Officials from banks across the region joined together for some intense discussions on the way forward for the industry at the 32nd annual conference of the Caribbean Association of Indigenous Banks held last week at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.
Speakers from across the region and beyond brought one clear message to the audience: Caribbean banks must embrace change and transform into technologically advanced and risk-conscious businesses, in such a way as banks all over the world have done, in order to compete in the global market place.
The conference began with the annual general meeting for CAIB members with a special presentation by Angela Mele, co-chair, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.
The conference’s first plenary session began on day two with a panel discussion on transformation, focusing on the critical strategies for survival and success in an uncertain marketplace.
Cayman’s Financial Secretary, Kenneth Jefferson led the discussion with a look at how the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands has dealt with the current and ever-changing regulatory environment.
Banking Consultant and President of Vision to Reality (V2R) Financial Services Inc., David McConney, spoke about the differences between traditional and e-banking, while Charlie Lane, Vice President of Brintech, spoke about whether Caribbean banks could keep pace with service delivery channels.
Marguerite Orane, Founding Partner of Growth Facilitators then completed the panel discussion with a focus on whether the same leadership can drive and implement transformation.
Delegates were then able to split into breakout workshop sessions, which included a look at service excellence, customer loyalty and branding as well as a host of other topical subjects for indigenous banks.
The second day of plenary sessions included a look at managing risks in an increasingly vulnerable world. Topics included the financial services industry in small economies, presented by Catherine Bromilow, partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and at lessons learned by Grenada’s economy after Hurricane Ivan, presented by Berkeley Greenidge, Senior Manager with PWC’s Assurance & Business Advisory Services in Barbados.
Concurrent workshops again ran for the afternoon and focused on the theme of relationship risk: getting it right with correspondent banks, with a round off presentation on transforming to superior advocacy, the way forward by Anton Edmund, Executive Director of Caribbean Central America Action.