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Felaban review: The secret of survival is shared in Miami

"We must address the
moral hazard in the system.
It is unfair and unsustainable
to privatize profits and
socialize losses"

Rick Waugh, Scotiabank

This year’s Felaban conference, held in Miami in November, attracted nearly 2,000 bankers to discuss how well Latin America has come through the financial crisis. Keynote speakers at the Latin American federation of banks meeting included Roberto Setúbal, chief executive of Itaú Unibanco, and Rick Waugh, president and chief executive of Scotiabank.

Both told delegates how they planned to expand their regional presence, increase profits and share their knowledge of how good risk management saved their respective banks from trouble during the recent financial storm.

Waugh discussed how regulatory committees in the US and Europe could learn from Brazilian banks such as Itaú Unibanco. Setúbal’s bank is expecting to report a return on equity of 22% at the end of the year at the same time as maintaining a capital adequacy ratio of 16.3%.

On regulation, Waugh added: "We must ensure in all these countries and all these regulatory regimes that there is collaboration and discussion. Also we must allow for big and small financial institutions to fail, but to fail in an orderly and controlled fashion.

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