P r e s s   R e l e a s e s  &  S p e e c h e s

home | board of directors | executive management | about  FINSAC | asset  management  | banking | insurance | regulatory framework | annual reports |
 press releases and speeches | useful linkscontacting us search site

 

Union Bank boss tells bankers - Change is going to come

CHIEF EXECUTIVE officer of Union Bank, Don Kennedy, said it has been the inability to follow or the conscious choice not to follow sound risk management which has resulted in the situation being experienced by financial institutions today.

"As a banker for many years, I have heard just about all the jokes associated with banks and bankers who will not lend you an umbrella when it is raining," Mr. Kennedy said.

"Another way of expressing it is that banks don't lend when you need the money," he said, noting that many times he has had to explain to bankers the reality that "we make money when we make loans, not when we say no."

The Union Bank executive, speaking at a meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston at the Hilton Kingston Hotel yesterday, said "a banker finds prudent ways to make a loan if a way exists that does not put the bank in harm's way."

Describing risk management as a fundamental ingredient of commercial banking, Mr. Kennedy said those institutions must address the question of whether they were aware they were lending depositors, and not investors money.

He said lenders should also question whether they were properly identifying, documenting and measuring risk, and whether they were ensuring proper risk management, training of staff and actively educating the customer on how to present risk which was acceptable. "In other words, how do I make this loan bankable," he said.

Mr. Kennedy said the enterprise known as a commercial bank will be experiencing significant change in the next five years. "This is going to happen in Jamaica and in every other country," he said, adding that technology and shrinking profit margins would dictate the direction and rate of change for commercial banking.

Like the dinosaur, he said, many banks insisted on not changing the way they delivered services. "Standing in long lines to give a bank your money so that they can lend it to someone else is making less sense to depositors every day," he said.

Mr. Kennedy said alternatives for depositors were being created every day. Among other things, he said legislative practices designed to protect special types of financial institutions must be continually reviewed.

In giving a progress report on the consolidation of the four failed commercial banks which have been merged into Union Bank, Mr. Kennedy said that in January they began with 42 branches, and they will close about 18 of those. There are currently 32 branches and about 1,000 employees, down from nearly 1,500 in January.

The four commercial banks - Citizens, Island Victoria, Eagle and Workers - are being merged into the Union Bank of Jamaica. The consolidation is expected to be completed by the end of September this year.

July 21, 1999 

 We value your feedback and comments.
Looking for something in particular? Search Our Website.

Back To Homepage

home | board of directors | executive management | about  FINSAC | asset  management  | banking | insurance | regulatory framework | annual reports |
 press releases and speeches | useful linkscontacting us search site

Technical Problems, Comments, Questions? E-mail Webmaster