Saturday, June 19

15 years and beyond: AKPK empowers Malaysians towards financial well-being

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KUCHING: This year marks 15 years since Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit was established by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in 2006.

The agency, more affectionately known as AKPK, was part of the Consumer Protection Framework under BNM’s 10-year Financial Sector Masterplan (2000 – 2010).

For more than a decade now, AKPK has been the household brand of financial management solutions for households. To date, AKPK has helped near 1.2 million individuals through FA, and out of that number, more than 330,000 have participated in DMP.

Nearly 34,000 of those participated in DMP have graduated, settling a total outstanding amount of more than RM1.5 billion. On the preventive side, near seven million Malaysians had benefitted from AKPK’s various financial education interventions since establishment.

As AKPK turns 15, it is no longer business as usual for the wholly-owned agency of BNM. Beginning late 2020, AKPK has been vested with a new mandate to serve businesses, specifically the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Now, with the chant “AKPK for all”, AKPK is set to be a powerhouse in financial management solutions for both households and SMEs including micro businesses in the country.

This began with the extension of DMP to sole proprietors, followed by the transfer of the Small Debt Resolution Scheme (SDRS) function from BNM to AKPK.

SDRS is a redress avenue for SMEs to obtain repayment assistance, complementing the efforts of the banking industry to provide relief to distressed SMEs.

This is done through the facilitation of debt repayment arrangement for the SMEs with the bank(s) in an amicable and collective manner, without resorting to legal recourse.

In addition, AKPK also launched its Micro Enterprise Help Desk that provides advisory and facilitates repayment assistance for microenterprises with their banks.

In his comments, chief executive officer (CEO) Azaddin Ngah Tasir affirmed that AKPK is ready to take up this new mandate and has even put together the agency’s new vision and mission to reflect this change.

“Our mission is to empower the community—households and SMEs—to be financially resilient via customer-centric financial education, advisory and debt management services.

“For this mission, we have set a vision for ourselves to be a trusted and leading authority in financial wellness, empowering a financially resilient society and contributing to national socio-economic goals.

“In other words, we are a company that adopts best practices in what we do. At the same time, in the eyes of Malaysian households and businesses, we are a community service that provides customised solutions to help them withstand and recover quickly from financial shocks to secure peace of mind.”

Touching on what will propel AKPK forward, Azaddin added that over the years, the agency has sailed very well to their targeted destinations and now they are embarking on a new voyage to take AKPK to a new frontier.

“Surely, we will face more challenges. Realising this, we have put together a three-year plan for digital transformation of the agency.

“More importantly, I believe that our people have the DNA for success as we have cultivated our corporate culture over the years with these winning traits: Learning, Empathy, Productivity, Integrity and Sincerity as well as Nobility.

“It is in our culture that we don’t see what we do as a job; we see it as a service to the community, and we will do this for many more years.”