Everyday Finance and Consumption in Brunei Darussalam

  • Noor Hasharina HassanEmail author
Part of the Asia in Transition book series (AT, volume 4)


The global financial crisis in 2008 caused by financial liberalisation triggered a ripple effect on economies, politics and social welfare, forcing governments to intervene and regulate finances. Brunei Darussalam is not isolated from global financial flows and consumerism. It has created a distinctive and evolving personal finance and consumption culture as the government continues to play a fundamental and proactive role in monitoring and regulating financial institutions. A Ministry of Finance directive in 2005 saw the start of stringent controls over finance to combat the high dependency on borrowing for consumption rather than as a reaction to global economic and financial instability. This chapter examines the evolution of personal finances and consumption in Brunei. Deeper consideration of the social and cultural practices of consumers and governments is needed to understand the financial and consumption culture and its dynamics. By employing mixed methods—in particular qualitative semi-structured interviews—the study presents empirical evidence of the transformation and reactions of financial structures and consumer borrowing patterns after the introduction of the directive. It also identifies functions and motivators of consumption that have influenced consumers’ everyday finances. The findings suggest that individual choices and cultural intermediaries, particularly the family and traditions, shape Bruneians’ financial access and consumption culture, reinforcing the fact that financialisation and consumption culture are not homogenised across different geographies.


Brunei Economy Financial liberalisation Consumption culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Asian StudiesUniversiti Brunei DarussalamBandar Seri BegawanBrunei Darussalam

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