Almost 100 per cent Bahraini banks are ready to implement the Basel III new capital requirements of BIS by year-end, a top banker said on Wednesday.
The Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) Adnan Ahmed Yousif on the sidelines of the Annual Arab Banking Conference 2013 said that the notion that Basel III would destroy the third world banking system was not based on facts.
“Our banks in Bahrain are 100% ready to implement the Basel III standards and almost 80% banks across the Arab region are ready to adopt to the new regulatory framework,” Adnan Yousif, added.
Being held first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the two day conference has attracted over 100 banks representatives from 22 countries.
“We are very proud to see Bahrain being the host of the conference this year,” Adnan, said, adding that such events would further Bahrain’s position as a leading banking hub in the region.
“The Arab banking sector remains very resilient to the global economic upheaval and requirements to enhance the liquidity and reserves under Basel III will further bolster the banking sector,” he said.
In his address he told 220 delegates that Bahrain has earned the reputation as a key banking hub by working very hard over past many decades and implementing the best regulatory regimes.
“The private sector remains engine of growth in the Arab world as the banks can play a pivotal role by creating conducive environment for investments and encouraging the SMEs. The challenges like unemployment which rungs well over 19 per cent and development of the human capital will remain a key to address the growing frustration among young Arab population,” he added.
He also highlighted Bahrain’s success in attracting 403 banks and financial institutions which provide 14000 jobs and contribute 17% to the GDP.
“Bahrain has been at the forefront of the conventional as well as the Islamic banking and enjoys the largest concentration of the Islamic banks and financial institutions close to 26.
Central Bank of Bahrain Governor Rasheed Al Maraj lauded the efforts of the UAB for organising a global major event in Bahrain.
“The Arab banks have navigated through very difficult times in the past few years, showing their financial strength and soundness of the policies,” he said.