Leading Professionals towards the Future of Banking

EIBFS is the leading educational institute in the region due to their perfervid perseverance towards establishing industry benchmarks and aligning training initiatives with industry demands. “We routinely collaborate with international institutions, industry leaders, banking experts, HR and talent development managers to provide superior specialized knowledge and training programs to raise the standard of employee performance. Our learning environment equips our students to overcome competition and succeed in their chosen fields. EIBFS is dedicated to improve our training programs and we include our stakeholder’s input in the top tier management of training and HR. Our technical advisory committee (TAC), conducts an extensive TNA process every year to identify critical professional competencies required by the industry. Based on their feedback, the Annual Training Plan is prepared. Similarly, this year the Technical Advisory committee for the Insurance Sector has been formed” adds Al Jassmi.

Since 1983, 151,652 banking professionals have trained under their specialist guidance, and the number keeps growing. “The records of our 2016 operational results reflect EIBFS’s steadfast focus in contributing to the development of the UAE’s growing banking and financial services sector through education. Furthermore, our numbers cumulated over the past few years, are a testament to our success in supporting the government’s nationalization efforts through training young UAE nationals. Presently, we have over 150,000 trainees and over 2000 students graduated from our undergraduate degree programs. We are renowned for our training programmes for banks, insurance companies and exchange houses. EIBFS’s Emiratization initiative is expanding its portfolio to insurance sector as well. We work constitutively with HRDC and our flagship programs, such as the leadership development programs with Darden and Harvard, cater towards developing UAE National women in the Banking sector” explains the General Manager. “In 2016, EIBFS in collaboration with Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, selected UAE’s best and brightest female Senior Managers to participate in its Leadership Development Program. Selected on merit, senior female executives, along with their male counterparts, attended a rigorous two-week program in Virginia to develop and build effective networks, lead strategic change, cultivate business acumen and enterprise thinking, negotiate excellence, manage conflict, and grow through peer, faculty, and executive coaching. We honour the efforts of Emirati female talent in the industry by awarding them the coveted annual Distinguished Women Award in Banking & Finance Sector” he adds.

The Banking and Insurance sectors play a pivotal role in the economic architecture of the U.A.E, with 80% of key projects and infrastructure being financed by banking, and account for nearly half of the Emirati workforce in the private sector. EIBFS, since its inception has been dedicated towards supporting the Emiratization initiatives of the Government over the past decade, to further strengthen the economy and provide a platform for Emirati talent. “EIBFS has supported the new Emiratization strategy for changing the quota system into the revolutionary point system, which emphasizes on the twin objectives of employment generation and talent development; and conducted 20 workshops for the launch of this initiative. The current quota system, especially in the Banking sector, has been largely successful in attracting Emirati talent to the industry. Various studies have shown that the preference among Emiratis to work in the public sector leaves the private sector with a low talent pool, which is just around 10% of the Emirati workforce. Despite the odds, it’s encouraging that Banks and insurance companies account for more than 50% of the Emiratis working in the private sector” comments the General Manager.

“Quality job creation is the essence of the new point system, and with its flexibility and fairness ensures that the industry competitiveness is not compromised due to the Emiratization strategy. The new Emiratization system is truly symbiotic for all the stakeholders. We have worked concurrently with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Central Bank and Insurance authority to ensure that the new system is seamlessly launched in 2017. In the past six months, EIBFS has conducted a series of trainings for all the Banks and Insurance companies to create awareness about the Point system among the stakeholders much before the actual implementation” expresses Al Jassmi.

The U.A.E has been witnessing shifting trends within economic, education and training sectors and EIBFS has been at the forefront of implementing international and national standards. “In August 2010 with the introduction of NQA came the establishment and implementation of an internationally recognized education and training system for the UAE. NQA is responsible for facilitating the transfer, shift and continuity of learning of individuals between different education and training pathways ultimately contributing to the enhancement of vocational education and training quality in the country. Its mandate includes regulation and accreditation of the Training centres through regulatory authorities and introduction of recognized professional qualifications through the development of NOSS (National Occupational Skills Standard). We have been incessantly internalising regulations and recently obtained the Education Services Permit for our training centre in Dubai, from KHDA this month and are now in the process of obtaining RTP (Registered Training Provider) status for its training centres in Sharjah and Dubai. We are dedicated towards implementing the highest qualifications to enhance socio-economic, educational and social development and work hand in hand with local and international organizations to provide a platform for the future generation of professionals, who are instilled with competence and expertise” he concludes.

Certified Anti Money Laundering (ACAMS) started in EIBFS Dubai and Sharjah campus.

Certified Anti Money Laundering (ACAMS) started in EIBFS Dubai campus. In 2001, ACAMS set out with the mission to establish an international standard for testing the knowledge of those entrusted with the detection and prevention of money laundering. Since its inception, CAMS has become the gold standard in AML certification’s and the preparation Process strengthens core capacity to combat financial crime and protect the institutions from AML.

EIBFS provide 15 hrs training and 22 mock exams to the participants along with 1 year membership with ACAMS. 22 participants from various Banks attending the program in Dubai campus and Sharjah Campus.

EIBFS organises 760 training programmes for the insurance sector.

