Union accuses CIMB of racially profiling loan applicants
UPDATED @ 01:53:07 PM 02-04-2013KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — An applicant’s race affects his or her credit scoring when applying for loans from CIMB Bank, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) alleged today.
The union is asking CIMB, along with Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd, to stop racially discriminating against their customers, as part of the 10 demands in their national picket to be held this Saturday.
“Sad to say, CIMB gives out loan applications based on race scoring, each race is accredited by a rating that starts from zero to 30,” said NUBE general secretary J. Solomon in a press conference here.
According to Solomon, the applicant from a race with the lower credit score has a higher chance of getting his loan approved, but he refused to reveal the ranks of each race.
NUBE showed The Malaysian Insider a copy of a letter issued by CIMB in 2007, calling one of its employees to attend a general inquiry for wrongly entering the race of his applicants.
“It is noted that race categorisation is an important factor in the evaluation of the applications,” the letter said.
CIMB replied to the union in a letter dated September 2012, explaining that NUBE’s complaint against the practice was inaccurate, since race criteria was practised by the bank’s predecessors Bumiputra Commerce Bank Bhd and Southern Bank Bhd.
NUBE is however adamant that the criteria was still being practised, and the bank worker previously mentioned was an employee of CIMB before he was sacked.
NUBE announced yesterday that it would picket on Saturday against three government-linked corporation (GLC) banks over alleged exploitative and discriminatory practices as Election 2013 approaches.
Solomon accused Maybank, CIMB and Bank Muamalat of exploiting and discriminating against workers, including withholding performance bonuses to employees except the CEO, refusing union members extensions beyond retirement age, deducting salaries and terminating the services of employees for participating in trade union activities, and mistreating pregnant workers, among others.
The union is focusing its protest on the three GLC banks which it sees as the worst offenders in exploiting workers and consumers.
NUBE represents 5,000 Maybank employees, 4,000 CIMB employees and 1,000 Bank Muamalat employees. The trade union has some 30,000 members.
The picket on Saturday, called “Picket Daulat 6413”, will be from 2pm until 4.30pm. It will be held between the Maybank and CIMB headquarters in Jalan Tun Perak here. About 20,000 bank workers from all over the country are expected to turn up.
The “6413” in the name of the picket refers to April 6, 2013, which marks a year since NUBE last met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to express its demands.