Bank Rakyat hints at steady dividend for FY20

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BERNAMA

BANK Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd (Bank Rakyat) has signalled a steady dividend for its financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20), despite being affected by the loan deferment offered by Malaysian banks to alleviate the Covid-19 impacts.

The cooperative bank had announced a 14% dividend in its previous financial year compared to 13% declared in FY18.

Its newly appointed chairman Datuk Abd Rani Lebai Jaafar said the loan moratorium offered by banks to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic has impacted banks’ financial position.

“Due to the pandemic, all banks are offering the moratorium which has affected the banks’ profits and margins, including Bank Rakyat.

“If we see Bank Rakyat’s track record, we have been giving out a double-digit dividend for the past 21 years.

“This year, despite the pandemic, Bank Rakyat is on the right track to declare a dividend even though our profits are affected,” he said during a virtual launch yesterday.

The dividend for the cooperative bank’s FY19 involved a total payment of RM406 million to all its 842,847 members, of which RM382 paid to 840,590 individual members, while RM24 million to 2,257 cooperative members.

Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat has introduced a new set of vision and mission to realign the objectives of the cooperative bank with the current economic condition.

Abd Rani said that the new mission and vision are one of the bank’s long-term initiatives to strengthen its position and remain relevant to the current needs of the people.

“Bank Rakyat is strengthening its commitment to improving the economic wellbeing of its members, customers and the country through the new mission and vision.

“This initiative is also in line with the government’s aspirations to revive the cooperative sector and entrepreneurship through digitisation, innovation and technology, which is very important to help this sector recover in the Covid-19 pandemic environment,” he said.

The financial institution takes on a vision, which aims at being the first progressive Islamic cooperative bank in Malaysia with a mission of “Driving the prosperity of the economies of the bank’s members, customers as well as the nation”, he added.

Abd Rani said the initiatives are in line with the formation of Bank Rakyat, which aims at improving Malaysia’s economic status as well as community development and mobilising the cooperative sector and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the new objectives correspond with the bank’s responsibilities as it has grown into a respected financial institution in Malaysia through its capabilities and legacy.

“I think this new mission complements the mandate of Bank Rakyat in improving the economic wellbeing of its members and customers by providing effective banking solutions, as well as adding positive values to the community and stakeholders,” he said.

Wan Junaidi also announced the appointment of Abd Rani as the chairman of the cooperative bank after filling in as the acting chairman after the termination of Datuk Noripah Kamso’s services last April.