Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 16 September 2022: The CEOs Advisory Council of the UAE Banks Federation, the representative and unified voice of the UAE banks, held its third meeting of 2022 remotely on the 7th of September to discuss developments in the global and local banking and financial sector for the past eight months. The virtual meeting also reviewed the implementation of recommendations made at the last meeting in June 2022.
His Excellency Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, said, 'Under the direct supervision of The Central Bank of the UAE, the UAE financial sector has proven that it is capable of successfully overcoming various challenges and changes in the global economy. The sector has always been able to strike a balance between providing the best services to customers and creating appropriate environment for sustained economic growth on one hand and adhering to international standards of governance and risk management on the other, in order to ensure the safety of the sector in general.
His Excellency welcomed the International Development Bank (IDB) and Wio Bank to the UAE Banks Federation, stressing that the board's decision to expand its membership base to include digital banks (which focus on delivering services digitally) is a valuable addition to the Federation. Digital banks are important to the banking sector, as the UAE is considered one of the leading countries when it comes to keeping pace with the latest global evolvement in delivering financial services.
His Excellency Abdulaziz Al Ghurair reiterated the importance of the role that UAE Banks Federation's Advisory Council plays in discussing key issues and supporting the financial decision-making process, as the council members, who are leaders in the banking industry, possess extensive insights, experience and knowledge.
During the meeting, the CEOs Advisory Council discussed many topics and developments, as well as the continuous cooperation with The Central Bank of the UAE and meetings of relevant UAE Banks Federation committees with the various steering teams of The Central Bank of the UAE for the development of the banking sector and the adoption of best practices and implementation of optimal systems and policies.
At the meeting, members reviewed a report on the ethical sales principles presented by a global consulting firm and its recommendations and role in ensuring compliance with ethical and professional values in processing financial transactions, as well as in adopting responsible lending policies and implementing awareness programmes that provide customers with a comprehensive overview of the nature of their financial relationship with banks.
In addition, the Council reviewed the UAE Banks Federation's activities and initiatives such as Emiratisation, wealth management, the National Fraud Awareness campaign and the cyber wargaming exercise organised under the supervision of The Central Bank of the UAE and in association with Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police, the Telecommunications Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), and the Cyber Security Council. The meeting also discussed the importance of all stakeholders following best digital practices aimed at increasing the level of security and protecting the banking infrastructure.
Referring to the UAE banking sector's participation in the World Financial Communications Association Conference (Sibos) in Amsterdam next month, Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of the UAE Banks Federation, said, “The rest of 2022 will witness many initiatives and participations that are of utmost importance to the banking sector, helping to strengthen the sector's role as one of the main drivers of economic development. The UAE will participate in Sibos, which takes place in October this year, and is the world's largest annual conference and exhibition for financial institutions and decision-makers in the finance and banking sector.
The Director General added: ' The UAE Banks Federation continues to implement initiatives aimed at consolidating of our role in the development of the sector under the continuous guidance of The Central Bank of the UAE. These initiatives include supporting small and medium enterprises by providing a financial environment that meets the needs of this vital sector, as well as accelerating the pace of Emiratisation, training professional cadres, combating fraud and launching the second phase of the campaign to improve ethical selling as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the interests of customers.'
Closing the meeting, His Excellency Abdulaziz Al Ghurair thanked the participants and stressed the importance of these meetings in developing the banking sector and creating a safe and conducive environment for economic and social development in the UAE.
It is noteworthy that the 22-member UAE Banks Federation CEO's Advisory Council, established 10 years ago, comprises chief executives and General managers of local and foreign banks and financial institutions operating in the UAE.