Training Bank Executives on Strengthening Governance in Banks for the Banco Central de Cuba

Corporate Governance, GBRW Consulting, GBRW Group, GBRW Learning

The overall aim of the project, funded by the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund, was to help build the capacity of the Cuban financial sector as it seeks to re-enter international markets, by updating Cuban bankers on best practice in finance and financial markets.

As Cuba expands its relationships with banks in other countries, the governance of its own banks will be increasingly closely scrutinised to ensure that it meets international standards. The up-dated guidelines on Corporate Governance Principles for Banks published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in 2015 are fairly generic so it is up to each institution’s controlling body to determine how to apply those principles in practice. Crucially, banks need to ensure that their governance and organisational models are well aligned with their strategy and operations.

The workshop addressed a number of questions that might be in the minds of banks’ controlling bodies, including:

- Is the bank’s governance structure consistent with best practice; will it enable us to spot and avoid unacceptable risks?

- What does the bank need to do to satisfy international lenders, rating agencies and stock exchanges, and thus enhance access to loan funding and capital?

- How can the efficiency of the bank be improved and its reputation enhanced, through stronger governance?

- What should be the roles and responsibilities of the different Boards, Committees and Executives, so that responsibilities are allocated effectively, avoiding duplication and misunderstandings?

- Is communication within the bank effective, and are leadership styles consistent with good governance?

- What tools and techniques can help us to formulate a strategy that will help the bank to grow and prosper?

- How can senior executives drive forward the changes that the bank’s strategy requires?

Deliverables included:

- Overall programme design

- Development of 16 tutorial modules

- Development of case studies and exercises

- Delivery of a 5-day training course in Havana by two GBRW Learning experts

- Post-course evaluation