Baiduri Prestige Centre in Kiarong
Interview with Pierre Imhof, CEO, Baiduri Bank Berhad
Core focus on clients’ needs, consistent approach in delivery of products and services and a diversified business model are some of the key factors behind Baiduri Bank Group’s sustainability and strong balance sheet, Pierre Imhof, its General Manager, told the Borneo Bulletin Yearbook.
Baiduri Bank Group has recorded resilient performance over the last few years, receiving regional and international accolades for its strong performance. This year alone, the bank was awarded the ‘Domestic Retail Bank of the Year – Brunei 2015’ accolade for the third consecutive year, and, for the first time, the ‘Mobile Banking Initiative – Brunei 2015’ recognition from the Asian Banking and Finance Magazine. The bank also received the ‘Best Banking Group 2015’ award from World Finance for the seventh consecutive year.
Baiduri Capital Sdn Bhd
Imhof shared the exciting journey of launching its first wealth trading arm, Baiduri Capital Sdn Bhd, last year. Baiduri Bank Group intends to launch more investment products to cater to the diversified needs of investors. With the launch of Baiduri Capital, customers can enjoy easy online access to their investment portfolio and research reports, obtain quotes, place orders, check their trading history and review their account status.
Baiduri Capital online securities trading portal, launched last year, is a secure web-based securities trading platform
“The time is right for the Baiduri Bank Group to venture into securities trading as growing numbers of Bruneians with sizeable savings are looking for opportunities to build their wealth as an alternative to deposits,” said Imhof.
Explaining the decision to set up Baiduri Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Baiduri Bank, he said at present there is no stock exchange in Brunei Darussalam for investors to buy and sell stocks or shares.
“Our role is to facilitate this activity in anticipation of an initiative by the Brunei Government to set up a stock exchange, so that more Bruneians can participate in it in the future,” he said.
Imhof also said that Baiduri Bank is venturing into offering investment products and services because as a truly local bank, it wants to be part of the future of the financial industry in the country. “Baiduri Capital has received a lot of interest from the public, especially among young professionals eager to try their hands at securities trading.”
Former Minister of Development (current Minister of Education) and Deputy Chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, being briefed at the premises of Baiduri Capital in Kiarong Complex, Kiarong, during its launch on September 8, 2015
The Baiduri Capital online securties trading portal, also launched last year, is a secure web-based securities trading platform. For customers’ convenience, it can be accessed via an Internet browser on any laptop, tablet or smartphone, depending on the customer’s preference. The investor-focused design is feature rich, allowing customers to research prices and look up market information to assist their decisions when trading online.
CORE PILLARS OF SUCCESS
Imhof said Baiduri Bank Group has established a business model based on three major core banking businesses: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking and Commercial Banking, and of course Consumer Finance through our 100 per cent subsidiary Baiduri Finance and the newly-established Baiduri Capital Sdn Bhd.
Imhof said that all the core pillars of their business activity have given them the strength to respond to most of the market needs and provided them with growth stability. “When you are diversified enough you know you are global enough for a certain market to address its needs and are in a better position to take significant market changes and face volatility,” he said.
As a local bank, Imhof said their priority will always be the local market. The bank will definitely continue to put its focus on development and growth here by responding to the needs, demands and expectations of Bruneians
The general manager said the fact that the bank has continuously developed its market position in the three core business segments has given them stable growth, and added that they will continue to bank on them, noting that the Group has had a very consistent approach and focus.
“We want to be able to address our clients. For instance we don’t want to offer a product or service only for a certain period only because it is profitable and stop because it is not profitable anymore, that is not our way of operation,” he said.
“Our clients’ needs and their confidence in the bank are our top priorities. When they have no confidence in you it doesn’t work and the fact that we are the strongest financial leader in Brunei definitely gives our clients the confidence.”
As a local bank, Imhof said their priority will always be the local market. The bank will definitely continue to put its focus on development and growth here by responding to the needs, demands and expectations of Bruneians.
“It means that we will definitely be maintaining the same business model by simultaneously developing our three core businesses as the best way to address the needs of Bruneians,” Imhof said.
Talking about expansion in Brunei, Imhof said the bank is constantly looking for ways to innovate and bring in products that suit the market needs. “Areas that we might want to diversify in is our range of wealth management products. There is definitely a lot of room for this segment in Brunei,” he added. “We are also looking at more specialised lending to corporates or companies because what we have today in the market are rather general and simple forms of lending so it might be good, from time to time or in the future, to offer them products which may better suit to their needs.”
Copyright 2015 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2015 All rights reserved.