2013-12-17 By Khalid al-Taie in Baghdad
Iraqi men count money at a currency exchange in Baghdad. The government recently authorised the establishment of a financial training institute to develop the skills of public banking employees. [Yuri Cortez/AFP]
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The Iraqi parliament has authorised the establishment of an institute for financial and banking training to develop the skills of government banking sector employees and bring them up to date with the latest electronic systems and technologies.
"Despite the enrolment of a number of their staff members in training courses and programmes inside the county and abroad, Iraqi banks are still in need of further efforts to train and develop human resources," he said.The decision, announced December 10th, complements other training steps taken by the Ministry of Finance, parliamentary financial committee member Abdul Hussein al-Yasseri told Mawtani.
In this regard, "the establishment of this institute would make the training process more intensive and comprehensive than before", he added.
The institute also would help to develop the technical side of daily financial transactions by training public sector banking staff on the use of modern technologies, and by creating a comprehensive electronic system that would connect the banks, he said.
This would help to improve relations between banks and customers, he added.
"Earlier this year, we organised three workshops in Baghdad, Amman and London, in collaboration with experts and specialists, to discuss the legal and legislative fundamentals and measures necessary to boost and enhance the state of banking in Iraq," al-Yasseri said.
Deputy Finance Minister Fadhel Nabi told Mawtani that since 2007, the ministry has organised training courses for its finance and banking staff as part of a bilateral strategic project in collaboration with the World Bank to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraqi banks and reform public finance administration systems.
"Training and development courses covered various fields of banking, the most notable of which were training on modern accounting data systems, how to prepare the state's annual financial budgets and the development of performance and institutional capacity to carry out customs and tax operations," he said.
The training of banking staff capacities is a "necessary step", said Abdul Aziz Hassoun, executive director of the Iraqi Association of Private Banks.
But "it will not be enough unless steps are taken to introduce advanced technology", he added.
"Our government banks are still using outdated technical methods, and there are many transactions that are still done manually," he told Mawtani. "Therefore, we believe job training will not be sufficient or feasible without the use of modern technology in the processing of all banking operations."
Public sector banks hold about 85% of the state's financial resources and assets, he said, with the remaining funds spread out to about 40 private sector banks.
"This means that the bulk of the financial operations are administered by government banking system, making it necessary to enhance this sector's efficiency and develop its structure, performance and external dealings with the banks of the world," he said