ACHIEVING VISION: PM urges commitment from all parties
in move to provide Malaysians with innovative facilities
PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants to see more efforts undertaken by relevant parties to create a wider access to credit and financial facilities for the people.
He said more can be done although Malaysia has been ranked number one in terms of providing access to credit facilities.
"While Malaysia has achieved significant progress in terms of access to credit and financial literacy, there is more that could be done.
"The government's vision is to equip all people with an essential understanding of sound financial management.
"We want to provide Malaysians the opportunity to improve their financial position and assure their rights to fair treatment as consumers," Najib said in his keynote address during the closing ceremony of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion's (AFI) 5th Global Policy Forum, here, yesterday.
The prime minister said such vision can only be materialised with the commitment and cooperation of all parties and stakeholders, including the government, regulators, financial industry players and the people.
"The government would come out with appropriate education and development policies while regulators would facilitate regulatory framework and strong consumer protection standards.
"Financial industry should adopt responsible innovation and financial practices.
"However, the government would not make any room for funny financial products," he said, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the Malaysian financial system has been cautious in allowing highly innovative financial products penetrate the market with its strict screening process in place.
She said the boards of the financial institutions in the country always look out for the risks in their preliminary assessment.
"We have responsible boards of financial institutions and we rely on their assessment," she said when asked to elaborate on Najib's closing keynote address.
The subprime mess in the United States in recent years was led by the various debt-based exotic financial instruments.
On the threat to the domestic economy, Zeti said Bank Negara has been both "anticipatory" as well as pre-emptive in its policy.
"If we see any imminent risks, we address them - whether it is becoming excessive indebtedness or they cause financial institutions to experience any financial stress. But, right now, our banks are very well-capitalised and strong.
"Our policies are across the board to support the entire economy (businesses and consumers)," she added.
Jointly hosted by the AFI and Bank Negara and attended by more than 400 participants from 80 countries, the three-day annual Global Policy Forum concluded with the Sasana Accord declaration.
The Sasana Accord will further strengthen the AFI Network's commitment to the Maya Declaration, taking it to the next level through the adoption of systematic assessment of impacts to ensure quantifiable and measurable targets for financial inclusion.
The 6th Annual Global Policy Forum will be hosted by Trinidad and Tobago next year.