AGROAgent Branches Out In Sabah
Agrobank Expands its Banking Facilities in the Rural Areas
SEMPORNA, SABAH – Agrobank today officially appointed 16 new agent banking in Sabah. The agents are appointed under the new services called AGROAgent, which was launched nationwide in December 2014. The agents received official appointment letters presented by Y.B. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Malaysia (MoA).
With these latest services, Agrobank are expanding its basic banking services especially in agriculture sectors. This is part of the initiatives to support Bank Negara Malaysia in reaching the underserved segments of community in rural areas particularly in providing basic banking services through agents.
Under these services, Agrobank has appointed authorized banking agents in Sabah to provide basic banking services of accepting deposits and facilitating withdrawals. Other basic banking services that can be provided by the agents are fund transfers, bill payments and mobile top-up.
According to Dato’ Wan Mohd Fadzmi Wan Othman, President / Chief Executive Officer of Agrobank, agent banking is a cost-effective way for the bank to expand its reach to provide services in rural areas with appointed agents under the agencies of the MOA and will allow the bank to leverage on its technology platform to provide baking services to all.
“With AGROAgent services, customers will no longer have to travel a long distance to the nearest town to make withdrawals and deposits as AGROAgent is strategically located near their neighborhoods. We leverage on the reach and network provided by the agencies under the Ministry (MOA) nationwide. Indeed, the new services provided by Agrobank further emphasis the Bank’s commitment towards providing basic banking facilities to the unserved and underserved communities as per our mandated role,” explained Dato’ Wan Mohd Fadzmi further.
Agrobank aims to recruit 366 agents across the country including Sabah and Sarawak by the end of 2015.
“So far, a total of 36 AGROAgent were registered nationwide to assist in providing efficient services to rural communities and to date, Sabah has recorded the highest number of AGROAgent with 9 agents have started its operations while 7 AGROAgent will be appointed this month. Overall, there will be16 AGROAgent in total in Sabah. I’m sure, the numbers of AGROAgent will increase from time to time to give a total services to all,” said Dato’ Wan Mohd Fadzmi.
At the ceremony, Y.B. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob presented appointment letters to 9 new AGROAgents in Sabah. Also present to witness the ceremony were Puan Marina Kahar, Director of Development Finance and Enterprise Department of Bank Negara Malaysia and YB Datuk Haji Musbah Haji Jamli, YB Datuk Dr. Hj. Jaujan Bin Sambakong, YB Datuk Seri Haji Nasir Tun Haji Sakaran, YB Datuk Haji Ramlee Marahaban and YB Dato’ Seri Saipolbahari Bin Haji Suib, Pengerusi Pertubuhan Peladang Kebangsaan (NAFAS), Puan Marina Kahar, Director, Development Finance and Enterprise of Bank Negara Malaysia said, since the initiatives of agent banking was introduced by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2012 under the Financial Sector Blueprint 2011 – 2020, Malaysia has already achieved a higher level of financial inclusion whereby 99% of the population have access to the banking services either through bank branches or agents. Currently, 96% of the districts with population of more than 2,000 people or State Legislative Assembly (DUN) in Sabah have benefitted through these facilities offered by basic banking services, compared to 46% in 2011. In line with Bank Negara Malaysia initiative to further increase the level of financial inclusion in Malaysia, agent banking services will be expanded to ensure more people take part in the formal financial system and at the same time to improve the use of financial services among all levels of society.
At the same event, Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob today also launched the Agrobank Semporna Branch which started its operation on 6 December 2014.