29th ABA Conference in Manila

"Asian Banks: Moving Forward Amidst Global Uncertainty"

12-13 November 2013



  1. Members of the Asian Bankers Association (ABA) issued two position papers during its 29th ABA General Meeting and Conference held on November 12-13, 2012 in Manila, Philippines:
  • Entitled “Asian Funds Passport Scheme Based on UCITS[1] Directive”, the first paper examined some of the developments in the Asian bond market and work   undertaken in promoting the establishment of a regional funds passport system. The ultimate aim is to establish a multilateral framework facilitating the cross-    border selling of Asian investment funds among participating nations and increasing cooperation between regional regulators.
  • The second paper, which was entitled “Empowering Migrant Workers and Greater Financial Inclusion Through Remittances”, called on commercial banks to play a role in identifying specific financing needs of migrant workers and devising products and services to meet the needs on the basis of availability, accessibility, affordability and attractiveness.


2012 01a

  1. As part of its efforts at promoting cooperation among member banks in disaster-preparedness and recovery, the ABA agreed to identify and nominate banks that can provide lessons learned from experience of natural disasters, provide a workable forum for sharing these best practices, and publish an equivalent document to the APEC’s “Final Report on Capacity Building for Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation” and “Disaster Recovery Checklist.”


  1. The ABA also agreed to form a working committee to evaluate the proposal to revive efforts to actively promote – with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and/or other relevant government and private sector organizations – the following documents approved by the ABA Board in 2005, namely: (a) the set of informal workout guidelines embodying the principles of informal workouts suggested by the ADB; and (b) the template agreement based on a revised form of the Model Agreement to Promote Company Restructuring.


  1. Attended by some 230 leading bankers, bank regulators, and members of the academe from 20 countries around the region, this year’s ABA gathering took place under the theme “Asian Banks: Moving Forward Amidst Global Uncertainty.” Delegates exchanged views on how major developments in the global and regional markets would impact on the Asian banking sector and what strategies should banks and financial institutions adopt to achieve sustainable growth in the face of continuing uncertainties and challenges in the world environment. Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was Special Guest of Honour representing Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., and Mr. Sergio Pimenta, Director for East Asia and the Pacific at the International Finance Corporation was Keynote Speaker during the Opening Ceremony.


  1. Eminent speakers from both the private and government sectors were invited to share their perspectives on timely and relevant topics such as “The Euro Debt Crisis: What It Means for Asia”; “Emerging Paradigms in Risk Frameworks”; and “Technology and Productivity in Banking”.


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  1. The Manila Conference also featured the following special sessions:
  • A CEO Forum which was designed to provide a high-level platform for top bank executives and thought leaders to convene, share best practices and experience, debate current banking issues, and discuss winning business approaches in the amidst prevailing market conditions
  • A “Discover ABA” session during which country presentations were made by ABA member banks from Maldives (Bank of Maldives), Oman (Bank Muscat), and the Philippines (Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation) on the economic and financial conditions in their respective countries.
  • A Technology Session which provided a platform for delegates to examine recent technological developments in the banking and payments landscape, and assess their impact on bank operations and management.


  1. During its Manila meeting, the ABA also discussed internal policy issues and took action on a number of important matters, including the following:
  • The ABA elected a new Board of Directors composed of 25 members from 19 countries who would serve for the next two years from 2012 to 2014.
  • The new Board elected Mr. Lorenzo V. Tan, President and CEO of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), as the new ABA Chairman, replacing Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director and CEO of Hatton National Bank from Sri Lanka.
  • Daniel Wu, President and CEO of Chinatrust Financial Holding Inc. from Taiwan, was named the new ABA Vice Chairman, taking over from Mr. Tan.
  • The ABA conferred the title of “Chairman Emeritus” to the following former ABA Chairmen who have remained active in the ABA for at least eight years after their tenure as Chairman had ended, and have expressed their interest and willingness to continue their involvement in ABA activities in the years ahead:
Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco (Philippines, ABA Chairman in 2002-2004)
Dr. David K. P. Li (Hong Kong, ABA Chairman in 1994-1996)
Dr. Amnuay Viravan (Thailand, ABA Chairman in 1986-1988)
  • In addition, the ABA conferred the title of “Honorary Chairman” to Dr. Jeffrey L. S. Koo, Founder of the Asian Bankers Association, for his continued interest in and support for the organization.
  • The ABA adopted its 2012-2014 Work Program outlining activities over the next two years in the area of policy advocacy, information exchange, training and professional development, strengthening relationship with other regional and international organizations, and membership expansion.
  • The ABA also expanded the geographical scope of its membership with the admission of Bank of Maldives.
  • The ABA agreed to hold its 30th ABA General Meeting and Conference in 2013 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, with the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA) as host organization. The exact date and venue will be announced later.
  • The ABA also agreed to accept the offer of Bank Muscat to host the 31st ABA General Meeting and Conference in 2014 in Muscat, Oman. The exact date and venue will be decided at a later date.

*UCITS – Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities

Special Feature

Bankers' Corner: new sharing feature in ABA website

The ABA introduces the “Bankers’ Corner”, a new feature of the ABA website designed to provide a platform for members to post information or materials that you may wish to share with other members of the Association or anyone who may be interested in them. We encourage members to take advantage of this platform and send your materials to the ABA Secretariat through aba@aba.org.tw.