HNB’s Managing Director and CEO, Jonathan Alles, in his capacity as the Chairman of the prestigious Asian Bankers Association (ABA), the premier platform for Asian banks, inaugurated the ABA’s 37th General Meeting and Conference.
While initially planned to be hosted in Sri Lanka, this year’s event is now taking place virtually from 24 - 27 August 2021, on the theme: ‘Asian Banks: Achieving Sustainable Growth in the New Normal’ and will be attended by some of the most important figures in banking across the Asian region.
Addressing the virtual gathering, Alles highlighted the critical role that banks have played, in supporting economic recovery post-COVID-19.
“Today, banks across the globe are working as a de facto delivery system, delivering cash for those in need. However, with no clear end in sight and the virus still rampant, banks are acutely aware that how they respond to the crisis now will determine how they will rebuild for the future. Providing support to governments and customers is crucial during this crisis, but this will require banks to deploy the tools that they have developed since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, to lead a coherent and extensive response to unchartered territory. One thing is certain: a strong banking sector will be fundamental to a strong recovery.”
Alles also emphasized the importance of innovation and technological improvements in the sector in addressing the broader market needs and tapping into the opportunities in the ‘new normal’.
“We need to jointly break new ground in innovation-driven development. After years of fairly fast growth, Asian countries now face the challenge of shifting from old drivers of growth to new ones and we must rely on innovation to foster this transition. As the new round of global technological revolution and industrial transformation unfolds, we must seize opportunities to tap into our advantages in human capital and market potential, to intensify cooperation on innovation and accelerate the upgrading of the banking sector.”
Alles will not be the only Sri Lankan banking sector professional who will be sharing his insights with the region’s banking sector leaders at the 37th ABA General Meeting and Conference, which has a strong focus on responding to the changes induced by the pandemic and on technology/innovation.
HNB Executive Director and Chief Operation Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo will also be serving as session chair for the ‘Regulator Roundtable’ session on current banking trends and their implications on regulatory policies which will also feature Dharmasri Kumaratunge, Director Payments and Settlements of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). In addition, Jonathan Alles will serve as a panellist at the CEO roundtable on ‘navigating the new world order’. The other sessions are ‘responding to challenges and disruptions in a changing global ecosystem’ and ‘the role of technology in sustainable growth.’
Since 1981, the Asian Bankers Association (ABA) has been the premier platform for Asian banks. ABA is the ideal forum to network, conceive deals, share know-how, and advocate bankers' interest nationally and internationally. ABA groups over 70 of the largest leading commercial banks and financial institutions in the Asia Pacific with the objectives of exploring banking opportunities in the Asia Pacific and enhancing the role of bankers in the economic development of the Asia Pacific region.