Introduction to the Central Bank of Malaysia Finance Essay

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The Central Bank of Malaya Ordinance 1958 (CBO) established the Central Bank of Malaysia. At the same time, BNM is known as the central bank of Malaya. In September of 1963, the name was officially changed to Central bank of Malaysia. The purpose of Central Bank was set up to fulfill the need for the management of the country's money value and credit situation such as government foreign loans.

Bank Negara Malaysia is vested with the legal powers under various Acts and Ordinances to regulate and supervise in development of the financial industry. Hence, central bank plays very important roles in financial system of each country. The introduction of BAFIA which is administered by BNM is used to regulate and supervise the operations of the members in the financial systems such as commercial bank, financial companies, merchant/investment bank and discount houses.

There are 5 main missions of the Bank Negara Malaysia to regulate and supervise the development of the financial industry in Malaysia in order to achieve sustained economic growth for the benefit of the nation.

I) BNM will promote a work culture which emphasize the highest standards of professionalism, spiritual, teamwork, innovation, ethical to conduct the qualitative and quantitative working result.

II) The developing and maintaining a committed workforce which is highly responsibility, proactive, adoptable to the changing needs in the financial industry from year to year.

III) BNM focuses on promoting the effective use of innovative technology and efficient work practices to improve the productivity, efficiency and quality work.

IV) Adopting the policies and practices to enhance the competitiveness of local financial institutions toward the globalization of international competitions.

V) Control the flow of the money and store the necessary financial resources and financial instruments to maintain the monetary stability effectively.

All of these statements are Bank Negara Malaysia missions in order to achieve economic growth and improve our living standard through increasing of country GDP and high value of our currency.

Board of Directors:

Governor and Chairman

Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz

Deputy Governor

Dato' Zamani bin Abdul Ghani

Deputy Governor

Dato' Mohd Razif bin Abd Kadir

Deputy Governor

Dato' Muhammad bin Ibrahim


Organisation Structure:

The Governor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank and is assisted by three Deputy Governors and seven Assistant Governors.

Most of the 37 departments/units in the Bank are organized into seven divisions, with each Assistant Governor being responsible for one.

Function of Central bank:

1) To issue and keep reserves and safeguard the value of the Currency

i) Bank for currency issue

BNM was established in 1959 and become a full-fledged currency issuing authority in Malaysia in June 1967. At that time, BNM had the currency issuing function with the issue of the Malaysia dollar. After that, dollar and cent was replaced by ringgit and sen in 1975.

The CBO 1958, which provides authority for BNM to assume the responsibility of issuing the Malaysia currency. Our currency is required minimum cover of 80.59% in gold and foreign exchange. In practice, BNM maintains external assets to cover well above 100% of its currency liability. This practice is totally reflects the Government policy to maintain the full gold and foreign exchange backing for the ringgit Malaysia in order to maintain the currency value.

ii) Keep International reserves and safeguarding the value of the ringgit

The national reserves are held by the BNM . The reserves of the nation are essentially accumulated from the surplus in the current account. Next is the total amount of the BNM international reserves consist of gold, foreign exchange, reserves position with the International Monetary fund. CBO is responsibility to maintain the minimum external reserves backing of 80.59% against the currency issue. As a result, the provision helps to safeguard the external value of the ringgit.

2) To function as the Government's banker and financial advisor.

Normally, central bank acts as the government banker. BNM acts as the banker, fiscal agent and advisor to the government of Malaysia. BNM responsibility on public loan program, as well as raising internal and external loans for the government and managing the government public debt. Basically, government receipt such as new issue of government securities, tax, dividend payments will be managed by BNM.

i) Management of the Government account.

BNM accepts funds and makes payment on behalf of the government, undertakes the foreign exchange business of the government, provides the same functions as the commercial banks perform for their customers.

ii) Source of funds to the Government

BNM will supply temporary funds to the government to cover any deficits in the budget revenue. However, legal limitations to the amount and duration of loans that BNM made available to the government.

iii) Management of the national debt

BNM needs to manage the public debt and us responsible for the floatation of government loan, such as internal loan and external loan. In recent year, BNM try to reduce the external debt and minimize the risks of currency and interest exposure by getting the government to prepay and refinance some of its more expensive loans.

3) To promote the Monetary Stability and Influence Credit Situation to the Advantage of the country.

