The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with West African Bankers’ Association (WABA) on Tuesday officially commenced a three day workshop on Credit Administration and Debt Recovery for West African bankers’ at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.
Officially opening the workshop and delivering the key note address, Director of Banking and officer in charge, Bank of Sierra Leone Khadi Saccoh said “the traditional function of commercial banks is to receive moneys from those who have surpluses and grant loans to those who need funds for investment and other activities”.
She noted that “the Basle Committee (the international banking supervisory body), poor credit risk management is the main source of serious banking problems”.
“The worst problems are caused by insufficiently stringent credit standards for borrowers, poor credit of the entire portfolio, and a lack of attention to changes in economic or other circumstances that affect counterparty’s credit standing”, said Saccoh.
The Director of Banking explained “the credit crunch, which gripped the global financial markets in the last couple of years, was caused by a sustained period of careless and inappropriate lending which resulted in losses for many lending institutions”.
She disclosed that with confidence in today’s global credit market at an all time, it is critical for banks to engage in better credit risk management practices that can optimize risk adjusted pricing and returns throughout the organization.
“The flow of credit in the global financial market has slowed and credit markets threaten to stay that way despite immense amounts of cash being pumped in by the governments and central banks around the world”, she said.
Lending if prudently and appropriately done, she said will contribute to the economic development of a nation through the financing of production and investment activities.
Saccoh observed that the primary goal of banking supervision is the promotion of a stable, safe and sound banking system, which is a critical condition for financial markets stability and sustainable growth.
The importance of this workshop for the industry cannot be down played, topics which will be discussed are relevant for both operators in ensuring that prudent credit management practices are carried out.
CIBN Registrar and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Uju Ogutunka said in his welcome address that CIBN is the umbrella professional body for bankers in Nigeria. He added that It was incorporated in 1976 as the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria (CIBN) in 1990. Dr Ogutunka explained that the central feature of the chequered history of the CIBN has been the sustained struggle to enthrone professional excellence in the banking industry in Nigeria.
Secretary General for WABA, Agbai Abosi said that CIBN and WABA shares the same vision and features. He stated that WABA is an umbrella professional body for all Bankers in West Africa.
Topics to be discussed are: Basic Lending Principles; how to conduct an effective credit interview and evaluation; credit risks, assessment, environmental, business and financial risks; improving export finance; credit packaging mechanism, credit fraud management, prevention, detection and control strategies and ethics and professionalism in credit administration. At the end of the three day workshop a communiqué will be developed.