The 35th ABA Conference in Kurumba – The Program


35th ABA General Meeting & Conference

“Banking in Asia: The next frontier”

November 15, Thursday


09:00-17:00 Registration (Foyer)

09:15 Recitation of the Holy Quran

09:20 Welcome to the 35th ABA General Meeting and Conference (Conference Hall)

09:30-12:00 Special Session on “Discover ABA”

Brief country presentations will be made by selected ABA member banks on the economy and the financial markets in their respective countries, or on special programs, projects, products or services that have benefited their customer base or the community they serve and may be adapted by member banks from other countries.

09:30-09:50 Bank of Maldives

Presenter: Mr. Mohamed Shareef, Deputy CEO and Director or Operations.
The presentation will provide an overview of the Maldives including the latest trends and developments in its economy and the increased opportunities for foreign investment presented by a young and tech savvy population. Mr. Shareef will also give an overview of Bank of Maldives as the leader in the country’s banking sector and how the Bank is well placed to leverage these opportunities towards greater national economic growth


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09:50-10:10 Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd.

Presenter: Mr. Satoshi Nakagawa, Chairman of the Association of Credit Rating Agencies in Asia & Special Advisor to the President for Global Strategy Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. on “The Japanese economy and banking industry.”

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10:10-10:30 Lanka Impact Investing Network

Presenter: Mr. Chandula Abeywickrema, Chairman on “Corporate Social Responsibility Through Impact Investing to Empower Social Enterprises.”

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10:30-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-11:05 Fintelekt Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.
Presenter: Mr. Shirish Patak, Managing Director on “The Role of Fintelekt in the Context of Asia’s AML/CFT Compliance Regime.”
The presentation will set the context and outline the efforts required from banks in Asia to make AML/CFT compliance more effective. It will cover the role played by Fintelekt around the region in building awareness and creating knowledge sharing platforms for regulators, reporting entities and covered persons, and suppliers. The presentation will also outline key findings of compliance surveys run across the region by Fintelekt and high level learning from these studies.

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11:05-11:25 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Presenter: Mr. Vicente T. De Villa III, Officer-in Charge, Financial Technology Sub-sector, on “Fintech-related activities of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” covering both regtech and suptech aspects including its National Retail Payment System which promotes the use of an inter-operable digital payments frameworks.

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11:25-11:45 Mongolian Bankers Association
Presenter: Mr. Unenbat Jigjid, Executive Director and Secretary-General will present the current trends and developments in the economic and banking sector of Mongolia.

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11:45-12:00 Q&A Session
Session Chairman/Moderator: Mr. Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director, Head of Asia, Erste Group Bank AG, and Member, ABA Board of Directors

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12:00-13:30 Lunch at the Vihamana Restaurant.


13:30-15:00 Host Bank Session organized by Bank of Maldives
“Digital Transformation – The Future of Banking”

13:30-13:40 “Towards Digital Banking,” a video presentation by Aishath Fifsheen Ali, Head of Channel Management, Bank of Maldives

13:40-14:00 “Future Opportunities for Payments in the Digital World” by Mr. Michael Nott, Director Partner Engagement, Asia/Pacific, American Express
The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting traditional customer interactions and associated risks. Mr. Nott will discuss trends in digital payments in the IoT economy and examine opportunities of new technologies for the banking industry to measure risk and drive seamless customer experiences.

14:00-14:20 “Digital Banking Trends” by Mr. Michael Breen, Vice President, Digital Commerce Solutions, MasterCard
Over the next 5 years, more changes in commerce is anticipated than in the previous 50. This requires a new set of thinking. Mr. Breen will discuss the major changes ahead for the banking industry including new channels, new fintech partnerships and dynamic security for growing e-commerce.

14:20-14:40 “How will Artificial Intelligence Transform the Banking Industry” by Professor Hassan Ugail, Director, Center for Visual Computing, University of Bradford
In his presentation, Professor Ugail will highlight the importance of understanding and appreciating artificial intelligence (AI) as it is considered to be one of the most disruptive developments happening in our lifetime at present. He will outline the myths, the hype as well as the tangible opportunities that AI presents to transform the current banking industry towards the next frontier.

14:40-15:00 Panel Discussion chaired by Mr. Kuldip Paliwal, Business Director, Bank of Maldives

15:00-17:15 Special Presentations (Conference Hall)

15:00-16:00 Presentation on “Global Risk Report” and Discussion on Emerging Risks by Mr. Wolfram Hedrich, Partner at Oliver Wyman and Executive Director at Marsh & McLennan Companies Asia Pacific Risk Center.
The Global Risk Report 2018 from the World Economic Forum earlier this year has documented the extraordinary pace of the multi-directional changes in the global risk landscape. It stresses the growing uncertainties that have put increasing pressure on institutions and system to react to a multitude of risks, from potential economic fallouts and mounting geopolitical strife, to technological disruptions and ongoing climate changes. Such pressure, of course, has also been keenly felt by financial institutions. This is particularly true for financial institutions in Asia-Pacific, which has been arguably at the centre of global developments.
In his presentation, Mr. Wolfram Hedrich, the executive director of Marsh & McLennan Asia-Pacific Risk Centre will go into detail about the major global risk areas and how these risks have manifested in the region. More specifically, he will discuss how financial institutions will likely be affected by macro developments and what are some of the directional changes these institutions can take to become more resilient.

