How will the rural banking industry adhere to the principles of corporate governance, in the light of “competing interests of various stakeholders“ and key personalities of a corporation? This was the pervading question that the Visayan Management Conference attempted to address as the circular on governance guidelines for BSP supervised financial institutions finally took effect last February. Fortunately, the two-day affair in Cebu, titled “Good Governance: Continuing Challenge for Rural Banks” did just that by directly responding and acknowledging the challenges that affect the foundation of the rural banking industry. Instead of ignoring the issue(s), the speakers and lecturers were upfront in informing the participants’ of the ills that at times plague the sector and, the fundamental values that can help address these issues in order for the industry to rise above and become formidable in the future.
Past President Kintanar’s opening speech at the Ballroom of the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City last March 15 perfectly epitomized the steadfastness and pragmatic approach of the various confederations that attended the two-day affair. Recognizing the need to “harmonize” the opposing interests that threaten the stability of some banks, he suggested 5 principles that should be heeded by practitioners such as independence, loyalty, long term sustainability, ethics, fairness and accountability.
While all of those that he pointed out are crucial, the most poignant was his call to uphold credibility as the sector operates in a smaller community where “adverse information is contagious, contiguous, contumacious and carried by word of mouth with accelerating distortion.” Thus, management, board members and owners must always exercise moral uprightness and foster professionalism.
He ended his speech by saying this age old adage: “If the salt has lost its flavor, wherewith shall it be salted?” Rural Bankers you are the salt and your credibility is that flavor.”
For more on the 2012 Visayas Management Conference, we highly encourage all to download the speeches of BSP Assistant Governor Yuvienco, Past President Kintanar, Director Gail Fule and other keynote speakers from our Slideshare account, embedded below. Thank you.