UAE Banks Federation Chairman, US Treasury Secretary discuss financial and banking relations

ABU DHABI, 29th October, 2018 (WAM) — AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, has received a high-level delegation led by Steven T. Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury, at a dinner meeting held in Abu Dhabi. Both parties discussed key banking and financial issues of US and UAE bilateral interest, and explored possible ways of collaboration to address them.

Al-Ghurair said, “We are pleased to host the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven T. Mnuchin, and the high-level delegation, underlining the willingness and commitment to further the development of bilateral cooperation and enhancement of collaboration as the meeting offers a platform to discuss financial and banking issues of mutual interest. Over the years, there has been extensive collaboration between the United States and the UAE to jointly fight the money laundering and terrorist financing menace. By working closely with the United States and other international partners, the UAE is demonstrating its commitment to confront, degrade and eradicate terrorism and extremism across the Middle East and worldwide.”

He added, “The UAE is a member of MENA-FATF and UAE banks work closely with our regulator, the UAE Central Bank, towards ensuring adherence to FATF Recommendations on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. Banks in UAE seek to ensure that they operate in compliance with US and international AML and sanctions requirements and would welcome any additional platforms or means of cooperation with US Treasury to support these objectives, in coordination with our own regulatory authorities.”

Al Ghurair also mentioned that the Middle East North Africa Financial Crime Compliance Group, MENA FCCG, was established in September 2016, as a voluntary body comprised of leading MENA banks with the objective of facilitating collective action in the fight against money laundering and terrorist finance in the region.

He also highlighted that UBF continues to play a significant role in the banking landscape. Various initiatives have been undertaken by UBF to promote a sustainable banking ecosystem in the UAE and help its member banks to raise the standards in line with global best practices. One of the UBF’s key initiatives, in collaboration with the Central Bank of UAE, was the development of industry guidelines for an effective “AML & Sanctions Compliance Framework” for banks in the UAE, requiring Independent Assessment”.

Other UBF initiatives include “Tasharuk”, a cyber threat intelligence sharing platform for banks in UAE, which will allow them to access tools and intelligence available to better identify, protect, detect and respond to cyber-attacks in a timely manner.

The US delegation included Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury; Eli Miller, the US Secretary’s Chief of Staff; Eric Meyer, US Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs; Tony Sayegh, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs; and Lyndsey Merrill, US Treasury Attaché for the UAE and Oman. While the Executives attended on behalf of UBF were Shayne Nelson, Group CEO of Emirates NBD; Andre Sayegh, Deputy CEO, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Ala’a Eraiqat, CEO and Board Member of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; and Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank.

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