President of the Emirates Banks Federation: The impact of the “Expo” will continue for 9 years

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Hussam Abdulnabi (Dubai)

His Excellency Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Banks Federation, expected that the impact of Expo 2020 Dubai will appear over time, and that the positive impact on the UAE will continue until the next 9 years, equivalent to the period that passed since the country submitted the bid to host until the actual exhibition was held. He stressed during a press conference held in Dubai yesterday that “Expo 2020” will enhance the country’s position globally and allow participating companies and visitors to learn about the country’s capabilities and opportunities to work in it, expressing his optimism that many companies that are currently visiting the UAE to attend Expo 2020 may transfer part of their Its commercial activities are to the UAE and start new investments here, which will reflect positively on the banking sector, as it may take a number of years since the decision was made until the start of the activity. Al Ghurair pointed out that all economic sectors benefited before the period leading up to hosting the “Expo 2020” through the amounts spent, which are estimated at 40 billion dirhams, noting that the demand for loans rose in the period leading up to the Expo 2020, which he identified as one of the main factors in The fastest recovery of the UAE banking sector and the country’s economy in general after the pandemic and in the coming months.

Overcoming the difficult stage
Al Ghurair affirmed that the UAE has succeeded today in overcoming the difficult stage it passed through due to the repercussions of the “Covid-19” pandemic, which affected several vital sectors such as tourism, aviation, hotels, restaurants, retail trade, and others, thanks to government decisions and measures that enabled the country to successfully contain the pandemic. And made it a model for addressing the effects of the pandemic on the economy and the lives of citizens, noting that a number of sectors were negatively affected by the pandemic, which affected the performance of the banking sector in general.
Al Ghurair revealed that, in light of the “Covid-19” pandemic, the UAE has become a preferred destination for the residence of businessmen and billionaires, as he personally sensed the desire of a number of them to move to Dubai due to their admiration for the way the state deals with the pandemic, stressing the need to make more effort from In order to strengthen the state’s economic and financial position and update the laws and legislations in order to attract this category of businessmen, given the positive impact they can have on the state’s economy.
Al-Ghurair expected that the assets of the banking sector will grow by no less than 8% during the next year, thanks to the success of the constructive proactive efforts made by the Central Bank to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on bank clients, both individuals and companies.
He said that the comprehensive measures taken by the Central Bank in a timely manner to support the financial system have clearly contributed to the recovery and protection of the UAE economy from the effects of the pandemic, as the UAE has allocated a support package that amounted to nearly 400 billion dirhams, and the share of banks exceeded 250 billion dirhams. Banks, individuals and companies benefited from the zero-cost facilities, which amounted to 100 billion dirhams, as it facilitated the liquidity management of banks through guaranteed financing without cost, pointing out that hundreds of thousands of individual customers, and tens of thousands of small and medium companies benefited from the program. Central Bank of targeted economic support, as well as thousands of private sector companies.

customer experience
Al Ghurair said that the banking sector benefited from the challenges it went through in order to improve the customer experience and facilitate customers’ access to banking products and services, by increasing interest in digital transformation, as banks became more keen to transform their services for individuals and companies into digital services, noting that companies Before “Corona”, they were hesitant to open accounts and conduct transactions through digital channels, but after the pandemic, companies became the ones who requested this after they touched the benefit achieved.
He pointed out that the digital wallet is a locally developed program, and when it is launched, it will enhance the position of the state and the banking sector in the performance of digital services, expecting that the number of banks participating in the digital wallet will be increased and fully activated during the next year.

