President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad


To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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BAIPHIL Convention levels up
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Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

BUSINESS WORLD (FINEX Folio)
March 24, 2017

BAIPHIL Convention levels up

FINEX Folio is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Friday in BusinessWorld, opinion section.

The Bankers Institute of the Philippines, Inc. (BAIPHIL) held its 29th National Convention recently. The convention, opened by Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III as the keynote speaker revolved around the theme “Leveraging on Capabilities and Synergies for Banking Excellence.” And BAIPHIL did just that and more as convention speakers talked about the following topics: Bank of the Future, Retail Banking Innovation, Digitalization and Mobile Banking, Cybercrime and Fraud as well as Information and Cyber security.

The President’s Hour featured a panel of three forward-thinking bank presidents in financial technology namely: Tony Moncupa of East West Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank), Edwin Bautista of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and Joven Hernandez of PNB Saving Bank. BAIPHIL chose the three panelist-presidents who, individually and collectively, shared their experiences and “secrets” as they embarked on digitalization of banking transactions.

Tony, with a colorful background and a former activist, was proud of where EastWest Bank is now, branches and all, despite the threat of digitalization with the necessary cautionary stance. He also showered political savvy as he made mention of the National Retail Payment System now being crafted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and its impact in the industry moving forward.

Edwin, with his consumer background and Citibank experience, revealed his sense of history of banking operations particularly on payments and settlements. His practical approach to fintech encompasses the important aspects of the digital landscape, particularly mentioning people and training, whether one is a millennial or is about to retire. His quick responses showed the readiness to share what UnionBank is doing to be recognized as a retail banking innovator.

Joven, with his background on consumer and retail marketing, proceeded to calmly enumerate the main factors in FinTech: people, process and technology as he took pride in having millennials in his team. With PNB Savings just having introduced its mobile banking product, Joven knows whereof he speaks. Melit Araneta, Bank of Commerce consultant, and I really enjoyed moderating this session.

Of course, a BAIPHIL Convention is not complete without the presence of its biggest supporter in their task of training and educating bankers -- the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo spoke on “Critical Economic Challenges Facing Policymakers around the Globe”. He presented a policy maker’s guide to the global economy with an intriguing introduction: “questions about questions” which proceeded to answer among others, questions about how the global economic environment stands today as well as the risks and challenges for 2017.

Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. spoke on “Digital Banking: A Regulatory Perspective on Financial Innovation, Financial Technology Trends and Outlook”. He presented the digital banking landscape in the Philippines, emerging trends and outlook as well as measures enhancing regulatory support for digitalization. He also gave a preview of the BSP’s vision of the National Retail Payment System of achieving electronic payments of 20% by 2020.

As a fitting closing of the Convention, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. spoke about the “Impact of ASEAN Integration on Philippine Banking”. He said we have achieved 72 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted growth, a remarkable record considering the market environment over this period. And today, the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) is now unfolding -- it provides us with opportunities. The strategic issue therefore is how banks will operate given that regional integration is upon us. Indeed, banks need to have a good competitive strategy even if they are not aspiring to be a Qualified ASEAN Bank (QAB).

Mr. Tetangco also said that our strong fundamentals and sound banking system keep the Philippines an attractive destination for investments. ABIF makes it imperative that banks improve their competitiveness by lowering operating costs, increasing product and service innovations and improving service quality. This requires more investments in technology and training, also in areas such as market surveillance and regulatory reforms. He said “Change is the reality. I hope that you will always be mindful and never lose sight of the risks before you. Always make sure that you operate in a safe and sound manner keeping in mind the interest of financial consumers who have entrusted their resources with you.”

He commended BAIPHIL: “You walk the talk. You train bank employees and share your financial management expertise with the unbanked and underbanked. All of these to make our banking system stable, inclusive and a channel for promoting inclusive growth. I will always remember BAIPHIL for this.”

There could not be a better ending to a comprehensive convention program as the Philippine banking industry moves forward in the ASEAN region and in the global economy.

Congratulations to BAIPHIL President Liza Ortiz, BAIPHIL Board and Convention Committee led by Chair Dennis Matutina. Indeed, it was a convention to remember, and BAIPHIL did level up!

<>iFlor G. Tarriela is Chairman of PNB and a Director of FINEX. She was formerly Undersecretary of Finance and the First Filipina Vice President of Citibank N.A. She is a natural farmer whose advocacy is “No Filipino Should be Hungry” and co-authored gardening books “Ooops, DON’T THROW THOSE WEEDS AWAY! and THE SECRET IS IN THE SOIL. http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Finance&title=baiphil-convention-levels-up&id=142668

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