Union of Arab Banks Partners with CBB and BAB to Host “AI-Driven Banking Services” Workshop

The Union of Arab Banks hosted a three-day workshop titled “AI-Enhanced Banking: Unleashing the Power of Data,” in collaboration with the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The event saw the participation of numerous employees from Bahraini banks and financial institutions.

The workshop delved into the practical applications of AI within the banking and financial services industry. It explored how modern AI technologies, including financial data analysis, risk forecasting, and banking robotics, can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of banking operations.

On the first day, attendees were introduced to AI in banking services, machine learning techniques, and various applications such as directed, unguided, and augmented learning within the banking sector. Discussions also encompassed generative artificial intelligence and addressed the risks and challenges associated with “chat GPT.”

The second day focused on financial data processing and its correlation with AI, as well as predictive analytics in banking services.

On the final day of the workshop, participants explored advanced AI topics, particularly focusing on deep learning and its tailored applications within the banking sector. Moreover, conversations centered around forecasting the future trajectory of AI within banking services. Interactive training sessions, guided by experts in both artificial intelligence and banking, remained a consistent feature throughout the workshop, ensuring active engagement and knowledge transfer among attendees.

Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, CEO of Bahrain Association of Banks, commented: ” In this dynamic era, we are witnessing an unprecedented surge in the field of AI and machine learning, permeating every facet of academia, medicine, industry, finance, and beyond. Embracing the significance of this transformative wave, the workshop is poised to seize this momentous opportunity. Our dedication lies in aligning with this swift evolution, concentrating specifically on the crucial domain of artificial intelligence.”

 “Recognizing its pivotal role in shaping the landscape of the forthcoming millennium, our aim is nothing short of harnessing the boundless potential of AI to catalyze a paradigm shift in banking operations within the Kingdom of Bahrain. Through this concerted effort, we aim to propel the banking sector to new heights, delivering unmatched experiences and driving innovation to unprecedented levels.”

Dr. Al Qassim emphasized that this initiative reaffirms BAB commitment to promoting the integration of AI within the banking sector. It aims to encourage the adoption of AI applications across various banking services, ensuring continuous development and training for bank employees to effectively utilize these programs. The ultimate goal is to achieve strategic objectives for banks and incentivize Bahraini banks to invest in and leverage modern technologies for their growth and success.

Benefit presents three-year strategy roadmapBanking for a Greener Bahrain:

Benefit presents three-year strategy roadmapBanking for a Greener Bahrain: BAB Champions National Responsibility, Backs Planting Trees Initiative near Financial HarbourBenefit presents three-year strategy roadmap.

In collaboration with the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB), the National Initiative for the Development of the Agricultural Sector successfully executed a project aimed at afforesting two streets near the Financial Harbor. This initiative aligns with national strategies to bolster green spaces and counter the adverse impacts of climate change.

The afforestation ceremony, a significant milestone in this endeavor, took place in the Capital Governorate. The event was graced by the presence of The National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD) Secretary-General Her Excellency Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa, along with Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, the CEO of the Bahrain Association of Banks, and several high-ranking officials from financial and banking institutions supporting the afforestation project.

Throughout the ceremony, the campaign’s objectives were reviewed, shedding light on the locations targeted in the third phase. The positive outcomes stemming from intensified afforestation operations were highlighted, emphasizing the environmental benefits across various regions in the Kingdom. The concerted efforts also aim to counteract the effects of rising carbon emissions, thereby improving air quality and expanding the green footprint in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Her Excellency Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa conveyed her sincere appreciation and pride for the successful collaboration with the Bahrain Association of Banks. This collaboration materialized in the collective support of 15 banks, contributing to the afforestation of two streets in the capital, Manama. The project involved planting a variety of perennial and flowering trees known for their rapid growth, sustainability, minimal leaf fall, and resilience to climatic conditions.

Her Excellency Shaikha Maram emphasized the significance of the financial institutions’ response to the national afforestation campaign, “Forever Green,” as a demonstration of their responsible patriotism and commitment to community partnership. This underscores the financial sector’s active role in supporting environmental protection initiatives within the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, CEO of the Bahrain Association of Banks, underscored the eagerness of financial and banking institutions in Bahrain to contribute to this pivotal national project. He highlighted their commitment to environmental, social, and governance standards (ESG), emphasizing the integral role of the banking sector in supporting development efforts across various domains in the Kingdom.

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the Bahrain Association of Banks, Dr. Al Qassim commended the swift response of member banks to the call for support, noting that such positive engagement is consistent with the ongoing commitment of Bahraini banking and financial institutions to development initiatives within the Kingdom.

The afforestation project near Financial Harbour received robust backing from prominent institutions including BBK, NBB, Ithmaar Bank, United Gulf Bank, Arab Bank, ila Bank, Ahli United Bank, Bank of Khartoum, Habib Bank, Al Baraka Bank, Kuwait Finance House, HSBC, Eskan Bank, and GFH Financial Group.

