UBF’s 2018 annual report highlights well-capitalised, highly liquid UAE banking sector

ABU DHABI, UAE Banks Federation, UBF, has officially released its annual report for the year 2018, shedding light on the significant progress and achievements of UBF and UAE banking sector, as well as major developments and trends in local and regional economies.

The report highlights an increased number of UBF activities, achievements, and outcomes, and that the UAE banking sector remains well-capitalised, highly liquid, sound, and stable, all of which is solidifying the foundations of financial stability in the UAE.

The bank has also launched and contributed to a number of key initiatives designed to boost innovation and further strength in the UAE banking sector. Among these initiatives is the Emirates Digital Wallet Company, which was initiated by the federation with the participation of 16 major UAE banks with the aim of contributing to financial inclusion.

Other initiatives include cybersecurity intelligence system, the ‘Tasharuk’ Platform, designed for the sharing and exchange of information on cyber threats between UBF and bank members, and the ‘Courts Banking Experts Accreditation’, an online system launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the UAE Central Bank for testing and certifying local banking experts.

The Ethical Selling Framework, the Customer Complaint Handling Framework, the Higher Shari’a Authority, and the AML and Sanctions Compliance also comprise the initiatives UBF engaged in this year.

Commenting on UBF’s successful 2018 results, AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, said, “I am pleased to announce that 2018 was a productive year for both the UAE Banks Federation and the UAE that has continued to provide instrumental support and guidance to our ever-growing banking sector. The UAE banking and financial sector has maintained its robustness and high performance with a strong and diversified national economy, a safe and stable political and economic climate at the national level, and the optimal use of financial and human resources.”

Total banking assets at the end of December 2018 reached US$780 billion, maintaining the UAE banking sector’s position as the largest in the Arab world. As the sector embraces new initiatives and developments, and with increased regulation and compliance requirements, prospects for 2019 and beyond appear promising.

The report also shows that the soundness of the banking sector remained positive in 2018. Furthermore, banks operating in the UAE remained well-capitalised, with the Capital Adequacy Ratio, CAR, reaching 17.5 percent, while CAR for Tier 1 capital reached 16.2 percent, and Common Equity Tier 1 stood at 14.3 percent at the end of 2018, which is well above the regulatory requirements set by the UAE Central Bank and Basel III.

The 7th edition of UBF’s Middle East Banking Forum will be held in association with the Refinitiv (formerly Known as Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business) under the theme “Unlocking the Future, Shifting the paradigm” in November. The event will bring together 500 industry leaders including governors, c-executives from official banks, financial regulators and private sector entities.

Source: Emirates News Agency