Chairman's Speech at the Launch of the Global Banking Leaders Programme
Tan Sri Azman Hashim
St Regis Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
28 July 2016
Source: Asian Banking School
Assalamualaikum, a very good afternoon and Salam Sejahtera to all of you. Thank you for coming to the launch of the Global Banking Leaders programme, a ground breaking flagship programme by the Asian Banking School, in partnership with the world renowned Cass Business School, City University London.

Looking back on when the journey to restructure the Institute of Bankers Malaysia began in 2013, the IBBM Council had set very high expectations for its resulting outcome. IBBM was renamed as the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers to focus on membership and professional standards for the industry; and the Asian Banking School was formed as a training institution complete with a new identity, mandate and focus independent from the professional body.

The Asian Banking School was tasked to enhance the professionalism, productivity and capability of banking talent. As ABS reaches its 1-year anniversary since it was launched in August of last year, much has changed. It has been moving full speed ahead to transform the banking education landscape by developing and delivering relevant, practical and innovative training programmes for bankers at all levels.

To better serve banks in meeting the challenges of a dynamic global landscape, ABS has broadened and deepened the training programmes it offers, updated its public course offerings and increased in-house programmes for banks that recently included the development of learning pathways for graduates and business areas like Wealth Management. Starting this year, the introduction of Executive Education programmes has also been a key part of its new business proposition. Through strategic learning partnerships with some of the top business schools in the world, ABS has been able to offer innovative courses to benefit senior level bankers. This Global Banking Leaders programme is its latest addition.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now is not the time for us to be complacent as we face today a new round of challenges in unchartered waters. Competition for better yields, rising cost of business, evolving skill set requirements, sophisticated customer expectations and new technological innovations are just a number of challenges confronting this industry that operates in a very unpredictable environment. The traditional lines of business have expanded into new areas and new business models, and these challenges have forced us to reflect and rethink our strategy going forward.

That is why the introduction of the Global Banking Leaders programme is a timely one. Key issues have been incorporated and include Corporate Entrepreneurship, Leadership in Crisis and Disruption, Customer Relations, Managing People Risk and Digital Developments to name a few. The programme will be delivered over a period of 2 weeks through a learning methodology that includes a mixture of lectures, interactive debates, topical case studies and group work. Week 1 will be in Kuala Lumpur at the Asian Banking School and Week 2 will be in the world’s leading financial centre, the City of London at the Executive Education Campus of the Cass Business School. During the week in London, field visits to major financial institutions, industry talks and networking engagements will also be included for participants to ensure a complete learning experience.

We are also excited to be working with the Cass Business School on this programme. It is ranked in the top one percent of business schools in the world, produces research of which 90% of it is of international significance with academics carrying out more world-leading and internationally excellent research in business and management than Oxford and Cambridge, and is among the global elite of business schools that hold the gold standard of ‘triple crown’ accreditation. Needless to say, the exclusive regional partnership that Cass has entered in with ABS has been a strategic one that we know will bring many rewards.

I am also pleased to announce that there is a small but significant change to what is stated in the brochure that you have before you with regards to the Staff Training Fund. ABS has received approval for special exemption to be made to the STF Credit Guideline to allow financial institutions to claim the full amount of their roundtrip airfare, regardless of class, to and from London for the purpose of attending the 2nd week of the programme. Another announcement that I am pleased to make is that I have consulted with my fellow AICB Council and ABS Board members today and we have agreed to also allow STF claims for accommodation of up to £200 per night to be included for the London portion of this programme. This is in addition to the STF-claimable programme fee. It is an unprecedented decision made for the usage of STF, and it marks the importance that the ABS Board and AICB Council sees in this programme. It is also our hope that this will serve as an added incentive to register for the programme.

While I am still on the subject of STF and unprecedented decisions, I am also pleased to report that the progress in the development of the Centre of Excellence, or the ACE building as we call it, is going well and on schedule. For the benefit of those that might not have heard, the ACE building will be the first integrated landmark education and training centre for the financial services industry here in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. This iconic state-of-the-art building will feature innovative and cutting-edge architectural design and engineering solutions, and will house 10 institutions including ABS, involved in education, training and standard setting for the financial services industry. It will foster and facilitate collaboration amongst banking, insurance, capital market and Islamic finance industries to share intellectual capital, expert resources and not to mention, a common infrastructure and facilities. The ground breaking ceremony was held on February 2016 and ACE is expected to be completed by September of 2018, with construction starting at the end of this year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Former US President, John F. Kennedy said that and those words still ring true today. Learning is a continuous and ongoing process, and we need to keep learning new skills and acquire new knowledge in order to live and work more productively and effectively. We don’t necessarily have all the answers but if we continue to keep learning, we might come just a little closer to that goal. We are working in an industry where things don’t tend to stay still and stagnant for very long, so why should we? Leaders are not always born but they can definitely always be developed, and growing yourself can only set you on the right path to success.

Often times, leaders are focused on quality and innovation, and are always looking to find ways to provide better products and better financial services for their customers. We set high expectations on our employees to have the necessary skills to help us get to our goals, and emphasize and invest greatly in talent development. It is the hope of ABS that with the introduction of the Global Banking Leaders programme to its suite of new and current training courses, you will now have the opportunity and right platform to develop talent of all levels in the organization, including yours.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Colyn Gardner and his team at ABS on all their hard work in developing this programme and also record my appreciation of the Cass Business School for their invaluable partnership and contributions. My thanks again to all of you for coming today and for your continued support of ABS.

Thank you.

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