On the sidelines of the event, Mrs. Zain Al Zayani, Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing at BBK, highlighted that BBK’s involvement in the afforestation project near the Financial Harbour aligns with its commitment to backing the national afforestation campaign, “Forever green,” initiated in October 2021. She emphasized the campaign’s significance in restoring environmental balance and enhancing the quality of life in a clean and sustainable environment. This aligns with BBK’s objectives in adhering to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards.

Mr. Mohammed Abu Saqr, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Ahli United Bank, expressed the bank’s support for the “Forever Green” campaign as a testament to its dedication to various national initiatives aimed at enhancing the environmental landscape. The bank’s commitment extends to promoting agriculture in urban spaces such as streets, intersections, public squares, and new projects, fostering a culture of environmental preservation within the community, increasing green spaces, and enhancing the environmental outlook in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Mr. Ahmed Darwish, CEO of BOK International Bank – Bahrain, the first international branch of Bank of Khartoum, emphasized that their contribution to the national afforestation campaign reflects a profound appreciation for the role of social responsibility in fostering the growth and development of societies. He highlighted the importance of consolidating a culture of environmental protection, reducing the impacts of climate change, strengthening community partnerships between civil society organizations and other stakeholders, and encouraging collective responsibility towards the environment.

Mrs. Fatema Al Jahromi, Vice President of Internal Audit and Quality Assurance at United Gulf Bank, emphasized the bank’s commitment to supporting high-quality community programs and initiatives. She highlighted the importance of enhancing partnerships to address environmental challenges, improve the quality of the environment, increase green spaces in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

BAB & Legal Studies Institute Host Roundtable: Advancing Law Implementation with Enhanced Information Systems

The Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB), in collaboration with the Judicial & Legal Studies Institute, organized the second roundtable titled “Enhancing Interconnected Information Systems for Law Implementation.”

The session brought together representatives from various government and private entities invested in this domain, encompassing the Supreme Judicial Council, the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, the Public Prosecution, the Ministry of Interior, the Legislation  and legal  Opinion Commission, the Department of Combating Economic Crimes, the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Information and eGovernment Authority, and the General Directorate of Traffic Services, Survey and Land Reiteration Bureau, as well as the Bahrain BAR Society, financial institutions, and banking establishments.

The focal point of the event centered on deliberating ways to synchronize the information systems of the participating entities to expedite the implementation of judicial rulings in civil and commercial matters. The objective was to create a unified interface, enabling the executing judge to promptly ascertain the assets and funds of the individual subject to execution, encompassing real estate, shares, bank balances, and more. This streamlined process aims to facilitate swift decision-making, safeguarding the rights of creditors, including financial and banking institutions.

Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, CEO of the Bahrain Association of Banks, affirmed that this roundtable serves as a continuation of the outcomes derived from the initial session organized by the association last November. It is part of the association’s commitment to collaborating with partners in the ongoing development of various laws pertinent to the financial and banking sector.

Dr. Al Qassim extended his gratitude to all those responsible for organizing the roundtable, emphasizing their collaboration with the Association in coordinating such impactful events, particularly acknowledging the Institute of Judicial and Legal Studies.

Dr. Riyadh Mohamed Seyadi, Director of the Judicial & Legal Studies Institute, underscored the significance of this event in acquainting all stakeholders with the key provisions of the new implementation law and explaining the mechanisms of its application. Furthermore, he highlighted the significance of receiving suggestions and perspectives from participants, fostering an exchange of ideas aimed at advancing the law to fulfill its intended objectives.

Furthermore, Dr. Seyadi emphasized the need for diligent follow-up on the roundtable’s outcomes and recommendations to ensure the realization of desired goals. This is particularly crucial as the evolution of legislation, laws, and procedures remains an ongoing and dynamic process, aligning with the swift advancements in the financial and banking industry.

The Director of the Institute of Judicial and Legal Studies emphasized the significance of the recently enacted enforcement law for Bahraini banks and financial institutions. This legislation streamlines their operations by establishing a legal framework for developing innovative approaches to tracking funds subject to execution, as these methods align with global technological advancements. Moreover, the introduction of private enforcers enhances access to justice by providing swift and high-quality execution services, which contributes to the efficiency and reliability of financial and civil transactions.

Dr. Seyadi concluded his remarks by expressing sincere gratitude for the highly productive partnership with the Bahrain Association of Banks in orchestrating events of this nature. He emphasized that these meetings undeniably contribute to the development of new laws and their executive regulations, aligning with ongoing legislative developments. This, in turn, supports the effective implementation of laws and ensures the achievement of their goals in the most optimal manner. The judicial progress fostered by these efforts further bolsters the growth of the financial services sector, establishing it as a crucial driver for attracting investments and playing a pivotal role in stimulating various economic sectors.

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