BNM is responsible to make the monetary stability and control the credit situation to help achieve the nation's overall economic objective with the great performance. Basically, BNM will ensure that the supply of money and volume of credits are sufficient to meet the domestic demand without any of the deficit of resources in public. Besides that, BNM regulates volume of money and credit by the commercial banks and finance companies in the market through the range of instruments including quantitative and qualitative controls.

4) To promote a sound financial structure and management of the banking system.

To enhance the stability of the financial system BNM has always strive to maintain a management regime through moral aspect.BNM manages the banking system well to avoid the systematic failure occurred in order to maintain the public confidence in the banking system as well. The BNM acts as the banker to all the banks such as commercial banks, finance companies, merchant banks discount houses and Islamic bank by maintaining the special accounts for the major financial institutions, inspect them regularly and performs the function of a lender as a last resort. BNM acts as lender of last resort because licensed financial institutions can direct borrow money from the BNM when the institution is temporary short of funds.

Secondly, under the BAFIA [1] , any of the institutions are required to hold licenses to carry on business. The licenses are issued by the Minister of Finance on the recommendations of BNM.

Thirdly, all banking institutions need to maintain two types of deposit accounts with BNM which is reserve account and current account. The main purpose of these two accounts is monetary control. The normal current account records cash transaction between banking institutions and BNM. Another clearing account is maintained by the banks for interbank settlements.

History of Fiat money:

A fiat money is a medium of exchange and known as the paper money. As we all know that fiat money is money that is declared to have value even if it does not. Fiat money is valued by the people that use it so there is no any production cost to the fiat money and the supply of fiat money can never be limited. Normally, the value of fiat money is always depending on the economy of each country. (History of Fiat Money)

As mentioned that, fiat money no production cost and supply of a fiat money can be unlimited so that hyperinflation will be occurred if there are too much of the fiat money flow in the market and cause the purchasing power of the money is lower compare with past. As a result, issuers such as central bank should control and supervise the volume of the fiat money. The United States has prevented hyper-inflation by shifting between a fiat money and gold standard over the past 200 years.

In Malaysia, the paper money we called it as ringgit Malaysia which consists of different value on each fiat money as others countries. The currency for our paper money is stable compare with foreign countries because our Central Bank manages the monetary stability well and lower down the fluctuation of currency value.

Evolution of Fiat money:

910AD- China is the first country experiments with the paper money- The fiat money is nearly used around hundred years but the paper money is rejected due to the hyper-inflation as the supply of the money more than the production.

1500'S- Spain becoming the richest nation in the world after collected gold from Mexico and the new world. After that, Spain spent most of their resources to extinguish pirates and then their excessive consumption cause the shortage of gold hoard. Then, they changed to financing the war with debt, finally bankrupted.

1716- John Law persuaded France to use the paper money in the market and declared all taxes necessary paid with it gain acceptance. The paper money becomes more popular than coin and cause to no limitation in printing, excessive moneymaking and planning and fraud. Overvalues in printing the excessive paper money eventually destroyed the system as well.

1791-The French Government again tries to use the paper money as country currency. However, the French Government issued out the "assignata" which is the interest rate for every personal own properties after they confiscated the land owned by aristocrats Some land was auctioned off in order to exchange for these new interest rate, inflation increased rapidly to 13,000% by 1795. After that, the "assignate" had been replaced by gold franc due to the Napoleon ended up the revolution, which set up over a century of development for France in that period of time. In the 1930's, Bank of France transform fully into the Government after the Socialists had brought the bank. They eliminated the gold backing of the currency as fast as possible and made the franc as the determinate of fiat money in France. The currency value had dropped 99% during the past 12 years.

1853- In Argentina, the development of gold standard is around 100 years. After that, the central bank of Argentina was formed in 1932; the downfall of the Argentina economy was started afterward. Then, Juan Peron involved in 1943 revolution and exhausted of reserves causing economy collapse in the year. Argentina continued on this line of paper money usage. As a result, the ranking of Argentina economy is falling from the eighth largest to deepest in the world, which it has no financial power to recover until today due to the serious impact to their country economic.

1862-The 16th President of United States Abraham Lincoln succeed to pass the Legal Tender Act and then allowing the United States Government to issue out their own paper money. The decision was supported by the government without any of promises so that a tremendous inflation occurred that caused the practice fall down rapidly out of grace until the Federal Reserve System was built up in 1913.

