More than 300 bankers in Thailand for two-day WSBI annual meetings
BANGKOK, Thailand, 30 June 2016 – More than 300 banking leaders and experts from around the globe descended today on Thailand's capital for the two-day WSBI annual meetings. Hosted by WSBI Thai member the Government Savings Bank, the event brought together WSBI members along with senior policy leaders from the country, C-suite bankers and technology experts to explore the future of banking in the 21st century.
"The common challenge for savings banks is how to balance between the core function of helping to close financial gap with new opportunities the technology may bring", Thailand Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong highlighted. "This is the reason why GSB has brought in new financial innovations to better serve customers. Among other things, venture capital funds have been set up to provide funding to SMEs start-ups."
"Retail banking – either through face to face branch banking, online or mobile – is an engine for economic growth and stability," said WSBI President Heinrich Haasis, who provided opening remarks. "Banking rules applied to our unique, people-focused, technology-driven banking model should be crafted in a way that within a 21st century, always-on world."
High-powered working session
The working sessions focused on the human element – customers and retail banking. Speakers and panellists drawn from within WSBI membership as well as industry experts in the first working group discussed the need for a customer-centric approach to an always-on and increasingly digitalised financial services sector.
A second session looked at the "human factor" around 21st century banking, notably how digitisation changes the way processes flow and changes the way we connect with people, notably clients. Panellists shared how the new market challenges caused by digital breakthroughs create more agile retail and savings banks place focus on skills leadership and process rather than solely on technology.
Photo: More than 300 banking leaders and experts attended the Annual Meetings in Bangkok.
WSBI releases Bangkok Resolution
Released that day was the Bangkok Resolution, a summary of the institute's commitment to savings and retail banking. The two-page statement also reaffirms its positions around the ongoing digital revolution and how it impacts 21st century retail banking, providing an outline of how policymakers can facilitate the switch to a digital banking future.
Haasis commented: "The resolution states clearly the pressing need to embrace digitisation, which brings us even closer to our customers while triggering breakthough solutions in areas like payments. To reach these aims, policy should help boosts innovation, not hamper it."
>> See the Bangkok Resolution
>> See the events' pictures here
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WSBI – The Global Voice of Savings and Retail Banking
WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $14tn and serving one billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2014). WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone.