08 March 2019

Forward23 builds on the success of T18, previous blueprint successfully executed to strengthen CIMB as an ASEAN MNC.


Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Group (“the Group” or “CIMB”) recently announced its next five-year blueprint – “Forward23” – to accelerate growth and future-proof its business. On the back of strong foundations following the success of T18, the Group has embarked on its next transformational growth phase under Forward23, poised to capture the opportunities of the evolving banking landscape. To reflect its strong commitment towards value creation for its stakeholders, CIMB’s new vision statement – advancing customers and society – aims to sharpen its focus on customers, innovation and sustainable practices.


In line with the Forward23 blueprint, ASEAN will remain as the Group’s geographical focus given the strong network and footprint that the Group has built over the last decade. The Group has also identified five strategic pivots under Forward23 namely, Customer-centricity, Technology & Data, People, Ventures and Partnerships, and Sustainability.


Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group commented, “As an ASEAN MNC in a highly competitive industry, we need to be both foundationally strong and agile to compete effectively in the fast-evolving banking landscape. Forward23 is our plan to proactively disrupt ourselves in order to drive transformational growth, by building new or enhancing existing capabilities. CIMB’s strong execution capability was proven by the success of T18 and I am confident that #teamCIMB will once again be able to deliver on our Forward23 targets, and continuously generate sustainable value for our stakeholders.”


CIMB has outlined three financial targets to be achieved by 2023 i.e., an ROE of more than 12%, a CET1 ratio of over 13%, and a cost to income ratio of below 45%. There are also non-financial targets related to Customer Experience, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rankings and ratio of digitally-skilled staff.  


Success of T18


In 2014, CIMB Group initiated its four year-strategic plan called Target 2018 (“T18”) – to recalibrate its business and strengthen its foundations – which has helped close the gap between the Group and leading regional peers. CIMB announced in February 2019 that it had met its T18 targets and attributed that success to its strong cohesive Group-wide execution. In 2018, the Group achieved an ROE of 11.4%, a CET1 ratio of 12.6%, and a cost to income ratio of 49.8%. Additionally, 61% of its PBT was contributed by the Consumer and Commercial banking businesses. During the T18 journey, the Group also successfully established its presence in all 10 ASEAN countries by completing its expansion to Vietnam in 2016, and by establishing the first ‘All-Digital Bank’ in the Philippines in 2018.

  FY14 Actual FY18 Actual FY18 Target
Cost-to-income 59.1% 49.8% 50.0%
CET1 10.1% 12.6% 12.0%
ROE 9.3% 11.4% 10.5%
Contribution from
Consumer & Commercial
54% 61% 60%
Presence in Number of
ASEAN Counties
8 countries 10 countries 10 countries

Tengku Dato' Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group unveiling “Forward23”, the Group's next five-year blueprint to accelerate growth and future-proof its business.