A survey by Standard Chartered Malaysia found that a majority of younger Malaysians have expressed their interest to start a new business or set up a second income stream in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also learning to manage their finances better.

In a statement, Standard Chartered Malaysia’s managing director and chief executive officer Abrar A. Anwar said Malaysians in general have been hit hard by the economic impact of the pandemic, with one-third of them already earning less. “Although they’re expecting their income and employment to be further affected, their confidence in their skills provides hope for the recovery. “Banks have a role to play both by helping them manage their money and providing tools that make banking easier so they can focus on leading the way to recovery,” he said.

A Standard Chartered survey revealed that Malaysians of all ages are highly confident in their skills, with those aged 55 to 64 feeling most equipped (93 per cent) compared with 77 per cent of those aged 18 to 34. Yet, with many graduating or leaving school in the midst of a global recession, younger generations are more willing, or able, to adapt to the current circumstances.

The study showed that 79 per cent of 25- to 34-year-old Malaysians would set up a second income stream compared to 69 per cent of those over 55; and 77 per cent of 18- to 44-year-old Malaysians would reskill compared with 63 per cent of those aged 55 and above. Millennials and Generation Z members are also more likely to respond to the crisis by starting a new business, with 62 per cent of Malaysians aged 18 to 44 saying they would consider doing so in the next six months compared with 44 per cent of those aged 45 and above.

The study of 12,000 adults across 12 markets – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States — offers insights into their financial wellbeing and employment outlook.

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