Building Knowledge Economy


Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS
Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS

From decentralised finance, cryptocurrencies to NFTs and Metaverse, EIBFS is equipping UAE’s finance professionals for tomorrow’s business needs

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Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 4:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 May 2022, 4:37 PM

The banking and the financial sector are undergoing a transformation like never before. While digital technologies are reshaping payments, lending, insurance, and wealth management, which have been further accelerated by the global pandemic, the evolving financial services industry in many economies is also making more countries diverse, competitive, efficient, and inclusive.

The technological progress and innovation are the lynchpins of fintech development in the region and beyond and will continue to drive disruptive business models in the financial services sector. These key technologies and trends are becoming increasingly intertwined and integrated, giving massive impetus to the fintech and financial industry innovation.

Financial institutions will need to bring their resources to bear to stay on top of the gathering wave of financial industry disruption. And this requires financial professionals to up their game to be adept with the changing needs of the sector — both from the technology as well as the skillset standpoint.

And this is where the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) is playing a key role, by equipping the finance professionals in the country with the latest knowledge and skills and focused on researching how the global and regional financial sector would evolve driven by the disruptive forces which has reached its inflection point.

Core financial training expertise

With its core focus areas on decentralised finance [DeFi], cryptocurrencies, digital currencies, virtual assets, NFTs and Metaverse, the recent regulations in the UAE on the virtual assets shows the importance given by the UAE in these emerging futuristic areas.

Research has shown that the financial institutions need to be cognisant of these dynamics and align their strategies and people skills in this direction. In line with this, the institute is training finance professionals to see how financial institutions can leverage the web 3.0 ecosystem and explore the potential opportunities in the Metaverse and prepare for the challenges from the DeFi ecosystem which is becoming increasingly popular and scalable.

Supporting the UAE’s vision

Through these endeavours, the long-standing goal is to support the UAE’s government’s vision to build a knowledge-based economy, with a comprehensive national plan to skill, reskill and upskill UAE nationals to ensure that they remain up to date on current matters and capable of securing high-potential jobs in the banking and financial sector.

In line with this, the EIBFS 2022 Learning Plan reflects its futuristic vision to understand the evolving nature of jobs and the related skills and competencies in the financial sector. The rapid strides made in the domains of blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation etc. means that the skills and competencies needed for future banking jobs could be very different from the current skillsets.

While blockchain is revolutionising cross-border payments, machine learning is not only helping banks to protect themselves, but also helping to identify advance risk models.

High-quality talent

With a portfolio of over 370 courses and around 1,000 programme schedules, the 2022 plan will holistically cater to the needs of the industry. The learning solutions are aligned to the national vision of developing high quality Emirati talent pool, who are ready for the future, working closely with the Central Bank of UAE, Ministry of Emiratization, Human Resources Authority, and other stakeholders to skill, upskill and reskill the UAE national in the financial sector.

The disruptive changes in the financial sector, driven by digital forces, has created the need for new skills and competencies for the existing and future banking workforce. Apart from creating highly skilled future talent pool, the Institute is steadfast in its efforts to upskill and reskill the current workforce.

The new learning plan is a testimony to its vision to create industry leading benchmarks for professional excellence in all banking functions. Through its trainings from awareness level to training for the senior management and the Board of Directors in this space, the effort is on supporting the institutions by analysing these trends and how they can align their strategies and people skills in this direction.

Skills paramount

With a strong commitment to equip UAE Nationals, the institute has developed a comprehensive national plan to skill, reskill and upskill UAE nationals. As a strategic partner to the government in its Emiratization strategy, it is working on building a new generation of Emirati talent in specialised roles.

In the coming years, increasingly it will be the Gen Z and younger cohorts who will reshape the banking and financial industry, thanks to their skills in the tech-savvy, mobile-first world, which will have ramifications for all consumers, companies, and investors across the industry.

EIBFS has been globally integrated with various leading institutes and universities of the world, including University of Oxford, Harvard Business School, Chartered Banker, UAE Human Resources Authority, UAE Ministry of Education, Chartered Insurance Institute, Dubai Judicial Institute, among others to bring and offer the best programmes and courses in banking and finance to the UAE.

The contribution from all stakeholders i.e. government, regulators, financial institutions, start-ups and investors have become a key enabler to build a robust fintech ecosystem and create a conducive environment of collaboration and dynamism. The sweeping changes introduced by fintech start-ups are likely to have an impact that extends beyond the confines of the traditional financial services industry. Financial institutions are increasingly adopting a collaborative approach with fintech start-ups to provide personalised and engaged services to customers

For its part, the institute has made significant contributions to the life and careers of thousands of students and working professionals in the domain area of banking and finance supported by its highly qualified, skilled, and experienced academicians and corporate trainers. Despite the ever-evolving learning landscape, the institute has ensured that it always met industry’s learning needs holistically – to shape the future for its partners and the nation as well by developing a talent pool which is agile, and future-ready!

Jamal Al Jassmi is the General Manager of EIBFS

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