President Irfaan Ali on Tuesday emphasized the urgent need for a significant transformation in Guyana’s banking sector during his address at the opening ceremony of the second annual Local Content Summit. With a particular focus on addressing scalability issues, President Ali called for banks to evolve beyond traditional financing models and adopt a more proactive and investment-oriented approach that supports the growth and expansion of local businesses.

Further, Ali highlighted the inadequacies of the current banking model, emphasizing that banks should not merely serve as repositories for deposits but rather function as dynamic engines for wealth creation. “Banks cannot— no longer be a counter that you deposit money and you get some interest and you don’t get much interest anyhow,” he noted.

He also expressed concern that the prevailing risk-averse mindset among banks limits their ability to identify and capitalize on lucrative investment opportunities, thereby stifling economic growth.

Calling for a paradigm shift in the banking sector’s business mindset, President Ali stressed the importance of embracing investment banking principles. He emphasized the role of banks in proactively identifying and analyzing market opportunities, developing comprehensive business plans, and actively engaging with clients to facilitate strategic investments.

Moreover, President Ali emphasized the need for banks to adopt a regional perspective, citing successful examples of banks that have expanded their operations beyond national borders. He underscored the potential benefits of leveraging Guyana’s growing economic capacity to explore regional opportunities, thereby enhancing the financial prospects for local businesses.

Overall, President Ali’s address at the summit underscored the imperative for a fundamental overhaul of Guyana’s banking sector. By embracing investment banking principles, adopting a proactive approach to wealth creation, and exploring regional expansion opportunities, the banking sector he said can play a pivotal role in driving economic growth and prosperity in Guyana.


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