Chinese Bankers Begin Training at OSU Program

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Oklahoma banking is finding its way into yet another international arena with 14 Chinese bankers who are set to begin classes today at Oklahoma State University.

The officers and managers are from the China Investment Bank and are in the state for 10 weeks of instruction in American banking practices.

Last month, 15 bankers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania completed three-week internships at banks in Oklahoma. They began their tour in the state in May with the two-week resident session of Oklahoma City University's Jack T. Conn Graduate School of Community Banking.

The Chinese bankers at OSU are from one of four state-owned national banks created to make investment decisions independent of the country's central bank, the People's Bank of China. The country had only one bank until an economic reform policy expanded the banking system.

The investment bank was created in 1981 and has branches in 22 provinces. It has business relations with more than 200 overseas financial institutions. Besides the investment bank, China also has a commercial bank, agricultural bank and communications bank.

The bankers are required to take instruction in free-market banking practices by the World Bank, which loans money for the China Investment Bank to loan to small to medium-sized Chinese businesses.

The OSU College of Business Administration won a $46,025 contract from the World Bank to provide the program. The curriculum includes classroom instruction, field trips to banks, two Federal Reserve units and cultural sites. They also will receive instruction in English as a second language.

OSU got involved in the program in the spring after being approached about it by a Stillwater resident and economic development consultant to the World Bank, Jiping Zhang.

"This was her idea," said Dr. Gary Simpson, who holds the Oklahoma Bankers Association Chair of Commercial Bank Management. "She came to us and wondered if we would be willing to do this. She had worked with OSU on some agriculture-related programs."

The course was designed around the specific needs of the Chinese bankers and include an introduction to the American financial and free enterprise systems. The bankers also were interested in learning about our double-entry accounting system and legal system.

Simpson said the banker-students will work on the school's computer simulation, which will allow them to make decisions as if they were managing an American bank and then see the results.

Other subjects to be covered include money and capital markets, futures and options, commercial bank management, risk analysis, investments and international marketing.

In addition to the classroom teaching, the Chinese bankers will take several field trips. They will visit banks in Stillwater, Oklahoma City and Tulsa and the Oklahoma Bankers Association, Enterprise Square, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Infomart.

Simpson said OSU may be able to repeat the program next year if everything goes well.

Sponsors of the program, besides the business college, include OSU's business extension and international programs. . . Don Abernathy Jr. has been chosen president and chief executive officer of The Bankers Bank, 5801 N. Broadway. He will direct the seven-year-old organization's strategic planning and business development. The Bankers Bank provides correspondent banking services for about 100 banks in the state.

Abernathy has 15 years of banking experience in the Oklahoma City area. …