Thursday 22 Feb 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 4): For years, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd — the country’s smallest of eight banking groups by asset size — has centred its growth on its small and medium enterprise (SME) business. But, that approach is about to be modified under its new chief executive officer, Kellee Kam.

Kam, who came on board last September, wants to broaden Alliance Bank’s focus and expand into new areas beyond SMEs in a bid to accelerate growth.

In an exclusive interview with The Edge, his first since taking the helm, Kam talks at length and candidly about the bank’s new strategy — known internally as ACCELER8 2027 — that will run over four years up to the financial year ending March 31, 2027 (FY2027).

Kam is well known in the industry, having been the group managing director of RHB Banking Group from 2011 to 2015. He most recently served as the chairman of Bank of America Malaysia Bhd for about a year.

 “When we went out in the market as Alliance Bank in 2017, we talked about wanting to be ‘the preferred bank of business owners’. The mindset was very much focused on the SME market, and we’ve done that [business] very, very well. We’ve taken our market share in SME loans up, from 3.4% in FY2018, to 5% in FY2022. Today, we’re at about 5%. So, it’s not just talk. We delivered,” Kam says.

Now, the bank wants to replicate its success in the SME business in other new areas.

Alliance Bank’s new strategy is on the back of eight pillars that it sees as key growth opportunities over the next four financial years. These include broadening its consumer business, becoming a “champion” in selected economic corridors, such as Penang and East Malaysia, and accelerating its Islamic business.

Read about it in the cover story this week.

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