Banks Poised to Support Government Service Projects Financially: BAB

The Board of Directors of the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) examined the outcomes of productive meetings conducted over the recent period with several ministries.

These engagements are in line with the association’s commitment to aligning with national initiatives, including the economic recovery plan launched by the government in October 2021 and the financial services sector development strategy for 2022-2026 set forth by the Central Bank of Bahrain. Additionally, they are carried out in accordance with directives from the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Bahrain to explore avenues for increased involvement by Bahraini banks, either individually or collectively, in financing projects undertaken by service ministries.

This discussion took place during the third meeting of the BAB Board of Directors for the year 2023, presided over by Mr. Adnan Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The board received a presentation detailing the outcomes of recent meetings between the Association and the Ministry of Electricity and Water, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. These meetings covered proposed service projects from these ministries and the subsequent follow-up conducted by the Association. The board underscored its commitment to integrating the goals and terminology of national plans into the Association’s strategy, with a primary focus on increasing banks’ contributions to the GDP and their involvement in supporting infrastructure, service, and development projects undertaken by relevant ministries and government entities.

On a different note, during the meeting, the Bahrain Association of Banks’ Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive examination of the newly enacted implementation law and its potential repercussions on banking activities and operations. They also delved into the ongoing progress of the Board of Directors Committee for Cybersecurity, which is dedicated to monitoring and assessing cybersecurity strategies within Bahrain’s banking and financial institutions. Emphasis was placed on the critical need to bolster cybersecurity capabilities within the banking sector and adopt internationally recognized best practices in this crucial domain.

Furthermore, the Board addressed the evolution of the association’s organizational structure, aiming to make it more adaptable and responsive to the latest advancements in the financial services sector. This initiative seeks to enhance organizational efficiency and augment the association’s capacity to fulfill its objectives, aligning closely with the overarching strategy for the development of the financial services sector for the years 2022-2026.

During the meeting, Mr. Adnan Yousef, Chairman of the Association, emphasized the paramount importance of diligent follow-up on the implementation of agreed-upon initiatives and proposals. He stressed the necessity of fostering coordination and collaboration with relevant authorities in the financial, banking, and government sectors to execute various projects aimed at advancing banking services and achieving comprehensive digital transformation. At the forefront of these endeavors is a notable partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Mr. Adnan also highlighted the significance of strengthening the association’s regional and global relationships, as well as organizing events, conferences, and research initiatives pertaining to the activities of Bahraini banks, thereby showcasing the standing of the Bahraini banking sector.

For his part, Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, CEO of BAB, expressed the full readiness of the Association to contribute to all initiatives and proposals related to the sustainable development program and financing large projects, as well as the Central Bank of Bahrain’s strategy to develop the financial services sector, stressing the continuation of work within the Association in order  to adapt to  the regulatory transformations of the sector and achieve sustainable growth in light of the dynamic changes in the banking industry.

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