Financial health and inclusion are crucial aspects for financial institutions, reflecting the significant role banks play in providing access to financial services. Regulatory bodies in our key markets have emphasised the importance of improving financial access, financial literacy, consumer protection and distribution channels. This strategic focus aligns with CIMB’s commitment to fostering financial inclusion and ensuring our services positively impact the broader community.


Our Targets


In 2020, having identified financial inclusion and financial health as a material matter, we carried out an in-depth analysis of our operations and portfolio to identify where we could make the most meaningful impact. Based on these insights, we have established strategic goals aimed at enhancing access and support particularly for vulnerable groups. Our progress towards these goals will be tracked and reported annually, overseen by our sustainability teams at both management and Board levels.


As we analysed the financial inclusion and financial health data in each of our key markets, we found that the needs and priorities of the vulnerable groups differ by country. Our target-setting process began in Malaysia, where we have the largest customer base. Based on the results of our analysis, we have decided to focus on the bottom 40% income earners (B40), who face significant economic vulnerability.


To address these challenges, CIMB has launched a targeted initiative in Malaysia, where we aim to provide customers in the vulnerable segments with greater access to wealth-building and insurance products, to empower them with solutions that build their credit history, improve their financial management skills and reduce reliance on high-cost financing sources. Through financial literacy and digital literacy training initiatives, we aim to help customers better understand financial products and risks of banking in a digital world, empowering them to make better informed decisions.

To track our progress in meeting our goal of promoting financial health and inclusion within the communities we serve, we have set a target to increase the number of customers in the vulnerable segment, who hold solutions aimed at improving their long-term financial health. Notably, we exclude products that may lead to negative impacts, such as credit cards and personal loans.

Enabling Financial Inclusion​


Financially enabling individuals through accessible and affordable banking services creates a ripple effect that drives improvements across local society and the economy. With our presence in a region where significant population remains unbanked and underbanked, CIMB plays an important role in bringing financial services and solutions to local communities. 

We are actively working to bridge the financial access and inclusion gap by innovating and creating partnerships to provide financial services that address real pain points for underserved communities. ​

As part of our commitment, we placed wheelchairs in 160 branches in Malaysia to make it easier for our customers to access services at branches. We are committed to ensuring that every CIMB branch in Malaysia has at least one wheelchair on the premise. ​

We have also improved the account opening and debit card application process for customers who are print-disabled, blind, or visually impaired. We revamped our processes, as well as terms and conditions, so that visually impaired customers can complete the application using their own mobile device without requiring a witness. Additionally, we have started absorbing the RM10 stamp duty charges for these customers. ​


In addition to setting targets, we continue to innovate and expand our range of financial products and services to better align with the needs of the targeted underserved groups based on market research. This analysis helps us to better understand, address and tailor delivery methods based on the needs and preferences of our targeted vulnerable groups, including those with physical disabilities, the elderly and those facing financial hardship.


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Promoting Financial Literacy​


Across ASEAN, we support financial literacy programmes that empower vulnerable segments such as youths and entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds. These programmes are essential to help them take control of their financial future and build long-term wealth. By learning about financial concepts and strategies, they can make better informed decisions on their finances, avoiding financial pitfalls in the journey to their financial goals.

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