New Baiduri Bank CEO pledges more investment in technology and training
Ti Eng Hui commits to a 'new level of service' as Brunei's largest bank enters its 25th year
Baiduri Bank – the largest conventional bank in Brunei – has appointed a new CEO. Ti Eng Hui has been with Baiduri for the last 20 years, with the latest five spent in key management positions. He explains how he views his mission as he takes over the helm, the lessons he’s learned from outgoing CEO Pierre Imhof, and his ambitions to grow the bank internationally in the coming months.
World Finance: Mr Ti, talk me through the growth and the evolution that Baiduri Bank has seen over the last five years.
Ti Eng Hui: As you know, Baiduri Bank has three core businesses – one of which is retail banking, which has gained significant marketshare over the last five years in mortgages, in personal loans, and credit cards. We also have a core business which is corporate banking – servicing small businesses, all the way to multinational companies.
Another, third, core business, is our hire-purchase arm: a subsidiary company called Baiduri Finance, which specialises in car hire purchases and leasing. So all three core businesses have been doing fantastically well over the last three years.
Over the last three years we’ve had the opportunity to acquire a number of acquisitions – one of which is the UOB portfolio, the retail portfolio that we brought over. So that has given us a tremendous boost in the retail business. 2017 was another good year for us; we brought over HSBC’s retail and corporate portfolio. It’s given us another boost, in terms of assets and profitability by another 10 percent.
Our profit last year has grown by 29 percent, and our total assets have grown by 12 percent.
World Finance: So, what do you see as your mission, as you take over the helm?
Ti Eng Hui: You know, Baiduri has been successful over the last 24 years: this year is our 25th anniversary. And I would like to bring the bank to a new level of service, a new level of capabilities, and a new level of productivity, to meet the challenges in the coming years.
That means building up new capabilities. That means bringing new people to strengthen the team. That means bringing new technologies to support the business; to make sure that we bring new services to our customers. We make sure that the innovation in banking continues to be rolled out.
We need to make sure that our management team will continue to deliver in the coming years, and that we have a good succession plan in place.
Lastly, we need to be more nimble. We need to be able to go forward in such a way that we are able to respond very quickly to the changes in the marketplace, and to be able to take advantage of the opportunities in Brunei and abroad.
World Finance: You’re taking over as CEO from Pierre Imhof; what’s the legacy that he’s left behind?
Ti Eng Hui: Well, you know: Pierre was the CEO for 16 years, and I was fortunate to be his deputy for five.
I’ve learned a lot from him over the years. I think he has a very special skillset in managing conflicts among people. He’s able to bring stability to the bank, to bring growth to the bank. And I think he is a great people manager, able to motivate people to do their best, give people the opportunities to do what they believe in, and best of all, trust his people in delivering what they’re supposed to do.
The bank has been fortunate to have him over the last 16 years, so thank you Pierre, for his contribution.
World Finance: Baiduri Bank has a long history of delivering financial services firsts in Brunei; how will you make sure the bank continues to stay ahead of the competition?
Ti Eng Hui: Well, there’s two things we need to do. One is that we need to continue to invest in technology. New technologies like cloud computing, like fintech, like big data: these are very important tools that we need to have to propel the bank to the next level.
Secondly, I think we need to train our people a lot more. There are new regulations, the banking industry is facing new challenges. So we need to make sure our people are well trained, well positioned, to be able to face the challenges in the coming years.
World Finance: So, in the coming years, in the next five years: what is your ambition for Baiduri Bank?
Ti Eng Hui: You know, Baiduri Bank: it’s a Bruneian bank. It is a bank serving the Bruneian community. It is a bank that will continue to focus on Brunei as a priority market. We will work a lot more with government linked companies (GLCs) to serve them better. We will continue to work with the business community to develop more corporations.
We want also to be able to venture outside of Brunei – and therefore we have plans to go beyond Brunei. And that means developing a strategy for our expansion in a number of Asian countries. So that’s something that we will be working on in the coming months.
World Finance: Ti Eng Hui, thank you very much.
Ti Eng Hui: Thank you for inviting.