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UBF’s CEOs Advisory Council explores evolving UAE banking sector dynamics


The CEOs Advisory Council of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) held its first meeting of the year to discuss the changing dynamics of the UAE’s banking sector and explore ways to facilitate the industry’s rapid digital transformation. The Meeting, Chaired by H.E AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, focused on a number of topics, including cyberattacks and how to combat them, and progress on current UBF initiatives.
H.E. AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, said: “The UAE banking sector is undergoing an unprecedented period of transformation, with a number of dynamic market forces propelling the industry forward. It has never been more important for us to come together to identify opportunities and overcome challenges to further enhance the banking environment and contribute to the country’s economic development. With UAE Banks operating with high capital, the outlook for the sector remains positive and we are confident that it is well-positioned for future growth over the coming year.”
Cybersecurity concerns have increased for banks and their customers in recent years, largely due to the widespread adoption of digital technology across the financial services sector. To build on the current efforts of UBF and its members to tackle cybercrime, the meeting called for banks to drive awareness around the threat of cyberattacks through further education and training for employees and customers.
“While exploring our priorities for 2019, we analyzed banking, financial, and regulatory developments in the country and formulated initiatives accordingly. Due to the increasingly sophisticated attacks targeting the financial services sector, we want to embed a culture of cyber security awareness and enforcement across the country. Human error is still a major vulnerability in cyber security, so equipping employees and customers with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves from attacks is crucial,” H.E added.
During the meeting, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS addressed the Council with a presentation on the principles of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the consequences of non-compliance, and how it affects UAE financial institutions.
The council also discussed how to increase participation of an initiative launched last month to combat cheque fraud, which identified proposed improvements to the current cheque verification process, specifically how changes could be made to limit incidences of fraud and support the nation’s move towards becoming a cashless society.

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