By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
RHB Bank Bhd’s home loans grew 15% for the first 10 months of this year and would help the fourth-largest lender record better overall gross loan growth for 2017.
RHB group MD Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said mortgages accounted for 25% or RM45 billion from the group’s total loans portfolio.
“Mortgages have been our fastest-growing segment this year. We can improve the growth slightly with this app as it provides another application channel even though 15%, or slightly higher, is good enough for mortgages.
“The key is to bring in more requests through this app,” Khairussaleh said at the launch of RHB MyHome app in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The app allows customers to apply for home financing, submit documents and check their application status. The app also advertises financing options including pricing, eligibility and rates.
Khairussaleh said the group’s mortgage approval rate for the January-October 2017 period stood at about 76%. RHB Banking Group group retail banking acting head Nazri Othman said: “We are expecting between 8% and 10% of our mortgage applications to come through the app during the first year of its launch.”
RHB has also launched its Banking-at-Your-Doorstep service, which enables new customers to open RHB Smart accounts without having to visit a branch.
The service includes the delivery of bank cards to customer’s home or workplace, at a pre-arranged time, where a verification process will be conducted on the spot.
While it is only available presently in the Klang Valley, Nazri said the bank is looking to extend the service to other regions, including Johor and Penang in the first quarter of 2018.
RHB anticipates to open over 50,000 RHB Smart Account or RHB Smart Account-i in 2018, of which 30% are expected to opt for the Banking-at-Your- Doorstep service.
The online deposit accounts were launched on March 1 this year. On the banking group’s total loans outlook for next year, Khairussaleh said the group is expecting to slightly outperform the industry.
“We are cautiously optimistic on loan growth which will continue to be driven by mortgages and financing to small and medium businesses.
“We should be able to do slightly better than the industry as the sector’s loan growth will still be moderate at around 5% to 6% compared to this year,” he said.
He said the group is still evaluating its numbers and models in preparation for the implementation of the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standard 9, which will come into effect on Jan 1, 2018.
“There are certain things we need to look at, like shorter tenure loans. We have risk appetite for various segments.
For now, we believe the services, plantation, construction and consumer sectors are still growing, and we’re trying to rebalance our whole portfolio to see what other sectors we want,” Khairussaleh said.
He also does not expect the central bank to raise the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) any time soon from the current 3% level, although a hike could take place around the later part of 2018.
Analysts have predicted Bank Negara Malaysia will maintain the OPR following its monetary policy committee meeting today.