New laws to boost banking sector in UAE

  • 22nd Nov 2018

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Published By Khaleej Times

The Board of Directors of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) welcomed a series of new laws issued recently by the government and said they would help boost the competitiveness of the economy while positively impacting the banking sector.

The string new legislations, some which were issued in October, include the netting law, public debt law, anti money laundering law, and central bank law, as well as risk management and internal audit and control and dormant accounts regulations.

Chaired by AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UBF, the BoD commended the recent laws and regulations,  and highlighted the positive impact the new laws would have on the banking and financial sector as well as the national economy.

“The BoD expressed comfort with the robust performance of the banking sector as reflected in the strong key financial indicators supported by economy growth,” a state by the UBF said. The anti-money laundering law is aimed at combating terrorism financing while the foreign investment law seeks to treat foreign companies as it does local companies.

The AML law contributes to raising the effectiveness of the legal and institutional framework of the nation to achieve desired results. The AML law also counters financing of terrorist operations and suspicious organisations, which enhances the UAE’s commitment to international recommendations and treaties.” The UAE has been issuing a series of laws to boost the competitiveness of the economy, including a new debt law that will help financial markets. 

The UAE, the Arab world’s second biggest economy, has also introduced a series of reforms aimed at boosting growth, creating jobs and diversifying the economy away from oil income. 

The measures announced over the last few months include waiving corporate fines in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership in companies in selected sectors from the end of this year.  

In October, the UAE issued the  Federal Decretal Law No.10 of 2018 on Netting that is expected to lead to reduction in credit and settlement risks while increasing the effectiveness of its regulatory procedures, inclusive of safeguards related to netting.  Netting shall include cases of termination, liquidation and/or acceleration of any payment, obligation to deliver entitlement or obligation to make, receive or require payments or deliveries. Through public debt law, the UAE  has taken a major step towards deepening its financial markets by issuing a law permitting the federal government to begin issuing sovereign debt.

Under this law, banks in the UAE will be able to buy government bonds in dirhams or foreign currencies, giving them highly-rated assets with which they can manage their liquidity and obey global Basel III regulatory standards for banks, the ministry said.

The UBF board also reviewed progress on current key initiatives mainly “Tasharuk” (cyber threats intelligence sharing platform), “Ethical Selling practices” and “customer complaints handling” frameworks, and digital Wallet appreciating collaboration of banks for adoption and support.

The BoD commended banks support to the nationalisation strategy and SMEs finance, and endorsed future UBF s plans and initiatives on Digital transformation, blockchain, and fintechs. –

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