Commitment to work with a sense of "social responsibility" to achieve "a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable society"
MADRID, 19 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The president of CECA, Isidro Fainé, also president of the World Institute of Savings Banks and Retail Banks (WSBI) and of the "la Caixa" Foundation, has assured that he is "optimistic" regarding the future of banking despite acknowledging that the current panorama is "complex, uncertain and unstable". For this reason, he has opted to work with a sense of "social responsibility" to achieve "a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable society".
"We are conspired to continue building a bank with a deep sense of social responsibility and make a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable society a reality. In this time of growing inequalities, our social work is more important than ever. In our business model we give priority to financial inclusion and we carry out a broad agenda of Obra Social activities", he stated at the 2023 International Meeting of Retail Banking Leaders, which is being held these days in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia).
The forum, which has been held under the title 'Global trends in financial education, cybersecurity and sustainable finance', has brought together leaders from the retail banking sector with a focus on the latest global trends in financial inclusion, digitization and cybersecurity, and sustainable finance and financial education. The meeting has become an opportunity to promote the exchange of knowledge and good practices between representatives of WSBI entities from all over the world, international organizations, credit institutions and companies from Latin America.
During his speech, Fainé acknowledged that the sector is immersed in a "complex, uncertain and unstable" panorama due, among other things, to "unusual" movements in interest rates. "During the last few years, we have seen unusual movements in interest rates, we have suffered a chain of financial crises and we have had to adapt to drastic reforms in the regulatory frameworks of the banking sector," he said.
The meeting was opened by the general director of WSBI-ESBG, Peter Simon, and the regional president of WSBI for America and the Caribbean, and president of Banco Caja Social (Colombia), Diego Prieto Rivera.
The meeting also had representation from the CECA sector: José María Méndez, CEO of CECA, moderated the panel focused on sustainable finance; Joan Rosás, director of International Institutional Relations at CaixaBank, moderated the panel on financial education; Carlos Morales Roviralta, director of the CaixaBank Representation Office in Colombia, and Eugenio Solla, Chief Sustainability Officer and member of the CaixaBank Management Committee, have participated as panelists.
Among the representatives of international organizations were Marcela Ponce Pérez, director of the Climate Finance Program in Latin America and the Caribbean International Finance Corporation (IFC) -which is part of the World Bank Group-, and Clemente del Valle, member of the Sustainable Development Investment Future Council and the Infrastructure 4.0 Community group of the World Economic Forum.
As reported by CECA, the issues discussed at the meeting demonstrate the firm commitment of the WSBI and its member entities with the priority lines of work outlined during the last Assembly, held in 2021 in Paris and in which Isidro Fainé renewed his mandate as president of the world body.
Financial inclusion, the promotion of sustainable finance, innovation, the use of digitization to promote closeness to the customer and the reinforcement of solvency within the Basel IV framework have been the priorities set for the coming years that have become ostensible in this new event.
In this sense, Fainé has also focused the work of the bank in the coming years on climate change; the tension of international political relations; and demographic evolution.
The WSBI, created in 1924, represents more than 6,400 savings banks and retail banks from 67 countries on five continents, whose total assets amount to 15.6 trillion dollars and which serve more than 1,700 million clients -close to 21% of the world population-, offering financial services mainly to SMEs and families.
CECA, a banking association that brings together banks, savings banks and foundations, is an active member of international associations -World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and European Savings Banks Group (ESBG)- that represent the retail banking model characterized by the so-called 3Rs, a model with which CECA member entities feel fully identified: retail (retailers), focused on financing families and SMEs; rooted (rooted), rooted in the community, linked and committed to the development of the territories in which they operate; and responsible (responsible), identified with the Obra Social and sustainability.