Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) Annual Forum kicked off with participation from more than 500 senior representatives from among Bahrain’s banking industry, regulators and executives of monetary funds from Bahrain and internationally. Held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain at the Gulf Hotel, high level speakers and panelists addressed: “FinTech: Opportunities & Challenges,” arising from the rapid development of FinTech and its impact on Bahraini banks and the future of the industry.
BAB’s Chairman, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, opened the Forum, welcoming guests and setting the stage for the day’s discussions, he shared his thoughts on the revolution FinTech it is creating in the delivery of traditional financial services and the reshaping of the financial landscape with customers demanding greater inclusiveness, ease, speed and affordability.
H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, took the stage next for an interview with CNB Anchor Nuha Al Ali. The Governor highlighted key developments relating to FinTech and the development of Bahrain’s financial sector as well as Bahrain’s growing position as a regional FinTech hub. Following was a keynote address by Mr. Meliksah Utku, General Manager and CEO of Albaraka Turk on “The Digital Revolution,” what it means for banks and its significance for the industry.
Commenting, Mr. Yousif, said: “BAB is delighted to have brought so many industry leaders together to discuss one of the most pressing issues for all of us today – FinTech and digital innovation – and its impact on banks and our customers. The presence of his H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank underscored the importance of this issue for the industry and we are confident that together Bahrain’s banking industry and our regulator will continue to drive advancement to support sustainable growth. We were also delighted to have heard from Mr. Meliksah Utku, CEO of Albaraka Turk, where he has been a leading supporter of FinTech innovation, and so many of our other peers including banking, FinTech, legal and HR experts.”
Interactive panel sessions went on to delve deeper into key issues for the industry and BAB’s 52 members. This included: The Relationship Between Banks and FinTechs, Fostering a Better FinTech Ecosystem, Addressing the Human Capital Gap and Legal & Regulatory Considerations. Featured on the panels were senior representatives from: American Express, Bahrain FinTech Bay, Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, BEEHIVE, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Central Bank of Bahrain, Economic Development Board, Gateway, Gulf International Bank, Islamic Finance News, National Bank of Bahrain, Netiks International, Tamkeen, THSA Technology Bahrain and University of Bahrain.
Supporting the Forum were Strategic Partners: Al Baraka Banking Group, Gulf International Bank, National Bank of Bahrain and Venture Capital Bank and Media Partners: IFN and CNBC.
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