State Counselor Calls on Central, Private Banks to Collaborate

By Thu Thu Aung & Htet Naing Zaw 16 August 2017

YANGON — State Counselor Daw Aung San Su Kyi held a meeting in Naypyitaw on Tuesday at her office with members of the country’s Central Bank and delegates from the government’s economic committee concerning the development of Myanmar’s banking sector.

Bankers who attended the two-hour meeting told The Irrawaddy that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi advocated for collaboration and regular meetings between private bankers and the Central Bank of Myanmar in order to improve the banking sector.

In what was their first meeting with the State Counselor, private bankers presented information pertaining to the functioning of local banks under the rules and regulations of the Central Bank.

“The Central Bank’s policy is very important in improving the banking sector. The bankers presented some obstacles in the current banking system related to working under existing Central Bank regulations,” U Thaung Han, CEO of the Myanmar Citizens Bank, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

“We are glad to have the chance to present our situation and our needs. She [Daw Aung San Suu Kyi] met with the chairs of private banks for the first time. It was a spark of positive change in the banking sector,” he added.

Chair of the Global Treasure Bank U Maung Maung Thein said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called on bankers to invest in other “important, essential sectors” in the country.

The Central Bank underwent staffing changes in the first week of August, welcoming new deputy governors and members.

U Ye Min Oo, a member of the National League for Democracy government’s economic committee, said the Central Bank has an important role in changing the banking system. “It also needs to review and assess the output of the Central Bank’s governors after three to six months,” he explained.

The Central Bank of Myanmar sets the rules and regulations for local private banks, such as minimum interest rates for loans, limits to extending loans exceeding 25 percent of authorized capital, and conducting special audit programs.