50’s projects
Emphasizing the banking sector’s commitment to Emiratisation and the “50 Projects” initiative, Al Ghurair said: “The UAE Banks Federation will play a supportive and enhancing role in developing skills and providing job opportunities for UAE citizens in line with the objectives of the “50 Projects” initiative, which lays out a road map for the era of economic development. the new”.
He added: “We believe in investing in our people, who will lead the next phase of our country’s development and economic transformation, and our focus goes beyond just creating job opportunities for Emiratis, but extends to providing them with the resources and training they need to become the future leaders of the financial sector in the long term, to find themselves We are ready to shape the future of the UAE economy.”
Al-Ghurair stated that the banking sector believes in the importance of the role it plays in order to increase the percentage of citizens in the private sector in general, as banks are the sector that employs the most citizens, with the equivalent of 10,000 male and female citizens, and at a rate of more than 30%, noting that banks are the best school for qualifying and gaining citizens. Experience and skills that qualify them to work and succeed in any sector.
With regard to the need to impose a new system for Emiratisation in banks, Al Ghurair stated that the UAE Banks Federation, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation are cooperating permanently in order to find the best ways to enable citizens to work in banks while qualifying them and giving them career advancement opportunities, stressing the importance of amending Emiratisation plans. Continuously according to developments, market needs, number of university graduates and their aspirations.

New system for calculating interest
With regard to the coming wave of inflation globally, Al Ghurair stressed that the presence of acceptable inflation rates is not a bad thing, as the presence of (zero) inflation is a disaster for the economy, warning that central banks target an inflation rate of no more than 2% in order to move the economy.
During a recent interview, Al Ghurair revealed that studies are underway to develop a new system for calculating bank interest instead of the EIBOR system, where there is an integrated system for this and a general framework is waiting for the approval of the Central Bank to start implementation. He stressed that this new system will be more fair compared to the previous system, and there will be no decline or rise in interest rates, nor will it affect bank customers or lead to damage to the economy, noting that there are a number of factors and criteria that enter into the method of calculating interest according to the new system. .
Al-Ghurair monitored another positive variable in the banking sector in the period affected by the repercussions of the pandemic, so he mentioned that the bank administrations worked during the pandemic period to stabilize the financial base of the banks and enhance the financial position and financial position more than bragging about announcing large profits and achieving profit growth, noting that it encourages banks to take Sufficient and full reserves now to hedge any financial problems to start a new page in 2022,
Al-Ghurair expected that the provisions for doubtful loans would decrease next year with the start of a new wave of economic recovery. Overcoming the repercussions of the crisis and all the crises it went through, thanks to the effectiveness and success of the central bank’s role, and the banks themselves were distinguished by their financial strength and high profitability that enabled them to withstand some blows.

Distance working
In response to a question about the possibility of the “remote work” system continuing after the repercussions of the “Covid-19” pandemic, Al Ghurair replied, that “remote work” is coming and will remain, as it has become a global phenomenon imposed by the pandemic that changed the concept of work in various sectors and made business owners more Receiving the idea, especially after the availability of mechanisms that enable them to monitor work and measure the performance of employees while they work remotely in their homes, it is likely that there will be 3 ways to work after the pandemic, which are the mandatory office work for some jobs, the mixed working hours of two days in the office and 3 days remotely, and working hours at a rate of 100% remote.
Al-Ghurair denied that the success of banks in converting up to 95% of their operations to the “remote work” system is a reason for banks to reduce the number of their branches, warning that reducing the number of bank branches is primarily related to the success of digital banking services and the turnout of customers after the fact that Feel its many advantages.

Good growth rate
His Excellency Abdulaziz Al Ghurair spoke about the strong financial results of the UAE banks for the second quarter of 2021, stating that the positive results are an indication that the UAE economic sector is in a state of recovery after it was in a state of decline globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added: “We expect UAE banks to maintain their growth momentum during the second half of the year, driven by improved operating conditions, cost efficiency and demand for credit, expressing his belief that the sector will grow at rates that may reach double the expected growth of the UAE economy as a whole next year.
The President of the UAE Banks Federation indicated that the new decisions related to residency in the UAE are an important step to stimulate the economy, by attracting visitors and investments and laying the foundations for growth for decades to come. He explained that the UAE always seeks to create a positive environment for investors, and since the human factor is an essential part of this environment, the residency guidelines have been approved by the wise leadership to enhance this investment environment.





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