1923- After World War I, Weimar Republic was established in 1919 in Germany in order to lower down from its total loss result from the world war because Germany needs to take the responsibility to payback the war reparations which is huge amount. The huge amount of debt caused the country was devoid so found no other alternative but to simply print the money in large quantities to pay the reparations. The result was the absorbed most of the income from whole middle class in the society, total value of savings had been destroyed, and paying to fulfill the reparations in front of the angry society in whole Germany.

The US dollar eliminates the gold standard in stages below:

1934-First of all, President Roosevelt was 26th President of the United States revalued gold from its standard price of $20.67 to $35 an ounce in an endeavor to print out more paper money in the United States market, with the expectation to increase the GDP of the United Stated current economy so that can eliminate the depression in the society.

1944- One of the steps that US try to substitute the gold by dollar is offered out the Bretton Woods Agreement. The price of gold is around $35 per ounce of dollar so that every foreign nation is available to obtain their own paper currency if they could afford either gold or US dollar because the US dollar and gold are the determinate of the world financial instrument. For the other point of view is meant that each nation's volume of currency was depended on the amount of gold and US dollar.

1971- President Nixon ended up the gold trading and no more ending convertibility of dollars to gold. This scenario happened because of the US World Bank was printing excessive dollars and living standard beyond its means. As a result, most of the foreign nations which led by France discovered this benefit and began to demand payment in gold, breaking the system as US faced major outflow of gold. (J.Greene, 2004)

Relationship between IMF and World Bank:

As we all know that, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an intergovernmental organization function in the role of management of the global financial system. This main purpose is achieved by controlling exchange rates and balance of payments global market in the world.

Besides that, IMF also provides technical assistance and financial support to member countries in times of crisis situations. For example, IMF will combine with the World Bank provide the financial support funds to the poor countries such as some of the poor Africa countries which is facing the bad economy crisis and the collapse of economy. However, the funds that loan out by IMF and World Bank are considered as the debt trap because of the high compound interest rate charge by IMF to the poor countries and cause them unable to payback their loan. In fact, the cooperation between IMF and World Bank to loan out the funds to poor countries is aimed to absorb their natural resources in that indebted countries if they are unable to cover the repayment of debt.

In addition, the Fund that provided by the IMF and World Bank has the purpose of assisting the developing foreign nations in achieving economic stability and reducing poverty levels. The economic stability can led to the high GDP and rise up the living standard in each country so that the poverty will be lesser in the market level. The aim of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is established to facilitate the growth and development of the global economy, thus providing financial stability and avoid the fluctuation in the monetary market. To achieve them, the IMF aims to:

i) Promote international cooperation in the monetary and financial field .

ii) Help facilitate the balanced growth of international trade and thereby stimulate employment and reduce poverty as well.

iii) Contribute to the stability of exchange rates.

iii) Eliminate exchange restriction that obstruct international trade.

iv) Provide temporary financial resources to member countries and help in stabilizing their balance of payments.

Besides that, the IMF also promotes the adoption of sound economic and financial policies and monitors regional, national, and global economic developments on regular basis.

1) Solve Economic Crisis:

The primary relationship between IMF and central bank is solve economic crisis and global financial crisis with the central bank. The IMF will contribute and lend funds to the low income countries such as Haiti which needs the most financial support from outside. For example, the focus of IMF involvement in the developing world and run the IMF-supported programmes in some particular countries especially in the low-income countries such as Haiti. In Haiti population is around seven million people, consider as the poorest country in the western hemisphere with the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) if approximately US$250 compared with the average of US$3320 for latin America and the Caribbean region. (Mobekk & I.Spyrou, 2002). As a result, IMF decide to lend a hand to help Haiti by providing some funds to improve the GDP and economic growth. On the other hand, IMF also signs agreement with few central bank and borrowing some funds to them.

The detail of the agreement is shown as below:

IMF Signs A¢”šA¬1.95 Billion Borrowing Agreement with the Danish Central Bank

Press Release No. 09/390

November 5, 2009

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Danmarks Nationalbank, the central bank of Denmark, have signed a borrowing agreement to provide the Fund with up to A¢”šA¬1.95A billion (about US$2.9A billion). The agreement is part of a commitment made by the European Union in March 2009 to contribute up to A¢”šA¬75 billion to support the IMF's lending capacity. The European Union has since committed an additional A¢”šA¬50A billion to the Fund's expanded New Arrangements to Borrow.

