Overview of Banks in Brunei
There are nine banks in Brunei if we look at the local banks 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 an 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 –
- RHB Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Bank of China
- 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.
Top Banks of Brunei
There are nine top banks in Brunei that 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) –
#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 the year 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 assets 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. The head-quarter of this bank is situated in Negara Brunei Darussalam. The total assets of this bank as last reported in the year 2016 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. It was founded in the year 2005 and it proudly serves more than half of the population in Brunei.
#3. Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei:
This is one of the oldest banks in Brunei. It was founded in the year 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 that has organized all its banking activities as per the Islamic faith.
Maybank was founded in the year 1960. The actual name of this bank is Malayan Banking Berhad, the head-quarter of which is situated in Kualalampur, 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 which are located in Begawan and Seria. It provides all kinds of financial products and services related to commercial banking, e.g. deposits, personal financing, business financing, etc.
#5. RHB Bank, Brunei:
This top bank in Brunei was founded in the year 1965. But back then the name of the bank was United Malayan Banking Corporation Berhad (UMBC). On 16th December 1996, the name was changed to Sime Bank Berhad. On 13th May 1999, the bank was again renamed as 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 purchases, 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 the month of April in 1958. This bank has 6 branches across Brunei and 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 have won the prestigious Best Retail Bank in Brunei.
#7. Bank of China, Brunei:
Bank of China has just got the approval to open a branch in Brunei. So by now, Bank of China’s Brunei branch is at its infancy. It is the first time when a Chinese financial company has got an opportunity to make their mark in Brunei. As per the last report, the whopping US $6 billion Chinese investment is on the way to build a petrochemical and oil production facility. The reason the Bank of China is establishing its new branch in Brunei is that 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 the year 1947. HSBC Brunei will wind down its commercial, retail, and also 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 on 20th October 2015, the retail banking segment of UOB Bank was acquired by Baiduri Bank Berhad. That acquisition also includes acquiring all assets and all retail banking services.
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