Banks urged to be people centered , not profit motivated

By Edwin Muhumuza

Banks have been urged to change their ways of operation to consider people first ahead of profit. This amid the first Global Alliance for banking on values conference  in Kampala which seeks to introduce values-based banking as a new banking model for financial institutions.

In his key note address, Prof. Sir Chris Ogbechie, head of strategic management at Lagos Business School noted that becoming people centered, will enable banks realize 9 out of 17 Sectoral Development Goals of the United Nations and hence becoming more relevant to society. Among them he outlined, no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well being, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities and climate action.

“could the solution to financial exclusion be value-based banking in Africa”?asked the former chairman of Diamond Bank plc, Nigeria, while highlighting how the banking model, that is society-oriented, can drive sustainable development in Africa.Other aspects of the model includes community banking, microfinance banks, coupled with empowering people to grow.

Wrapping up his speech, he drew lessons learned from the turnaround of Diamond Bank Plc, from corporate services,that had failed to match the competition of already existing banks in the market of over 100million people through the adoption of people centered – digital mobile technology as well as targeting other multi-dimensional areas of the society.

Ugandan banks continue to face challenges and as of 31 March 2017, there were 24 licensed commercial banks in Uganda however banks are faced with rising number of dormant accounts a trend attributed to slow economic activity, among other factors.

Speaking at the GABV Conference 2018, Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi, Executive Director-Supervision at Bank of Uganda (BoU), said if only there were more banks in the country looking at people before profit then more would be financially included.

GABV Executive Director, Mr. Marcos Eguiguren notes that the GABV Principles of Values-based Banking describe the fundamental pillars of values-based banking adding that the process of embedding these values requires deliberate effort, by developing human resources policies that reflect their values-based approach (including innovative incentive and evaluation systems for staff), and develop stakeholder-oriented practices to encourage values-based business models.

Centenary Bank Managing Director, Mr. Fabian Kasi said that they have a model that supports lending and banking to the furthest ends of the country, providing micro-loans. This amid their association with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values leadership academy which brings together mid-career leaders from values-based banks and financial institutions around the world to advance their leadership and innovation skills and connect to the growing values-based banking movement.

Presently there are 54 independent GABV member banks, profitable and growing from Asia, North America, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Australia and Europe, touching lives of more than 500 million people in 31 countries, with combined assets of USD 163 billion.