RHB partnerships to continue despite merger deal

by LYDIA NATHAN & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN

THE impending merger between RHB Bank Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank) will not put an end to any existing partnerships between RHB and its many af liates.

RHB Banking Group retail banking acting head Nazri Othman declined to comment on any development regarding the coalition, but said the bank’s existing collaborations with various quarters would proceed.

“As far as products are concerned, we will continue to support existing products because we have other initiatives, not only debit cards. Naturally, we will continue to support and grow these products,” Nazri told reporters at the RHB-Brickfields Asia College (BAC) “Easy Smart Student Debit Card” launch in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Last week, the two banking groups entered into an exclusivity agreement to negotiate and finalise terms and conditions on the proposed merger for submission to the relevant regulatory authorities.

Following Bank Negara Malaysia’s approval on June 1, the banks said the exclusivity agreement will expire on Aug 30, 2017, with the transaction envisioned to effectively be an all-share merger.

RHB has proposed an all-share deal to acquire the assets and liabilities of AmBank at a potential pricing based on the latter’s single multiple book value. If the union follows through, it will create the fourth-largest banking group in Malaysia by market capitalisation behind Malayan Banking Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.

RHB had earlier announced its collaboration with BAC, which aims to issue 5,000 new student debit cards this year.

The debit card will double up as a student card and can be used off-campus with any visa merchant.

BAC MD Raja Singham said the college’s partnership with RHB will allow students to be acquainted with financial institutions and be better equipped in financial literacy.

“It is important to start building relationships with banks while students are still in college. I was glad to see students queuing up this morning to apply for it,” he said.

Apart from the 5,000 debit cards anticipated to be issued this year, RHB will continue to provide debit cards for some 1,500 new intakes at BAC in the subsequent years.

Nazri said the bank issues over 300,000 debit cards annually, in line with the government’s aim to transform the nation into a cashless society. He added that the bank will continue to strive to keep up with the latest technology to provide the best services to their customers.

The rollout of cashless transactions is safer, easier and quicker for students to use, Nazri said.

“This service is reliable and secure with just a swipe or a wave of the card,” he said, urging students to grab the opportunity to jump on board and spend smarter.