TTB's Digest

TTB's Digest


107.12台灣銀行家雜誌第108期 / By Zhao You-De (趙有德)

Special Report on the 9th Elite AwardsCreating a New Financial Future
The Taiwan Elite Awards, known as the “Oscars” of the financial world, have long been a focus of the Taiwan financial industry. A large number of industry participants submitted projects in contention for the prize. The list of winners not only showcases the latest trends, but also the outstanding performance of domestic banks.Known as the “Oscars” of the financial industry, the Elite Awards, held biennially by the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (TABF), attract a large number of financial industry competitors. Not only do the winners each time reflect the latest trends, but the participants also observe each other through the process, spurring each other to progress and innovate.Setting the industry standard since 2002As a professional training institution, TABF has been promoting financial institutions to rise to meet the challenges of financial market changes. Because professionalism and innovation are the lifeblood of industry growth, and the only way to maintain a competitive advantage, the Elite Awards have established industry benchmarks and standards since 2002. We therefore take this opportunity to recognize financial companies who are breaking through barriers, actively innovating, and emphasizing talent development and risk control, without neglecting corporate social responsibility (CSR). After 16 years, the Elite Awards have become a platform for financial peers to learn from each other. Award winners can burnish their corporate image through exposure opportunities. It is an important indicator of steady growth, advancement, and operating strength.Chung-Shu, Chairman of TABF, noted that 36 financial institutions submitted 102 cases to the competition this year, a new high for the number of candidates and the degree of competiveness. After three months of vigorous initial, secondary, and final review, a final list of 35 cases from 20 institutions was unveiled, giving the world a window into the excellent continuous improvement and innovation performance of domestic financial institutions. Content innovation is key The number of candidates in this year’s competition reached a record high, and they were well-matched in content innovation strength. To sum up the characteristics of this year’s prizes, financial institutions whose organizations, cultures, and institutions actively responded to changes in industrial or social structure, or took care of the needs of the most vulnerable social groups, were favored by the judges. Wu believes that remarkable achievements of Taiwan’s financial industry in transformation and innovation are evident. In anticipation of future trends, the Best Social Enterprise Award was divided into “general financial groups” and “grassroots financial institutions” based on institutions’ scale and attributes. The Best Overseas Development Award was likewise divided into “domestic banks” and “foreign banks.” In addition, the numbers of all awards were adjusted to fully reflect the times. Selection is based on the materials submitted by the participants, and does not focus on performance, so banks of any size can participate. All they need is innovative and effective products.Wu encourages institutions that did not win prizes not to get discouraged. The purpose of these changes is to improve the awards, bringing them more in line with the expectations of the industry and the public. The awards are meant not to praise only a few institutions worthy of recognition, but to encourage the industry to enhance its competitiveness, starting from a good foundation.Notably, in the early years, the main prize was mostly won by foreign banks, while in recent years it has become more of a competition between private and public banks. This year’s awards further differentiates between different industry subsectors, giving financial institutions of the same type or with the same characteristics the opportunity to stand on the same platform, and to demonstrate their advantages and compete with other similar institutions. For example, grass-roots institutions like credit cooperatives and agricultural associations, and foreign banks performed well this year. Wu explained that in addition to inviting finance experts and scholars from industry, government, and academia, in order to demonstrate the credibility of its decisions, the judge panel also recruited media judges to make the selection process more fair and impartial. The judges remained conscientious, rigorous, and professional during the process, highlighting the significance and value of the Elite Award. New demands require new ideas and methods. Winners will go on to lead the development of the industry. In the area of green financing, for example, with the industry booming in Europe and the US, Taiwan was originally just a follower, but now is a golden time for the financial industry – especially as the government focuses on promoting green energy. With good implementation, the industry may further expand into Southeast Asia, and eventually out into the world.For environmental sustainability, CSR (including green financing) has long been an important approach. Corporations should not only pay attention to their own profits, but also actively fulfill their responsibilities to train talent, reduce carbon emissions, and protect the environment. Most of the leading contenders for CSR stuck to the core function of continuity through product and service integration.Fintech starts with human resource developmentAt the same time, Wu also lamented the unfamiliarity of the industry with green financing. Aside from a few particularly enthusiastic players, most of the industry remains on the sidelines. He believes that project assessment is difficult and risky, but as foreign institutions actively participate, the industry is encouraged to break out and go overseas. “The industry is very hot overseas. Although we are late in the game, we still have time. We need to strengthen cultivation of talent and allow experts to accumulate more experience.”TABF frequently helps the industry organize certification training courses. Expert training is an area where financial institutions require further strengthening. Facing an increasingly complex and automated financial environment, practical expertise is still in high demand. Instead of relying solely on simulations, as before, banks must cultivate problem-solving skills, and make decisions flexibly based on automated systems. The future will be customized. Meanwhile, Fintech has become an important battleground. Industry players have invested heavily in expertise and information systems – a trend encouraged by the Elite Awards. Wu also looks forward to seeing more amazing applications here in the future.As the Fintech boom sweeps the world, more cross-border competitors are joining the ranks – and not only in the financial industry. Wu encourages these entrepreneurs to take a positive view. The more competitive the business environment, the more progress occurs. “The most important factor is that we aren’t closing the door.” He says that as more E-commerce and social media startups promote financial services, the Elite Awards may open up in the future, centering on financial services of all sorts. A bridge to the 5+2 industriesLooking forward, the financial industry is the bellwether of a country’s entire economy. It stands at the crossroads of the current transformation. Wu said that the government is actively promoting innovation in the “Asian silicon valley,” smart machinery, green energy, biotechnology, defense, new agriculture, and “circular economy” sectors. These sectors, driving the core of Taiwan’s next-generation industry growth, can consider how to use the “5+2 Industrial Transformation Plan” to form Taiwan’s key niches. Abundant funds from the financial system can also help establish an important bridge with key industries. As the world gradually deepens its dependence on the internet, the future will belong to Fintech, led by the digital economy. Applications like cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) will create possibilities for innovative development and new business models for financial institutions.The financial industry became a trillion-yuan industry in 2014. With high salaries, many jobs created, high value-added, and stable yearly growth, it’s a major contributor to the economy. Its role is not only behind-the-scenes. Under reasonable conditions, it can improve the national economy plan Taiwan’s development vision and position in South Asia and the world.In this way, the industry can grow together with the domestic economy, and contribute its resources for the betterment of all of society. Financial resources can be channeled to the real economy to play a multiplier effect. Wu also expects each subsequent Elite Awards to grow stronger, becoming a benchmark for the whole industry.


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