The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) successfully completed its 41st Conference and Annual General Meeting held in Grenada from 12–15 November. As a primary objective, CAB provides a forum that enables members to solve their common challenges through understanding, education and co-operation.
The conference was held under the theme – “The Changing Face of Caribbean Banking”, and was officially opened by Her Excellency Dame Cécile La Grenade, Governor-General of Grenada. Feature speaker and industry veteran Mr. Ronald F. deC. Harford, Chairman of Republic Bank Limited, cited the main cause of the region’s struggle as its unsustainable economic model and the uncompetitive nature of its key sector, tourism. The global financial crisis, he said, merely exposed the broken model on which the region’s economy is based.
On the first day of the conference, the keynote speaker, Hon. Ryan Pinder, Bahamas’ Minister for Financial Services, acknowledged an increasingly complex and regulated banking environment. He referred to some of the main challenges being faced now: global transparency, the impact of mandates from external multilateral institutions and the current state of volatility in Caribbean banking institutions. Hon. Pinder called for the industry to be creative when developing solutions and to be actively supportive of necessary public/private partnerships. He also emphasised the need to support collective human capacity development as “the Caribbean banking industry requires a platform where its employees and executives are able to refine their skills and knowledge to be able to react to a changing industry”.
During its two days, the CAB conference provided an excellent platform for many bankers and industry professionals to put forth their views, solutions and ideas on changes across the region; while providing time and a conducive environment for the executives to brainstorm on issues facing the industry including the challenging state of affairs. Some key topics discussed were: AML and CTF; Correspondent Banking Relationships; FATCA; Mergers, Acquisitions and Consolidations; Delivering differentiated value to clients; Strategic Leadership; and Leveraging IT Security.
The conference also received the support of regional and international sponsors who provide technological and professional services.
The CAB continues to support its members through advocacy, up to date training, growing member and partner networks and engagement at all levels in order to build a resilient financial services sector.
The 42nd CAB Conference and AGM will be held in St Kitts and Nevis in November 2015.