The CEOs Advisory Council of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) a professional representative body comprising 48 member banks operating in the UAE, held its fourth meeting of the year in Dubai to review the progress of the federation’s initiatives, mainly on the digitisation standard for Blockchain, as well as SMEs’ access to finance.
“The meeting was constructive and fruitful given the initiatives and proposals launched during the year with the aim of raising and enhancing standards in the UAE’s banking sector,” said AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of UBF and CEO of Mashreq. “The meeting underpinned the increasing importance of collective efforts to strengthen the sector and defend it against growing threats from cybercriminals and fraudsters as well as enhance customers’ experience through the initiatives adopted during the year, specifically, the customer complaints framework and ethical selling standards. The council reviewed progress on current initiatives on the blockchain digitisation standard as well as support for the SME sector.”
During the meeting, Fuad Mohamed, chairman of the Digital Banking Committee, presented progress made so far on the committee’s initiative to conduct a feasibility study for blockchain technology and explore opportunities for creating an industry standard to digitise various processes within the banks, as blockchain attributes of security appear to provide a potential solution for improving efficiency and the overall customers experience.
Brian Belcher, chairman of the Risk Management Committee, also addressed the council and presented several RMC initiatives on enhancing the SME lending environment in the UAE. This includes stronger market-wide support for SMEs, better auditing standards in the sector and improved due diligence by banks.
The council also discussed a selection of the latest developments and challenges in the banking sector, relevant banking regulations and the proposed roll-out of value-added tax in 2018.