Deputy Sultan officiates new BIBD brand
Syafiq Affendy & Hakim Hayat

HIS Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, yesterday consented to officiate the unveiling of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam’s (BIBD) new corporate image and brand that incorporates uniquely Bruneian values.

The new brand introduction is one of the strategic efforts embarked under the bank’s transformation journey. The emphasis of “Bruneian at Heart” brings out BIBD’s commitment to the Bruneian aspiration and values, as well as its roots in Brunei and Islamic values.

According to BIBD Managing Director Javed Ahmad, having a strong identity is critical if the bank is to expand internationally.

“We are a Bruneian institution, and because we are Bruneian at heart, the services we provide to everyone, once we go international, will be pretty much the core of our philosophy,” he said during yesterday’s press conference.

Referring to the titah of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam when the bank was launched, Javed said that one of the key objectives was “to provide the critical mass” so that the bank would be able to venture out as well.

In this regard, Javed revealed that BIBD continues to look for opportunities to expand. He believes that the region around Brunei Darussalam would be the “key area”, and that other opportunities may arise from somewhere within the Islamic world.

“Those are the areas that we are looking at. We are open to business opportunities. It does not mean that we haven’t been looking – we have been looking – (but) we need to find the right opportunity. We have to actually get it out and we have to actually make sure that it basically provides an avenue for us to expand internationally as well,” he added.

According to him, banking, to a very large extent, was evolving where what was viewed as strengths in terms of international reach and footprints in hundreds of countries are basically proving to be a challenge.

He said: “I think that’s where regional banks and local banks with niche propositions are going to be successful.

“If you look at some of the examples in the region 10 to 15 years ago, you look at banks like DBS, OCBC, CIMB, Maybank and predominantly local banks over the last few years have expanded.

“They have found niches and good business models to expand overseas.

“Banking is changing quite substantially. It can’t be just we (BIBD) replicate in terms of what we do over here – we actually have to find new ways.

“I think one area where it is going to be quite important is the ability to serve new customers through new mediums, whereby we are actually able to attract and retain customers with a very different value proposition.”

Meanwhile, explaining further on the new brand logo for BIBD, Javed said that it is an amalgamation of four key uniquely Bruneian elements – the golden dome, the crescent moon, the waterways of Brunei, and the hands in supplication, which reflect the warm and intuitive relationship that BIBD has with the citizens of Brunei and rooting its values to the heritage of our beloved nation.

The new brand demonstrates the bank’s commitment to the growth of Brunei Darussalam, aligning it firmly with the nation’s Vision 2035, he added.

The bank currently holds an asset portfolio of over 31 per cent of the total Bruneian banking sector, continuously contributing to drive the growth of the Islamic banking industry in Brunei.

Despite the competitive banking landscape in Brunei, the bank has announced an outstanding performance in its recent Annual General Meeting, posting a record profit of B$119 million after Zakat and taxation for 2012, an increase of 37 per cent from the previous year.

Javed said BIBD, being voted as the Best Retail Bank in Brunei by the reputed publication, The Asian Banker, is also committed to introducing an innovative banking experience and a uniquely Bruneian customer experience.

Amongst other milestones achieved is BIBD being the first bank in the region to launch eTunai mobile micropayment platform, an alternative payment channel that combines BIBD Mobile Platform and the ease of a mobile wallet. This, he said is an illustration of BIBD being intuitive and keeping abreast with the trends and technology advancement.

BIBD’s Deputy Head of Consumer Banking and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative, Hjh Nurul Akmar Hj Md Jaafar, said this milestone is also further marked with the launch of its newly refurbished branch at Kiulap, featuring a more refreshed ambience, giving a more focused service and enhanced banking experience for its customers.

BIBD has also continued to honour Bruneians with its flagship CSR initiative, ALAF (Advocating Life-Long Learning for an Aspiring Future), which is aimed at providing education, a key indicator for personal and national growth, to underprivileged children in Brunei.

Through the CSR and other initiatives, BIBD said it is committed to being truly Bruneian at Heart and will continue to be a stalwart partner in shaping the future of Brunei together with its people.

“BIBD looks to push the envelope on the Bruneian banking industry, strengthening its position as market leader whilst ensuring that the Bruneian way of life is strengthened with financial serenity.” - Borneo Bulletin (27 June 2013)