KUALA LUMPUR (Nov, 8 2012): The Asean central banks, which endorsed the Asean Financial Integration Framework in 2011, are in the final stages to launch the framework for banking sector integration, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
She said the framework will pave the way for a more meaningful presence of qualifying Asean banks within the region, while promoting regional financial stability.
"Recognising the diversity of Asean economies and the varying stages of financial sector development, the framework allows flexibility for Asean countries to participate in the integration process based on their readiness and willingness," she said in her keynote address at the 19th Asean Banking Conference here yesterday.
Under the framework, qualifying Asean banks with the capacity and are well-managed will serve as the regional standard bearers, and will be accorded more flexible access into regional markets.
"Greater flexibilities will also be given to facilitate the regional expansion plans of qualifying Asean banks to become important conduits of financial intermediation in the region.
"Tremendous opportunities can be harvested from this new framework. Hence, I welcome and look forward to the greater participation by financial institutions from all Asean countries in this process," she added.
Zeti said Asean banks play a significant role in supporting the financial integration process of the Asean Economic Community by 2015.
"Over the recent decade, we have witnessed the rising prominence of Asean financial institutions within the region, driven by the growing regional business fundamentals and the strengthened capacity of the financial institutions.
"Asean commercial banks are predominant mobilisers of financial funds and as our experience shows, the banking sector is the most matured component in the financial sector of most jurisdictions," she said.
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