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ECONOMYWATCH: Bankers validate Gambia Bankers Institute Bill

Sep 17, 2014, 10:29 AM | Article By: Osman Kargbo

Bankers in The Gambia have made a quantum leap in bringing to life the Institute of Bankers of The Gambia(CIBG).

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Gambia (CIBG) Bill 2014 was yesterday validated at the Ocean Bay Red Croc Hotel in Cape Point, Bakau, to set the pace for advanced studies in Banking, Finance and other disciplines of the finance and management.

In his remarks, Mr Mamour Malick Jagne, executive secretary Gambia Bankers Association and Registrar Institute of Bankers of The Gambia , stated that the occasion was a historical event that has changed the status of the association for the better.

He notes: “On the occasion of a historical event such as our gathering this morning, it is appropriate to recall that what is today called the Gambia Bankers Association started many years ago when there were only three or four banks in The Gambia.

“The managing directors at the time, thought it necessary to be meeting over lunch periodically to share ideas on the state of the economy, the foreign exchange market, the tourism industry and other areas of common interest. Over time the number of banks in the country increased rapidly in relatively short period of time.

Mr Jagne said the economy became more complex, financial intermediation deepened and the relationship between customers and the banks changed in character as “competition between the banks grew in intensity”.

He added that it was later noted that the outstanding growth in The Gambian banking industry had overstretched the available human capacity in the financial sector, which prompted bank executives to put hands on deck to get a system in place that would address the situation.

“Under the circumstance, bank managing directors considered that banks should continue to compete but there were certain areas that demand cooperation,” he said. “It was therefore decided to create a non-profit making body to be called the Gambia Bankers Association.Thus on the 27th February, 2002, the registrar General of at the Attorney General Chambers issued certification of cooperation No. 112/2002.”

The Gambia Bankers Association (GBA), he noted, is aware that banking is knowledge-based industry, as it harbors many technicalities and anybody coming into the industry must be teachable and be prepared to learn.

He defines banker as a professional person who combines knowledge, integrity and excellent interpersonal relationship in the execution of his or her banking functions.

“Considering that developments in the banking industry are dynamic, especially with respect to technology support, there must be continuous update of knowledge by a banker to enable him or her to cope with them emerging challenges in the industry,” he said.

He further said that from inception at the level of the GBA the managing directors of banks demonstrated strong resolve and commitment to the development of the human capital of the banks to international standard.

“The outcome of that resolve gave birth to the Institute of Bankers if The Gambia,” he said, adding thatFrom its creation to date, all bank managers have been “extremely helpful”, they provided advice, gave their knowledge and experience as well as financial support.

“They have put in their hands and hearts at the personal and institutional level,” he continued. “No amount of worlds will be sufficient to express gratitude to the managing directors of banks for this achievement which ought to be seen as a contribution to the development of human capital in The Gambia.”

The step that the Gambia Bankers association is about to take is a logical follow-up on the commitment of managing directors to train their staff to international standard, he says:“When this bill becomes an Act of the National Assembly, Gambians will no longer need to travel overseas to study to become Chartered bankers.Indeed, students in the sub-region can be attracted to come to The Gambia to undergo this course.”

The President of the Gambia Bankers Association, Pa Macoumba Njie, in his remarks on the occasion, said the bill gives a legal backing to the Institute of Bankers of the Gambia, which was established in 2010 as the training arm of GBA, to stand as an autonomous national institute that provides training in banking and finance to chartered level.

The bill was presented by GBA legal adviser Omar F. Mbai.