Banks in Malaysia, some of which are the largest in Southeast Asia, offer a comprehensive range of banking and financial services. The country’s financial institutions are governed by the Bank Negara Malaysia, which was established in 1959. It serves as the country’s central bank, responsible for promoting monetary and financial stability.
Moody’s Investors Service gave a stable outlook for banks in Malaysia in March 2021. The rating agency’s outlook is driven on the back of gradual economic recovery and a strong balance sheet, which is expected o improve Malaysia’s operating conditions. It said local lenders’ prudent underwriting, along with strong capital and liquidity, will protect them from incremental financial stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For anyone considering a banking career in Malaysia, this list of top banks in Malaysia is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
The Top Banks in Malaysia Include:
Malayan Banking Berhad – Maybank
Maybank is the largest bank in the country in terms of total assets and market capitalization. It is also one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia. It provides a wide range of banking products and services through its extensive network of 2,626 offices, spanning 10 ASEAN countries and global financial centers.
In 2020, Maybank was ranked 106th in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks. Maybank Islamic, the bank’s Islamic banking arm, is the top Islamic bank in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also the world’s fifth-largest Islamic bank by assets. Maybank was founded in 1960, with headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Net income: MYR 6.48 billion (2020)
Total assets: MYR 877.52 billion (3/2021)
CIMB Bank is the consumer banking unit of the CIMB Group. The universal bank provides banking services, including consumer and wholesale banking, strategic investments, and treasury and markets through a network of 1,080 branches.
Aside from Malaysia, the bank’s core markets include Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. Established in 1972, CIMB Bank is based in Kuala Lumpur, serving more than 13.5 million customers across the country.
Net income: MYR 988.29 million (2020)
Total assets: MYR 519.15 billion (2020)
Public Bank Berhad
Founded in 1966, Public Bank Berhad is one of the largest banks in Malaysia, as well as in Southeast Asia. It is the country’s largest bank in terms of shareholders’ funds and the second-largest in market capitalization.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the bank offers a range of products and services such as personal and commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, sale and management of unit trust funds, share brokerage, and insurance.
Net income: MYR 4.87 billion (2020)
Total assets: MYR 455.06 billion (3/2021)
RHB Bank provides a wide array of financial products and services through its numerous subsidiaries. Aside from Malaysia, it serves Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. In 1994, it was incorporated as a public limited company in Malaysia, then changed its name to RHB Bank in 1997.
The RHB Islamic Bank Berhad, established in 2005 by the RHB Banking Group, was the first domestic financial institution to create an Islamic banking subsidiary. The group currently employs around 14,000 staff and manages 278 branches/offices.
Net income: MYR 2.11 billion (2020)
Total assets: MYR 280.51 billion (3/2021)
Hong Leong Bank
One of the largest banks in Malaysia is Hong Leong Bank Berhad, a major publicly listed banking group in the country. It provides banking services to clients in Malaysia, as well as in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the US.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Leong Bank was established in 1905 as Commerce International Merchant Bankers. The bank is part of the Hong Leong Group, which offers diversified businesses in financial services, property, manufacturing, and infrastructure development.
Net income: MYR 1.86 billion (2020)
Total assets: MYR 269.53 billion (3/2021)
AMMB Holdings Berhad – AmBank Group
Based in Kuala Lumpur, AmBank Group provides retail and wholesale banking, Islamic banking, and insurance services in Malaysia. The bank operates through a network of 170 branches and 641 ATMs. It also trades under different brands, such as AmInvestment Bank, AmInvest, AmMetLife, and AmGeneral Insurance.
Formed in 1975 as Arab-Malaysian Development Bank, the group currently employs 10,000 staff and serves more than three million customers.
Net income: MYR 1.11 billion (2020)
Total assets: MYR 172.51 billion (2020)
United Overseas Bank (Malaysia)
Singaporean multinational banking group, United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB), provides a range of banking services such as commercial and corporate banking, personal finance, asset management, investment, corporate finance, and insurance.
UOB oversees a network of 68 branches in Singapore and over 500 offices in over 19 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in Western Europe and North America. The bank was founded in 1935 as United Chinese Bank (UCB).
Net income: MYR 1.01 billion (2020)
Total assets: MYR 127.73 billion (2020)
Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad, or Bank Rakyat, is the largest Islamic cooperative bank in Malaysia. It is an entity that is governed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism since 2004. It was established in 1954 after the merger of 11 union banks in Malaysia under the Cooperative Ordinance 1948.
Through its 147 branches, Bank Rakyat provides a range of products and services, including consumer banking, commercial financing, and investments. Its headquarters is in Kuala Lumpur.
Net income: MYR 1.63 billion (2019)
Total assets: MYR 109.37 billion (2019)
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad is a subsidiary of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited or OCBC, the oldest local bank in Singapore. The bank provides a range of financial solutions, including consumer and business banking, investment, Islamic banking, and treasury.
Operating through over 46 branches, it is one of the largest foreign banks in Malaysia in terms of assets.
Net income: MYR 564.5 million (2020)
Total assets: MYR 92.86 billion (2020)
HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad
A subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad is the largest foreign-owned bank in the country, with a network of over 60 branches nationwide. Incorporated in Malaysia in 1994, the bank offers Islamic financial services, including personal and commercial banking. In 2007, it set up HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, its Islamic banking subsidiary.