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16:00-16:15 Coffee Break (Foyer)

16:15-17:15 Presentation on the “Global Leading Trends in Retail Banking Innovation” by Mr. Michael Lor, Senior Advisor Asia Pacific, European Financial Management Association (EFMA.)
Mr. Michael Lor will present a compilation of the latest trends in retail banking innovations drawn from EFMA’s innovation portal of case studies and also an aggregation of EFMA’s research reports on the following topics: Digital Banking; Future Workforce; Branch Banking; Digital Advisory; Cyber Risk Management; and SME Banking.

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15:00-16:30 Policy Advocacy Committee Meeting (VIP Lounge)

15:15-16:15 Advisory Council Meeting (Board Room) (Open only to members of the Advisory Council)

16:15-17:15 Election Committee Meeting (Board Room) (Open only to Election Committee members)

17:15-18:30 55th ABA Board of Directors’ Meeting (VIP Lounge)

19:00 Welcome Cocktails (Beach)

19:30-22:30 Dinner (Thila Restaurant)


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November 16, Friday
35th ABA General Meeting and Conference

The two-day event is designed to provide another valuable platform for ABA members not only to meet and network with each other, but also to exchange views with invited speakers on: (a) current trends and developments in the regional and global markets that are expected to have a significant impact on the banking and financial sector of the region, (b) how industry players can address the challenges – and take full advantage of the opportunities – presented by these developments; and (c) what the road ahead looks like as industry players enter the next stage of Asian banking.

08:30-09:00 Registration

09:00-10:00 Opening Ceremony (Conference Hall)

  • Recitation of the Holy Quran
  • Welcome Remarks by Mr. Andrew Healy, Managing Director and CEO, Bank of Maldives
  • Welcome Remarks by Mr. Daniel Wu, ABA Chairman
  • Address by the Keynote Speaker, Governor Ahmed Naseer of the Maldives Monetary Authority
  • Presentation of Testimonials of Appreciation to the Keynote Speaker

10:00-10:15 Coffee Break (Foyer)

10:15-10:45 Press Conference (VIP Lounge)


10:15-12:00 Session One
“Technology in Banking: The Next Wave”

2018 1023 Thila 300 x 200The digital revolution is transforming the competitive landscape in financial services, with both processes and products undergoing digitalization. These digital innovations known as disruptions pose a potentially profound threat to incumbent banks who need to develop their strategic response in three steps – understand, challenge and innovate.

This session will examine the potential impact of technology on banks and the probability of disruption in their particular business environment, what changes they need to do on their existing business practices, and how they should re-define strategies for acquiring innovative capabilities, and how they can stay at the forefront of developing revolutionary propositions like smart data and analytics, seamless and future-proof products and processes, and applying Internet of Things (IOT) solutions to financial services in order not to risk compromising their growth and value.


10:15-10:45 Presentation by (1) Mr. Neal Cross, Managing Director & Chief Innovation Officer, DBS Bank

10:45-11:15 Presentation by (2) Dr. Shahab Javanmardi, CEO of Bank Pasargad IT Holding Company

11:15-12:00 Panel discussion


(3) Mr. Michael Araneta, Head of Research, IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific

(4) Mr. Rajan Narayan, Managing Director, BPC Banking Technologies (Asia Pacific) Pte. Ltd.

(5) Mr. Sanjay Uppal, Founder and CEO, StraitsBridge Advisors

Session Chairman/Moderator: Mr. Jonathan Alles, Managing Director and CEO, Hatton National Bank, and Member, ABA Board of Directors.

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12:00-13:30 Lunch (Vihamana Restaurant)


13:30-15:00 Session Two
“Risk Management Imperatives in the New World Order”

2018 1023 Thila-Restaurant-Kurumba-Maldives 300 x 200Internal and external drivers of change mean that the financial services industry is facing new and evolving risks. Simultaneously, risk functions are facing cost pressures and are demanded to do ‘more with less’.

Invited speakers will share their perspectives on how industry players can tailor their processes and draw from a diverse range of sources to identify, prioritize, understand and measure such emerging and evolving risks, while also making use of forward looking analyses to understand their impact, as well as elaborate on their thoughts on how industry players can ensure that they have appropriate monitoring and early warning indicators in place to manage and mitigate risks as they crystallize.


13:30-13:50 Presentation by (1) Ms. Chuchi G. Fonacier, Deputy Governor, Financial Supervision Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinason “Risk Management Imperatives in the New World Order.”

