Malaysia Day is around the corner. To celebrate the upcoming national holiday, here are 16 fun facts you may want to know that are related to the Malaysian banking sector:
- The first and oldest bank in the country is Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered is the first bank ever to be established in Malaysia back in 1875. The first branch was located at Beach Street, Penang.
- Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was established in 1959
Established on 26 January 1959, BNM’s main purpose is to issue currency, act as banker and adviser to the Malaysian Government and regulate the country’s financial institutions, credit system and monetary policy.
- The first Malaysian BNM Governor was Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali
The late Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali was the first Malaysian BNM Governor (and the second BNM Governor), whose stint dated from July 1962 to July 1980. Tun Ismail was also the person responsible in the creation of BNM’s logo.
- The earliest coins of the Malay Sultanate were the inspiration behind BNM’s logo
The BNM logo features a Kijang motif inspired by the deer seen on the gold coins of the State of Kelantan, which was among the earliest coins of the Malay Sultanate.
- The Malaysian Ringgit was formerly called the Malayan Dollar
Before 1967, the country’s official currency was Dollar Malaya, which was also the currency used in Singapore and Brunei under the Interchangeability Agreement.
- We used a few different currencies before settling on the Malaysian Ringgit
When Malaysia was under colonial rule, she adopted the Spanish Dollar starting in the 16th century. The country then replaced the Spanish Dollar with Indian Rupee in 1837, before switching back to Spanish Dollar in 1867. The country’s official currency was then changed to the Straits Dollar in 1903.
- The word “Ringgit” is an obsolete Malay term which means “jagged”
In 1975, the names “ringgit” and “sen” were finally adopted, and they’ve been our official currency ever since. “Ringgit” is an obsolete Malay term, meaning “jagged”.
- There used to be a bank note worth $1000
Nowadays, the denominations used are RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50, and RM100 for the bank notes. But back in 1968, there were $1000 denominations being issued.
- Additional hologram strip was introduced in 1996
To increase security and combat counterfeiting, an additional hologram strip was introduced to the RM50 and RM100 notes in 1996.
- Islamic banking in Malaysia began in 1963
When Perbadanan Wang Simpanan Bakal-Bakal Haji (PWSBH) was established in 1963, the Malaysian Islamic banking sector was born. The institution was set up to allow Muslims to save money for hajj.
- The first Islamic bank in Malaysia was established in 1983
It wasn’t until 20 years later that the first Islamic bank in the country, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, was established in 1983.
- Islamic banking products and services started being offered in 1993
Under the Islamic Banking Scheme (IBS), commercial banks, merchant banks and finance companies could offer Islamic banking products and services starting in 1993.
- There are currently 16 Islamic banks in Malaysia
At the moment, there are 16 Islamic banks in Malaysia, with five of them being foreign-owned.
- There’s a university which was established solely to produce skilled and certified personnel for Islamic Finance in Malaysia
The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) was established by BNM, and it’s the only university in the world that is wholly dedicated to offering postgraduate study in Islamic Finance.
- The Islamic Malaysia Index was launched in 2005
RHB Securities, together with Dow Jones & Co, teamed up to launch the Islamic Malaysia Index in 2005. The index features 45 stocks representing Malaysian companies that are Sharia-compliant.
- As at December 2019, Malaysia’s Islamic banking assets reached RM835.19 billion
According to BNM’s data, total Islamic banking assets stood at RM835.19 billion (as at December 2019), an 8.2% increase from RM771.81 billion recorded in December 2018.