UOB Malaysia recorded a 12.2 percent increase in net profit to RM1.14 billion in 2021 on higher operating income and lower total allowance for expected credit losses. The total operating income grew 4.3 percent to RM3.35 billion, on the back of stronger net interest income and higher net income from the Islamic banking business.
Total allowances for expected credit losses were 17.7 percent or RM103.2 million lower compared with the previous year, largely due to lower expected credit losses on loans, advances, financing and other financial assets for non-impaired assets, the bank said in a statement.
UOB Malaysia continued to invest in technology infrastructure in 2021 to support its business growth, which resulted in a 5.7 percent increase in total operating expenses to RM1.36 billion.
Gross loans, advances and financing base rose 2.9 percent to RM90 billion, and non-bank deposits rose 3.7 percent to RM97.1 billion in 2021.
“Amid a challenging environment, wholesale banking loans and financing grew steadily, riding on the Bank’s Islamic banking capabilities as well as its regional networks. The bank was the second largest loan bookrunner in Malaysia1 in 2021,” according to the statement.
In addition, the total foreign direct investment (FDI) transactions facilitated by the bank increased by close to 20 percent, compared with the year before. These flows included new investments from Greater China, Asean, South Korea and the United States.
Meanwhile, a rebound in consumer spending and savings coupled with the bank’s efforts to make banking simpler and smarter for its customers boosted UOB Malaysia’s retail banking business. This includes the introduction of the digital account opening capability on its all-in-one mobile banking app, UOB Mighty, which enables customers to open a personal bank account anytime, anywhere without having to visit a branch.
On the sustainability front, UOB Malaysia achieved another milestone with the launch of the U-Energy programme. “As the first integrated financing platform in Asia, the programme is designed to support businesses and homeowners to retrofit their buildings with energy efficient features to cut energy usage.
U-Energy complements the bank’s U-Solar programme, launched in 2019, to provide Malaysians with flexible financing solutions to switch to renewable sources and do their part to fight climate change.
Throughout the pandemic, UOB Malaysia continued to support its customers, especially individuals, microenterprises and SMEs through its Covid-19 Relief Assistance Programme. From March 2020 to December 2021, the programme benefitted more than 34,000 individual, micro-enterprise and SME customers. The relief assistance extended involved more than RM23 billion in loans and financing and has helped customers overcome the financial impact caused by the prolonged movement restrictions.
Ng Wei Wei, UOB Malaysia CEO, said, “Amid the volatile operating environment in 2021, we delivered a commendable performance, growing our operating income and net profit. Through prudent risk management and a disciplined business approach, we kept our balance sheet robust while continuing to capture opportunities and grow market share.
“Going forward, we remain focused on enhancing our technology infrastructure to drive innovation and performance. We will also continue to support our customers to capitalise on Asean’s structural growth trends, as well as to transition to sustainability through our suites of financing solutions. In 2021, our USolar helped facilitate the generation of almost 90.1 gigawatt-hours of solar power in Malaysia, which translates to a greenhouse gas reduction of 58.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to almost 972,507 tree seedlings grown for 10 years and about 12,791 cars taken off the road for a year.”
She said that Malaysia’s recovery is gaining momentum and she expects a strong rebound in economic growth. “We are confident of Malaysia’s development, which is underscored by our continued investment to deepen our presence in the country and to develop our people. Our commitment is further reaffirmed by our recent acquisition of Citigroup’s consumer banking business in Malaysia, subject to regulatory approval, and investment in our new headquarters in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
“UOB Malaysia has been supporting Malaysia’s growth for more than 70 years and we will continue to stand by our customers and the community for many more decades to come.”