CIMB focuses on investing in areas of growth

CIMB focuses on investing in areas of growth

Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Group saw a positive recovery in FY21, with strong underlying performance recovery across all business segments and geographies.

The improved YoY performance was driven by solid growth in operating income, discipline in containing cost escalation and lower provisions as per target. The Group met or exceeded all FY21 financial profitability targets, including annualised ROE, CIR and credit cost/provisions. These included achieving a record low CIR of 48.6% in FY21.

In addition, CIMB Group remained well-capitalised as it achieved its highest ever common equity tier 1 ratio of 14.5% as at Dec-21, from 13.9% as at Sep-21 and 13.3% as at Dec-20, reflecting the Group’s capital strength and resilience. The Group declared a total annual dividend of 22.99 sen per share or RM2.33 billion for FY21, translating to a payout ratio of 50.1% based on core net profit, in line with its dividend policy.

The results were presented during CIMB’s 65th AGM with shareholders yesterday, held virtually, where all 9 ordinary resolutions tabled at the AGM were successfully passed, and the audited financial statements for the financial year ended FY21 were duly received.

The meeting was chaired by Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, Chairman of CIMB Group, with the Board of Directors and Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group CEO of CIMB Group in attendance.

Speaking at the AGM, Nasir says, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express my utmost appreciation to all our stakeholders for their continued trust and association with us over another uncertain year. The past two years have demonstrated that financial performance is vulnerable to external forces, acting as a litmus test for financial institutions’ ability to respond to stakeholders when they are at their most vulnerable.

CIMB and sustainability

“In 2021, we managed our stakeholder relationships with renewed care and purpose towards advancing customers and society. Our priority commitment to stakeholders has been towards rebuilding their lives and livelihoods by doing what we do best: being here for them, understanding their diverse needs, making sure they have seamless access to finance and financing solutions, and keeping them resilient on their road to recovery.”

“For CIMB, resilient leadership and commitment to sustainability have been key to our efforts to recover on our path to achieving future growth. To reaffirm this belief, the Group announced our enhanced sustainability commitments in 2021.“

He adds these include among others our commitment to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including scope 3 and financed emissions, as well as our target to mobilise RM30 billion in sustainable finance under our Green, Social, Sustainable Impact Products and Services Framework by 2024.

“The Board will continue to provide guidance and oversight over the Group’s Forward23+ strategic plan to deliver sustainable financial returns and ultimately create shared value for all our stakeholders,” Datuk Nasir says.

In 2021, the Group achieved the 79th percentile ranking within the global banking industry in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, achieving its target of the top quartile by 2024 under its Forward23+ strategic plan three years ahead of target. The S&P Global CSA is used to assess companies for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Forward23+ strategy

Dato’ Abdul Rahman says, “We have seen great traction in our Forward23+ strategy, now in its second year, and our positive performance in FY21 and our key headline targets for FY22 places us on a strong platform to successfully deliver on our ambition to be the leading focused ASEAN bank by 2024.

“In 2022, the Group’s priority is to build on our positive growth momentum whilst maintaining a focused approach to investing into areas of growth, including affluent and wealth management, transaction banking and ASEAN network business.

“Another focus area is technology and operations, where we plan to invest close to RM1.20 billion in 2022 as we accelerate digital transformation and further strengthen technology and operational resilience. As part of this technology investment, we look forward to introducing our Next Gen mobile banking app later this year.”

He says in maintaining trust with all our stakeholders, we are also accelerating our efforts in the ESG space towards creating a greater positive impact across the region and achieving our sustainability commitments.

“In 2021, we invested RM28.7 million to support community initiatives across ASEAN, as part of our commitment to invest RM150 million into corporate social responsibility initiatives over five years.

“As for sustainable finance, I am pleased to note that we have already achieved RM25.9 billion under our GSSIPS Framework as of end-2021, putting us firmly on track towards becoming an ASEAN sustainability leader by 2024.”

Pandemic

CIMB Group has also been actively helping customers navigate through the adverse impact of the pandemic over the past two years.

Excluding the initial blanket moratorium in 2020, CIMB has processed over 534,000 financial payment relief assistance applications for individual, SME and business banking borrowers in Malaysia, amounting to RM93.8 billion in total gross loan value.

The Group’s key headline targets for 2022 include ROE of between 7.5-8.0% (or 8.5-9.0% excluding the impact of the one-off Cukai Makmur), total loan growth of 5.0-6.0%, CIR of below 49% and maintaining its CET1 ratio above 13.0%.