|'Uphold banking laws on confidentiality'|
|Monday, 06 August 2012 08:39am|
©The New Straits Times (Used by permission)
by ZAIDI ISHAM ISMAIL
INTEGRITY: It is crucial for investor confidence, says Bursa CEO
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA must go all out to safeguard bank-client confidentiality as it is the very essence of the country's financial integrity.
The country, in fact, risks losing investors' confidence if its banking laws are not upheld.
Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Tajuddin Atan said without financial integrity, Malaysia's capital market would not be where it was today.
He said Malaysia had earned a lot of respect locally and internationally for its Islamic and conventional financial systems, and for its ability to safeguard every concern, especially clients' personal information, which could not be revealed freely.
"The information can only be revealed through proper channels such as by obtaining a court order, to the police or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
"No clerk can go into my account and reveal its content to a third party. He has no authority to do so," he told the New Straits Times in a phone interview yesterday.
Tajuddin was commenting on Public Bank Bhd former credit department clerk Johari Mohamad, who had been charged with abetting Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategic director Mohd Rafizi Ramli in disclosing four confidential banking documents in relation to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) issue.
Both had been charged with breaching the Banking and Financial Institution Act (Bafia) 1989.
Tajuddin said Bafia was all about "amanah" (trust) and to breach it challenged the very fundamentals of the act.
He said a person could be exposed if he were to be involved in illegal activity but it would have to go through the proper procedure, so that the financial sector's integrity would not be compromised.
Meanwhile, former EON Bank chairman Datuk Gooi Hoe Soon said he was concerned about investor confidence in Malaysia should such a banking law be breached.
He said the banker-client confidentiality had to be protected at all costs.
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