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UBF CEOs Advisory Council meets to chart the future course for the UAE banking industry


New platform for cyber intelligence sharing is among the steps proposed to make the banking system more robust

The CEOs Advisory Council of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), a professional representative body comprising 49 member banks operating in the UAE, met in Dubai today (March 22, 2017) to discuss latest developments in the banking sector in UAE. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UBF.

Sharing his views on the state of the banking industry, H.E. Al Ghurair said, “The banking sector continue to adapt fast to both global and regional economic challenges and new opportunities, and relative slowdown witnessed is good for the long-term health of the banking sector, as it encourages players across the industry to place greater emphasis on innovation to increase business efficiency and drive future growth.”

H.E added: “Comfortable liquidity and strong capitalization in a diversified economy will help banks withstand the headwinds. On the other hand, the new regulations will help strengthen the banking sector, latest of which were regulatory frameworks for stored values and electronic payment systems and regulations re capital adequacy, which came in line with the central bank’s ambitious regulatory development programme.”

Highlights of the meeting included a presentation by Patrice Favre, Chairman of UBF Information Security Committee, where he outlined the need to further collaborate across the UAE Banking industry in order for banks to become more cyber resilient. The proposal described the benefits of creating a Cyber Intelligence Sharing Platform which will allow banks to better identify, protect, detect and respond to cyber-attacks. This will enable banks to focus their resources on implementing relevant cyber security strategies.

Sharing findings from an all-inclusive review of the performance and progress of the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in the UAE, Brian Belcher, Chairman of UBF Risk Management Committee, highlighted the importance of independent auditing to form an opinion on the accuracy, reliability and fairness of representations in the financial statements of enterprises.

By the end of the meeting, Council members also discussed how the proposed rollout of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UAE will impact the country’s financial sector members, the challenges presented by the new tax framework, and the best practices to effectively deal with VAT obligations for financial services. 

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