Dubai Courts
The man facade of the Dubai Courts Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Courts in Dubai and Northern Emirates will now have qualified court banking experts to assist judges in bank-related cases.

The move comes after the United Banks Federation (UBF) launched an online exam to certify court banking executives for UAE courts in a bid to regulate the banking sector and assist judges in various courts with bank related cases.

According to Jamal Saleh, director general of UBF, a third of the candidates who applied for these online exams have made the final cut to become official court experts in the UAE.

Jamal Saleh, director general of UBF Image Credit: SUPPLIED

What is UBF?

For the uninitiated, UBF is a professional body comprising 52-member banks, set up in 1982 to upgrade the banking sector in the UAE.

Following the implementation of online exams to certify court banking experts in Dubai and Northern Emirates courts, the UBF has started registering successful candidates to work alongside judges in courts.

Who is a court banking expert?

A court banking expert is a professionally qualified person who can be called upon by a judge to provide financial expertise and analysis in court cases, mainly in relation to banking and financial complex matters.

“In order to set a standard for these experts, UBF has consulted with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), and various courts in Dubai and Northern Emirates to set up the end to end qualification process,” said Saleh in a telephone interview to Gulf News.

“Our mission and objectives are focused on defending the interests of its member banks. The federation provides a platform for cooperation and exchange of ideas and opinions among member banks,” he added.

Saleh said the Federation also has an advisory council consisting 28 bank CEOs who together oversee the implementation of banking policies in the UAE.

“The idea behind establishing certified court banking executive is to have an expert in the industry to assist a judge in taking a decision on a banking case. Just imagine if there is a major dispute, it is helpful to have an expert on board to help in the judgement process.”

AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of UAE Banks Federation said: “Having a robust legal framework with world-class court banking experts is essential to the integrity of the banking sector and the public interest. This online exam has effectively improved the quality of this framework, creating a generation of recognized, high calibre legal banking professionals on UAE soil. The success of this initiative is a significant step towards ensuring all banking disputes are resolved fairly and swiftly, and underpins our commitment to promoting trust across the industry.”

AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of UAE Banks Federation (UBF) Image Credit: SUPPLIED

Who qualifies for the online exam?

Saleh explained a candidate who wishes to be accredited must first contact the courts to ensure they qualify in the initial screening criteria, such as having a relevant education degree, the work experience and market exposure. “The online exam itself is divided into two main parts: a written multiple-choice exam and an interview with a team of panel experts. The panel will have a representative from a senior official from UBF, Central Bank of UAE and Ministry of Justice (MOJ). If the candidate passes, they will then sit for a face to face interview before a panel of senior representatives from UBF, CBUAE, and MoJ, who will assess the candidates knowledge and expertise.”

All you need to know about the online exam

The MOJ has formulated a large number of questions comprehensively covering all areas of the banking industry. UBF has further helped to develop the online exam to introduce a complicated algorithm that randomly pulls outs 80 questions for the examinees, in order to ensure fairness and standardisation. The fully automated online exam is managed by the department of finance at the American University of Sharjah (AUS).

Eighty per cent of the marks will depend on the score attained in the multiple choice online exam. The rest will be based on the panel interview.

Al Ghurair added : “The principles we used to develop this exam provide a benchmark for quality, and are being used to raise the professional standards in other areas of the UAE banking sector. In the coming months and years, we expect to see continuous improvement and fundamental shifts in the standards of compliance, technology and cybersecurity, with the mission to create one of the healthiest and strongest banking sectors in the world.”

Emiratis should apply for online exams

Saleh added: “We are hoping more Emiratis join our quest for establishing court banking experts. The expat population is transient. If you see there is a detailed process involved before certifying a person as a court banking executive. Imagine going through this entire process, only to find the candidate leaving the country. We would like to see a lot of Emiratis coming to the fray and putting up their hands for this.”