Home Insider Interview with Dr Thaung Han Chief Executive Officer of Myanmar Citizens Bank

Interview with Dr Thaung Han Chief Executive Officer of Myanmar Citizens Bank

Name : Dr Thaung Han

Position : Chief Executive Officer of Myanmar Citizens Bank


How did you start your career and how did you end up in this position as the Managing Director?

I got my (MBBS) from University of Medicine Mandalay in 1986. After graduating, I opened my own clinic. Later that, I run an import export company. Around 1998, I founded Myanmar-Tokiwa Corporation, a Joint Venture investment for pencil and cosmetic manufacturing.

In 2003, I attended Diploma in Business Law to widen my commercial and legal knowledge. I further pursued business study and got first MBA from Yangon Institute of Economics in 2005. In 2008, I got my second MBA from Purdue University, USA. I did my Ph.D in International Business from University of Texas at El Paso in 2014.

I joined as a CEO at Myanmar Citizens Bank in July 2017. Before MCB, I had the opportunity to work as a group COO at Max Myanmar Group of Companies from 2014 to 2017. And I also worked as a Managing Director at AYA Bank for a short period of time.

As the Chief Executive Officer of Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB), what are you primary responsibilities?

When I joined the MCB, there are 23 branches. We aim to have 40 branches by the end of 2018, and at least 75 branches in 2020. My primary role for the bank is to transform the bank to become well integrated digital bank by introducing advanced core banking system and related banking technology, and recruit highly qualified human resources and experts from both local and foreign background. With all these transformation, I aim for MCB to become one of the top seven banks in Myanmar by 2020.

Please tell us briefly about MCB.

Established in 1991, MCB was first bank which was granted private banking license in Myanmar. And, MCB is one of the first banks to be listed in Yangon Stock Exchange. In past, MCB management was primarily under Ministry of Commerce. Around 2013 and 2014, the bank was privatized. In August 2016, MCB became a private bank.

With over 25 years of experience in banking services in Myanmar, MCB provides efficient banking services to individual customers as well as business clients. At the heart of our business, MCB offers a range of deposit products and services such as Call Deposit  Accounts, Time Deposit Accounts, Savings Accounts, Current Accounts, Foreign Currency Account, Loans and Financing Products, Trade Finances , International and Domestic Remittances and technology driven alternate delivery channels for customers’ every stage of life. We are going to launch consumer financing by teaming up with Samsung for mobile phone installment purchase, and provide trade finances, hire purchase(HP) for auto vehicles and farm machineries, and inventory financing for some corporate clients. We have a mobile money service called “663” and we are going to promote aggressively on this mobile wallet and payment service.

Recently, MCB teamed up with  Temenos for Core Banking System. Please tell our readers about Core Banking System.

Temenos is one of the well-recognized cores banking System in the world and has largest share in the global market. There are mainly four core banking system providers in Myanmar. We chose Temenos. Using core banking system, all banking processes are computerized. After implementing the core system, we can align and integrate with other functions and services such as internet banking, mobile banking, Cash Management System, and ATM.

How many branches does MCB have?

How many you expect to open in the near future? Currently, there are 24 branches. In near future, there will be 27 and at the end of 2018, there will be 40 branches.

What is the bank’s general competitive strategy?

Ministry of Commerce owns 7% share till now. We can say it is one of our advantages. Being a private bank, shareholders are also well-known businesspersons. So their network and knowledge are also part of our strategy. Being as a listed bank, we have a lot of advantages. Moreover, our technology has recently been changed and we have using up to date core banking system. Regarding core banking system, as a later mover, our bank can learn the mistakes of first movers and can leap frog in the field of technology.

Where does most of the bank’s revenue comes from?

There are two main revenues; first one is service fee and second, interest income. For example, for export-import procedures, we get service fees. We have a strong customer’s base in HP sector.

What are the critical success factors for a banking business in Myanmar?

The most important factor I see is to have a group of people with strong theoretical knowledge of modern banking system and good local practical experience. Moreover, they should have good international experiences. And shareholders with excellent strategic vision, good governance, risk management and ethical standard. How are you and your team trying to meet customers’ expectation? Appreciate their trust, make bank customer friendly, and provide reliable and efficient services.

These three things are main reasons to meet customer’s expectations. For example, we need to respond as quickly as possible customers’ enquiries and customers should be able to access information easily.

What are the main policies that MCB has changed or adapted to accommodate Myanmar’s new trend?

Consumer banking sector will become a crucial trend. Our bank used to grant loans mostly to corporate clients, but now, we are going to engage in retail lending which include personal loans including credit cards, residential mortgage and auto loan which will become more popular in the near future. A great example of us taking initiative is recently signed MOU with Samsung for mobile financing.

What are your plans for next five year?

By 2025, Myanmar Citizens bank will rank one of the top five local banks.

If you could make one major change to any government policy, what would it be?

In my opinion, we need a 10 to 20 year banking and financial industry roadmap. The roadmap needs to be clear, well thought of and transparent.

W h a t a r e y o u r p e r s o n a l hobbies apart from your bank’s responsibilities?

Teaching is my most favorite hobby. Currently, I am teaching at Strategy First Institute in business management, and finance, and I teach corporate governance, banking and financial services at Master of Banking & Finance, Yangon University of Economics. I also hold the VP position at Myanmar Institute of Banking (MIB).

Once a year, I volunteer on a medical charity tour. Last year, we went to Myeik region to provide medical treatment to people living in remote villages. Apart from that, I love reading and playing golf.