CDB funds training for Regional Development and Indigenous Financial Institutions

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Representatives from regional Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) and Indigenous Financial Institutions (FIs) are currently benefitting from a training programme in St. Kitts which aims to address critical skills needed at various levels in these organizations. The programme is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in collaboration with the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, and is set to run for four weeks. It will host sixty two participants from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Belize, Dominica, St. Kitts and Suriname. Peter Blackman, Portfolio Manager, Private Sector Development Unit, CDB, said that “The rationale for CBD' continued support for training staff of Finance Institutions is based on the recognition of the importance of building capacity within institutions that provide financial services to key economic sectors, and in so doing, contribute to economic development within the Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) of CDB." He was speaking on Monday November 16 in Basseterre, St. Kitts, at the opening ceremony of the four-module training programme. The first module, 'Fundamentals of SME Lending', is being facilitated by Michel Williams, a former Assistant General Manager of National Bank of Dominica, as well as former President of the Dominica Bankers and Financial Institutions Association. “CDB also views training as a critical tool for improving the productive capacity within its BMCs as a means of responding to the demands of a competitive and changing social and economic environment," said Blackman. He noted that access to such training provides an opportunity for participating institutions to benefit from enhanced knowledge, tools and approaches that contribute to enhanced problem solving. It is expected that the programme will contribute to improved institutional capacity and technical skills within DFIs, including the ability to evaluate and finance SME projects, particularly those in the agricultural sector. The other modules in the training programme are Credit Appraisal with a specific focus on agricultural projects; Enterprise Risk Management focusing on key techniques to identifying, measuring monitoring and controlling risk; and Loan Recovery Management with specific focus on legal issues to better manage chronic cases of loan default. Blackman noted that the Bank has played a pivotal role over the years in addressing critical deficiencies in the operations of DFIs, and this training programme has been the flagship intervention. The first training programme was held in The Bahamas in September 2000, with the most recent one being in March 2011 in Antigua. Other interventions which have been undertaken include the CDB-funded development of a credit risk management framework for six DFIs to improve their capacity to identify, measure and manage credit risk in their lending transactions and loan portfolios.

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