CIMB Thai aims to become a high-performance mid-tier bank with annualised profit before tax of Bt15 billion within five years. As part of that effort, it is using digital banking to support new business areas.
Kittiphun Anutarasoti, president and chief executive officer of CIMBT, said the bank planned to make rapid transformations in order to improve productivity and efficiency and provide good experiences to customers.
The bank has divided the transformation project into three phrases. Phase 1, which will be carried out this year and next, is the rapid-transformation stage. The bank will focus on strengthening its foundations in various areas such as asset-quality management, operational processes and control, revenue acceleration, and capital optimisation.
“We are looking to outsource the transformation to ensure it starts off on the right foot,” Kittiphun said. “We will be leveraging the expertise of world-class consultants in|Phase 1.
“They will help to validate the transformation opportunities identified for the organisation, with a strong focus on execution and value creation for our shareholders, customers and employees.”
He added that the bank’s strategy this year would be to continue investing in new growth engines for the future such as digital banking to expand customer base and business base and maintain its competitiveness. It will also focus on improving portfolio asset quality, process efficiency and employee capabilities to respond efficiently to clients’ requirements and promote sustainable growth in its commercial banking operations.
The bank moreover will continue to focus on serving corporates with Asean aspirations, generating sustainable income flows and cross-selling for wholesale banking.
In Phase 2, planned for 2019-20, the bank will focus on building new capabilities and growth engines. It aims to accelerate and intensify its growth in key areas such as small and medium-sized enterprises, private banking and digital banking, which it believes offer huge opportunities to grow.
The final phase, in 2021-22, will be the bank’s final sprint towards achieving its aspiration to become an Asean-focused mid-tier bank in Thailand and complete the transformation project.
“We expect that the Thai economy will continue growing in 2017, albeit at a slow pace,” Kittiphun said. “The main growth engines for Thailand this year will be tourism and public investment, given the low-interest-rate environment.
“Meanwhile, Thailand’s banking industry is still one of the most attractive in Southeast Asia, with revenue pools expected to reach about US$60 billion [Bt2 trillion] by 2020.
“Thailand will continue to be a key strategic market for CIMB Group over the long term.”
He said CIMBT was expected to return to profitability by the end of this year and was targeting a return on equity of more than 6 per cent, loan growth including lending and money-market products of 5-10 per cent, and net interest margin of about 3.8 per cent.