​9.00 ​ ​9.15

​Welcome Speeches
  • Heinrich Haasis, WSBI President - Welcome of participants & welcoming of new WSBI president
  • Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India
  • Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD

9.15 – 9.30​

Opening Speech

 Plenary session 1: Globalisation: the promise of a golden dawn or dystopia in the making?

Every local community, region or country is increasingly linked to developments in the rest of the world. Globalisation of the economy and society is continuing at an amazing pace, accelerating even faster due to the use of innovative technologies, digitalisation and the increased mobility of citizens. The speed of change has become breath-taking.

There is a lot to gain: according to studies, globalisation has helped to increase average income per head of the world population significantly during the last decades. More people than ever before have been liberated from extreme poverty. There can be no doubt about the enormous boost human knowledge has thanks to the free exchange of knowledge, best practices, goods and services.

Yet, the IMF and other organisations are pointing at the fact that many people do not benefit from these developments, with all the negative consequences for welfare and social and political stability.

Fundamental challenges of humankind have become general in character; climate change and ecological challenges in general do not stop at the borders; poverty and social exclusion lead to wars and gigantic migration that in turn contribute to a rise of populism and threaten political stability.

Locally focussed retail and savings banks can contribute to a smoothening of economic and financial inequalities between regions, between social groups, between countries. For local communities and regions, locally focused banks can act as a window that opens up to global perspectives and growth opportunities. They can also make sure a maximum of people stay connected to the formal financial sector, a prerequisite for personal development.

​9.30 – 9.45


​9.45 – 11.00
Panel discussion 1
  • Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, Research Director of the India Develo​pment Foundation; Professor at the University of Groningen (NL) & Gothenburg University (SE);  advisor to the former Finance Minister, G​overnment of India​
  • Joergen Oerstroem Moeller, Visiting Senior Research Fellow ISEAS; Adjunct Professor Singapore Management University & Copenhagen Business School; former state-secretary at the Danish foreign ministry​

11.00 – ​11.30

Coffee Break

 Plenary session 2: ​​Two worlds no longer apart –
rural and local development for growth in harmony​

In all countries of the world, we see a growing rift between cities and rural areas. Cities become bigger, smarter and richer, while rural areas feel increasingly neglected by technological, economic and social progress.
SMEs and the locally focused banks that finance these SMEs can play a positive role in a wise local and rural development. This is important to bring the benefits of globalisation to farmers in Bangladesh as well as to the SME in the rural part of Germany. It can stop a flight to urban centres and guarantee a balanced development of countries as a whole.

11.​30 – 11.​45


  • Michael Hamp, Lead Technical Specialist Inclusive Rural Financial Services, IFAD​
  • Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD​

11.45 – 13.00

Panel discussion 2

  • H.R. Dave, Deputy Managing D​irector, NABARD
  • Malaba Somkhosi, Chief Executive Officer, Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Veronicah Namagembe, Managing Director, Pride Microfinance Uga​nda
  • Stephen Mukweli​, Managing Director, Postbank ​Uganda
  • Prasun Kumar ​Das, Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Associatio
  • ​​Laura French, Program Manager, Financial Inclusion, MasterCard Foundation​​

13.00 – 14.30

Lunch break

 Plenary sesson 3: The virtuous circle –
Locally focused savings and retail banks in a circular and digital economy

Profit is necessary for any company to be sustainable, but cannot be the only goal. The economy needs to be sustainable for the planet and for the people. How can locally focused savings and retail banks use new digital technologies to cut their cost base and reach out to remote customers or customer segments with a low profit margin? And how can savings and retail banks use this technology and their focus on a broader social commitment than just profit to distinguish them from any other financial institution?
14.30 – 14.45


14.45 – 16.00

Panel discussion 3

  • Michelle Katics, Fintech expert; Co-founder & CEO, PortfolioQuest; Co-Founder, Non-Exec Director and Innovation Advisor, BankersLab
  • Badal Malick, Principal Innovation Officer, Cashless Catalyst
  • Santiago Carbó Valverde​​, Director of​ Financial Research and Digitalisation of Funcas research foundation (Spain) & Professor of Economics and Finance at CUNEF Business School (Spain) and Bangor Business School (UK) 
  • Yao Huiya, Head of FinTech Innovation, WeBank​
  • Ashok Chauhan, Joint Director & Head, National Savings Institute
  • Representative from GSMA ​Mobile Money Programme​

16.00 – 16.30Coffee break
16.30 – 17.30

Masterclass 1
In local banks we trust : banks as fortresses against c​ybercrime, presented by Saqib Sheikh, 
Head of Customer Solutions and Presales, ​SWIFT Asia Pacific​

Trust is the basis of any banking relation and this should remain so in the digital world. Which risks might hamper the trust between customers and banks in the digital era and what can banks do about it?
This master class will explore the need to combat fraud and the counterfeiting of non-cash means of payments. What is the scale of change? Its impact on banks, on customers? The discussion will build on concrete cases, such as the EQUIFAX data-breach in Spring 2017.
16.30 – 17.30​

Masterclass 2
Responsible finance as a business opportunity, presented by Laura French, Program Manager on Financial Inclusion, MasterCard Foundation

Finance has to take into account sustainable aspects: environmental influence, social inclusion. How can locally focused savings and retail banks do this? What does already exist? How can banks tap into the huge commercial opportunity of green finance in the fields of home and SME financing? How can banking the un- or underbanked become a commercial opportunity?

17.30 – 17.35Closing of the first day by WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose



Plenary session 4: Digitisation as a tool for financial inclusion and customer proximity​

Financial technology is necessary if locally focused savings and retail banks want to deepen and to broaden their outreach. It is also necessary to increase the customer proximity that is the hallmark of locally focused savings and retail banks. Finally, financial technology is a way to maintain and strengthen the trust that our clients have in our institutions. What is the most efficient way to use it as a tool to reach our goals?​

9.00 ​ 9.15
9.15 – 10.30

Panel discussion 4​ 

  • David Panetta, Project Director, The ​SEEP Network
  • Pawan Bakhshi, India country lead, Financial Services for the Poor​, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ​
  • Debdatta Saha, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics (FE), South Asian University 
  • Guillaume Lepecq, Managing Director, International Currency Association​
  • Jaspreet Singh, Asia Technical Specialist on Digital Finance and Innovation, UNCDF​ 
  • Yuki Yasui, Programme Operations Manager, UNEP Fina​nce Initiative, Economy Division

10.30 – 11.00Coffee break

Plenary session 5: Making globalisation inclusive for all: the role of retail and savings banks

How can financial institutions become lynchpins of their local economies and make them benefit to the maximum of the opportunities of globalisation. What are we already doing well? What should we do better? How can we measure our progress​?
11.00 - 11.15
  • ​Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean & CEO, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)

11.15 – 12.30

Panel discussion​
Moderator: Chris De Noose, WSBI Managing Director 
  • ​Helmut Schleweis, President, DSGV ​
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  • Camden Fine, President & CEO, ICBA
  • Jean Arondel, President, FNCE 
  • Javier Gonzalez Fraga, President, Banco de la Nación Argentina​
  • P.K. Gupta, Managing Director (Retail & Digital Banking), State B​ank of India 

Closing of the conference: ​​The business model of the savings and retail banks 
– future-proof and ready to conquer the world
12.30 – 13.00Isidro Fainé, vice president, WSBI