Finance Students Attend the 9th National Finance Summit

Article/News by: Mark Rosales, Prudenz Lorredo, Zhen Herrera, Eloisa Arambulo, Kristine Mae Basilio and Angelina Agayon
Date Posted: January 20, 2018

Thirty two Cordians join the much awaited 9th National Finance Convention January 13, 2018 at SMX Convention Center Manila. Organized by the Junior Confederation of Finance Associations – Philippines, with the “National Finance Summit: The Power of Financial Inclusion the event attracts over 5,000 Finance students coming from different State, Universities and Colleges all over the Philippines .

The summit started at 9am in the morning with the first speaker is Mrs. Chuchi G. Fonacier, the Deputy Governor and Head of Supervision & Examination Sector at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas since July 2017 and a Certified Public Accountant and a holder of a Career Service Executive Eligibility for Public Servants. Mrs. Fonacier focused on the following key points: the BSP and its mandate, the BSP operating environment, BSP’s supervisory framework, and banking on the future.

She explains that BSP engages in nature building through their three pillars, the formulation of monetary policy, banking supervision, and the functioning to the efficient and reliable payment and settlement system. The BSP works for financial stability so we can all enjoy an environment for businesses, commerce and industry. She added that last Thursday (January 11, 2018), the BSP monetary board approved the policy in basic deposit account, with this policy opening a bank account is worth less than a hundred pesos and there is no maintaining balance and zero percent reserve reform. Through the BSP pursuit meaningful financial structural reform along with policies and action of national agencies and private sector, the Philippines currently enjoys financial and macroeconomics stability. The IMF reports that our global economy improves significantly in 2017, this growth path expected to continue in 2018, meaning there will be more business opportunities in terms of trades and investments coming from global market. The Philippines is one of the fastest growing investment in Asia and in the world. Our banking is well managed and capitalize, and those quality was maintained despite of continued expansion in the bank’s loan portfolio. Through the BSP supervisory framework they ensure that they can effectively deliver their mandate to promoting safety and soundness in financial system. The BSP subscribe to a traditional supervisory approach and this can be characterized as rules based. Banking in the future, she said that almost ½ or 48% of BSP’s employees are millennials, so the banking on the future is really on the hand of the millennials.

The 2nd speaker Mr. Eugene Acevedo, a Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Mass Market and Financial Inclusion Executive at Union Bank of the Philippines and Chairman of the Board at City Savings Bank, Inc., Mr. Acevedo discussed the ‘Financial Inclusion 101’ that includes the ‘Why’s and How’s in Addressing the Issues’. He said that the Philippines has the second largest population in the Southeast Asia (103M) and majority of its population are of working age. In 2015, 63.5% of the population were included in the working-age with the median age of 23. But why is Mass Market still underserved? It is because 47% of Filipino adults take loans but 72% borrow from informal sources while ‘Sangla-ATM’ remains the most popular form of collateral – ATM card comprises 40%, land is 22% and 12% from appliances. Usually, people who borrow from informal sources and those who ‘sangla’ are people below middle class and in badly need of money. And with a high rate of interest, it would be hard for them to get out of indebtedness. Today, microfinance offers average loan of Php8,000 for every individual who may need help in their finances. But there are still 36% of 1,634 municipalities that remain unbanked. High loan rates are offset by high operating expenses. They are largely decentralized, manual processed, cash-based, and has manpower-incentive.

There are 5,552 Non-Bank Financial Institutions in the Philippines, 471 Rural Banks, 60 Thrift Banks, and 22 Universal Banks. He also added that in financing, consumers want ease, speed, and approval. Before achieving these, there are three fundamental challenges. First is the Credit Scoring Problem. A consumer is part of a community; community means data, data that includes the products and services a consumer purchase. Second is the Network and Outlet Problem. Nowadays, there are lots of physical outlets for digital retail and corporate payments. It can be considering as an outlet if its location has large number of people, costly and requires long time to set up a branch network, accepts small deposit and extend loans, and lastly, geographically dispersed. Third is the Cash Problem. Consumer still prefers cash payment over electronic payments. 99% of all peso payments were executed in cash. Why? Well, the reasons are (1) large unbanked population, (2) predominance of informal businesses, and (3) lack of trust and certainty with electronic payments.

