Speech by H.E. AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation Middle East Banking Forum
Sunday, November 3, 2019
As-Salaam-o-Alaykum and Good Morning,
Mubarak Rashid Khamis Al Mansoori,
Governor of the UAE Central Bank;
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 7th edition of the Middle East Banking Forum.
The theme of the Forum is unlocking the Future, Shifting the Paradigm’.The technological revolution and continuous innovation in the area of financial services are forcing our industry to change.The Financial Sector,which had traditionally been very slow to adopt new technologies,now has to reinvent itself in the wake of massive change sweeping through the industry.In my view, today,
innovation and digitalization is no longer an option but a matter of survival.The small fin-techs have been disrupting the banking industry for some time now and have forced banks to take notice of them.Today many Banks have learned to collaborate with them to enhance customer experience or improve efficiencies.
However, there is a bigger disruptive force looming on the horizon and that is coming from the tech giants During the day we have a session dedicated to this topic and we will hear on the subject from the industry experts. In my view banks have a choice either to be a disrupter within their industry or be disrupted by a technology company. The mindset of Banks needs to change as they have to think of themselves as technology companies with a banking license. As the number of millennials increases in the bankable population it will have an impact on how financial services are delivered and how banks interact with their customers. In the digital age Banks will have to relook at customer experience end to end as that is what will define customer loyalty in the future. We have a day packed with thought-provoking, interactive panel discussions with renowned speakers and experts. I am confident that today’s sessions will not only reveal fascinating insights into this rapidly evolving sector,
But will also act as a crucial platform for exchanging knowledge, and therefore, equip everyone with the tools necessary for achieving sustainable growth. Now I would like to take a few minutes
to highlight some of the key accomplishments of UBF but before that let me place on record our special thanks to the Governor and the UAE Central Bank for their support and encouragement. I would also like to specially mention the collaboration and teamwork by all member banks whose representatives participated in various committees and came up with admirable suggestions and solutions.
Some of our achievements include:
Emirates Digital Wallet
We are ready to launch
the Emirates Digital Wallet –
a truly unique initiative collectively
created by 16 UAE banks,
the Central Bank
and the UBF.
The Emirates Digital wallet
is a person to person payment system
with a goal to eliminate
60% of cash in circulation.
The UAE Banks Federation launched Tasharuk,
a cyber-threat intelligence sharing tool
for banks to exchange information
The platform has been successful
in improving the detection and
response time to attacks,
and we are pleased to say
that more than 34 banks
and over 100 users are registered
cyber threat intelligence sharing platform.
In another push to combat financial crime,
we rolled out plans
to tackle counterfeit cheques.
Our member banks welcomed
the use of QR codes
and enhanced encryption technology
to improve cheque security.
Court Banking Experts
In close collaboration
with the Ministry of Justice and the Central Bank,
we developed an online system
for testing and
certifying banking experts
in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
As a result of this,
I am delighted to say
we have achieved a qualitative leap
in terms of ensuring
we get the best talent
for banking experts in legal cases.
Mortgage process Review
We are also conducting an end-to-end review
of the mortgage process
in coordination with the land departments
in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
with the aim of
enhancing customer experience.
Customer complaint handling Frame work
In coordination with UAE Central Bank,
we have developed
a Unified Customer Complaints Handling Framework
that streamlined the procedure
to deal with complaints
which has now been implemented.
Ethical Selling Practices
We have also developed
an Ethical Selling Practices framework
which was implemented in 2018.
We are now working with an external consultant
to assess the extent of adoption
across the banks and
on further enhancements to the framework.
AML and Sanctions Compliance framework
with the UAE Central Bank,
we also developed
a robust assessment of
the ‘AML & Sanctions Compliance Framework’
Last but not the least,
we wanted a validation
of our efforts
through a feedback
from banking services users
about their trust in the UAE banks
for which we implemented
a trust index 5 years back.
This is measured annually
and I am happy to state
that our 2018 Trust Index Survey
that 74% of respondents
had high trust in the UAE banking sector,
up from 68% the previous year.
Once again, thank you all for taking the time to be here and I hope you have a fruitful and enjoyable day ahead.