The Bank of Maldives (BML) will strive to continue to be the bank of choice for Maldivians, says the bank’s CEO and Managing Director Karl Stumke.
The country’s national bank held its annual general meeting at Islamic Center on Monday evening.
Taking the podium at the event, CEO and MD Stumke noted that their future vision and strategy is built on the three core pillars including treating customers fairly, digitalization as well as sustainability.
He added that treating customers fairly needed to be central to BML’s corporate culture and that the bank required to ensure their products and services perform to the standard that the customer expects and are designed to meet the needs of the specific target segments.
Stumke highlighted that in 2023, BML has significantly reduced interest rates on their student loans to five percent and reduced the overdue interest fee to two percent per month.
Further, the bank’s CEO and MD stated that they did not increase local rates despite the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates nine times over the past year, however, they had instead absorbed these additional costs to ease the interest burden for customers.
Touching upon digitalization, Stumke emphasized that BML has made progress, however, their digital journey must continue as it is only through full automation that the bank can reduce errors, improve efficiencies, and give customers the control to decide when, how and where they want to bank.
Stumke went on to announce plans to bring positive changes to many of the products and services that currently require manual intervention and to add new security controls and increase the bank’s digital support platforms.
Going on to speak regarding the significance of a committed and engaged ESG journey as part of the bank’s strategy on sustainability, Stumke revealed that their strategy will evolve over time.
Our strategy will evolve over time and as we follow our own path, we will ensure we do our part to reduce our impact on the environment. This year, 56 new ATMs are planned to be installed and we will ensure that all are operated through solar panels and all new renovations works to our branches retrofits the use of sustainable energy as far as possible.”Karl Stumke, BML’s CEO and MD.
Shedding light on the future of the bank, Stumke stressed that they do expect competition and that it was inevitable. However, he positively noted that they will strive to continue to be the “bank of choice” in the archipelago nation.
In addition, he stated that their supremacy in the domestic market limits their ability to grow exponentially and that they will need to seek new avenues and external markets for income generation.
Stumke asserted that their success will be measured by customers “wanting” to bank with them versus “having” to bank with them.
He stressed that the bank must do “everything” in its power to make this paradigm shift.