Aerial view of Bandar Seri Begawan
The financial sector in the country comprises several conventional and Islamic financial institutions that offer general banking products and services as well as investment banking and pawn broking facilities
Currently, six banks operate in Brunei of which five are foreign and two are local including an Islamic bank, namely: Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Baiduri Bank Berhad, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Maybank and RHB Bank.
International banks such as Royal Bank of Canada, Commerce International Merchant Bankers and Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation are also present in Brunei.
Today, Brunei is home to a robust banking sector, with banks offering solutions and products that target particular segments in the retail and corporate sectors.
The banking sector is becoming more and more competitive with each bank striving to differentiate themselves by offering innovative banking products and solutions, putting emphasis on excellent customer service delivery and by constantly delivering fast, efficient and convenient banking services to attract more clients from the retail and commercial sector.
The overall focus of the banking sector in Brunei today has shifted heavily from a lending-focused model to a more centric and responsible lending model complemented with more savings, investment and financing solutions based products introduced to the market in line with the Brunei Government’s vision of promoting a savings culture.
Various investment products are available in the market today, ranging from unit trusts, currency-linked investments to bonds. The Islamic banking sector also offers its unique ‘syariah-compliant’ investment schemes. Current, savings and fixed deposit accounts now offer attractive interest rates and segmented banking products are also widely available now to cater to a growing number of affluent customers. Home mortgage products also offer attractive interest rates and benefits, to help Bruneians own their own homes.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest World Economic Outlook report stated that the financial sector architecture in Brunei has been strengthened but there is scope for further improvement. The IMF praised the increased use of the Credit Information Bureau, the launch of the national payments and settlements system, and the plan to issue Sukuks with longer maturities.
Copyright 2015 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2015 All rights reserved.