UAE Banks Federation Committees report on busy year

DUBAI: The UAE Banks Federation’s 10 specialised committees have been commended for the valuable contribution and significant progress they have made on projects and overall co-ordination during the year at a ceremony of appreciation, hosted by the Federation in Dubai.

During the Ceremony, AbulAziz Al Ghurair presented Certificates of Appreciation to Chairmen of Committees, praising their outstanding performance, intensive efforts, and achievements done on different banking topics and related issues, stressing their vital role in studying, preparing proposals and recommendations, and getting best solutions on time.

Following the presentation of a comprehensive paper to the CEO Advisory Council on specific improvements to attract more UAE Nationals into the banking sector, the Federation’s Human Resources Committee has sought to identify new measures to enhance Emiratisation in the banking industry, as well as nationals’ career development.

Within its mandate to work on how to improve the reputation, functioning and sustainability of financial markets and financial institutions within the UAE, the Financial Markets Committee has put forward recommendations on Basel 3 liquidity implementation by UAE banks, and has contributed, in partnership with the Central Bank, to the launch of the UAE Interim Marginal Lending Facility platform.

The Retail Committee, which focuses on ways to achieve high levels of customer services and satisfaction and rights protection, has been actively involved in the development and launch of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, the implementation of the direct debit system, and the launch of the Federation’s code of conduct.

During the year, the SME Committee has proposed a definition of an SME company, and is considering a proposal on Start-up Finance, as well as reviewing plans for the extension of the Credit Bureau coverage to SMEs.

The Wholesale Banking Committee has considered a number of topics including the monitoring of large exposures, and the definition of commercial real estate.

The Islamic Banking Committee has sought to standardise the Islamic Window model, as well as formalise its structure and reporting requirements, and has also put forward its proposal and comprehensive guidelines for the establishment of a Sharia compliant Governance Unit.

Focusing on ways to enhance the resilience of the banking sector in the UAE, the areas of discussion of the Risk Management Committee have included the Basle Accords, large exposures and risk concentration, and a proposal recommending the UAE to be adopted as a netting jurisdiction.

The Compliance Committee has focused on regulatory challenges and emerging risks in order to develop consistent risk mitigation strategies for UAE’s financial sector. The Committee’s member banks have engaged in a continuing dialogue with the regulatory authorities and have achieved a tangible convergence and harmonisation of compliance practices for the financial sector.

The Legal Committee, which comprises General Counsels of some of the UAE’s major banks, offered opinions on draft laws and regulations on behalf of the Federation like the bankruptcy draft law, commercial companies draft law, and leasing finance draft law. The Committee also drafted the regulations to appoint banking legal experts, and is taking the lead in considering drafting a proposed netting law.

The Mobile Wallet Steering Committee has been heavily engaged throughout the year on the design and pre-implementation phases of the project which is now ready for implementation.