Thursday, 7 December 2023

Abdul Farid Alias consolidated Maybank’s dominant position and advanced the development of Malaysia’s banking industry

5 min read

By Foo Boon Ping

Recently retired Maybank Group CEO Abdul Farid Alias was recognised for his lasting contribution to its reorganisation and consolidation as the largest banking group in Malaysia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. He has also left an indelible mark on the advancement of the Malaysian banking and financial services industry.

The council of advisors of The Asian Banker Leadership Achievement programme has recognised the lasting contribution of the former president and CEO of Maybank Group, Abdul Farid Alias, to the reorganisation and consolidation of Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) as the largest financial services group in Malaysia, and one of the biggest banking groups in Southeast Asia. He was also honoured for the indelible marks he left on the advancement of the Malaysian banking and financial services industry.

Under Farid Alias’ leadership, Maybank strengthened its operations and position in the primary markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as seven other countries in Southeast Asia, Greater China, Dubai and the financial centres in London and New York.

Today, Maybank is a leading and respected universal bank that provides retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, investment banking and insurance services. Through its subsidiary, Maybank Islamic, it is also one of the biggest Islamic banks in the world. Maybank currently employs slightly over 42,000 employees, has a balance sheet of over $200 billion. 

He demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the banking industry in this region and proven executive experience across a range of businesses. Maybank was in the throes of its regional expansion journey and Basel III implementation when he took charge in 2013.

Throughout his tenure at the helm, he emphasised the need to improve capital and liquidity position and put more efforts in ensuring its compliance and risk management as a leading player in the banking industry. Maybank’s total capital ratio has improved from 15.66% in 2013 to 19.52% at the year end of 2021.

He had also made Maybank a leader in digital transformation among peers. The bank embarked on its digital transformation journey since 2014. Under his leadership, Maybank has provided wide range of digital products and services, seamlessly integrated into customer’s daily life. He drives the bank to continuously defend and grow key customer markets in the era of digitalisation without losing sight of its core principle --- humanising banking.

Maybank now offers digital banking services via its Maybank2u app, which “blurs the line between bank and digital wallet”. The app, which was launched in October 2020, is built with a unique ecosystem and goes beyond being just a banking app.

Additionally, he believes that Maybank is imbued with all the features of a digital bank, especially given the initiatives and programmes that have been introduced over the past few years, such as the SME digital financing programme. In fact, more of such programmes are slated to be rolled out later this year and in 2022.

Under his leadership, Maybank is poised to lead the fast-growing digital banking area. Having served the banking sector for over 30 years, he retired on 29 April 2022 from Maybank after leading it for over eight years.

In addition, he served as the chairman of The Association of Banks in Malaysia and ASEAN Bankers Association and the vice chairman of Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers. He has been appointed as the co-chairman/member of the Emerging Markets Advisory Council of The Institute of International Finance, Washington in the United States. He is also a member of Visa Asia Pacific Senior Client Council and the Board of Visitors of Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.


For details about evaluation criteria and council of advisors of the Leadership Achievement Award programme, visit

To view the photo gallery of the Leadership Achievement Award ceremony, visit

Institution: Maybank
Country: Malaysia
Region: Southeast Asia
Guest: Abdul Farid Alias
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