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Middle East Banking Forum to focus on de-risking

A high level panel discussion to explore the effects and ramifications of de-risking

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE Banks Federation (UBF), a professional representative body comprising 49 member banks operating in the UAE, will be hosting its 4th Middle East Banking Forum in Abu Dhabi on November 14. The overall theme of the annual conference will be “transforming the customer experience”, and key topics to highlight de-risking and its impact on regional banks.

A high level panel discussion is scheduled during the half-day event to explore the effects and ramifications of de-risking, which is where correspondent banking relationships are constrained or blocked by international regulators protecting their banks from perceived risk (eg money laundering or financing terrorism) in certain markets. The panel will discuss a range of related topics such as how banks manage de-risking, how it affects their small and medium sized corporate clients in the Middle East in particular, and how to avoid its unintended consequences.

Bonds of trust

“Because we live in a digital world where everything is quicker and less complicated but with more challenged regulations, banks have to put further efforts to promote and strengthen bonds of trust in the financial world. Trust about where someone’s money comes from, trust about who they are, trust even deriving from where they live. Today, de-risking is on everyone’s mind, not only banks, but corporates and individuals as well. Our aim for this year’s forum is to gather experts from around the world and try to come up with solutions that will benefit all stakeholders,” said AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation

On the panel addressing this issue will be Ajay Badyal, Head of Assurance and Advisory Services Unit of the Compliance Function at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Justine Walker, Director of Financial Crime at the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and Redmond Ramsdale, Senior Director and Head of GCC Bank Ratings, Fitch Ratings.

Keynote speakers at the event include Ron Kaufman, an award-winning customer experience consultant, leadership and motivational speaker, and Marcus Treacher, Global Head of Strategic Accounts at Ripple, a San Francisco-based company which provides global financial settlement solutions to banks across the world.