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Public Bank was established in the year 1966 by its founder Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr. Teh Hong Piow. The idea behind its foundation was to establish a financial institution that would satisfy financial needs of the public, hence, the name Public Bank. Having begun as a single branch, Public Bank has grown over the years and is now regarded as the best bank in Malaysia. Nowadays, the bank even has branches outside of Malaysia, which makes it one of the biggest banks in the region. In the beginning, Public Bank only offered services of retail and commercial banking. Currently the bank provides full financial services including both commercial and personal banking. Some of Public Bank’s branches operate under principles of Islamic banking. Other banking services offered by the bank include acting as share broker for its clients and managing trust funds among many other services (Public Bank Berhad, 2012)
Public Bank has also gone into providing insurance services such as bankassurance as well as other insurance products. It also takes care of sales and management on behalf of its numerous clients. Today, the bank has 401 branches and employs 17500 people. The bank has a large client base, serving more than 8 million clients all over Malaysia and outside the country. After 45 years in the industry, Public Bank has grown in terms of assets and is now regarded as the third largest banking group in whole Malaysia. When ranked in South East Asia, Public Bank is on the sixth positions in the rating (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2010).
The mission of Public Bank is to maintain its current position as the most respected institution offering financial services in Malaysia. Group’s strategy has remained to be consistent and to focus on coordinated growth in the banking industry. Over the years Public Bank has broadened its services to cover other areas of banking that were not their core business at the beginning. The bank also provides services that focus on small and medium sized enterprises as it aspires to maintain its leadership position in the retail banking sector.
Most of bank’s profits are obtained from fees it charges whenever it offers its services, from interest received on loans, and whenever it receives deposits from its clients. Owing to the fact that Public Bank has been in the industry for a very long time, it relies on trust it has built over the years and on its reputation of a stable financial services provider. This reputation allowed it to grow to greater heights.
The core business of the bank remains the loans that it gives out to its clientele. These loans range from mortgages to personal loans. Public Bank also lends money to its clients for property financing as well as gives loans for education purposes. Public Bank continues to offer financial services to small and medium enterprises to help them boost their businesses.
Henry Mintzberg, an academic of Canadian origin, came up with a model that describes roles of managers in an organization. Managers at Public Bank have also followed this model in their management of the bank. One of manager’s jobs at the bank is to ensure that large work loads are processed within strict deadlines. Manager’s job never actually runs out as there is always something to be taken care of or a task to be done. Managers’ tasks at the bank are often varied in nature. Most of their activities are not handed over from a higher authority but rather result from their own initiative. Unlike other workers at the bank, managers do not take care of paper work. The responsibility of a manager is often to work as a symbolic head of the bank (Mintzberg, 2003).
At Public Bank, it is manger’s responsibility to ensure that proper working atmosphere is maintained at the bank and that subordinates are well motivated. These responsibilities fall within manager’s role of a leader at the bank or a head of his bank department. It is also the work of the manager to maintain close contact with partners outside the bank. This helps to bring clients to the bank while maintaining good professional relations with other stakeholders in the industry. The manager at Public Bank also acts as the monitor. In this role, the manager has the duty to gather information both internally and externally that he or she believes is relevant to the bank. This keeps bank’s management informed of what is happening in the market and what they can do to keep up with competitors.
Griffin & Moorhead (2007) reckon that the manager is also a disseminator. Public Bank is a very big bank. As such, proper channels of sharing information are required to ensure there is no break- down in communication. Every manager, therefore, has the responsibility to ensure that information is properly passed on to subordinates. Other than passing on information to other employees, the manager also has the duty to act as a spokesperson for the bank. He or she then is charged with the job to reveal information regarding bank’s performance to interest groups as well as to explain bank’s policies. Again, should there occur a disturbance at the bank, the manager is the person to bring back order. The manager is also the entrepreneur who formulates policies that ensure that the bank remains profitable.
The manager at the bank also has the role of making decisions about how resources at the bank are allocated. Together with other departmental heads, the manager examines strong areas of the bank in order to allocate funds to projects that bring profit to the bank. Finally, the manager also plays the role of negotiator on behalf of the bank. Whenever the bank needs to do business with other institutions, it is the job of the manager to negotiate on behalf of the bank making sure it gets the best deal possible. Overall, manager at Public Bank is always expected to work for the benefit of the bank.
Managers at Public Bank often had to deal with numerous challenges in their jobs. They have to deal with a lot of pressure due to the nature of the job. They often have to multitask as there is always much work to be done. They are constantly interrupted by clients who need to see them and by important calls that they have to take care of. Bank manager is the head of customer service. Whenever a client of the bank is dissatisfied with the service offered by a teller or any other employee, they complain to the manger who has to apologize to the client. He constantly has to pacify clients and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The manger also is responsible for hiring and firing of tellers and customer service representatives. Sometimes it is not easy for the manger to find a suitable employee. Although the bank sometimes enlists the services of private human resource firms, most of the actual employee-related process is still left in the hands of the manager. The manager is entrusted with the task of accurately selecting the most suitable individuals for the job. Individuals working at the bank need to be people who can be trusted with sensitive information about accounts and money belonging to clients. The manager then has to ensure that these people are well trained as they have to provide excellent services to clients. They have to be competent accountants who are fluent in banking policies and jargon. It is the job of the manger to correct and reprimand employees under his care.
Managers are entrusted with numerous responsibilities at the bank and with these responsibilities come challenges. One of the ways in which mangers at Public Bank can deal with intense pressure is by delegating duties. This way, junior members of the department are also mentored to someday take over the roles of managers. Delegation of responsibilities also allows for teamwork which is essential for the success of any enterprise. For this system of work delegation to succeed, employees must be well trained to handle clients professionally and to channel any problem that arises to their immediate supervisors and not necessarily to the manager (Robbins & Judge, 2008).
The bank also needs to invest in the latest technology that is available for the banking sector. These technological developments will enable the bank to stay ahead of competitors as it will be able to save time and money in its operations. This will decrease the number of employees that managers have to supervise giving them time to focus on other managerial responsibilities. Hiring of staff should also be done by reputable employment agencies to relieve the manager of this duty.
In conclusion, Public Bank needs to embrace an all-inclusive approach to management. This approach negates the bureaucracy that hinders growth, while allowing new employees to grow within the system. Managers also need to be put through in-service training to ensure that they stay in touch with the latest practices in banking.
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