The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), replaces the ‘requirement for persons with significant influence in a bank’ directive within two years’ time to empower information technology (IT) professionals to serve in the financial industry at senior level without banking sector experience.
The directive no. SBB/79/2021 that comes to effect as of June 15 by amending the 2019 directive adds a paragraph on ‘fit and proper criteria’ of article 5 sub article 1.3 (a) (ii) for senior executive officers a sub article.
The 2019 SBB/70/2019 directive article 5 sub article 1.3 (a) (ii) stated that senior executive officer, who is a deputy for the president or CEO, should have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in banking, of which at least four years should be experience as department manager. This is also not touched on the newly amended directive signed into effect by Yinager Dessie, Governor of NBE.
Meanwhile it added that IT professional without banking industry experience can take the post in a financial industry in technology sector. The directive states “however if the position is on IT or related fields, experience in IT related fields which may not necessarily be banking related shall also be considered as relevant experience.”
“Nevertheless, such person shall take a minimum of 5 days training on core banking business functions including credit, saving, international banking and other core functions once she/he assumes the position of senior executive officer and certificate of training shall be filed to the NBE accordingly,” the directive added.
In this regard experts in the industry reminded the recent development seen at the state financial giant Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) that assigned Amare Assefa as Information Systems Vice President without banking experience.
Amare, with education background of electrical, electronics, and communication engineering from Addis Ababa University had served as Chief Operating Officers at Ethio Telecom before he went to CBE.
Financial industry experts told Capital that the NBE move is a right decision since the financial industry is very dynamic particularly on the digital age “specific sector needs relative background rather than tight criteria.”
It was recalled that the 2019 directive that replaced the 2012 SBB/54/2012 directive came up with major changes particularly on years of services for the CEO and deputy posts.
The 2012 directive mentioned 10 years’ and 8 years’ experience for the CEO and deputies respectively, while has increased to 12 years’ and 10 years respectively by the SBB/70/2019 directive.
The SBB/70/2019 directive has also added that a senior executive officer, if directly reporting to the board of directors (mainly chief internal auditor and chief risk and or compliance officer) shall have a minimum of 8 years experience in banking, of which, at a minimum 3 years shall be in managerial position.