UAE Banks Federation AGM approves 2023 strategy to develop banking sector and enhance its leading position
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 28 April 2023
UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the unified representative and voice of the UAE banks, recently held its annual general meeting (AGM) under the chairmanship of H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, Chairman of the Federation. The meeting was attended by the members of the Board of Directors and representatives of the member banks.
At the meeting, the members approved the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 26 April 2022, the audited financial statements and the auditors' report for 2022. The General Meeting also absolved the Board of Directors from liabilities arising from their duties for the financial year ending 31 December 2022 and appointed the auditors for 2023.
The AGM also approved the objectives and strategic plans for 2023 presented by the UAE Banks Federation Board of Directors, which aim to further develop the banking sector and strengthen its position under the supervision of the Central Bank of the UAE. The objectives of the plan include strengthening Emiratisation in line with the UAE banking sector's goal of employing 5,000 UAE nationals by 2026 to increase Emirati participation in the banking and financial sector. To this end, UAE Banks Federation plans to work with the Emirates Institute of Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) to design an advanced and long-term training programmed, which will create appropriate conditions to prepare future banking and financial sector leaders.
The AGM commended the initiatives and programmes undertaken by the Federation in the past year, underlining the importance of the national anti-fraud campaign, which has helped to raise customer awareness and strengthen confidence in the banking and financial sector. The meeting reiterated its support for the awareness and training programmes and workshops organised by UAE Banks Federation to enhance knowledge of the latest developments and provide appropriate platforms for exchanging ideas and opinions that contribute to the advancing banking sector.
Participants at the meeting highlighted the valuable efforts of the Federation in advancing cybersecurity, increasing the level of security and protection of digital infrastructure and raising awareness, such as the organisation of the largest cyber wargame in October 2022, which contributed to capacity building detection and mitigation of cyberattacks. They also underlined the importance of such workshops for sharing experiences and knowledge to improve the banking sector's preparedness against threats.
The AGM called for the continuation of initiatives to support small and medium enterprises by providing banking services that support the essential role played by them in the country’s economic development. Furthermore, the participants lauded the role of the UBF General Secretariat in strengthening cooperation with banking associations and federations in friendly countries, thus enabling dialogue and knowledge sharing.
The Annual General Meeting also commended the role of the General Secretariat in expanding membership by adding more regional, international and digital banks operating in the country, contributing to increased cooperation among all banks and financial institutions under the Federation, which now has 58 members.
H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Central Bank of the UAE for its continuous support to the Federation and guidance to its members, which enables the development of the banking sector, thereby consolidating the UAE's position among the world's major financial centres, characterised by high levels of transparency, compliance and governance standards.
His Excellency praised the close cooperation with strategic partners in ensuring the development of the sector in line with international regulations and the strategies of the UAE leadership. He stressed the importance of the Federation's achievements over the past year in facilitating cooperation, coordination and interaction with various parties, as well as the continuous efforts in adopting best practices and innovating advanced digital solutions in implementing the strategic vision of the leadership to make the UAE one of the most developed countries in embracing digital solutions.
His Excellency also thanked the Federation's member banks and advisory and technical committees for playing an essential role in sharing banking knowledge and expertise to enhance collaboration and develop innovative banking strategies and initiatives to ensure the banking sector's ability to continue its success