The Board of Directors of the UAE Banks Federation, a professional body representing 49 member banks operating in the UAE, has held its first meeting following its election in April by the General Assembly. The Board re-elected H.E. Abdulaziz Al Ghurair as Chairman, and Mr. Omran Abdulla Omran Taryam as Vice Chairman for the next 3 years. The board discussed key banking issues, and continued coordination and consultation with Central Bank of UAE and other stakeholders on common issues, confirming the resilience of the banking sector given the current challenges.
During the meeting, the Board approved priorities for 2016 and reviewed the latest developments and progress on the Mobile Wallet project, decriminalization of bounced checks, initiative of the UAE Central Bank to establish a Higher Sharia Board, as well as the continuing challenge of de-risking and default in the SME sector. The Board commended the initiative of the Federation to support SMEs and Corporates in stress, by which lending banks co-operate to provide a stand-still and possible restructuring of repayments, which was launched in March.
Board members were briefed on the latest developments regarding the next “Trust Index in the banking sector”, which aims to benchmark UAE public sentiment towards banks, which is to be carried out later this year. The Board was also apprised on the preparations for the fourth edition of the ME Banking forum, which has become one of the region’s principal banking events attracting leading bankers, speakers and personalities from around the world.