Bank union: Share profits equitably among top management, rank and file

By J Solomon


THE higher remuneration earned by top bankers in the country for FY20, due to profits earned by the banks, shows that the financial sector in Malaysia remained robust and had cushioned itself well from the impact of the COVID-19 triggered economic downturn.

Some of the banks’ CEOs received pay rises of over 10%, something that was helped by the fact that the pandemic enabled the banks to increase their profits from customers who were forced to use online banking and were willing to pay a fee for their transactions.

What should also not be disputed is the fact that the banks were able to register healthy profits due to the dedication and commitment of the banks’ workforce.

J Solomon

The bank employees were also part of the Malaysia’s frontliners, who risk their health and life to ensure the financial institutions remained open and continued to provide an essential service to the public as various forms of lockdown was imposed over the past one year.

The workers made tremendous sacrifices and were forced to make adjustments, be it working under tight standard operating procedure (SOP) in office or familiarising themselves with the many challenges and protocols of working from home (WFH).

  1. Unfortunately, the Government has forgotten and left out the frontliners in the banking sector when it comes to prioritising the vaccines. The Government appears not to recognise the sacrifices of these frontliners from the first MCO. So, when the banks have been working hard during the pandemic, we find no reasons for the CEO or the bank workers be paid for their hardwork while sharing the profits equitably. We also see some Ministers receiving high salaries during this pandemic but they are not carrying out their rightful service to the rakyat.
  2. The closure of schools which forced students to stay home for online classes also posed many challenges to bank employees, who had to look after after their children and work from home simultaneously.
  3. NUBE hopes the hard work and dedication displayed by all bank employees, at all levels, will not go unnoticed by the banks.  The good returns earned by the banks in FY20 and before, should be shared between the top management and the employees.  
  4. We urge employers in the banking sector to ensure that their profits will translate into better remuneration for their employees as well, and not limited to bigger pay packets for CEOs and directors alone.
  5. Unlike other sectors, banks have been very resilient and continue to do well despite the pandemic.  We hope banks will not use the pandemic as an excuse instead to not share the good returns they have been earning with their employees in a fair and equitable way. – March 28, 2021. 


J Solomon is the general secretary of the National Union of Bank Employees (Nube).

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE