Central Bank of UAE plans new fintech office to power innovation
The Central Bank of the UAE is looking into the possibility of opening a new fintech office to support innovation in the country’s financial services sector.
Mubarak Rashid Al Mansouri, governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, told delegates at the Middle East Banking Forum in Abu Dhabi that the new office would aim to position the central bank as “an enabler and facilitator of fintech activities”.
Al Mansouri stated that the central bank had a five-pillar strategy towards the fintech regulation in the country.
“The first is research, advice, and the application of fintech solutions to address the needs of the banking sector, the second is the regulatory interface between market participants and regulatory functions of the central bank.
“The third pillar exchange is the exchange of fintech ideas and the facilitation of joint projects among key authorities and stakeholders.
“The fourth pillar is meeting the growing needs of fintech in the UAE. The fifth and final strategic pillar is building a partnership model with key cross-border regulatory authorities and stakeholders.”
The governor adds that “with the right balance between innovation and risk” the central bank is confident that the UAE banking sector will benefit from financial innovation.
A proliferation of fintech firms in Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has come as a result of the high levels of unbanked and underbanked, according to a Wamda and PayFort report.
86% of adults don’t have a bank account, and SME lending stands at half of the global average; at the same time, the volume of ecommerce is set to quadruple over five years, and half of bank customers are interested in new digital services.