The signing of the agreement with the Danmarks Nationalbank means the Fund can now add these resources to those already available through borrowing agreements signed with other members. These agreements contribute toward an increase in Fund resources that was requested in April 2009 by G-20 leaders and International Monetary and Financial Committee in order to provide timely and effective balance of payments assistance to its members in the current crisis.


IMF Signs A¢”šA¬120 Million Borrowing Agreement with the Central Bank of Malta

Press Release No. 10/32

February 12, 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Central Bank of Malta have signed an agreement to provide the Fund with up to A¢”šA¬120 million (about US$165 million). The agreement is part of a commitment made by the European Union in March 2009 to contribute up to A¢”šA¬75 billion (then equal to about US$100 billion) to support the IMF's lending capacity The European Union has since committed an additional A¢”šA¬50 billion to the Fund's expanded New Arrangements to Borrow.

The signing of the agreement with the Central Bank of Malta means the Fund can now add these resources to those already available through agreement signed with other members. These agreements contribute toward an increase in Fund resources that was requested in April 2009 by G-20 leaders and the International Monetary and Financial Committee. in order to provide timely and effective balance of payments assistance to its members in the current crisis.


2) Analyzing each country capital market development

Basically, IMF is devoting more resources to the analysis of global financial market and their relationship with the macroeconomic policy (International Monetary Fund ). However, IMF will publish the Global Financial Stability Report twice a year in order to analyze the current analysis of development in global financial markets.

Besides that, IMF working staffs also work with central bank member in each country to help them identify potential risk and then find the solution to counter the risk as well as reduce the risk. As a result, each member country can achieve the financial stability, including through the Financial Sector Assessment Program. The Financial Sector Assessment Program is jointly and run by the IMF and World Bank to warn countries to concern the risk in their financial sectors.

In addition, the IMF will also offers some training programs to country officials on how to manage well in their financial system operation, monetary and exchange regimes, and capital markets. The main purpose of IMF offers the training programs is to reduce the human error in daily financial operation and improve the quality of work. Therefore, the training programs can help each country development in their financial industry due to the efficient and effective working skills contribute by the staff.

Malaysia Central Bank Administered Legislation:

The Central banks in Malaysia has the legal power to meet its objectives such as:

-to sustain high economic growth

-to maintain a high level of employment

-to maintain the price stability

-to ensure a reasonable balance in the country's international payments position

-to eradicate poverty

-to restructure society

In order to enable the bank functions well and control all financial institutions in Malaysia, the Central Bank is given with comprehensive legal powers under the various Acts and Ordinances to regulate and supervise the financial system in order to control the banks in each country to follow the rules and regulations and operate with the legal license too. These acts include as below:

a) The Central Bank of Malaysia Act 1958

The Act provides for the establishment, administration, power and specifies the roles of the Central Bank. It also enumerates the powers and the duties of the Central Bank in relation to:

- The Central Bank of Malaysia has the right to issue out the currency in the country in order to achieve the economic growth rate and maintain the economic stability in the financial market.

- The maintenance of external reserves in order to safeguard the external value of the currency. It also provides banking services to state government and government owned institutions.

-The authorized business of the Bank is every of the financial institutions must acquire the license that issued by the Central Bank of Malaysia before they operate their financial transactions businesses in Malaysia. If not the businesses are considered as illegal and the Central Bank of Malaysia has the power to fine the particular owner or jail him/her.

-The Central Bank also has the specific powers to deal with ailing institutions because they need to provide the necessary financial support to those ailing institutions in order to protect them in the financial market place and avoid from bankruptcy.

- Central Bank of Malaysia also has the relationship with the Government and financial institutions in the market because Central Bank needs to control the monetary stability I the market so that the inflation or recession will not too high or too low. The Act also contains general provisions on the Bank's accounts, powers to compound.

b) The Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA)

The main purpose of BAFIA provides the licensing and regulation of financial institutions which conduct the businesses of banking, finance, merchant banking, discount house and money- broking. Besides that, BAFIA also provides for the operating regulation of the financial institutions which is the difference types of the service that offered by the financial institution included the non-bank sources of credit and finance, such as credit card companies, building societies, factoring, leasing or purchasing companies and the growth of finance institutions. However, the Non-scheduled institutions which are related to finance may also be related to the BAFIA as the Minister of Finance may decide whether the business can operate in the financial market or reject due to the limitation of the new entry of business firms.

