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CEO Noriaki Goto on the ‘new Krungsri’ following the bank’s integration with MUFG

Partnering Krungsri’s local expertise with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s global network pays off.

The Bank of Ayudhya’s (Krungsri) integration with the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group opened up a lot of opportunities not only for the bank, but also for its clients. And with the newly-launched ASEAN Economic Community, Krungsri is better positioned now more than ever to help its clients expand into ASEAN.

In an exclusive interview with Asian Banking and Finance, Krungsri’s president and CEO NoriakiGoto talked about their involvement in the AEC, being a strategic subsidiary of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and their current goals and initiatives as a bank.

ABF: What are the latest trends and challenges in Thailand’s banking sector?
On the short term horizon, the uncertainty given by both internal and external factors and their impacts on the Thai economy can pose challenges for me as a bank CEO. Managing business prudently, supporting our customers under the slowing economy, and positioning our business to be ready for the future economic and loan demand recovery are my key priorities.

The growing inter-linkages of global economic and financial markets to the Thai economy and financial system give us the opportunity to go beyond Thailand’s domestic borders.

For instance, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) represents both challenges and opportunities for Krungsri. AEC offers an extension of opportunities for us in terms of a larger single and more unified market, as opposed to the domestic market that we were limited to in the past. Krungsri can take this on as an opportunity to support businesses venturing into ASEAN.

ABF: What do you consider as your biggest achievements so far as the CEO of Krungsri?
On December 18, 2013, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) announced the successful completion of a Voluntary Tender Offer (VTO) of Krungsri shares securing approximately 72% of the total issued shares of Krungsri. Krungsri has become a strategic subsidiary of BTMU, which is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG).

Following the VTO completion, on 5 January 2015, we completed a successful integration of BTMU Bangkok Branch business into Krungsri, and resulted in MUFG’s ownership in Krungsri through BTMU increased to 76.88%. Prior to the integration, the BTMU Bangkok Branch had been providing services primarily to corporate clients for more than 50 years, and was the largest in terms of asset size among the foreign banks operating in Thailand.

Following the integration, New Krungsri is in the right position to expand our business and enhance our capabilities to serve our customers and the society better.
We have embarked on several joint initiatives by leveraging Krungsri’s local expertise and market strength partnered with MUFG’s global network and financial expertise.

Such synergy allows us to provide financial supports and services to our clients to expand their global businesses as well as to connect MUFG’s and Krungsri’s clients to realise new business prospects. This helps to differentiate Krungsri from other financial service providers in Thailand.

ABF: What three goals are you focused on?
Our aspiration set out under our Mid Term Business Plan (2015-2017) is to become a leading regional financial institution with a global reach. Krungsri’s business directions and plans were formulated with a forward-looking approach, incorporating projected macroeconomic outlooks, regulatory trends, growth opportunities, and MUFG’s global growth strategies.

Krungsri’s executions toward our aspiration are built on three key strategic thrusts: 1) growing assets; 2) increasing fee income; and 3) reducing cost of funds.

These three strategic thrusts are further supported by the following core business dimensions: continuous leadership in consumer finance, stronger commercial banking market position, and enlargement of customer base under a customer-centric approach.

ABF: What are your key business philosophies?
Integrity is an important value for us as we are in the business of other people’s money. We are embedded with trust and honor in looking after our customers’ finance, integrity and honesty are thus the most important ethics for me.

‘Integrity’ is also one of the six core values of Krungsri. The others include ‘Customer Centricity’, ‘Team Spirit’, ‘Passion for Excellence’,‘Embracing Changes’, and ‘Global Awareness.’

ABF: Please tell us more about your recent projects/initiatives in the bank.
One of our ongoing initiatives is to better serve our corporate clients through a complete range of financial solutions to support their overseas business expansions and opportunities. Such initiative is well-supported through the synergy with MUFG, through leveraging its product offering capabilities and its global network in over 40 countries.

The recent development included the opening of our representative office in Yangon, Myanmar in April 2015, to support our clients to capture business opportunities there. BTMU also commenced its full branch operations in Yangon on the same day.

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