Dubai: The UAE Banks Federation, a professional body representing 49 member banks operating in the UAE, has become an associate member of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), providing a number of benefits to the Federation and its member banks.

The partnership aims to strengthen the relations and cooperation between the two organisations, and to enable the Federation and its members to take advantage of international best practice and expertise in its role of assisting and advocating the development of the banking sector in UAE.

Under the arrangement, committees of the two organisations will cooperate on priority areas of mutual interest such as compliance, anti-money laundering and financial crime, SME lending and digital banking. The Federation will also have access to reports and research papers compiled by the BBA and its specialised committees. The agreement follows a visit to the BBA in London in October by the General Manager of the UAE Banks Federation, Nasser Sarris, where he held a number of exploratory meetings with BBA officials and attended the BBA’s annual showcase conference.

“London remains the pre-eminent global financial centre and our partnership with BBA will strengthen ties between the banking sectors in both countries. This agreement allows us to access the latest thinking and researches that the Association is doing into many issues of the day affecting the international banking industry. We look forward to working with our counterparts in many different ways, including joint meetings and inviting specialists to attend our committees and other events to guide and support our own work,” said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation.


The BBA is the leading trade association for the UK banking sector with 200 member banks headquartered in over 50 countries with operations in 180 jurisdictions worldwide. Its network also includes over 80 of the world’s leading financial and professional services organisations and its members manage more than £7 trillion (Dh38 trillion) in UK banking assets.

“The UAE is an important financial hub and this agreement will help to ensure that we remain up to speed on high priority issues in both markets,” said Anthony Browne, CEO of the BBA.

The partnership with the BBA complements cooperation agreements that the Federation already has with the Korea Federation of Banks and the Italian Banking Association, both initiated in 2013.