Categorized | News, Regional

Regional banking conference ends in St. Lucia

St. Lucia News – Melissa Marchand of Global News Matters

CASTRIES, St. Lucia  – The 40th annual general meeting and conference of the Caribbean Association of Banks ended in St. Lucia at the weekend with delegates exploring innovative technologies that will change the way banking is conducted in the Caribbean.

“We have started a new conversation about changes to the market, the operations of banks, the way we operate the banking system and the growing expectations of customers,” says Melissa Marchand, Managing Director of Global News Matters (GNM), a Caribbean and international information service.

The Caribbean Association of Banks meeting provided a platform through which financial institutions across the region shared their experiences, ideas and expertise in tackling internal and external challenges to the financial services sector and the economies of the region.

Held under the theme “Redefining Strategy – The Leadership Challenge”, the conference addressed topics such as increasing shareholder value, the role of social media in customer relations, growth challenges, and risk strategies.

Marchand said delegates discussed the different technologies now available and the widespread use of social media.

“We have seen changes to the way people do their banking in North America, Europe and other parts of the world and we now see those changes being introduced in the Caribbean,” Marchand noted, “so we can’t expect them to evolve differently in the Caribbean than they have in other markets.”

Among the topics addressed at the conference were the use of social media tools in managing the customer experience; strategies for providing better customer service, more customer-focused initiatives and data driven information; and technologies that can be used to explain to customers the need to charge fees and commissions.

“All in all, our mission was to engage in rethinking strategies that can make the sector more attractive and transparent to customers,” she said.

The bankers along with other financial experts also discussed widespread reports of fraud within the system.

The GNM official explained that fraud in the banking system evolves in much the same way as technology and admits that it was coming through in different forms than were previously known.

“As technology advances rapidly, fraud will surface just as fast, so it’s a question of banks being prepared to protect themselves and their customers,” she noted.

Bank representatives attending the conference also reported that their operations were affected by a high level of nonperforming loans, and unemployment problems.

“You simply can’t separate the macro-economic situation in a country from its financial sector … when one does well the other also succeeds. So when you see a slowdown in tourism which is impacting all the islands, this will translate to a (negative) economic impact on the financial sector.”

Marchand said that while the financial sector has been under some level of distress, like Caribbean economies, experts remain “cautiously optimistic” as the sector presses ahead with a plan for a return to normalcy.

Global News Matters produces a twice monthly Caribbean news intelligence service called Market Dynamics Caribbean – “regional news for global leaders” – on a subscription basis.

The organization provided lively tweets, updating its readers on the proceedings of the banking conference.

 

 

 

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St. Lucia News – Melissa Marchand of Global News Matters

CASTRIES, St. Lucia  – The 40th annual general meeting and conference of the Caribbean Association of Banks ended in St. Lucia at the weekend with delegates exploring innovative technologies that will change the way banking is conducted in the Caribbean.

“We have started a new conversation about changes to the market, the operations of banks, the way we operate the banking system and the growing expectations of customers,” says Melissa Marchand, Managing Director of Global News Matters (GNM), a Caribbean and international information service.

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The Caribbean Association of Banks meeting provided a platform through which financial institutions across the region shared their experiences, ideas and expertise in tackling internal and external challenges to the financial services sector and the economies of the region.

Held under the theme “Redefining Strategy – The Leadership Challenge”, the conference addressed topics such as increasing shareholder value, the role of social media in customer relations, growth challenges, and risk strategies.

Marchand said delegates discussed the different technologies now available and the widespread use of social media.

“We have seen changes to the way people do their banking in North America, Europe and other parts of the world and we now see those changes being introduced in the Caribbean,” Marchand noted, “so we can’t expect them to evolve differently in the Caribbean than they have in other markets.”

Among the topics addressed at the conference were the use of social media tools in managing the customer experience; strategies for providing better customer service, more customer-focused initiatives and data driven information; and technologies that can be used to explain to customers the need to charge fees and commissions.

“All in all, our mission was to engage in rethinking strategies that can make the sector more attractive and transparent to customers,” she said.

The bankers along with other financial experts also discussed widespread reports of fraud within the system.

The GNM official explained that fraud in the banking system evolves in much the same way as technology and admits that it was coming through in different forms than were previously known.

“As technology advances rapidly, fraud will surface just as fast, so it’s a question of banks being prepared to protect themselves and their customers,” she noted.

Bank representatives attending the conference also reported that their operations were affected by a high level of nonperforming loans, and unemployment problems.

“You simply can’t separate the macro-economic situation in a country from its financial sector … when one does well the other also succeeds. So when you see a slowdown in tourism which is impacting all the islands, this will translate to a (negative) economic impact on the financial sector.”

Marchand said that while the financial sector has been under some level of distress, like Caribbean economies, experts remain “cautiously optimistic” as the sector presses ahead with a plan for a return to normalcy.

Global News Matters produces a twice monthly Caribbean news intelligence service called Market Dynamics Caribbean – “regional news for global leaders” – on a subscription basis.

The organization provided lively tweets, updating its readers on the proceedings of the banking conference.