of our colleagues was there
The 19th World Savings Banks Congress was
held in Berlin this year on June 26-29, with the motto 'Think Globally, Act
Locally, Cooperate Internationally'.
was invited to attend this congress as a pensioner of a Savings Bank from
Berlin, as all my work life was spent in a Savings Bank. More than 2,000 people
from 50 different countries attended this Congress, and I was favourably
impressed by this fact, because in East Germany we were totally isolated from
the occidental world for more than 40 years.
Congress opening speech, given by Queen Sofia, Honorary President of the World
Savings Banks Summit since 1997, impressed me specially. The German press
treated her speech in a very favourable way.
her speech, she asked the Savings Banks to maintain their social commitment in
spite of the radical changes that the financial markets had been going through:
'never before solidarity has been so much needed in our society'. Savings Banks
must adapt to the new circumstances and, at the same time, they must remain
faithful to their original objectives.
Sofia talked specially about the microcredits applied in the developing
countries in order to help people with a low income to become independent and
escape from poverty.
was also impressed by the humility shown by the Queen during her speech and with
all the participants as well. Queen Sofia represented her country
Despite the general expositions of different
participants about the changes suffered by the Savings Banks, I thought that the
practical proposals of the Spanish President of the World Savings Banks
Institute, Mr. Manuel Pizarro Moreno, were specially
Pizarro wondered why some European Savings Banks turn to another financial
institutions when they need to carry out economic transactions in other
countries. In his opinion, all the financial activities in other countries
should be made jointly, in association with Savings Banks from those countries.
We hope that this proposal will not go with the wind and will be one of the
decisions taken by the Association of Savings Banks.
we must emphasise the decentralised structure of the Savings Banks, which count
on a net that includes the communication between all these entities, making it
easier, a net all the most important speakers talked
in all, the German press emphasised the fact that the Spanish Savings Banks are
the most important banking sector in the country.