Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, held its Annual General Meeting recently, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, and in the presence of members of the Board of Directors of the Federation and representatives of member banks.

During the meeting, the members approved the previous minutes of the General Assembly held recently, the audited financial statements for 2023 and the auditors' report. The General Meeting also absolved the Board of Directors from liabilities arising from their duties for the financial year ending 31 December 2023 and appointed the auditors for the year 2024.

The meeting approved the strategic goals and plans of UAE Banks Federation for 2024, as presented by the Board of Directors, to develop the UAE banking sector and strengthen the UAE's position as one of the global financial, economic and commercial centres.

The General Assembly participants emphasised the importance of the efforts made by the Federation in promoting Emiratisation, which aims to increase the number of UAE nationals working in banking and insurance through the development of an advanced and long-term training programme, and thanked Central Bank of the UAE for its continuous support and supervision of the efforts to develop the banking sector.

The AGM praised the initiatives and programmes undertaken by the Federation during the past year, particularly in terms of enhancing trust, accelerating digital transformation, protecting digital infrastructure, combating fraud and consolidating the financial system in the UAE by ensuring compliance with laws, regulations and supervisory guidelines, as well as adherence to the highest standards of governance, transparency and risk management. They reiterated their appreciation for the UBF General Secretariat and the advisory and technical committees, which bring together the most prominent banking executives and provide appropriate platforms for knowledge sharing and the development of strategies and initiatives.

The General Assembly of UAE Banks Federation called for more efforts to further enhance financial inclusion and provide the best banking services and products to different customer segments, with a focus on supporting small and medium enterprises to contribute to economic diversification. Participants at the General Assembly praised UBF’s efforts to strengthen cooperation with strategic partners, banking associations in friendly countries, thus enabling dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The General Assembly reaffirmed its support for member banks' efforts to increase the growth rates of sustainable finance in order to achieve the UAE's ambitious climate neutrality targets and lay the necessary foundations for the transition to sustainable solutions. The meeting commended the awareness and training programmes organised by the Federation as part of its efforts to enhance the skills of employees in the sector and keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry, as well as for providing appropriate platforms for the exchange of ideas and opinions that contribute to the development of the banking operations.