In line with the UAE government’s efforts to build the professional capacities of UAE nationals and improve productivity in the insurance sector, the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, has organised 760 training programmes for the insurance sector since 2006, drawing a total of 13,068 participants of whom 4,704 (37 per cent) comprised Emiratis.

Speaking on EIBFS’s efforts to fast-track the Emiratization process in the UAE, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said: “The institute’s noticeable success is reflected in the increasing numbers of Emirati citizens who join our diverse range of programmes and training sessions thanks to our partnership with some of the leading training institutions globally. We are totally committed to building a qualified cadre of Emirati professionals in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors. These efforts align with the UAE leadership’s vision towards developing the capabilities of Emirati human resources and improving their skills.”

He added: “By collaborating with international organisations, industry experts, and human resource managers, we attracted 1,795 professionals, including 144 Emiratis (15 per cent) through 93 insurance training programmes during 2016. We always seek to define the sector’s benchmarks and ensure our training initiatives meet the various demands through studying industry challenges and designing special programmes. We will continue to provide specialised education and training programmes to enhance employees’ performance in the UAE’s financial sector.”

EIBFS’ roster of training programmes for the insurance sector includes an integrated five-month initiative solely dedicated for UAE nationals. Since its launch in, the programme has attracted 245 Emiratis. EIBFS, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), graduated the first cohort of this programme consisting of 10 Emiratis, last month

Conforming to the directives of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to create job opportunities and build capacities of UAE nationals in banks, insurance companies and investment houses, EIBFS has signed several partnerships and agreements with the private and public sector, including the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, UAE Central Bank, Insurance Authority, and the UAE Banks Federation.

Al Jassmi said that the new point-based system will lead to a paradigm shift in the quality, quantity and structure of Emirati citizens working in banks and insurance companies in the country. The launch of this new system coincided with the successful initiative for hiring over 1,000 Emiratis within 75 days in the banking and financial services sector. The point-based system is part of the new nationalisation strategy that was approved by the UAE Cabinet and is managed by the Higher Committee for Emiratization in the banking and financial services sector. EIBFS’ contribution lies in training professionals in insurance companies to implement this strategy.

As for government accelerators, Al Jassmi said that in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a team has been formed in collaboration with the financial sector and government entities under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to oversee progress.

The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) is part of the team that is led by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and includes representatives from the UAE Central Bank, Insurance Authority, Emirates NBD Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Noor Bank, Majid Al Futtaim Group, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company, Al Rostamani Group, and Al Fardan Exchange.

Time running out for VAT readiness, firms told

The introduction of value added tax in 2018 will generate new revenue streams for public sector spending in the UAE and other GCC states and align the regional markets globally, tax and legal experts said.

The adoption of VAT across the GCC region will be both exciting and challenging for the regional markets, said Hisham Farouk, CEO of Grant Thornton UAE.

“Not only will it generate new revenue streams for public sector spending, but also instill greater transparency in the economies of the region,” said Farouk.

Speaking at a conference on the implications of VAT on businesses in the UAE hosted by Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), Farouk said for the successful implementation, it is critical that a significant level of investment is made in awareness and education of all industries, specifically financial institutions. “EIBFS is taking some very proactive and necessary steps in providing this awareness to the financial community, and it is fundamental that this is continued by all.”

Pierre Arman, Market Development Lead for Tax and Accounting at Thomson Reuters, said time is running out for companies to ensure preparedness for the introduction of VAT in the GCC region in 2018. “From assessing the impact of VAT on their organisations through to the readiness of their IT landscape, there is a lot to be done in a very limited timeframe,” said Arman. “VAT awareness events are crucial for the business community to understand what considerations different industries need to take into account in a post-VAT world, especially a notoriously challenging industry such as financial services that is typically more complex to manage under VAT due to its special status,” he said. Justin Whitehouse, Managing Director and Indirect Tax and VAT leader at Deloitte Middle East, said: “Events such as the EIBFS conference on VAT serve as a great businesses need to take VAT seriously and use forums such as EIBFS to ensure they understand what they need to do, especially within such an important sector to the UAE economy.

“In the past few years, the UAE has taken visionary steps towards a non-oil-reliant economy with a focus on economic diversification and boosting non-oil revenues. Introducing VAT is another key initiative to enhance the resilience of the national economy,” he said.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) analysis has shown that implementing VAT at the nominal rate of five per cent will contribute 2.7 per cent to the UAE’s non-oil GDP.

The one-day conference addressed a variety of topics including the economic impact of VAT, learning experiences from other countries that have implemented the tax, and new regulations affecting the financial sector and businesses in general. Across six lectures, the speakers explained the intricacies of the new taxation law with a focus on how it will influence the day-to-day operations of financial and business entities.

Since the VAT law is not yet out in the public domain, companies find it difficult to ascertain the impact of the new tax on their business and prepare for it accordingly. In addition, the limited time between passing the final law and the implementation date may also pose a challenge. Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said the upcoming implementation of VAT in the countries of the GCC region represents a landmark tax reform, ushering in a new era in the world of public finances and providing a stable revenue base for the future.

“With the UAE economy maturing and diversifying away from oil dependency, this is the right time for such a step. However, businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, have to adopt certain measures to prepare for the new tax so that January 2018 does not bring any unpleasant surprises,” said Al Jassmi.