to the nation’s efforts to raise its economic game.

President and chief executive Abdul Farid Alias explains that the programme will centre on direct lending, investment and services around arranging, fundraising, syndicating, underwriting and acting as adviser to green, social and sustainability bonds or sukuk offerings.

Maybank is also boosting financing for green projects and ESG-themed (environmental, social, and governance) funds, loans and sustainability-linked trade products.

The timing of Maybank’s bet on sustainability is as important as the scale. In recent years, Malaysia’s rigid, top-down political system has been embroiled in something of a midlife crisis. Prime minister Najib Razak lost the election in May 2018 and was arrested a few months later over the scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Malaysia has stumbled from one controversy to another, with little scope for increasing competitiveness.