UAE Banks Federation CEOs Advisory Council Holds its Second Meeting of 2022


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: During its second meeting for the year 2022, held on June 21st, UAE Banks Federation (UBF)’s CEOs Advisory Council discussed the latest developments in the local and global banking and financial sector for the past quarter (April to June 2022). The virtual meeting also discussed UBF’s implementation of resolutions adopted in the CEOs Advisory Council meeting of March 2022.

H.E. Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, announced forming of a second council named the CEOs Consultative Council, which comprises CEOs of banks that were not members of the CEOs Advisory Council; the new Council was created in order to take a much broader view from its member banks’ CEOs. Concurrently, a few members from the Advisory Council, established over 10 years ago, were moved to the ‘Consultative Council’ with the objective of assisting the Council’s Chairman to lead the way forward with their expertise gained while serving the Advisory Council. Meanwhile, a few CEOs were added to the CEOs Advisory Council to ensure both councils maintain sufficient diversification in representation.  

The CEOs Consultative Council will be chaired by H.E. Mohammad Omran Al-Shamsi, Chairman of RAKBANK and Vice Chairman of UBF, whereas CEOs Advisory Council will continue to be led by H.E. Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, Chairman of Mashreq Bank and Chairman of UBF Board of Directors.

The new members to join UBF’s CEOs Advisory Council include Mr. Ahmed Al Naqbi, CEO of Emirates Development Bank; Mr. Firas Darwish, CEO of Arab Bank-UAE; Mr. Waleed Hassan/Mr. Khaled Abbas, Gulf International Bank-UAE; and Mr. Omar Wehbe, CEO of Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait-UAE. The meeting also greeted Mr. Shirish Bhide, the new CEO of United Arab Bank.

During the meeting, the Advisory Council discussed many important topics and developments, particularly the continuous cooperation with the Central Bank of the UAE. Members further discussed the meetings of UBF’s specialized technical committees tasked with enhancing the banking sector through adopting best practices and enhancing banks’ policies.

CEO’s Advisory Council’s members also lauded the continuous and coordinated efforts made by the Central Bank of the UAE, with complete support from UBF and its members, to increase the pace of Emiratisation in the sector through enhancing the skills and qualifications of Emirati youth and future banking leaders.

Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of UAE Banks Federation, briefed the attendees on the recently-hosted dinner meeting with H.E. Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of U.S. Treasury and his accompanying delegation from the Department of U.S. Treasury and U.S. Consulate and Embassy in the UAE, with the CEOs of several UBF member banks. The dinner meeting discussed several critical topics, including risk management and procedures developed to protect from various threats and challenges, as well as the progress made by UAE banks in implementing Central Bank of the UAE’s directives to increase the effectiveness of anti-money laundering systems. H.E. Adeyemo commended the steps undertaken by UAE Banks Federation in reducing the risks faced at UAE banks.

The Advisory Council also reviewed the activities and initiatives of UAE Banks Federation, including those in wealth management, national anti-fraud campaign, compliance with professional and ethical values while carrying out financial transactions by all member banks, adoption of responsible lending policies, and implementation of banking awareness programs that provide customers with a comprehensive view of the nature of their relationship with banks. The CEOs Council also deliberated on enhancing cyber security and following best practices to raise the safety and protection of digital baking infrastructure via, among other steps taken, cyber wargaming.

 His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair thanked the participants in the meeting and underlined the importance of such gatherings as they contribute to expanding and accelerating the decision-making process in order to ensure a safe and supportive banking environment for the overall economic and social development in the UAE.

The CEO Advisory Council, established 10 years ago, has 22 members and includes the Chief Executives of local and international banks and financial institutions operating in the UAE. The Council constitutes a consultative platform to discuss banking-related issues and take decisions that are in the interest of the banking sector, to enhance UBF’s role in supporting the development of the banking process in the UAE.

UAE Banks Federation (UBF):

Established in 1982, UAE Banks Federation (UBF) is a professional representative body comprising 54 members of banks and organizations operating in the UAE. UBF advocates the interests of all its members and enhances cooperation and coordination between them in order to elevate UAE’s banking ecosystem for the benefit of members, customers, and the overall UAE economy.

UBF’s mission and objectives are focused on representing its members and defending their rights and interest. UBF provides a platform for cooperation and exchange of ideas and expertise among its members, and plays a major role in raising public awareness about the contributions of the UAE banking sector to the economic and social development of the country.

UBF has a 22-member Advisory Council consisting of CEOs and General Managers from member banks and institutions, which oversees the implementation of UBF’s policies and activities. The CEOs Council also makes directional decisions through UBF’s General Secretariat for UBF’s 25 technical and 3 advisory committees, who in turn are tasked to discuss all issues relevant to the UAE banking and financial services ecosystem.