3 Important Financial Lessons from CIMB Bank Philippines’ CEO Vijay Manoharan

CIMB Bank Philippines just turned 2! The past two years have proved that by making banking more accessible and providing real value to customers is an effective means to drive financial inclusion in the country. To date, we are over 3 million customers strong with various awards and recognitions including the Best Digital Bank Philippines 2020 Award from the Asia Capital Market Awards.


Today we sat down with our very own Chief Executive Officer, Vijay Manoharan, where he talked about how his passion for personal finance reflects on the core values that CIMB Bank Philippines upholds.


Early on in his professional life, Manoharan already knew what he wanted as a career. “I wanted to pursue a career where I can work with consumers and make a real impact to peoples’ lives,” he said.

“Banking, especially consumer banking, is very personal and integral to a single person, a family, and to the broader community,” he added.  

Prior to joining CIMB in 2012, Manoharan worked with several notable financial institutions in pursuit of making banking more accessible to everyone. Taking more steps closer to his goal, he joined CIMB Bank Philippines in 2018 and from then, it has been his and the bank’s mission to make banking easy and convenient to the everyday Filipino through a mobile-first digital banking platform.


“CIMB Bank Philippines’ unique digital and platform banking model is changing the banking experience of every Filipino, by providing an all-digital experience coupled with the best product features, all enabled digitally via smartphone,” Manoharan said.

“It feels great knowing that you can make an impact and see how that helps individuals and families solve their most important financial needs,” Manoharan added. Just recently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recognized CIMB Bank Philippines’ efforts in promoting financial freedom in the country following the bank’s latest recognition from The European Magazine’s Global Banking and Finance Awards.


While in CIMB Bank Philippines, we help our customers achieve financial freedom through our products and services, we also make it a point to educate Filipinos on how to manage their personal finances through various financial literacy campaigns including Digital Banking with CIMB, a bi-monthly video blog that teaches viewers different ways to make the most out of their savings with CIMB.


Of course, Manoharan also makes it a point to practice what he preaches by putting a few financial lessons into practice. When asked who is his role model when it comes to personal finance, Manoharan said that his parents had the biggest influence in his financial journey. In fact, it is from them that he learned three key financial lessons that he wants to impart to every Filipino for them to pave their way to financial freedom. Here are some of them: 

Live within your means

Manoharan emphasizes on the importance of knowing when to put a stop to your spending habits. “My parents taught me to spend only for things that I need or can afford,” he added. Rightfully so, living within one’s means enables one to avoid accumulating unnecessary debts that can affect their financial footing. 

Save for a rainy day

“One of the many lessons the year 2020 taught us is that it pays to save for a rainy day,” said Manoharan. Having an emergency fund secures you from any unexpected crisis and can be a lifeline in case of a sudden loss of income to avoid bigger damage on your personal finances.

Save for the future

Much like how the bank encourages its customers, Manoharan reiterated the value of saving for the future.  “By setting aside even a small portion of your income, you can build your savings to make sure your future is secure,” he said.


As the year 2020 closes, Manoharan remains grateful to all CIMB Bank Philippines customers. “Today, in a short span of time, we are humbled to have over 3 million Filipinos banking with us. Most importantly, our customers love how they can seamlessly bank with us all through their mobile phone,” he said. And as token of their gratitude, he and other members of the bank’s senior leadership team prepared a little gift to bring smiles to their customers’ face. Watch the video below. 

“Ultimately, our goal as a bank is to help Filipinos learn about financial literacy and equip them with the right tools to be able to seize their life’s goals,” said Manoharan.


Take a step towards financial freedom with CIMB Bank. Download the app and open an account now!