90 young leaders from across the country learned about bank innovations, customer service and leadership from Ana Aboitiz – Delgado, UnionBank's Vice President and Business Head for Credit Cards and Riella Guioguio, CitySavings' Vice President for Finance at the 10th Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit (AFLBS) last November 06 at Marco Polo Plaza, Cebu City with the theme "A Decade of Building Future Leaders".
Elevating Lives and Fulfilling Dreams
Being a banker is not just all about deposit s or loans, more so it's being able to challenge the convention to develop smarter solutions for the customers – this is what the UnionBank brand is all about. By listening to them, the bank was able to come up with intelligent, relevant solutions and customer driven innovations whether on a completely new solution or a new feature for an existing product.
Some notable examples are a corporate collections solution for a multinational beverage company which gives them real-time reports; the latest version of BusinessCheck, a simple and easy to use check writing software, which enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to generate Certificates of Withholding Tax (CWT) electronically; U-Share, UnionBank's innovative end-to-end solution which provides a better way for non-profit organizations to get worldwide donations online; the affinity credit cards that keep the school spirit alive and at the same time lets the alumna donate his/her reward points to the school; and the fully customized ePaycards which serves as a payroll card personalized and branded according to the company's preference.
UnionBank has always been true to their brand attributes of REaCh (Relevant, Expert and Challenging Convention) and what makes them a cut above the rest is that they recognize the drivers of these brilliant innovations, the bank's greatest asset – their people, who worked hard to ensure that there is a tailor-fit solution for their customers' needs.
Dubbed as UnionBank's shining star – CitySavings was founded in December 1965 as Cebu City Savings and Loan Association (CCLSA) with a simple vision to help people of moderate means. Now with 99 branches nationwide and still growing, the bank is geared towards making the financing experience for the public school teachers easy and convenient, ensuring high touch at any level of customer interaction.
"Looking back, I was thankful that those times when we needed money for our children, CitySavings was there, they saved me from loan sharks." said Melinda Yakit, a public school teacher from Catarman, Northern Samar. A similar story was shared from Carmelita Abadiano, a public school teacher from Hinabangan, Samar who is now a proud mother of a nurse and secondary teacher thanks to CitySavings' financial support.
The bank also gives back to the communities where they operate through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) programs. CitySavings has partnered with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) for a three day values integration and teambuilding for DepEd teaching and non-teaching personnel which to date has trained eight regions and four divisions. Also since 2010, the bank has been actively supporting the department's annual Brigada Eskwela benefitting more than 170 public schools for 2015 alone.
As CitySavings marks its 50th year anniversary this 2016, the bank will continue to keep things simple and deliver the best customer service there is.
"Banking is not just about the money you are able to move around, or the information you are able to provide. But rather it is about the lives you are able to change as a result of that." shared Ana.
A testament that in Aboitiz, one rises from the ranks not just because of age or seniority but by capabilities and contributions is 2008 Don Ramon Aboitiz Award of Excellence (DRAAE) awardee, Riella Guioguio. From her humble beginnings up to her current post at CitySavings, she recalled and shared her leadership journey and key takeaways.
A common misconception about millennials (born early 1980s to early 2000s) is that they are the "ME ME ME" generation. They are said to be lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents. But this generation has a lot of potential. A young leader like her, Riella proved that age is not an obstacle to become a leader and make a difference in this world. One has to have the courage to take hold of your fate, pursue your dreams and not be limited by circumstances.
A leader must be able to coach, be flexible, and build relationship with his/her team. Under her leadership, Riella empowered each member of the Controllership and Central Processing Services (CPS) – Accounting teams to stand up and perform excellently in their respective tasks because being a leader is more than and not just about the position.
A leader needs to see employees as a whole; his/her total dimension as a person - a body to live, a mind to learn, a heart to love and a spirit to leave a legacy. Work need not be all about targets or deadlines, there should be work-life balance. Through technology, creativity, persistence and sense of purpose, the Centralized Accounting System (CAS) was born. Thanks to the CAS core team led by Riella and the IT developers, the bank now has an automated accounting system for the convenience of its users and a more productive environment for the accounting team. A transformational leader is able to challenge and inspire others with purpose and excitement.
"The fact is that you can only go so high in your own strength. You can reach a certain level with your education, your talent and your ability, but it's the goodness of God, that will open doors you could not open on your own." shared Riella.