Foreign banks have always been limited by the number of branches they can open in Malaysia. And in banking, a branch distribution network is often tied to customer acquisition and service.

But that game has changed. This is especially evident in the past 11⁄2 years, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the digital shift as customers shy away from physical branches. OCBC Bank (Malaysia) recognises this “new norm in the banking scene”.

“We have decided that going forward, we can grow without necessarily opening new branches, if possible,” OCBC CEO Ong Eng Bin tells The Edge Malaysia in an exclusive interview.

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