Regulation Framework is Re-aligned to Improve Customer Advantage
Doha Bank in continuation of its efforts in organizing various knowledge sharing sessions, conducted a knowledge sharing session titled ‘Customer Advantage in the Contemporary Financial market’ on 30th May 2011 at Four Seasons Hotel, Doha-Qatar. This knowledge sharing session was attended by Ambassadors, Charge de affairs representing respective foreign embassies operating in the State of Qatar, customers of Doha Bank, renowned bankers, industrialists, analysts, economists and regulators from the State of Qatar.
Mr. R. Seetharaman, Chief Executive Officer, Doha Bank Group addressed the gathering as the keynote speaker and set the tone for the evening. Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Seetharaman explained in detail the impact of the ongoing financial crisis in the functioning of the global economy, on the customer, on currency, commodity, bond, stock and property markets. He also elaborated on the financial stability of the world economies, the economic outlook of the world economies in consideration of the ongoing crisis, the policy changes that are required at a macro-economic level and financial/monetary levels to emerge out of the current financial crisis. He stated that “Customers are key stakeholders and hence the Global financial architecture is being realigned taking this into consideration.” Mr.Seetharaman further explained what this crisis meant for commodity-driven real economies like State of Qatar.
Mr. Seetharaman continued highlighting the proactive measures taken by the Qatar government to monitor and manage the crisis and its impact on customer confidence. He stated that “In Feb- March 2009, the Government of Qatar bought $1.8 bn worth of local Qatari banks’ portfolios of local shares listed on Doha Securities Market. Subsequent to this in June 2009 State of Qatar bought $4.12 bn of banks’ real estate investments. These measures were adopted by Qatari Government to improve the consumer confidence in Banking industry and to manage the systemic risks as well. It has also enhanced the ability of banks to cope with any possible repercussions of the global financial crisis. This clearly reflects the support provided to the Qatari banking sector by the Government.”
Mr. Seetharaman also explained the Global and regional regulatory developments in banking and financial sector. He stated that “Consumer protection has attained significant importance after the crisis. Hence, we will move from de-regulation to re-regulation and improve risk, governance and reporting requirements for the benefit of the customer.G20 and other global organisations are working on various measures to protect the consumer such as common principles of consumer protection, improving disclosure requirements and stronger oversight regimes for credit rating agencies. Credit Bureau and other regulations in Qatar is also introduced for the benefit of customers”
In addition, Mr. Seetharaman also moderated a panel discussion comprising of industry experts namely Mr. Robert Monroe, Associate Dean, Carnegie Mellon Qatar, Mr. Clive Weatherley Executive Manager – Doha Bank Assurance Company (DBAC) and Mr. Omar Mahmood, Partner- Financial Services, KPMG Qatar to discuss the advantages to customer encompassing technology , insurance and convergence, regulatory and accounting trends.
Mr. Robert Monroe, Associate Dean, Carnegie Mellon, Qatar spoke on Technology trends and its impact on customers. He stated that smart phones, social network and media and public information can be used to improve the communication process to customers. He also illustrated case studies on mobile banking solutions implemented by Doha bank, progressive insurance and face book solution by Carnegie Mellon. Adding on to Mr. Robert’s views, Mr. Seetharaman highlighted that social network medium should be considered by financial services organization.
Mr. Clive Weatherley, Executive Manager – Doha Bank Assurance Company (DBAC) highlighted the advantages to customer focusing on insurance- cross selling and convergence. He emphasised DBAC is willing to provide risk advisory services to Doha Bank customers. He illustrated various risk factors applicable to Corporate and Small and Medium enterprises. He also highlighted the various solutions DBAC is willing to offer to address various risks faced by customers.
Mr. Omar Mahmood, Partner- Financial Services, KPMG Qatar spoke on what accounting and regulatory developments meant for customer. He illustrated the Northern Rock collapse during the current crisis, the issues faced by customers and measures taken by regulators during the collapse. He stated that “Accounting standard setting bodies reacted to protect a range of stakeholder needs including those of the customers. The core concepts of customer needs remains the same however the accounting and regulatory framework is getting realigned to this need in the light of the crisis. Regulators are increasing their oversight on auditors after the crisis.”
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Seetharaman said “Regulation framework is re-aligned to improve customer advantage in the contemporary financial market”