Jamal Saleh, Director-General of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), expressed optimism that national banks would experience strong growth in their profits in 2023 and 2024.
Saleh told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Financial Week, "We have confidence in the ability of national banks to maintain their strong performance in the coming years and to capitalise on the extensive opportunities offered by the vibrant economic environment in the UAE."
He further stated that the UAE's robust banking sector has consistently maintained a high level of capital efficiency, allocations, and reserves, a testament to the central bank's unwavering commitment to upholding rigorous governance, transparency, and risk management practices.
Saleh emphasised, "UAE banks have consistently demonstrated distinction and excellence year after year, positioning them among the world's most trusted financial institutions. This is further complemented by the resilience and robustness of this sector, which has witnessed a remarkable twelvefold increase, or 1200 percent, over the past twenty years."
According to the annual Confidence Index survey conducted by the UAE Banks Federation in collaboration with a renowned global institution, UAE banks achieved an impressive 84 percent confidence rate among customers in 2022, surpassing the global average of 67 percent for trust in banking sectors.
Saleh reaffirmed the UAE's banking and financial sector's ability to meet the evolving needs of individuals and institutions, under the direct supervision of the CBUAE. He stressed the provision of streamlined banking services to customers in line with the highest global standards of compliance, particularly regarding governance, transparency, accountability, and risk management.
In a related context, the Director General of UBF lauded the UAE's banking and financial sector's success in achieving notable milestones in developing sustainable banking solutions, aligning with the country's strategy to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He mentioned that green financing by around six national banks exceeded AED190 billion last year, funding diverse projects in renewable energy, waste-to-energy conversion, and green technology. Saleh expressed anticipation of an increased pace of such financing in the forthcoming period.
He added, "To achieve the UAE's ambitious strategy for climate neutrality by 2050, substantial investments are required, and everyone must contribute. Undoubtedly, national banks will play a pivotal role in financing sustainability requirements, environmental protection, and providing green financing."
Saleh clarified that the UAE Banks Federation would participate in the COP28 conference to underscore its unwavering commitment to supporting sustainable practices in alignment with the country's climate neutrality strategy and the UN SDGs.
Responding to a question about Abu Dhabi Financial Week, Jamal Saleh stated that the event is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and Africa region, with aspirations to become the largest globally. He emphasised that the banking sector is a strategic partner in Abu Dhabi Financial Week, actively participating through speakers and experts from national banks.