Categorized | Banking, Corporate & Business

Doha Bank honoured with Golden Peacock Award for Sustainability

49Doha Bank, the leading private commercial bank in Qatar, has been honoured with the Golden Peacock Global Award for Sustainability 2014. The Award was presented to the Bank at the 14th London Global Convention on Corporate Governance Sustainability Global Business Meet and Presentation of Golden Peacock Awards at the House of Lords, UK Parliament, Westminster, London, recently. Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO received the award from Rt. Hon. Theresa Mary May, MP – UK Home Secretary.

The theme of the summit was Boards to Lead: Effective Corporate Governance and Sustainability. Speaking at the event, Dr. Seetharaman said: “Institutions cannot afford to ignore the long-term goals and focus only on the short term. Long terms goals are achievable only when they are sustainable. Corporate structure and culture should focus on linking performance objectives with performance measures and should have a consistent design and should be implemented across the entire organisation. Improved oversight over board compositions, improved disclosure and transparency and the effective use of audit functions are key areas which require focus. Boards are increasingly considering sustainable development aspects at the committee levels. Board excellence contributes to sustainable development.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted how the Board can implement sustainable development. He said: “The Board should recognise the importance of staff, customers, communities and the risks associated with the limitations of natural resources. An understanding of these issues on the business model, long term success and ability to deliver on strategy are critical. Board diversity, which includes not only gender diversity, becomes really important in ensuring the Board is fit to drive change towards sustainable business model. Solving problems requires working across functions and this can happen if the senior team has collaborative leadership styles.”

Doha Bank has been consistently registering strong growth during the last decade, with participative leadership philosophy and has maintained a strong growth trajectory, including total asset growth, loan growth, deposit growth and shareholder equity growth year-on-year. International rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard & Poor and Fitch Ratings, have assigned a stable outlook and Capital Intelligence has assigned the same as positive for Doha Bank on account of its strong financial fundamentals, asset quality, and robust liquidity.

Dr. R. Seetharaman also participated in the session Global perspectives on Corporate Governance and spoke on the ‘Changing face of Global and Corporate Governance’. He said: “The Global Governance is giving emphasis on global economic recovery with focus on areas such as infrastructure development, trade and competition. The IMF Oct 2014 outlook, forecasts global growth to average 3.3 per cent in 2014 and to rise to 3.8 per cent in 2015. The weaker growth outlook for 2014 reflects setbacks to economic activity in the advanced economies during the first half of 2014 and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging market economies. Economies, institutions and individuals need to follow governance. It can be called corporate governance for institutions and global governance for economies. Individuals are affected by corporate governance and global governance due to the links with institutions and economies, respectively.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the areas where Global Governance gives importance in recent times. He said: “The Global Governance gives focus on economic trends such as global economic growth, financial stability and fiscal monitor. It also gives emphasis on attaining inclusive growth and improving basic services which remains a challenge for countries with growing middle classes. The Global Governance has given focus on areas relating to sustainable development such as financing development post 2015, food security, climate change and building future capacities. It has also given attention to transform World trade through Global value chains.” Doha Bank advocates green banking initiatives and some of the initiatives include, Paperless Banking, Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking, ATM Banking as well as online channels such as Doha Souq, E-Remittances and Online Bill Payments. Green Banking is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future.” Doha Bank regularly hosts numerous knowledge sharing sessions across various countries, which was attended by top experts from the region across banking, trade, manufacturing, logistics, legal sectors, etc.

Dr. R. Seetharaman also highlighted the emerging trends in corporate Governance in recent years. He said: “The fines, penalties and settlements face by global financial institutions recently, have re-emphasized the importance of Corporate Governance. UK came with stewardship code in 2010. Its principal aim is to make institutional investors, who manage other people’s money, be active and engage in corporate governance in the interests of their beneficiaries. Risk management, Remuneration and Incentive Systems, Board Skill’s and independence and Shareholder engagement are the key areas which needs focus. The functions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors are segregated. Shareholders have should be proactive and the Institutional investors should be encouraged from acting together in individual shareholders meeting provided that they do not intend to obtain the control of the company.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman said: “Technology has transformed the way we bank and is one of the main drivers behind the accelerating pace of innovation in this sector by providing a comprehensive range of financial services through the deployment of consumer-centric technology and innovative delivery channels.” Local GCC banks, appear well positioned to build upon a solid online banking trend.

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