Banks in Brunei | Overview & Guide to Top 9 Banks in Brunei

Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Overview of Banks in Brunei

The banking sector in Brunei is highly competitive. The central bank Brunei is Brunei Currency Board.

There are nine banks in Brunei if we look at local and foreign banks together. And each of these has an average of 40 branches. If we look at the population of Brunei, it’s around 400,000. That means every branch can cater to around 10,000 people on average.

The banking sector of Brunei offers three categories of banking – consumer banking, institutional banking, and corporate banking. Among these three, consumer banking generates more than half of the revenue.

Structure of Banks in Brunei

The banks in Brunei can be divided into two segments – local banks and foreign banks.

Local banks: Under “local banks,” three banks serve the customers in Brunei –

  • Baiduri Bank Berhad
  • Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad
  • Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei

Foreign banks: Under “foreign banks”, six banks provide services in Brunei –

  • Maybank
  • RHB Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Bank of China
  • HSBC
  • UOB Bank

Previously, three banks were in function in Brunei; but currently, they are defunct. These banks are Citibank, The Islamic Development Bank of Brunei Berhad, and The Islamic Bank of Brunei Berhad.

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Top Banks of Brunei

Nine top banks in Brunei serve 400,000 people in Brunei. Let’s have a look at them one by one (first the local ones and then the foreign banks) –

Top Banks in Brunei

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#1. Baiduri Bank Berhad:

This is one of the most prominent banks in Brunei. It was established in the year 1994 as a member of the Baiduri Bank Group. In 2017, Global Finance nominated Baiduri Bank as the “World’s Best Bank 2017 for Brunei”. Baiduri Bank is the first to launch many of the services that the people of Brunei never used before, e.g., in-store, in-mail banking, multi-currency ATM, marketing app, etc. Baiduri Bank is one of the biggest banks in Brunei as its total assetsIts Total AssetsTotal Assets is the sum of a company's current and noncurrent assets. Total assets also equals to the sum of total liabilities and total shareholder funds. Total Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equityread more amounted to around BND 3.5 billion as of 2014. Baiduri Bank was also the first bank in Brunei to be rated by Standard & Poor.

#2. Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad:

This bank in Brunei provides complete services as an Islamic institution in Brunei. It was founded in the year 2005, and it proudly serves more than half of the population in Brunei. The head-quarter of this bank is situated in Negara Brunei Darussalam. As last reported in the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were BND 9.5 billion. The profits of this bank were also quite good, i.e., BND 104.2 million in the year 2016. It has an A- (stable) credit rating by Standard & Poor Global as of August 2017.

#3. Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei:

This is one of the oldest banks in Brunei. It was founded in 1991, and the head-quarter of this bank is situated in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. It operates in Brunei as a fully-serviced Islamic institution. It provides all kinds of products and services, e.g., savings, term deposits, home improvement financing services, retain financing services like home loans, motor vehicle loans, etc. It has eight branches all across Brunei. It was the first financial institution to organize all its banking activities as per the Islamic faith.

#4. Maybank:

Maybank was founded in 1960. Malayan Banking Berhad, the head-quarter of which is situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first overseas branch of Malayan Banking Berhad is in Brunei, in the name of Maybank Brunei. Malayan Bank has two branches in Brunei, located in Begawan and Seria. It provides all kinds of financial products and services related to commercial banking, e.g., deposits, personal financingPersonal FinancingPersonal Financing is a way of saving, investing, and growing an individual's money. It can be for an individual or a family as a whole and requires some level of financial literacy such as tax laws, investment opportunities, etc.read more, business financing, etc.

#5. RHB Bank, Brunei:

This top bank in Brunei was founded in 1965. But back then, the bank’s name was United Malayan Banking Corporation Berhad (UMBC). On 16th December 1996, changed the name to Sime Bank Berhad. On 13th May 1999, the bank was again renamed RHB Bank, Brunei. It is quite a large bank, and more than 14,000 employees work in this bank. This bank has a wider network and serves customers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos. RHB Bank provides many services like hire purchaseHire PurchaseHire Purchase is a type of agreement in which the buyer of an asset chooses to pay for the asset in installments. A certain amount is paid as a down payment, and the rest is paid in installments that includes both principal and interest.read more, personal loans, investment-related and general insurance, etc.

#6. Standard Chartered Bank, Brunei:

Standard Chartered Bank, Brunei is a part of the Standard Chartered Group. This foreign bank was established in Brunei in April 1958. This bank has six branches across Brunei. It provides a whole gamut of services to the residents of Brunei, e.g., deposit schemes, wealth management services, structured deposits, credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, etc. To serve the customers of Brunei, Standard Chartered Bank has employed over 300 employees. In 2008 and 2009, on the verge of completing their 50th year in Brunei, they won the prestigious Best Retail Bank in Brunei.

#7. Bank of China, Brunei:

The Bank of China has just approved opening a branch in Brunei. So by now, the Bank of China’s Brunei branch is in its infancy. It is the first time a Chinese financial company has got an opportunity to make its mark in Brunei. As per the last report, the whopping US $6 billion Chinese investment is on the way to building a petrochemical and oil production facility. The Bank of China is establishing its new branch in Brunei because Brunei is politically and strategically quite stable.

#8. HSBC Brunei:

As per the recent notification, HSBC Brunei is closing down its operations by the end of 2017. HSBC Brunei is one of the oldest foreign banks established in Brunei. It was established in 1947. HSBC Brunei will wind down its commercial, retail, and global banking services from Brunei. HSBC is the second foreign bank that has decided to wind down after Citibank (got defunct two years ago).

#9. UOB Bank:

Previously United Overseas Bank Limited, Brunei had two branches. But as of 20th October 2015, the retail banking segment of UOB Bank was acquired by Baiduri Bank Berhad. That acquisitionAcquisitionAcquisition refers to the strategic move of one company buying another company by acquiring major stakes of the firm. Usually, companies acquire an existing business to share its customer base, operations and market presence. It is one of the popular ways of business expansion.read more also includes acquiring all assets and all retail banking services.

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