When we hear the word "bank", we can choose to look at it from a straightforward point of view, which is that banks serve as financial institutions or intermediaries and they are usually those with great importance in the financial system as well as powerful influence on national economies.
And then we can look at the word in a decidedly different way from everyone else with an enthusiastic inner chant of "good bank, bad bank, old bank, new bank; what a lot of banks there are, but did you know which are the biggest ones there are?"
There are precisely 27 commercial banks registered under Bank Negara Malaysia's list of "Licensed Banking Institutions in Malaysia" but since SaveMoney.my is only going to be taking a look at which of them are the biggest in this nation, it's therefore safe to say that we fall under the category of the other type of view!
Note: The information is based on total asset size and market capitalisation as of 24 April 2014, all of which are gathered from Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. Other information about the banks themselves have been taken from their official websites.
5) AMMB Holdings Bhd
Mention the name above to anyone on the street and you might get a blank stare in return. More commonly known as AmBank Group to the public, it was first incorporated in April 1975 as a joint venture between Malaysia (Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad with 55% shareholding), Kuwait (Arab Investments for Asia with 33% shareholding) and Saudi Arabia (National Commercial Bank with 12% shareholding). Its name became "Arab-Malaysian Development Bank" in December 1983 and in 1988, it became the first merchant bank to be listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange market.
About RM119 billion in total assets are owned by AmBank Group as well as a market capitalisation of RM21.82 billion; they are the first to start off this list.
4) RHB Bank Berhad
Formally formed out of a merger between three banks (Kwong Yik Bank Berhad, Sime Bank Berhad and Bank Utama Berhad) in 1997, RHB Bank Berhad can nevertheless trace its roots all the way back in time to the early 90s. This is because all the events and different work cultures from the banks have been moulded into the bank they are today. Presently, they offer a diverse range of banking services to the public such as retail, business, group transaction and Islamic banking. Celebrating their 100th year anniversary in the year 2013, they have a presence in other countries as well such as Singapore, Thailand and Brunei.
They are now the fourth largest bank in Malaysia with total assets worth around RM202 billion as well as a market capitalization of RM 21.67 billion.
3) Public Bank Berhad
The founder, Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow, had a vision that he would open a financial institution as "a bank for the public" and that vision came to light in August 1966 when Public Bank first opened its doors for business. Thus begin a bank that was to have 48 years of strong growth and rapid expansion to not only states in Malaysia (258 well-distributed branches), but also making its presence felt in 124 branches in Asia. With a proven track record of sustained profitability ever since its first listing on the Malaysian Stock Exchange in 1967, Public Bank has grown into a premier banking group.
Currently owning approximately RM293 billion in total assets and a market capitalisation total of RM71.98 billion, it is the third largest banking group in Malaysia.
2) CIMB Group Holdings Bhd
Second on this list is CIMB Bank, with a history of many banks (such as Bian Chiang Bank, Ban Hin Lee Bank and Bank Lippo) coming together to merge into one company. By January 2003, they were registered on the Main Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. With its presence felt in diverse businesses such as consumer, wholesale and Islamic banking as well as in strategic investments, its hard not to notice them, especially since they have 1,061 branches spread in 17 markets around the globe. No wonder they are known as a leading ASEAN universal bank!
As of 2014, they are now in possession of about RM360 billion in total assets as well as having a market capitalization of RM61.80 billion.
1) Malayan Banking Bhd
Is it any wonder that this is the bank who is number one on this list? In terms of power in the financial industry, Maybank holds onto its spot as the top banking and financial group in Malaysia with its presence felt in Singapore, the Philippines and other international financial centres such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Bahrain. Formed and founded in 1960 by Khoo Teck Puat, a Malaysian business tycoon, along with a few of his partners, the fledgeling bank quickly gained traction in the first few years and had opened more than 150 branches by the time 1963 had rolled around.
Fast forward to present time and you get a powerhouse that has total assets of around RM527 billion as well as a market capitalization of RM88.60 billion. Caitlyn Ng is an Investigative Journalist of SaveMoney.my , an online consumer advice portal which aims to help Malaysians save money through smart (and most of the time painless) savings in their daily banking, technology, and lifestyle spending habits. Eugene Chua | SaveMoney.my Fri, May 9, 2014