Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin says the government should not interfere in the management of banks and it was best left to Bank Negara Malaysia.
He said the central bank was independent and should be able to manage banks well. “The main reason we should stop interfering with Bank Negara’s duties is because of past scandals,” he tells Focus Malaysia in an exclusive interview.
Recently, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had urged banks to ease lending restrictions unless they preferred to be slapped with a windfall tax. He said there had been many complaints with regards to difficulties in obtaining financing, even as banks recorded huge profits.
Asked if banks should be consolidated, Daim says: “Some people say when you become too big, you ignore the small people because at the end of the day, you want to make money. Back in the 90s, my view was to have only four banks. People may disagree with me and that is fine, since this is my personal view. But I think we should have big banks with big capital that can withstand any crisis.
“Basically, what we want is a bank that is well-run and efficient to cater to the needs of the country. So even businessmen, when they need to borrow and expand, can go to the bank and get easy credit.”
Note: 18/5/19 - Title edited.