How CIMB is Staying Ahead of the Digital Curve

cimb future of work feature image

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are fast disrupting the banking industry. According to global management consultancy McKinsey and Company, up to 25% of bank functions could fully be carried out by machine systems in the immediate future. These roles include bank telling, administering financial reviews and conducting deal origination.

To adapt to evolving industry landscapes, banks such as CIMB are already carrying out initiatives to anticipate digital disruptions to the industry. In April 2019, CIMB officially launched their Future of Work Centre (FOWC), designed to upskill and reskill their 36,000 employees to ensure that by 2023 least 15% are equipped to work with AI, robotics and data analytics.

The platform is a main driver of CIMB’s Forward23 initiative, the bank’s five-year transformation plan – and part of a MYR2 billion investment in technology and data infrastructure – to future-proof their workforce. Doing so will allow their team of professionals to reap the benefits of a tech- and digitally driven world, as well as anticipate the consequences of automation. In essence, their employees will need to become more than just bankers and re-think the way banking is done. Here’s how CIMB is preparing their workforce to navigate the future

1. Upskilling Employees’ Digital Literacy to Future-Proof Their Workforce

Over the past year, more than 15,000 CIMB employees across Southeast Asia have already benefitted from FOWC’s courses, which include topics related to Coding, Data Science for Business Analysts, FinTech, Digital Marketing and Cybersecurity.

On a micro-level, departments across CIMB are updating the digital literacy of their staff within the scope of daily operations. This means that on a regular basis, employees are:

  • Implementing Human Resources (HR) processes through paperless means;
  • Deciding on agenda items in meetings and conferences through mobile voting;
  • Accessing learning assessments, surveys and published information via QR codes; and
  • Using gamification-based applications to engage with education modules, among others.

Effectively, CIMB’s digital literacy initiative is two-pronged. In the short term, the bank promotes productivity and efficiency in the workspace. In the long term, their employees are preparing themselves to effectively operate within a highly digitalised environment to better serve customers in the digital age.


2. Gearing a Workforce for Mobility

In an age of digital disruption, CIMB is future-proofing their workforce with an ‘internal internship’ programme. The initiative encourages staff across various departments to diversify their career paths, allowing them to immerse themselves in temporary positions that go beyond their current job scopes. An investment banker may choose to get a feel of a digital marketer, for example, or opt to participate on special projects that require FinTech skills.

To encourage their employees to take risks and step out of their comfort zone, CIMB’s ‘internal internships’ are conducted within the parameters of a safe environment. Hence, if employees end up ‘failing’, these failures will not negatively impact their existing career roles. CIMB’s FOWC also takes ‘internal internships’ a step further – enabling employees to seek external placements in other CIMB Group subsidiaries to gain a more robust understanding of the business nature.

As a result, employees will be able to chart their career paths with a more open mind and break away from the limitations of a single-track profession. The ability to adapt to new career fields will equip employees to navigate jobs that have never before existed as the industry is increasingly shaped by digital innovation.


3. Equipping Employees to Navigate the Future of Banking

While FOWC’s priority is to empower their workforce with the advantages of digital literacy, their reskilling and upskilling programme is not exclusive to technical capabilities. As part of CIMB’s long-term Forward23 transformation plan, enabling their employees to navigate digital disruptions and the evolving nature of the industry also means developing soft skills, under the framework’s other strategic pivots, namely:

  • ‘People’ – which refers to how CIMB fosters a strong sense of community to build more genuine relationships between their employees, because a business is only as good as their talents and the sense of fulfilment they derive from their careers.
  • ‘Sustainability’ – which refers to employees integrating environmentally and socially conscious practices in their daily operations. The initiatives include simple measures such as going paperless for meeting agendas and presentations, as well as educational modules.
  • ‘Customer-centricity’ – which refers to CIMB’s employees prioritising customer convenience to deliver the best banking services and products available. This also means maintaining quality human relationships between business and consumer.

The Forward23 framework means that all employees must harness their communication and leadership skills in order to become a proactive workforce that prepares for, rather than responds to, the industry’s evolving business and operating landscape. Ultimately, CIMB’s newly launched FOWC and Forward23 transformation plan will prepare CIMB’s workforce to go beyond banking and maximises employees’ inner potential to produce visionary leaders.


Interested in Exploring a Career That Prepares You for the Digital Age?

If CIMB’s FOWC and Forward23 exciting framework have prompted you to consider a career that prepares you for digital and technological revolutions in the banking industry, you can obtain more information on their career website.


Related: The Bank of the Future? Here’s Why CIMB is a Great Place to Work


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.