Making Prudent Financial Management a Way of Life: The Aspiration of the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK)

*Available in digital version only
14 Feb 2017
AKPK is an agency set up by Bank Negara Malaysia in April 2006 to help individuals take control of their financial situation and gain peace of mind that comes from the wise use of credit. AKPK's statistics showed that poor financial planning and living beyond means was the number one reason for consumers' participation in AKPK's Debt Management Programme (DMP) - a programme designed to assist financially distressed consumers who are facing critical debt problems. However, the increased number of bankruptcy cases as well as application into the DMP has got the team at AKPK worry. AKPK realised that it needs to tackle this problem at its roots. Besides assisting those who were already in debt, AKPK needed to reach out and develop the public's awareness on being financially savvy. The case highlights AKPK's journey in developing robust strategies towards fulfilling its mission - to make prudent financial management a way of life. A systematic analysis of previous and current DMP clients' data as well as statistics on current household debt, resulted in AKPK having to 're-craft' the way in which its missions are realised, putting into place strategies that were not intended in the original planning of a strategy. AKPK, in its journey towards realising its mission, was forced to learn what works in practice and consequently learn how analytical planning process works in a continuosly changing environment. The change in strategy for AKPK reflects the organisation's capability in responding to the environment while still basing its new strategies towards realising its original mandate. Hence, AKPK was able to control its course of action while learning in the process.