As the nation's central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is responsible for promoting monetary and financial stability conducive to the sustainable growth of the Malaysian economy.
BNM launched the Financial Sector Blueprint last December, aiming to evolve a financial ecosystem that will best serve a high value-added, high-income Malaysian economy, while also having an increasingly important role in meeting the growing financial needs of emerging Asia. Under the blueprint, the foundations of financial stability will also continue to be strengthened through the development of a robust surveillance, regulatory and supervisory framework. The main thrusts of the blueprint are aligned with the government's initiatives under the financial services NKEA and the ETP as a whole.
In line with an EPP for developing regional banking champions, BNM supports Malaysian banks in doing business abroad. It advances collective initiatives that support regional economic integration, while pursuing deepened cross-border co-ordination and co-operation among regulators and the development of regional financial infrastructure.
BNM enabled meaningful participation of foreign banks over the years by adopting a progressive approach towards the liberalisation of the financial sector. There are at least 23 foreign-owned banks in Malaysia, accounting for around 27 per cent of total banking system assets. Malaysia's approach to further liberalisation of the financial sector will continue, accompanied by safeguards to ensure that the nation's best interests and financial stability are preserved.
Malaysia's position as an international Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) will also continue to be reinforced. BNM assures commitment to strengthen the foundations and support the infrastructure for further growth of the Islamic finance in the country, while promoting the diversity of Islamic players, products and services to meet the demands of a wider investor base.
All these initiatives are geared to build a financial sector by 2020 that is founded on productivity gains and innovation, that is inclusive, balanced and sustainable, while also supporting mutually reinforcing growth with other economies in the region.