Minister Aído on the radio, the 'Estatut' in the
Roja' inspired, our tennis victories, motorbikes flying... and,
as a seasoning, the De Juana's escape to Venezuela is on everybody's lips. All
this is reflected in the media in the first week of summer, while the cleaning
services of Madrid labour to clean the dirt of the streets after the march of
the gay, who continue mistreating their pride as if it were a vulgar 'botellón'.
And it is better not to mention the underground whose dimensions has have been
reduced to less of a half of its dimension, just in case someone tries to burst
it like a firecracker in a Midsummer festival. Some hothead could be able to do
it; and this is because, like 'el Gallo' said, there are people of all kinds.
And, yes, it was time; localized and fleeting umbrellas in
the north to not get wet and sunshades widespread in the south to not get brown.
Summer has arrived. So, as always, we adapt to the season because the change is
inevitable and, also, forecasted. It is the nature cycle.
Another relevant issue in the economic section is the
restructuring of the Savings Banks, which has been dealt under some stress – the
orchestral batons, being rigid and arrhythmic, forget the metronome and stop the
phrasing- at the bottom of a threatening volcano that urges them on: the
Reality is changeable and demands dynamism and action. The
expansive tendencies of the last years invading others' territories favour the
uprooting and destroy one of the characteristics that defined the Savings Banks
in their origin: the local field, their natural field of action. With time, some
of their qualities such as clientele, investment and operating have been mixed
with characteristics of banks also as a consequence, of the liberalizing and
aggressive policies that confuse, when they do not annul, the differences. And
we already have the first example of a new application of benefits (but not
surpluses): the benefits of non-voting stocks.
It will not be the last one. The Savings Banks belong to a
part of the financial system and the up to now things prove that the need to
adapt to the current circumstances is urgent for everybody. It is necessary for
their stay. With these conditions, what is left of the primitive Savings Banks?
The memory of a decrepit Savings Statute of 1933? The protectorate of the
Treasury and Employment Departments, barely noticed? The Mounts of Piety? For
the history. The benevolent fund, maybe.
If the situation is this, it will be necessary to
strengthen the Spanish financial system, by remodelling its nets and improving
its solvency. This is due to the challenges of our globalized world, which
influence in its effectiveness by limiting it with a more expensive financing
and the reduction of margins. In addition, the increase of the slowness in
paying affects to the profitability, liquidity and solvency of entities.
As for the Savings Banks,
as financial entities, they must be supervised by the Spanish Bank. Besides, it
is said that there are too many interests and interferences. The representation
of the Public Administrations in their organs of government must be reduced to
the minimum. In 1984, the draft bill for the arrangement of Savings Banks
(LORCA) of minister Boyer caused the strong criticism of the National
Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA): 'Strain in the Savings Banks', was the
headline of the economic press in those days.
It is good to show the many virtues they have been
developing through the years. But not being nostalgic of the past times. It will
be necessary to decant them like the wine, clean them of dregs; transport them
from one fragile pot to another one that must appear reinforced by the potters'
hands. Both the right and the wrong answer are in those hands. Today, the
circumstances to which we have to adapt are different, as a consequence of a
long process driven by us all.
The noble use of
money is an expression rescued from the utopia trunk that guards one of my
best friends, who is an enthusiastic and a proud defender of the basis of the
Savings Banks. Maybe this expression could guide the social side of Savings
Banks to participate in this contradictory and complex moment. This social side
is able to resist financial scandals or solve the anachronism of the Mounts of
Piety with new labels (have you noticed the increasing number of second hand
shops and establishments that buy gold... with lucrative interests?).
Besides, it can show the need and usefulness of refuges in
their social security function of protecting and promoting to redeem the victims
of violence against women, degrading illnesses, the creation of food banks or
NGOs, for example...
There is a great number of companies that contribute
actively and voluntarily to social improvement and are involved in altruistic
projects. That is the 'social management' that is being consolidated
successfully, already practised by a lot of companies that voluntarily
self-impose ethical rules, when some others still do not have sensibility to
participate. Probably, this new managerial philosophy committed to the
eradication of poverty -in its broadest sense- was the appropriate path to
channel the traditional application of the benefits of Savings Banks these days,
for their transparency and mutual profit, which is obtained by favouring the
alliances with sensible companies for the implementation, development and
supervision of the assumed projects. Up to now, the synergic results obtained in
this kind of actions are very satisfactory.
Living now we invent the future.
Antonio Aura IvorraJubiCAM -