Last week (w/c 24 October), International Director Alastair Tyler and Trade Finance Consultant Patricio Fernandez delivered the first week of a four week programme on developing bank and finance capacity in Cuba to 30 commercial bank executives and senior managers.
This programme was developed by The London Institute of Banking & Finance, in close consultation with the Central Bank of Cuba and the British Embassy in Havana, and is funded by the UK government. It is a key element of a wider programme from the UK government supporting Cuba's economic development, as well as developing trade links between the two nations. It follows Philip Hammond, UK Foreign Secretary's visit to Cuba in March 2016 (he was the first UK Foreign Secretary to visit since the 1958 revolution).
The programme covers the Principles of Finance and Risk (including the new international regulatory framework) and how to build and enhance bank and finance capacity in Cuba (including trade finance and payments). All of the course delegates showed a real passion for learning and one of the delegates explained how the course was proving to be so beneficial: "as financial markets had only really existed in their imagination."
The launch of the programme was celebrated with a dinner attended by the British Ambassador, two Vice-Presidents of the Cuban Central Banks and five Presidents of the Commercial Banks, who were all keen to emphasise that they see this programme, as just the start of a much broader relationship with The London Institute of Banking & Finance. This includes potentially playing an advisory role to support plans for Cuban banking system to move away from (an almost exclusively) cash based payments system.
The launch was received extremely well and was even featured on the UK Government’s own website
, having been published by the British Embassy in Havana:
Cuba is a beautiful country to visit; combining its rich history, evidenced by the many architectural wonders that can be found in Old Havana, as well as a range of American cars and bikes from the 1950s (all still very much in use) with its wonderful people who offer a generous and warm welcome.
We are already looking forward to returning in January to deliver the final week of this programme.