Secondly, concerning job understanding, he argued that my feed back was not goal oriented and well timed. The recommendations he made concerning credit policies reforms in favor of SMEs geared towards the ultimate business goals of investment portfolios diversification and credit risks reduction. According to him, ultimate goal orientation should have received more emphasis than job responsibilities distinction.He said that as Vietcombank paid too much attention on monopolistic state owned enterprises which already led to high credit risks, it would be more profitable for the bank to facilitate credit procedures for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly those were in private sector, owned feasible business projects and followed flexible management models. He also argued that the loopholes in the existing legal banking system were somewhat uncontrollable and if Vietcombank waited until the general legal corridor became perfect (with low systematic risk) to start any policy reform, the bank would be left far behind by its competitors given severe competition among commercial banks in Vietnam.He insisted that certain policy reforms could have been practically carried out at low inherent risks regardless of the legal loopholes. Furthermore, my comments that he should have targeted newly established enterprises as the bank’s third potential client segment should have been given to him in time so that marketing efforts would have been done properly.
In addition, he questioned whether I had sufficient supporting data to conclude that the bank’s lost revenues would have been avoided if he had focused marketing researches on the newly established enterprises.On the one hand, Mr. To’s feedback had its own merits, particularly concerning a more proper timing of my feedback. On the other hand, his argument contained certain flaws. His duties have been to research on client segmentations, to develop client segments profiles and analyze clients funding needs. His outputs are then the inputs for the credit strategies division to develop credit policies and strategies.
Thus, I did not agree with him on his ultimate goals orientation emphasis as an excuse for his overlapping on others business functions, and for his digression from actual job duties. Furthermore, I believe that his recommendations to reform a number of the bank’s credit policies without carefully considering different aspects of the reform impacts such as additional risks on the bank, conformity of the reformed policies with the current legal system, etc. were bold but invalid. Easing regulations would bring about more business and also more risks, which sometimes unbearable for a conservative state owned bank like Vietcombank.Mr. To was quite aggressive in linking his research on marketing segmentation with his recommendations on policy reforms which took advantage of the loopholes in the banking legal system.
For instance, in order to increase credit volume, he proposed to provide long term loans for SMEs without any collateral, which was against the cautious discipline speculated in the banking law. In this area, Mr. To obviously needs more intensive training on risk analysis and better understanding of the legal system.
Generally speaking, Mr. To’s feedback helps me recognize that my feedback would have been more effective if I had made it well timed and focused on specific behaviors. For negative comments, I should have well prepared supporting data and feedbacks provided by corporate clients and the concerned divisions of the bank who often worked with Mr. To. He would have been well accepted my objective negative feedback if hard data from credible sources (corporate clients, legal division, risk management division) concerning his limited legal understanding and risk analysis skills had been accompanied.
Through this assignment, I recognize that an effective feedback not only needs to be objective and clearly understandable but also needs to focus on specific behaviors, be well timed and accompanied by hard data.