KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian banking industry, on average, only allocates around 3% of employee payroll for their annual training expenditure, said Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim.
He said this was in contrast with international comparisons of around 4.0% and 4.5%, despite the importance of prioritising and channelling greater resources towards talent development.
“The Malaysian banking industry’s allocation for training and development is still below the global benchmark,” he said at the launch of the Asian Banking School’’s Cambridge Summer School Programme in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
While allocation for training and development was important, Muhammad said focus must also be given to the quality of training.
“In my mind, this begins with transforming existing corporate learning systems to enable continuous lifelong learning and ongoing skill acquisition,” he said, adding that the banking sector should have an “on demand, ever ready” learning system which empowered talent to take ownership of self-development and diversify from the traditional form of structured learning that only took place at rigid fixed intervals.
“Aspiring talents ought to be empowered to personalise learning content, according to individual preference and pace.
“Knowledge should be accessible to all who seek to learn, learning should take place at any time, and should be democratised,” he said.
Muhammad added that human capital investment must adapt and evolve with its operating environment.
The central bank governor also touched on the fact that less than 1% of the small and medium enterprises’ financing approvals were directed to new growth areas.
“At the moment, financing remains concentrated in traditional economic sectors.
“While up to 74% of financial sector talent is high-skilled, financing future industries for long-term economic growth requires us to think ahead with new and fresh perspectives.
“We need talent that can identify and distill the needs and risks of these new growth areas,” he said, adding that for this to happen, banks would have to recruit and develop not only conventional bankers but also software engineers, data scientists and technology strategists.