The third speaker is Mr. Edward Lee, the Founder and Chairman of the Board of COL Financial, highlighted the “3 Basic Laws of Money” the Save, Invest, and Reinvest. To be successful, you need to be more aggressive in saving money than spending. According to Mr. Lee “Eventually saving is not enough you also need to learn how to invest and reinvest to grow more money”. He also added one example on how to save, invest and reinvest, how people place value on the money that they have, the Latte Factor, it is about looking at the small things you spend your money on every day and putting aside as little as a few pesos a day for your future rather than spending it on little purchases such as lattes on Starbucks. We don’t even realize how much we’re actually spending on these lattes, if we did think about it and change our habits we could actually change our destiny. After that he tackled the Disruption in Fintech Insights on Cryptocurrency. The biggest disruption in fintech is the block chain which is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds. He also added the risk of cryptocurrency which is the Financial loss, Fraud and Cybercrime, Theft or Loss, Computer outage or cyberattack, and Lack of regulation. Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency. Mr. Lee said “Bitcoin is a digital currency and offers peer to peer fund transfer”. Bitcoin is not a typical coin or hold in your hand and stick to a piggybank. A bitcoin is actually an entry on a huge global ledger called the block chain. The block chain records every Bitcoin transaction that has ever happened. He ends up his talk by saying the word of wisdom by Benjamin Franklin. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”.

The 4th speaker is Mr. Luis Gerardo Manabat, the Chairman at Manabat Delgado Amper & Co. since June 1, 2011 and also a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), and the Rotary Club of Makati West, talked about FEdCenter-Finance Education, he gave emphasis on the Financial Literacy Movement in the Philippines. Financial Literacy focuses on the knowledge of Filipinos in terms of personal finance. “The Philippines was a rich country pretending to be poor”, someone once said. But Mr. Manabat believed that we, Filipinos, are not poor we just have bad priorities, or at least have bad judgments. He added that by using publications, studies and evaluations, incidents of financial scams or controversies, the financial literacy has made an awareness to formally develop the level of Filipino Financial Literacy stated at the turn of the century. And said that what we needed today is to bring all these elements together to come up with a cohesive effort to improve Financial Literacy in the Philippines.

Over the years, various organizations have embarked on projects and activities to improve Financial Literacy namely: schools/colleges and universities, private institutions and companies, and government agencies. At present, there are so much ideas and programs out there that some confusion becomes inevitable due to differences in: Thrust and Advocacy, Disciplines and Requirements, Interest and Priorities. He also highlighted the history of FEdCenter that started around 2014-2015. A group of like-minded people from different sectors met at various times and places to lay down the foundation of the idea of bringing together their separate efforts and advocacy for improving Financial Literacy in the Philippines. He introduced the founder and chairman of FEdCenter, Mr. Anton Mauricio, the Philippine representative for Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Council, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), a Financial Consultant, and a Director of Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). Mr. Manabat also introduced the FEdCenter Executive Committees. Tiffany Go, as the Associate, Tricia Mamaril, Admin Assistant, Urika Mendoza, Manager, Aurora Santarin, Executive Director, and Mr. Luis Manabat, himself, as the President.

The last speaker is Mr. Philip Gioca, a Country Manager of Philippines and a part of the Executive Committee of some of the leading Multi-National Financial Institutions in the country and bestowed with the prestigious CEO (Communications Excellence in Organization) Excel Award by the International Association of Business Communicators Philippines. Mr. Gioca discussed the “The New Vision Board to Financial Careers.” He said that getting your first job and growing a meaningful career are in between you. In jumping to a job, salary alone does not make one happy. Companies also have expectations like attitude, field of study, asking salary, proximity of residence and internship experience. He teaches us on how to squeeze everything on our resume and added that less is more and a good resume know its own priorities: what you should write and what you should left behind. Mr. Gioca’s last words, “improve lives through better career grow, not just for yourself and your family, but also for our country.”

The annual National Finance summit is a regular activity attended by Finance students being an active member of the Junior Confederation of Finance Associations-Philippines. Dean Arnel L. Cadeliña is the moderator of the JFINEX.

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