FST Media: What will be the most significant challenge facing the financial services industry in the year ahead?
Viegas: The key challenges are heightened competition, thinning margins, increased regulations and cost of compliance.
FST Media: What are your priorities for the next 12 to 18 months?
Viegas: My priorities will revolve around intensifying efforts in growing customers’ wallet share, enabled by advanced data mining and decision science. We will also be seizing opportunities to grow fee income, keeping a strong focus on areas such as wealth management, bancassurance, remittance and credit cards. We will also increase focus on digital banking, in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s efforts in driving e-payment systems.
We will also continue our efforts to improve cost synergies and productivity, as well as re-balance our deposit and asset portfolios to protect and enhance yields. An important personal priority is to develop talent and inculcate a high performance culture within the organisation.
FST Media: How is CIMB’s virtual banking site ‘CIMB Clicks’ deliver value to the business and how will you measure success?
Viegas: ‘CIMB Clicks’ is integral to our digital banking agenda and is one of the most recognisable brands in the industry to date.
A growing base of active ‘clicks’ users with increased volume of transactions is a key measurement of success.
Through ‘CIMB Clicks,’ the bank has also gained recognition and won the ‘Best Internet Bank in Malaysia’ award from Global Finance for three consecutive years from 2011 to 2013. Winning this award is a testament as well as a measurement of success that CIMB Clicks is delivering value to our customers.
FST Media: How is CIMB benefiting from social media like Facebook to provide banking services to Gen Y through services like ‘Octopay’? How will you build on this success?
Viegas: Innovation is an important agenda for us at CIMB Bank. We constantly strive to deliver the best products and services for our customers. We believe Gen Ys are the future, and in the last 12 to 18 months, we have launched several initiatives which specifically targeted this group.
‘Savings Circle’ was one such initiative. It was the world’s first fully integrated bank deposit campaign that ran completely on the Facebook platform. The campaign used strong crowd-sourcing elements to reward individuals as well as their friends for saving together as a group.
Another recent initiative is the CIMB ‘Kwik Account,’ which is Malaysia’s first online account that caters specially to Gen Ys. This account was developed based on consumer insights that the younger generation is constantly on the move and desires more control.
The CIMB ‘Kwik Account’ enables customers to have full control by opening their own savings account without having to visit any bank branch. Users may instantly use it for online shopping, bill payments, money transfers and prepaid reloads.
FST Media: How will CIMB grow on the success of ‘Octosend’ and how is online and mobile expected to change the way customers transact with one another?
Viegas: We see a lot of opportunity for ‘OctoSend,’ because it is easy and convenient. We foresee customers using OctoSend actively between friends and their families, and embracing it as part of their lifestyle.
FST Media: What is expected to be your most effective customer acquisition channel and why?
Viegas: Two things stand out. The ‘CIMB@Work Program,’ which goes to the workplace to help customers with their banking needs. With the newly-developed ‘bank-in-a-briefcase’ technology, we help make instant decisions in offering loans as well as opening a deposit account without having the customer come to the branch. It is paperless and fulfillment is done within minutes.
Secondly, through a strong relationship with our eight million customers and our extensive branch presence, we continue to receive and generate new customer leads to grow our customer base. We are also deploying telesales to deepen the relationship with our customers with new product offerings.
FST Media: Every leader has a legacy they wish to be remembered for. What is yours?
Viegas: I aspire to make a difference in unleashing and realising the full potential of CIMB Bank in becoming a truly leading regional consumer bank. I also support the development of talent and taking risks, challenging people with bigger and different roles. I would like to encourage and foster great teamwork and collaboration, breaking down all the silos within the broader group.
This interview first appeared in FST Media’s annual magazine The Who’s Who of Financial Services Asia Pacific, which launched at the Technology & Innovation – the Future of Banking & Financial Services conference in Melbourne on 4th June, 2014.