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The business of banking

J. Albert Gamboa-125


NOW that the National Capital Region and several provinces are once again placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocol in the next two weeks, everyone has more free time to indulge in leisurely activities while staying at home. Here are two newly released volumes that are recommended as reading fare during the ECQ.

The Business of Banking: Structure and Profitability; Risks and Controls is a textbook written by retired banker Deogracias Vistan. The book is primarily for Filipino graduates who decide to pursue a professional career in banking or those who choose the management track in such fields as marketing, trading, production, services, and entrepreneurship.

What makes it even more interesting is the author’s inside info on the evolution of the Philippine banking industry over the past 60 years, starting from the 1960s when a dramatic change emerged in how banks are managed. Significant events in the country’s financial sector are listed by decade from the pre-martial law era up to the year when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

This book reflects a banker’s perspective on banking as a profession, an industry, and a business. It discusses liquidity, interest rates, foreign exchange, credit line and loan processing, consumer and trust banking, treasury management, human resource development, audit and compliance, regulatory environment, and the future of Philippine banking. At the end of each chapter, there are practical cases for group discussion.

Mr. Vistan knows whereof he speaks, after more than three decades of management experience in major financial institutions. His career started in the so-called university of banking, Citibank, after which he became President of three commercial banks: Land Bank of the Philippines; the defunct Solidbank; and Equitable PCIBank, which was acquired by BDO. He also served as Chairman of United Coconut Planters Bank, Vice Chairman of Metrobank, and President of the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

Published by Anvil Higher Education, a division of Anvil Publishing, Inc., The Business of Banking is available at National Book Store branches nationwide. Anvil is the biggest tradebook publisher in the country and a nine-time Publisher of the Year awardee cited by the Manila Critics Circle.

Another ex-Citibanker, Flor Gozon Tarriela, has become a prolific writer of environmental and inspirational books. Her latest volume titled Weedibles, Weedicinals Plus Edible Flowers and More was launched last month with Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar and former Department of Health Secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan as guests of honor.

Weedibles, Weedicinals is basically a book about plants presented in simple language. According to the author, it is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional. Some of the featured plants come from Ms. Tarriela’s nature haven in Antipolo City called Flor’s Garden, a five-hectare bird and butterfly sanctuary just an hour’s drive from Ortigas Center.

Ms. Tarriela recently retired as Chairman of Philippine National Bank. She was the first Filipina Vice-President of Citibank and served as Finance Undersecretary in between her banking stints. Her love for gardening was inculcated by her mother, Carolina Gozon, and nurtured by her Earth School partnership with Dr. Galvez Tan, whom she credits for elevating her medicinal plant advocacy.

Highly recommended for the “plantitos” and “plantitas” who have multiplied all over the archipelago during this prolonged lockdown, this book published by the Agricultural Training Institute in Trece Martires City may be ordered either through atirtc4a@gmail.com or florsgarden@yahoo.com. Indeed, it is an expression of support for the DA’s flagship “Plant, Plant, Plant” program as a pandemic recovery response toward long-term food security and prosperity.


J. Albert Gamboa is the chief finance officer of Asian Center for Legal Excellence and co-chairman of the FINEX Week Committee. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these instiutions and BusinessWorld.