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Outstanding achievement award: Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow, Public Bank, Malaysia

Tan Sri Teh is the first winner of Euromoney’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Asia. His bank, Public Bank, also won best bank in Malaysia for the eighth time.

This is an edited transcript of the speech by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow delivered at Euromoney’s Asia Awards for Excellence Dinner.

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow, Public Bank

“My journey in banking started 54 years ago, though it seems like only yesterday. I guess you do lose track of time when your journey is both rewarding and enriching. Public Bank was founded in 1966 when I was 36. To some of you present here, 36 might seem old but in my time it was the yuppie age. Some thought I was out of my element then, but I was driven by a vision – to build a bank for the public and win the confidence of the public. Today, I am happy that Public Bank is realizing that vision.

Public Bank was founded at a time when banking in Malaysia was mainly the domain of foreign banks. Public Bank set out to target a broad base – the man in the street and the retail businesses, not just the elite and the multinational corporations.

This proved to be a right move as the bank recorded profits from its very first year of operations.

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