6 Must-know Malaysian Agencies to Safeguard Your Financial Well-being
It’s never too early to begin your journey of financial education, but most people often find the many different sources of information out in the public sphere confusing and daunting.
Unbeknownst to many, there are several reputable and reliable Malaysian agencies which will not only help you arm yourself with thorough and accurate financial knowledge, but also guide you on how to apply that knowledge to your individual needs and situation.
Each of these agencies serve to empower Malaysian consumers with accurate and unbiased information which is crucial in the journey to attaining financial confidence and well-being.
1) Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)
The central bank of Malaysia, or Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), is the main supervisor and regulator of the country’s financial system. This means that BNM is responsible for maintaining the stability of the financial system, and this includes amongst others, ensuring that Malaysians at large are aware of their rights, responsibilities and associated risks of participating in this financial system.
Not many Malaysians are aware that far from being a purely regulatory body, BNM also actively provides financial advice and counselling to the Malaysian public, at no cost.
As financial systems in Malaysia and around the world becomes more developed, BNM also hopes to raise the level of financial literacy among consumers with a nationwide Consumer Education Programme which will help disseminate information about banking and insurance, taking us one step closer to being financially confident.
Official website: Bank Negara Malaysia
2) Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM)
Ever thought of buying an insurance policy but have no idea where to begin, and how to differentiate between the numerous products in the market? An underlying fear of most consumers when it comes to insurance is how they can be protected in the event of a dispute within a policy or contract.
PIDM is a government agency which was established in 2005 to assist consumers in shoring up key information to safeguard and protect owners and depositors of insurance policies.
PIDM acts as a go-between for consumers and its member bodies made up of insurance service providers and banks.
One of its main roles is to provide financial consumer protection, but it also serves as a resolution authority in the event of disputes.
The PIDM complements BNM’s role by ensuring that member institutions under its umbrella continue to uphold the ethical and legal values crucial in promoting a stable financial system.
Official website: PIDM
3) Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM)
Many people find the idea of travel both exhilarating but daunting, especially at the thought of something possibly going wrong during a trip.
If you travel by air in Malaysia, your rights are clearly defined and protected under the national law. These rights cover dealings with airlines, airports and other aviation service providers, including foreign airlines operating into and out of Malaysia.
Knowing your rights can help you receive a fair outcome if something goes wrong while traveling.
From being denied boarding, to delayed baggages and flight cancellations, Mavcom serves to educate air travellers of their rights and how to exercise them in the event of filing for claims or lodging complaints.
Official website: MAVCOM
4) Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK)
Bank Negara Malaysia, as part of its endeavour to promote a healthy level of financial education to Malaysians, set up the AKPK to help consumers manage their debts, and become more self-reliant in their financial affairs.
Malaysians facing debt worries, or those who are seeking to educate themselves on the options available for personal debt management, can book an appointment at the many AKPK branches nationwide, and receive free consultation from some of the best and most reliable consultants in the country.
Official website: AKPK
5) Ombudsman for Financial Services (OFS)
It is important that as a well-informed consumer, one knows where to go to seek advice and assistance when it comes to disputes and complaints with financial service providers.
The OFS was formerly known as the Financial Mediation Bureau and is a non-profit organisation set up under the initiative of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as an alternative complaint resolution channel to resolve disputes between financial service provides such as banks and other financial institutions, and their customers.
This independent body aims to provide consumers with objective and practical solutions to disputes, claims and complaints arising from services provided by financial institutions.
Once a complaint is lodged, the OFS seeks to resolve the dispute in a fair and impartial manner by mediating between the complainant and the members, made up of financial service providers.
The organisation also conducts public education programmes to create awareness on matters of common interest to financial consumers and the finance industry.
Official website: OFS
6) General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM)
The most common general insurance policies purchased by consumers are to cover for property damage or loss through fire, houseowners and householders contents insurance and motor insurance policies.
While the PIAM represents the general insurance industry and promotes its image and role in the Malaysian economy, the association also aims to educate consumers on the different general insurance products in the market, and how each can cater to individual needs.
One of the major grouses by consumers when it comes to general insurance is in the area of claims. The PIAM not only seeks to mediate in disputes between consumers and insurance providers, but also hopes to educate the public on the best practices when filing for claims.
Official website: PIAM
After educating yourself on finance with the suggested agencies, be sure to set aside some money for emergencies in a private bank account too!