2018 was deemed to be the greatest year for the cooperative bank, Co-opbank Pertama (CBP) where they were able to record the highest unaudited profit before tax amounted RM52.7 million that equals to 284.7% increased as compared to 2015 where they first started to operate as a bank.
As a small bank and what Mohd Nor Abd Razak defined as a “new kid on the block”, this achievement is evidence that manifests their ability to push the growth to be at par with other commercial banks in the nation.
September 2014 was the starting point for CBP to operate fully as a cooperative bank.
Despite what Mohd Nor stated as a newcomer in the banking sector, CBP has been around since 1950. September 2014 marked as the historic day for them when they have been authorised by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Malaysia Co-operative Societies Commission of Malaysia (SKM) to fully operate as a cooperative bank. Likewise other commercial banks in Malaysia, CBP is considered as unique where they are obliged to two regulators – BNM and SKM.
A true-blue banker
Since Mohd Nor took the helm in July 2017, he has aggressively brought in significant achievements for CBP. Backed by his long proven record in the financial sector, Mohd Nor has served for Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for over 16 years and has been attached to numerous companies and subsidiaries under BNM supervision. The experiences further enhance his capability as a leader and simply put him as an expert.
“I joined CBP as a Chief Financial Officer in Januaary 2017 and later promoted to Chief Executive Officer in July 2017. As the CEO of CBP, I am responsible for the growth and profitable of CBP as well as ensuring the best services rendered to our members and customers,” he explains.
CBP’s performance in the past few years was very encouraging, thank everyone who committed throughout the journey.
As the CEO of CBP, Mohd Nor has systematically rebranded the brand from Co-opbank Persatuan to Co-opbank Pertama. The rebranding initiative is to increase public and market awareness on CBP as a cooperative bank. The following reason was to end the public confusion over the name as highlighted and advised by the public.
“Nevertheless, with the rebranding initiatives, we are now aggressively transforming CBP to bring it to the greater height.”
The game changer
Originally a small cooperative society originated from Kampung Pertama, Permatang Pauh, CBP is now the second largest cooperative bank in Malaysia and the first cooperative bank that was granted a banking license.
As of December 2018, CBP has a total of 85,041 cooperative members comprises of 84,357 individual members and 684 cooperative members. Furthermore, CBP is widely known amongst customers with a total of 22 branches all over the country.
Despite being a new cooperative bank in the league, CBP has recorded significant achievements and received notable recognition.
The journey of becoming the second largest cooperative bank in the country involved a lot of challenges and the need to think and act promptly. “Being a cooperative and to be upgraded as a bank, a lot of things need to be improved. This is the biggest challenge that we have to face as a company in order to grow in the financial industry,” Mohd Nor explains.
He further added that CBP covers a different segment of the market – where the business focuses mainly on cooperative membership, deposits, retail and corporate financing and fee-based services. In a nutshell, CBP offers a wide range of Syariah compliance products and services, in line with its mission to be the Number 1 Syariah compliance cooperative bank in Malaysia.
Highest achievement recorded
CBP was recognised among the best cooperatives in Malaysia in line with other big names of cooperative such as Bank Rakyat and Koperasi Permodalan FELDA Malaysia Berhad in 2018. They also have been awarded numerous awards since 2011 which driven them in providing the best services.
Apart from notable awards and recognition, CBP has successfully enhanced its capital. Share capital jumped almost 97% from RM335.2 million in 2015 to RM659.6 million in 2018. “The introduction of the Islamic Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (iRCPS) in July 2017 had contributed significantly to the increase of share capital with an amount of RM200 million and another RM60 million were contributed by other shares,” he utters. With the highest capital recorded, they have achieved the target requirements set by the regulators thus it no longer their main focus at the moment.
At the moment, the strategy to enhance CBP’s capital is no longer our main focus as we have achieved the target amount set by the regulators.
“CBP’s performance in the past few years were very encouraging especially in 2018. In 2018, we achieved the highest unaudited profit before tax amounted RM52.7 million that equals to 284.7% increased as compared to 2015 where we started to operate as a bank with RM13.7 million of profit,” says Mohd Nor who explains that it won’t succeed without the help from the Board of Directors, management and staff.
Strenghtening the core
Cooperative sector is the third major sector contributor to the Malaysian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With all 14,000 cooperatives in Malaysia, the contribution is close to 5%. In 2017 itself, the total procurement recorded by cooperative was RM34.15 billion from a total of RM40.24 billion. To that, CBP has actively brought in fresh new ideas to help strenghten the cooperative sector and contribute more for the Malaysian GDP.
Excitingly, Mohd Nor’s upcoming plan is to achieve RM111 millions of profits and to provide a 12.5% dividend to their members. “To support this strategy, CBP is introducing five new products this year that will help drive our growth in 2019. As a matter of fact, CBP is set to open another four branches this year. The new branches are located at Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan,” he ends.