“Many banking areas are experiencing existential threats” Daniel Wu

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Kurumba – “Many areas within banking markets are experiencing some serious existential threats. As the industry is being transformed, there is uncertainty around what the future of the banking industry will look like over the next decade” said Mr. Daniel Wu, Chairman of ABA and President of CTBC Financial Holdings to the delegates from Asian countries and other regions that gathered in Kurumba on November 16, 2018 for the 35th ABA General Meeting and Conference.

In his Welcome Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference, Mr. Wu said that “many traditional players [are] now facing the choice of either being disintermediated or proactively disrupting their own business models to thrive in the future” .

According to Chairman Wu, some very fundamental questions are in the minds of many bankers today, such as:

(1) How will recent and ongoing innovations (such as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies), and the breakthroughs likely to come in the future, further transform banking?

(2) What will the industry’s competitive structure look like over the next decade – will the current industry leaders be stronger/larger, or weaker/smaller?

(3) What can banks do now to prepare for these future scenarios?”

Chairman Wu said that this year’s Conference aimed to provide ABA members and invited experts the opportunity to answer these questions and to examine how various trends that banks and other financial institutions are seeing today are coming together to influence the future of banking.

He also expressed his hopes that holding the Conference in Maldives would provide members a valuable opportunity to gain a better understanding of  the country’s market  – its economy, its trade and investment potentials, its banking and financial sector, and its people and manpower resources – and would  serve as an occasion for foreign participants to establish contact with important decision makers in business and government, and with the important players in Maldives’ banking and financial industry, thereby helping them in their effort to seek and identify business opportunities in the country.

The Opening Ceremony of the Conference also featured Mr. Ahmed Naseer, Governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority, the country’s central bank.

The complete Welcome Remarks of ABA Chairman Wu is available here.

 

Opening Remarks of ABA Chairman Mr. Daniel Wu at the Opening Ceremony of the 35th ABA General Meeting and Conference – November 16, 2018,  Maldives

2018 1214 Daniel 04Governor Ahmed Naseer of Maldives Monetary Authority
Bank of Maldives Managing Director Mr. Andrew Healy
Members of the ABA Advisory Council
Members of the ABA Board of Directors,
Fellow ABA Members and Bankers,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen:

On behalf of the Asian Bankers Association (ABA), I am pleased to welcome all of you to Maldives for the 35th ABA General Meeting and Conference. Thank you very much for participating in this important event.

I particularly wish to convey my deepest appreciation to our Keynote Speaker Mr.  Ahmed Naseer, Governor of Maldives Monetary Authority, for honoring us with his kind presence this morning. It is indeed a distinct privilege for the ABA  to have a very important government official of Maldives such as  Governor Naseer to join us at this year’s Conference.

Let me also thank the other Conference speakers and session chairmen who have graciously accepted our invitation for them to share with us their knowledge and expertise on issues of current concern to the banking community. I am sure their insightful inputs during the various Conference sessions will add great value to this year’s discussions.

I would also like to express my deep gratitude to our host –  the Bank of Maldives under the able leadership of its Managing Director and CEO –  for its strong support of ABA and its activities. It is our ardent hope that the level and quality of such support not only will be maintained, but will increase in the coming years.

This year’s Conference is another milestone event for ABA as it marks the first time that our members gather here in Maldives for our annual general meeting. We are certainly very grateful to Bank of Maldives for offering to host our Conference this year and for giving us the opportunity to experience first-hand the paradise setting of this beautiful country of Maldives.

Holding our Conference in Maldives provides our members a valuable opportunity to gain a better understanding of  the country’s market  – its economy, its trade and investment potentials, its banking and financial sector, and its people and manpower resources. Furthermore, it will serve as an occasion for us to establish contact with important decision makers in business and government, and with the important players in Maldives’ banking and financial industry, thereby helping our members in their effort to seek and identify business opportunities in the country.

Despite its small size, the scattering of human settlement across 188 islands spread over hundreds of kilometers of ocean, and its distance from centers of economic activity, Maldives has managed to achieve high and steady rates of growth over the past years. Its steady progress is attributed largely to its social and economic stability. Since the early 1990s, the country’s economic policies have combined a liberal economic and investment regime – focused on tourism, fishing, and a growing manufacturing sector, especially garments. These policies have been combined with well-directed social expenditure on education, health and providing essential social infrastructure to the outer islands. With the strong performance of the tourism and fisheries sectors, and the recent acceleration of construction, transport and communication, GDP growth in 2017 was 6.9%, and is estimated at 6.7% this year, 6.8% in 2019, and an average of 6% annually between 2020 and 2023. With these economic gains,  Maldives is now considered an upper middle-income country.

I am therefore pleased that you could all join us in Maldives as we meet with our banking colleagues in the country and exchange views with them on how to address the challenges and take advantage of the business opportunities presented by the continuing transformation and development of the country’s economy.

This year’s Conference – which focuses on the theme “Banking in Asia: The Next Frontier” – is also designed to provide another valuable platform for ABA members to exchange views with invited speakers on current developments in the regional and global markets that are expected to have a significant impact on the banking and financial sector of the region, and share their perspectives on how industry players can address the challenges – and take full advantage of the opportunities – presented by these developments.

As you are well aware, many areas within banking markets are experiencing some serious existential threats. As the industry is being transformed, there is uncertainty around what the future of the banking industry will look like over the next decade.  Indeed, the banking industry is expected to look a lot different in ten years time. Many traditional players now face the choice of either being disintermediated or proactively disrupting their own business models to thrive in the future. Indeed, some very fundamental questions are in the minds of many bankers today, such as:

(1) How will recent and ongoing innovations (such as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies), and the breakthroughs likely to come in the future, further transform banking?

(2) What will the industry’s competitive structure look like over the next decade – will the current industry leaders be stronger/larger, or weaker/smaller?

(3) What can banks do now to prepare for these future scenarios?

Our Conference this year will hopefully provide us the opportunity to examine how various trends we are seeing today are coming together to influence the future of banking. I therefore expect that we will have an interesting and productive exchange of views on these important issues, and I look forward to everyone’s active participation in today’s discussions.

In closing, I would like to once again thank our  Keynote Speaker  Mr.  Ahmed Naseer, Governor of Maldives Monetary Authority, and all the session speakers and panelists for being with us today. With their valuable insights on the issues at hand, and the inputs from all delegates, the deliberations that will take place during today’s Conference will benefit all of us who are gathered here in Maldives.

I also hope that you are enjoying the program that our gracious host Bank of Maldives has prepared for the delegates, and that you will leave this paradise island with fond memories of this year’s gathering.

Thank you, and may we all have a fruitful and productive day ahead of us.

Daniel Wu
ABA Chairman

 

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