13:50-14:10 Presentation by (2) Ms. Ingrid van Wees, Vice President for Finance and Risk Management, Asian Development Bank

14:10-14:30 Presentation by (3) Mr. Mohamad-Reza Mostafid, Consultant to the CEO, Bank Pasargad on “Cryptocurrencies and Risk.”

The presentation aims to discuss the relevance of cryptocurrencies to the risk functions of banks and financial institutions in the immediate to intermediate future. The decentralized nature underlying the design philosophy of cryptocurrencies is discussed. Using Bitcoin as an example, the audience is introduced to cryptocurrency concepts relevant to the discussion.This is then followed up by a discussion of the implications of the cryptocurrency phenomenon on the future of financial institutions and examples of risk categories that maybe affected by cryptocurrencies are suggested.

14:30-15:00 Panel discussion


(4) Mr. Wolfram Hedrich, Partner at Oliver Wyman and Executive Director, Asia Pacific Risk Center, Marsh & McLennan Companies

(5) Mr. Dilshan Rodrigo, Chief Operating Officer, Hatton National Bank

(6) Dr. Le Xia, Chief Economist for Asia, BBVA Research

Session Chairman/Moderator: Mr. Mahesh Kumar Sharma, Regional Head, East Asia, State Bank of India.

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15:00-16:30 Session Three
“Sustainable Banking: Challenges and Opportunities”

2018 1023 Thila 300 x 200 01 01Sustainable banking is concerned with financing businesses that are resilient to socio-economic shocks and actively benefits the community at large. Banks have realized tangible success through sustainable banking and there is now an increasing shift by banks from simply trying to manage their environmental and social risks to proactively seeking new opportunities and leverage these to differentiate themselves in the market.

This session will feature speakers who will share their views on how banks can incorporate sustainability principles into corporate strategy funding decisions and product/service definition processes, in order to play an influential role in supporting and promoting environmentally and/or socially responsible projects and enterprise


15:00-15:20 Presentation by (1) Ms. Anna Batenkova, Sustainable Finance Engagement Manager, WWF Singapore on “Sustainable Banking in ASEAN”

As key financiers to many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and regional businesses, banks in Asian region can play a unique, enabling role in driving sustainable development and the transition toward a low-carbon and resilient economies. This involves redirecting financial flows toward sustainable business models and away from environmentally and socially destructive economic activities. For instance, banks can use the access to, and cost of loan capital to influence their clients to take ambitious steps to transform food, energy, transport and infrastructure systems in the region. In this way, the regional finance sector can accelerate region’s nations’ progress towards achieving their SDGs and Paris Agreement commitments.

Sustainable Banking in ASEAN 2018 report and associated interactive web-based tool Sustainable Banking Assessment (SUSBA) were launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore in September 2018. The tool aims to help banks to assess and benchmark their Corporate Governance (CG) and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) integration performance to accelerate their efforts to stay competitive, resilient and relevant in a resource-constrained, low carbon future.

15:20-15:50 Presentation by (2) Dr. Niven Huang, General Manager, KPMG Sustainability Consulting Co., Ltd, Taiwan and Regional Leader. KPMG Sustainability Services in Asia Pacific on “Sustainable Banking by Integrating ESG Factors.”

Sustainable banking principles will be launched in November by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). This is the outcome of a banking industry’s joined forces to redefine the sector’s purpose, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. Dr Niven Huang will address how to integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors into sustainable finance practices. The capacity building and sector-wide collaboration for raising the bar of ESG performance and positive impact to sustainable development in Asia will also be highlighted.

15:50-16:30 Panel discussion

(3) Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman, Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking

(4) Mr. Michael Lor, Senior Advisor Asia Pacific, European Financial Management Association (EFMA)

Session Chairman/Moderator: Mr. Peter Favila, Member of the Monetary Board, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Member, ABA Advisory Council.

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16:30-17:15 35th ABA General Meeting Proper (Conference Hall) (a) ABA Chairperson’s Report, (b) Report of the Election Committee and (c) Election of New Board Members.

17:15-17:30 Coffee Break (Foyer)

17:15-17:30 56th ABA Board of Directors’ Meeting: Part One (VIP Lounge) – Election of New ABA Chairman and Vice Chairman

17:30-18:00 Installation Ceremony (Conference Hall) (a) Valedictory Address of Outgoing Chairman, (b) Oath-taking of Incoming Chairman and Vice-Chairman, (c) Handover Ceremony, (d) Acceptance Speech of Incoming Chairman, and (e) Presentation of Distinguished Service Plaque to Outgoing Chairman.

18:15-19:00 56th Board of Directors’ Meeting: Part Two (VIP Lounge)

19:30-22:30 Cocktails and Gala Dinner (Venue: Anchorage Beach, Sheraton Maldives)


November 17, Saturday
(a) Optional Tour Program / (b) Departure of Delegates


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