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A very good morning to you all.
I am deeply honoured to be here and am delighted that you have joined us here at this 15th IBBM Graduation and Awards Ceremony. This is a memorable day, for both you and the Institute of Bankers Malaysia or IBBM. As the Council Chairman, I am pleased to share in the joy of this occasion.
This annual event is a symbolic reminder of what the Institute has achieved in the past year. A ceremony of this nature is relevant and valuable because it helps the Institute bridge the past and the future – to look back and reflect on the reasons why the Institute was founded. IBBM is now 35 years old – many of you were not born yet when it was established. The Institute embraces the values of learning and development, through which bankers can be trained to improve the way in which they serve the community while strengthening their own convictions and enhancing competencies.
On this occasion I wish to congratulate the following
(1) All graduates who have successfully completed their final exams and prize winners for being top of the class.
(2) All 12 individuals who have served the Institute as committee members for 10 years or more.
(3) And of course, the new Fellows of IBBM, Dato Muhammad Ibrahim, Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia; and Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, CEO and President of Maybank Group and Chairman of Association of Banks in Malaysia as well as nine other individuals who have been newly conferred as Associate Fellows of the Institute.
All of them have made significant contributions to the industry – in areas of capacity building and capability development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking at all of you, our graduates, I am assured that the pipeline of young professionals in banking is promising. As you know, talent development in the financial services industry has been identified as one of the priorities under the Economic Transformation Programme, as well as in the Bank Negara Malaysia Financial Blueprint 2020. Talent development has been given much attention by the industry as it is required to overcome the challenges to become a developed nation.
Speaking of talent development, I would like to focus my speech on the importance of emphasizing ethics, values and responsibility in banking education. As you are aware, the global financial market remains uncertain. Recent political developments in Greece and the EU and the US have once again reminded us of the current fragility of the markets. But the lesson that we need to learn from this is that there are negative consequences whenever ethics, values and trust are violated. The problems of today’s financial markets are not entirely the fault of poor regulation or supervision but also a lack of ethics and values.
History reminds us that the single root cause of the current financial situation is greed and the pursuit of self interest.
Ethical leadership is, therefore, important in addressing these issues as well as in changing the way the industry operates. Leading business thinkers and experts believe that ethical leadership is simply the way leaders behave and apply the principles of integrity and values of responsibility and trust. By demonstrating the right character, and walking the “right values”, the ethical leader can set the example for others and withstand any temptations that may occur along the way.
We have seen time and again that dishonesty has led to the erosion of public trust and the ruin of institutions. Recent examples include Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the Sub Prime Crisis that brought down Lehman Brothers and caused the problems that exist today. In the nineties, many of you would have read of how Nick Leeson single handedly caused the collapse of Barings Bank. There are, of course, also some good examples in Malaysia.
All this could potentially result in loss of public confidence and trust towards banks. Indeed, public trust in banks in the advanced economies is at an all time low.
Attention should then be placed on reforms in professional education. Ethics training in the future will potentially include applied case studies and be reinforced at various stages of learning. Embedding ethical values in the education and learning curriculum will raise consciousness and the capacities of bank professionals, and perhaps even shape behaviours at all levels including senior management.
Current initiatives by the Institute of Bankers Malaysia and several others in Britain, India and Hong Kong to incorporate ethics and regulation in the curriculum should be applauded. This will provide an ethical foundation to develop human capital upon which a successful and sustainable banking industry can be based. Its aim, quite simply, is to enhance ethics and professionalism in banking.
In the final analysis, the value propositions are clear – reforms in banking education to include ethical standards and values with the aim of protecting the interest of the community are mostly welcomed as a complement to better risk management.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am certain that the certifications and qualifications you have received from IBBM are unlikely to be your last. In a dynamic and ever-changing industry like financial services, you can expect to have to continually update your skills and knowledge in order to adapt as economic and business conditions change and evolve. Today’s certificates and qualifications should not be your last. Learning is a life long thing. Add value to yourself, etc. to e-Learning/OUM.
In this context, the Institute is transforming to become a world class provider of a broader range of education products and services to cater to the needs of its members.
One such product is the new Chartered Banker qualification, which we will be launching later on in the ceremony. This qualification is a prestigious award that has been co-developed with the esteemed Chartered Banker Institute in Scotland, the oldest banking institute in the world. This qualification, recognised around the world as the gold standard in banking education, will be the Institute’s flagship product. Through our joint examiner role with the Chartered Banker Institute, we have adapted the qualification to the Malaysian market while maintaining the core curriculum.
The Institute is also at various stages of developing other new certifications. One of these is the Investor Protection Professional Certification. This will be a required exam for personnel of financial institutes involved in the selling of unlisted debt securities and structured products. We will also be offering a newer but more robust Certified Credit Professional qualification which will be aligned with the Industry Competency Framework. There are also plans to develop Risk Management and Wealth Management qualifications for banks.
To support the delivery of these programmes and services to our members we are investing in world class infrastructures including: (1) a banking school and (2) a learning management system.
The establishment of a banking school will ensure that we can deliver a broad range of international banking curriculum of multi-national and multi-disciplinary dimensions that are driven by cutting-edge technology and applications, such as mobile applications and e-examinations.
The learning management system will provide a seamless range of paperless services that gives users more choices and supports them in the acquisition of knowledge and services. The ultimate goal is to create a respected banking school that is capable of delivering world class services and become a brand the industry can be proud of.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you can see, the Institute is busy trying to stay ahead of the changing banking landscape as it is our goal to improve our value propositions and delivery to the financial community.
Once again, congratulations to all graduates and prize winners present. I wish you all the very best with more success in your careers in the Banking and Finance industry.
© Institut Bank-Bank Malaysia, 2012. All rights reserved.