Monday 14, March 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, hosted an interactive workshop on Basel III implementation strategies and associated challenges for more than 70 senior-level attendees from the UAE’s banking sector.

The institute welcomed Basel III experts and specialists from prominent local and global financial establishments, including the Central Bank of the UAE, PwC, KPMG, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Emirates NDB to address compliance measures, minimum requirements and implementation strategies.

The workshop was conducted in line with the Central Bank’s announcement in December 2015 that it would engage with banks to ensure compliance with Basel III regulations and ensure the implementation of new rules by end-2018.

Basel III aims to increase the level, quality and global compliance of regulatory capital while standardising the required deductions and adjustments. With this objective, the new regulations impose more risk management requirements on banks and factor in classes of risks that were not addressed under Basel II – such as the liquidity risk.

Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said: “With strengthened regulation, supervision and risk management, Basel III will ensure the financial stability of banks in order to prevent the onset of a global financial crisis, similar to the one witnessed in 2008. As an institute, it is our responsibility to understand market challenges and demands and tackle these issues head-on by educating the UAE banking community on new regulatory standards and equipping them with the required skills and strategies to remain competitive and compliant.”

He added: “EIBFS is committed to offering industry-specific workshops led by experts who share valuable insights on today’s most pressing financial challenges. We routinely collaborate with industry leaders and HR representatives to understand the dynamic and evolving business environment, as well as its standards and requirements. This know-how helps us organise informative and forward-thinking seminars that address banking and financial demands and develop a capable cadre of highly qualified professionals.”

Hosting six lectures, the eight-hour workshop addressed a variety of issues, including the distinction between Basel II and Basel III, the impact of Basel III on capital structure, bank credit and bank business models, the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the new liquidity requirements mandate of the Central Bank of the UAE, the regional implementation of IFRS9, and its impact on the financial statements of banks, as well as the implications of Basel III measures on Islamic banks.

During the workshop, experts highlighted the importance of directly meeting implementation challenges and exposing bankers to strategies that ease the transition. The experts discussed a range of challenges from the tightened restrictions on Basel III’s Common Equity Tier 1 minimum requirements to identifying systematically important domestic banks and implementing qualitative requirements with regard to risk management.

According to Madhukar Shenoy, Partner at PwC Middle East and one of the presenters at the workshop, with the roll-out of Basel III, banks are required to maintain a certain level of high quality liquid assets with new rules around liquidity and leverage. This will present a challenge to GCC markets that lack the depth to satisfy such requirements. Furthermore, the new regulations will push banks to attract more stable sources of funds, deposits and savings accounts to satisfy the liquidity rules, increasing competition and demand for high quality assets and credit.

Bankers that attended the workshop were keen to understand the implementation challenges and find a way to work towards compliance by the implementation deadline. Most attendees agreed that increase in core capital, new liquidity and liquidity coverage ratios and net stable funding ratios are their greatest concerns in the new scenario.