Interviewed By Foo Boon Ping
The banking and financial services industry in Asia Pacific has to brace itself for worsening operating conditions ahead with the twin threats of tightening interest margins and deteriorating asset quality amid the expectation of persistent and sharp economic slowdown across the region
In its most recent report, the International credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s), has assigned a negative outlook for the banking industry in Asia Pacific over the next 12 months as the US-China trade war continues on to 2020. Analysts expect the operating environment for the banking and financial industries in APAC to worsen and weigh on the region.
Governments are adopting a more accommodative monetary stance to spur growth, manage debts and increase capital buffers and manage external risks. According to Moody’s, most APAC banking systems have passed the stress test on capital, except for the banks in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, which have lower starting capital ratios and higher starting problem loan ratios
Additionally the digitalisation of many banks and introduction of new licensing frameworks for new digital banks across the region is pulling the industry into gray areas. On one hand, fast and frictionless service is provided to the customers, while also reducing operating costs through scaling down of branch networks and automating manual processes; but on the other hand the threat of cybercrime is more than ever a more pressing concern.
Lastly the region is also adopting measures to implement sustainable banking and financing policies and guidelines that are aligned with environmental, social and governance principles and best practices.
Vice President, Moody’s Investors Service
Eugene Tarzimanov is the Vice President, Moody’s Investors Service. He is a senior credit analyst at Moody’s Financial Institution Group. Based in Singapore, he is the lead analyst for banks in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. He was previously with Moody’s Moscow office, where he covered the largest banks in Russia, as well as financial institutions in Europe and the Middle East.