Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies Mid -Year Results Showcase Growth

Monday 29 July 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, outperformed itself in the first half of 2019, both in the number of programs offered and professionals trained.

The Institute organized a total of 351 educational and training programs until May 2019 and upskilled over 9,000 trainees. Among them are 2,000 UAE nationals working in the financial and banking sector, in line with the vision of the country’s leadership to enhance the professional abilities and qualifications of its citizens.

The Institute has conducted 233 programs in the annual plan category, as well as 68 e-learning programs, 4 insurance sector programs and 16 workshops and activities among others. These programs were designed to meet the training requirements of the banking and financial services sector and develop the qualifications of professionals in the insurance industry.

Speaking about the strong participation, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager at EIBFS, said: “The growing number of participants in our programs reinforces the Institute's position as one of the key banking and finance sector educational institutions in the region. We have also seen a significant increase in the number of Emirati participants, which is in line with our commitment to supporting the UAE government’s Emiratization efforts in the country’s banking and finance sector. EIBFS continues to make focused efforts in training qualified national cadres to achieve a balance between the public and private sectors.”

He added: “The UAE government has introduced several initiatives to aid Emiratization in the banking sector, which is the largest industry in terms of recruiting citizens. The participation of 2000 trainees reinforce our belief in the growth of the UAE nationals in the banking and finance sector. The number of UAE national trainees has been increasing every year.”

“At EIBFS, we constantly look to upgrade our courses to be able to keep up with the trends in the sector. Our training programs, workshops and other activities are well research and provided by EIBFS trainers with some being in collaboration with various institutes and entities in the UAE,” he said.

He stressed that the role of financial technology (fintech) is now significantly influencing and leading the business strategies of the banking sector, and technology has come a long way from playing a traditional role to becoming a reality that is widely implemented in the sector. With banks stepping up their digitalization drive, EIBFS is actively working to integrate fintech and artificial intelligence (AI) into its training plans.

Speaking about the implementation of smart initiatives, Jamal Al Jassmi said: “Digitalization is the new buzzword across industries and banking is not far behind. The sector is moving at a fast pace towards becoming more digitally efficient and smart. We have witnessed the shift and the growing requirement of banks today to hire individuals equipped with the right digital knowhow to excel in the industry. The trainees too are looking to equip themselves with the right digital skills to be updated and have better prospects in the banking and financial sector. Smart transformations, including the use of AI, blockchain technologies, and smart mobile applications, among others, are being incorporated by financial institutions. Although I do not foresee a major drop in the sector’s manpower requirements, I believe it has become imperative for banking aspirants to acquire new skills to be able to adapt to the new technology.”

To provide the right courses and trainings in fintech, the Institute recently launched its first specialized certificate in fintech in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers Academy in the Middle East

The first batch witnessed the participation of 26 professionals from six banking and financial institutions, including ADIB, Noor Bank, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank among others.

Al Jassmi pointed out that the next phase of adoption of AI technologies by the UAE banking sector will be in niche fields such as cybersecurity and financial management. “There are also a number of challenges facing the banking sector today, such as the cost of replacing old technologies, big data and insights and data security,” he noted.

Highlighting the UAE government’s push towards digitalization, Al Jassmi said: “The UAE has always been one of the first countries in the region to embrace new technologies and ideas. Many local banks in the UAE are leading the way in adopting the latest digital innovations in the region and are gradually transitioning towards being digitally driven. This comes as part of the banks’ understanding that technological development is a continuous and inevitable process.”

In keeping pace with future functional requirements and the move towards a digital economy, EIBFS has launched its first specialized committee to refine the basic skillsets required in fintech organizations. The committee is run by specialists in the financial and banking sector.

EIBFS also conducts exchange programs through strategic partnerships with international institutions to offer diverse, job-focused courses. The Institute is a member of various institutions that facilitate exchange programs including the Arab Banking Training Network, Union of Arab Banks and Asia Group. EIBFS has also forged partnerships with Malaysian banking training institutes, the Islamic Banking Network, the Financial Accreditation Authority of Malaysia, the Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and Harvard University. Furthermore, EIBFS has signed agreements with Bangor University in the UK to facilitate its students to gain a year-long study at the university in Britain and obtain a degree from the university.

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