Big-name consultancies in running for Myanmar banking contract

06 August 2019 2 min. read

Myanmar’s central bank has shortlisted Roland Berger and three of the Big Four for an advisory role in the country’s move to reform its banking sector.

As part of a suite of financial sector reforms, Myanmar is making preparations to welcome more foreign banks to its local market, with a third round of licences to be opened at the end of the year. To help in awarding the licences, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) in May sought the assistance of a suitable consultancy, with Request for Proposal (RFP) invitations sent to eight firms in total.

In submitting proposals, four of those firms now make up the shortlist, management consultancy Roland Berger and the local affiliates of three of the Big Four; Deloitte Touche Myanmar Vigour Advisory, PwC Myanmar, and EY UTW Advisory. The last of the quartet, KPMG Advisory, declined the offer according to reports, along with law firms Baker McKenzie, Allen & Gledhill, and Rajah & Tann.

Big-name consultancies in running for Myanmar banking contract

“This is the very first stage of the next round of foreign banks licences that we expect to open later this year,” CBM deputy governor SoeThein told local media outlet Eleven Myanmar. “The majority of the criteria largely depend on the quality and capability of the consulting firms. We will systematically assess how they’ve formed their teams and how they support us in this selection process.”

As per Eleven Myanmar’s report, SoeThein stated that the CBM’s foreign banks selection committee (which was expected to meet and decide last week) would assess and score the applications in line with the tender’s 15 selection criteria, including in areas such as “consultancy fees, payment terms, professional background, experience and the academic qualifications of team members.”

Aimed at increasing the competitiveness of local banking institutes, foreign banks have been invited to provide a limited range of services in the country, with 13 licences having been issued to date. There has been no decision as yet as to the number of new permits on offer. “First, we need to discuss with the selected consultancy firm. Later on, we will finalise the details,” said SoeThein.

Foreign consultancies and in particular auditors have faced similar restrictions to their banking counterparts in operating in Myanmar. Deloitte, which welcomed Aye Cho as its new country managing partner at the end of last year, was in 2016 the last of the Big Four to officially launch, while Roland Berger has been advising the government on reforms since 2012, including as to banking liberalisation.