Finastra event highlights how bank treasurers can navigate the economic storm to manage risk and support long-term growth
Dubai, UAE – August 24, 2023 – Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, brought together senior stakeholders at banks – such as C-suite executives, treasury directors and directors of risk – for an event in Ethiopia. Hosted in August, the event highlighted challenges faced by bank treasurers in light of the volatility in financial markets, high inflation and interest rate environments, changing customer demands and increasing regulatory pressures.
During a keynote, Jigar Dedhia, Head of Solution Consulting MEA, Treasury & Capital Markets at Finastra, highlighted that more volatility in Ethiopia’s FX market is expected this year, as the country’s debt poses significant risks to its economy and currency. Positive sentiment remains, as banks in Ethiopia posted their highest growth rate in 6 years, but inefficiencies could lead to missed revenue opportunities. 60% of the value created by top performing banks in a postcrisis recovery is generated within the first two years (McKinsey). Jigar emphasized that by investing in a treasury management system now, banks can effectively hedge their balance sheet risk and take advantage of the opportunity for growth.
The keynote was followed by a panel discussion, where Jigar was joined by Hassen Mohammed, VP, Information Systems at Hijra Bank, Makram Salloum, Regional Head of Sales for Africa, Treasury & Capital Markets at Finastra and Zerihun Girma, Director of Risk and Compliance at ZamZam Bank. The panelists discussed how banks can redefine their treasury departments in the modern financial services landscape.
Key takeaways include:
- Regulation adds more pressure: Ethiopian banks are facing more challenges of complying with complex regulations. For instance, banks must comply with the ISO 20022 messaging standard, International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) and directives to ensure effective liquidity management practices. Costs and time to implement these changes can be significant.
- Increased agility for volatility: Automation, cloud and microservices, straight-through processing and analytics are all critical components for a modern treasury. Banks need richer functionality, modular and scalable solutions for effective asset liability management and to adapt more quickly to new customer, industry and regulatory demands.
- Embracing innovation: Newer technologies such as AI can analyze vast amounts of financial data in real-time, enabling treasurers to make quick, informed and proactive decisions. These algorithms can detect patterns and anomalies that might be missed by traditional methods, improving the accuracy of forecasts and reducing the potential for errors.
- Importance of collaboration: Through open finance and APIs, Ethiopian banks can collaborate with technology companies to increase their speed of innovation and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) when rolling out new solutions. By tapping into an ecosystem of fintechs, they can quickly and seamlessly implement value-added services to future-proof their business and decrease time to value. Remaining competitive ultimately depends on a bank’s ability to provide great products, knowledge, technology and customer service.
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Finastra is a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, and launched the leading open platform for innovation, FusionFabric.cloud, in 2017. It serves institutions of all sizes, providing award-winning software solutions and services across Lending, Payments, Treasury & Capital Markets and Universal Banking (Retail, Digital and Commercial Banking) for banks to support direct banking relationships and grow through indirect channels, such as embedded finance and Banking as a Service. Its pioneering approach and commitment to open finance and collaboration is why it is trusted by over 8,000 institutions, including 45 of the world’s top 50 banks. For more information, visit finastra.com.
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