APB Anniversary Convention themed “Sustainability in Volatility: the Bankers’ Challenge” will be held on 13th and 14th August 2012 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo.
President of APB and Chairman of Convention Committee Hennayake Bandara speaking on the convention said “APB commemorates its anniversary by holding a convention on a subject of topical interest to bankers and we invite eminent bankers and professionals to address the convention.
The Theme for this year’s Convention, ‘Sustainability in Volatility: the Bankers’ Challenge’, is topical and reflects the role that Bankers in Sri Lanka are expected to play in the present context.”
Explaining the convention theme from a broader perspective, he said that consequent to recent global economic downturn, volatility has caused quite an uproar among investors, entrepreneurs, professionals, regulators and virtually everyone who are involved in business activities, triggering a sense of uncertainty as regards sustainability of such businesses.
In a globalized economic environment, economic swings of a country or a region would have a definite impact on the rest of the world and the severity of such impact would depend on the economic integration which such countries and regions have established with others. Irrespective of the depth of such integration, no country would be totally immune to such contagion effect, as the global economy has now entered into a new phase of economic vulnerability. After many war ravaged years of volatility, uncertainty and instability, Sri Lanka has recorded a historical economic growth for two consecutive years and now showing a true potential for economic upswing. However, we are not immune to the impact of the economic volatilities taking place outside the country. Today we, as an economy, are facing a significant challenge of sustaining the economic stability and growth seen after a long period of time.
The good governance, higher productivity, effective risk management, human capital development and repositioning of economy through innovations and creativeness would certainly play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of economic growth of the country.
Talking about the applicability of the theme for banks, Hennayake said banking industry is the cog in the wheel of any economy and moreover in the process of rebuilding an economy such as ours. Accordingly, Banks play an important role in providing capital and other funding requirements of large businesses, small and medium enterprises, sole proprietorships, entrepreneurs, professionals etc, thus ensuring sustainable growth of such businesses.
However, today the stability and sustainability of both the banking industry itself and other business entities that use the services of banks are facing increasing challenges due to unprecedented economic volatilities, which is not a unique scenario confined to Sri Lanka but a global phenomenon.
The stability and sustainability of banking industry has therefore become imperatively important to ensure the stability and sustainability of the growth of other sectors of the economy as well, thus the failure of which will no doubt create serious consequences to the country as a whole.
Whilst meeting the expectations of all stakeholders, banks must commit themselves towards good governance, best practices, transparency, continuous efforts to become more competitive through technology and innovations and more importantly towards developing the Human Capital by providing them with knowledge and skills that are required to prepare and gear them up to face the new challenges, emerging trends and also to exploit opportunities.
In concluding Hennayake emphasized that “it will be the prime responsibility of banks to ensure that awareness is created among the staff on the mounting challenges ahead of us and our success as a nation will depend on strong collective efforts taken, to be well prepared to meet such challenges”.