c) The Exchange Control Act 1953

The Act is formed to restrict any activity that involved in dealing in gold and foreign currencies, transaction with the residents, issuance of securities to foreign countries, imports and exports products and settlements. Besides that, The Exchange Control Act also enhances the Controller for Foreign Exchange to require permission and agree on the precedent and to compel the provision of the Act.

d) The Islamic Banking Act 1983

The main purpose of The Islamic Banking Act 1983 is contributed for the licensing and regulation of any bank that wants to deal with the Islamic banking business. The Act vested the provisions on the financial requirement and duties of an Islamic Bank, ownership, and the procedures to control and management of Islamic banks, restrictions on Islamic business, acquire the powers of supervise and control over Islamic bank and other general provisions such as penalties and fine if the bank make any mistake in managing the Islamic business in the transaction.

e) The Insurance Act 1996

The Insurance Act 1996 has the provisions to deal with the licensing of insurers, insurance brokers, adjusters and reinsurers. Besides that, the act also deals with establishment of subsidiary and offices, establishment of insurance fund in the firms, give the instruction and control of failure insurers, the control on management the distribution of licensee, accounts of licensee, examination and identification the powers of the Central Bank, winding-up of the firms, shift of business of licensee. The Act also provides for issues relating to policies, insurance guarantee provident fund scheme, and enforcement powers of the Central Bank, offences and other basic provisions.

f) The Takaful Act 1984

Any takaful businesses in Malaysia need to register and follow regulations in the Takaful Act 1984 and the other purposes of relating to or connected with takaful. Takaful means that mutual assistance which provides for mutual financial relieves and assistance to the participants in case of emergency whereby the participants in the Takaful must also mutually agree to contribute for that mutual financial purpose.

g) Emergency Act 1979 and the Essential Regulations 1986

An Act to provide the Central Bank the provision to identify the affairs of any person it suspects or has specific reasons to believe is a deposit-taker. The act empowers the rights to the Bank to freeze the properties of the deposit-taker and other person that suspect has the relation with the deposit taker. The Act also enumerates the powers of the Managers, provisions on anteriority of payment and cost.

h) The Loan Ordinance 1959

The Loan Ordinance 1959 to authorize the raising loans and issues related to purpose of the Development Fund in the market within the Federation by the Government. Moreover, the Act also enables the Central Bank act as the agent of the government and enables the raising of the loans by trend of book-entry such as the scripless.

i) The Treasury Bills Act 1946

The Treasury Bills Act 1946 is one of the acts to contribute for the issue of Treasury Bills in the market Malaysia. Through the Treasury Bills Act 1946, Central Bank will act as the agent of the government in order to conduct the book-entry such as the scripless and others.

j) The Government Investment Act 1983

An Act to contribute on the Minister power to receive injection of money for fixed period and to pay dividend thereon.

IMF agreement:

Each country government will sign an agreement with IMF which is shown as below:


A A 

The operation of the International Monetary Fund should follow the agreement which is signed by IMF and Central Bank to avoid any conflicts in financial transaction because of the provisions of the agreement as originally formed and adjusted will protect each side benefits without any fraud will happen in future.


The provided fund to practice its daily operations and financial transaction should always constant in a General Department and a Special Drawing Rights Department. However, all of the members in the provided fund shall given a chance to take part in the Special Drawing Rights Department


All the transactions and operations authorized by IMF Agreement should be practiced through General Department which has responsibility of enabling the fund available in transaction and operations. Inversely, some of the operations and transactions consisting special drawing rights have the alternative to conduct through the Special Drawing Rights Department instead of General Department.

History of Fiat Money. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2010, from Fiat money history in US:

J.Greene, R. (2004, March 21). Fiat money systems. Retrieved July 24, 2010, from Fiat money systems:

iKyo. (2009, June 18). Functions of central bank. Retrieved july 25, 2010, from Functions of central bank:

Mobekk, E., & I.Spyrou, S. (2002). Re-evaluating IMF involvement in low-income countries. the case of Haiti , 11.

International Monetary Fund . (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2010, from About IMF:

IMF-International Monetary Fund Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2010, from About IMF:

Fish, W. (2003, june 08). The Terrorism Of Debt. Retrieved August 17, 2010, from Information Clearing House:

Perkins, J. (2004, November 9). Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Retrieved August 7, 2010, from How the US Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions :

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Introduction To The Central Bank Of Malaysia Finance Essay. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved November 30, 2023 , from

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