UBF and ADGM together organize a session on FinTech and crypto assets

As per a recent announcement made on the UAE’s official news outlet Emirates News Agency on 17th March, The United Arab Emirates Banks Federation (UBF), and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) organized a joint program on FinTech and crypto assets which included various industry experts. The event was held in ADGM in association with the UBF Compliance Committee

The UBF is a not for profit organization that consists of 50 member banks operating within the country. ADGM is an international financial center located in the UAE’s capital city.

The forum was meant to discuss and understand the effects of such product in the global market along with the consequences of the adoption of the product into the real world, the challenges and the opportunities associated with it.

The program took into consideration and discussed all the factors related to such field that included ADGM’s regulations as well as the administrative approach to digital and crypto assets, binding RegTech such as big data and machine learning that can improve the observation and management of financial transactions. The event also discussed on how the financial authorities and banks would join forces to develop processes and procedures to handle and simplify the regulatory risks while rendering services to the market participants involved in the crypto assets businesses.

The recent technological developments such as cryptocurrencies and other digital assets have made the entire financial services sector to undergo a drastic transformation, which is not very evident within any other industry. Although, the execution of the real time transactions has made it easy for the market participants to execute their projects at a rapid pace, such rapidly growing market technology requires the banks, financial institutions as well as the financial regulators to play an important role in meticulously monitoring and keeping themselves up-to-date of such developments to ensure that the financial services could operate in a robust and trusted way amid the increasingly growing digital environment.

Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, stated that “UBF is a strong advocate of the innovation that is disrupting the UAE financial services industry. We strongly believe in the importance of collaboration to facilitate this transformation and ensure it takes place seamlessly and successfully. Given the rapid emergence of new FinTech such as cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets, it is essential that we develop frameworks and regulations that govern these technologies and developments. With aspirations to become one of the foremost international hubs for finance, we must keep up with the rapid technological changes taking place across the sector. Ensuring a robust monetary and financial market environment is critical to this, and can only be achieved by protecting consumer rights and safeguarding market integrity.”

Richard Teng, CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, further stated that “We are pleased to partner UBF in this forum and create an opportunity to discuss the outlook and challenges presented by the changing dynamics of the banking industry. This event highlighted the importance and power of collaboration between regulatory authorities and financial institutions in building the trust and commitment needed to introduce FinTech activities securely into the financial services sector.”

At the beginning of the forum, the ADGM stated its policy objectives and key characteristics with respect to it’s crypto assets regulatory framework and the investigation tools available in the market to reduce the risk of illicit activities in crypto asset transactions. Such a regulatory framework was one of the world’s first comprehensive framework introduced in June 2018 for the participation of crypto-related business that includes exchanges, custodians, and brokers.

At the end of the program, Hanan Mansour, Chairperson of UBF Compliance Committee and Head of Regulatory Compliance at First Abu Dhabi Bank, made a presentation that explained the importance of integrating and sharing of information associated with the latest technological advances in order to ensure efficient management of the risk evolving in the financial sector.

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