Career Guide

Insight into the banking world with RHB bank

Mention “bank” and all we think about are transactions, loans, depositing and taking out cash. Almost all of us have been in a bank; thus we have a picture of how it operates based on the scenario that we see. To shed some light on what it’s like to work in a bank, we feature two personnel from RHB Bank Malaysia to share their knowledge and experience on banking.

Muffriezal Sufian is accountable for the overall financial control of RHB IB, including financial accounting, statutory audit, taxation, capital management, general ledger matters, operational finance and regulatory reporting. Muffriezal Sufian is accountable for the overall financial control of RHB IB, including financial accounting, statutory audit, taxation, capital management, general ledger matters, operational finance and regulatory reporting.


Division head - Islamic Bank Finance

As a child, Muffriezal Sufian had no inkling that he would one day join the banking world. In fact, his decision to pursue a CA qualification after his tertiary education was partly due to his burning desire to stay in the UK for as long as possible. How did it all begin? He completed his A-Levels in Cardiff, UK and went on to pursue a degree in BSc Economics from LSE, UK. He then went on to obtain a Chartered Accountancy qualification in the UK and managed to secure a training contract with a London firm. However, all good things must come to an end and after a decade and a half, he decided to move back to Malaysia.

“While in the UK, I joined the financial services audit and advisory arm of KPMG London where I specialised in financial leasing companies, working on projects with Barclaycard which is the largest provider of credit cards and personal financing in the UK. After that I decided to join a boutique investment bank, Jefferies International (a New York based IB and broking outfit), as a junior product controller and stayed with them through a period of rapid expansion. Upon leaving the UK, I managed to land myself a job in RHB Investment Bank (RHB IB) as head of finance.”

This dynamic head of finance for RHB Investment also fills in as head of finance for both RHB Insurance and RHB Islamic Bank. When it comes to responsibilities, he has got a huge load on his shoulders. He is accountable for the overall financial control of RHB IB, including financial accounting, statutory audit, taxation, capital management, general ledger matters, operational finance and regulatory reporting. His tasks also extend to driving the RHB IB Finance function agenda regionally as well as overlooking the overall integration of the finance functions between the two organisations.

When asked how his typical day goes, Riezal says there is no such thing as a typical day in his role. He starts his day at 9am and he is mostly in and out of meetings the whole day until about 5pm at times. Thereafter, he does his work, so there is no such thing as a nine-to-five work day.

“On top of the regular finance functions that have to be managed to keep the bank ticking, the main role I play is to provide direction to the finance team on our responsibilities and deliverables, and also to spearhead finance’s involvement in all aspects of the business. This might include special projects, regulatory requirements, internal group projects, discussion on business decisions and ad hoc requests from multiple parties. I usually head home after 7pm and sometimes even after 9pm,” explains Riezal.

For Riezal, allocating resources to be able to meet the various different requests , both internally and from external parties, whilst ensuring that the day-to-day operations of the finance team, and the investment bank do not fall over can sometimes be a challenge. He emphasises a lot on prioritisation, knowledge-sharing, and inter-divisional cooperation, that can only be attained with a strong team that works well with him. He ensures that his team is committed towards the goal of the division and empowers them with the relevant tools, training and support to meet those goals.

“The best thing about this job is the sheer myriad of problems that come your way which you have to somehow figure out how to mitigate or solve. Everyone has this perception that finance is all about numbers. True, but what many don’t see are the 101 other things that are affected by those numbers based on how we apply or interpret them, and the further ramifications which spider-web into any number of different directions. Working with intelligent and dedicated people also gives you the chance to learn new skills, develop new ideas and build on your knowledge of the business in particular, and the financial industry as a whole.”


Account Relationship Manager

“For those aspiring to join the banking industry, throw away your text books, get your attitude right and be prepared for pains and gains.”

This is Yew’s advice for those seeking a career in banking. Growing up, Yew dreamed of a flourishing career as an entrepreneur and investor. Fate, however, intervened and steered him towards obtaining a bachelor degree in business administration majoring in banking and finance and landed him in RHB Bank right after his graduation.

“Well, after I received my scroll, I took up an offer with RHB Bank as a management associate. Under this programme, I was rotated to different departments within the bank including retail branches, corporate banking, treasury department, Islamic investment banking, and credit operation, which I must say, provided me valuable exposure and experiences. After a one-year training, I was permanently posted to the business banking division as an account relationship manager and have been there since,” reminisces Yew.

Currently the account relationship manager for the commercial/SME banking segment of RHB oversees existing SME portfolio of the bank to sustain its existing assets base. He is also tasked to acquire customers for both assets (loan) and liabilities (deposits) of the bank.

For Yew his typical day at the bank starts with checking his emails from various counter parties including credit evaluation, credit operation, panel solicitor, business banking HQ and customer’s representatives for administrative matters, ad-hoc requests and other relevant matters.

“My job also entails taking my work out of the office to meet up with customers for business discussions, loan proposals, and for relationship building purposes. Now these meetings can take place anywhere according to the customers’ convenience. It could be at their office, restaurants, cafes and even mamak stalls, at times,” he says.

“Once that is settled, I head back to the office to clear off other matters and attend to pending assignments. I usually spend long hours to prepare credit appraisals which have to be submitted to our HQ for approval.”

For Yew, the challenge he faces as an account relation manager is that of multitasking to handle multiple outstanding matters that involve various parties, simultaneously. He also needs to manage and maintain relationships with various customers and to clinch their business. One has to be extremely tactful and savvy in these matters.

“Having said that, there is immense excitement and satisfaction when a deal is sealed after going through all the hard work, as every acquisition of a deal requires a long process. It is very fulfilling to create a business opportunity from nothing whilst fending off the intense competition from other banks and finally winning the deal. People call this Hunger for deals.”

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the RHB Banking Group, please email to or log on to