By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 9: To encourage people to save their money in the bank, Bank Negara Malaysia must remove banking ‘roadblocks’ and be flexible with new depositors, suggests Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
He said current standard operating procedures (SOP) by banks were not friendly to farmers and newly-employed individuals as they have to produce payslips before being able to open a bank account.
“We must encourage people to save by not creating banking ‘roadblocks’ to those who want to save. Bank Negara must review its procedures and make them more friendly to farmers and those who are self-employed.
“The SOP for people to start a bank account in Malaysia is biased against people who aren’t gainfully employed. To start a saving account a person needs to produce a payslip.
“Where does a farmer get his payslip? He is self-employed. In short, the farmers in Malaysia include those who reside in the longhouses find it almost impossible to start a savings account,” Masing said here today.
“It puts them as a great disadvantage. This was clearly shown during Covid-19 when hundreds of those in the rural population have to line up for hours to cash their cheques.
“Bank Negara must create a more rural-friendly banking system. At the moment, our banking system is urban-friendly,” he said.
He cited the example of his niece who tried to create a bank account today in order for her employer to pay via her bank account.
“Her application was rejected because she has no payslip yet as she just started to work. How can she produce a payslip?
“This shows how unfriendly our banks are to new customers,” added Masing.—DayakDaily