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Organization & Development

According to the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) Resolution No. 56/3/93, dated 19/4/93, reorganizing the structure of the institution, CBUAE has now ,five branches, seven departments, seven divisions, seven units and the Risk Bureau.

The Central Bank maintains five branches in major cities of the country, in addition to the Head Office located in the capital city Abu Dhabi. Central Bank branches are located in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Al Ain.

These branches facilitate inter-bank dealings as well as banks dealings with the Central Bank. Each branch consists of three main sections, namely, Banking Operations, Accounts and Administrative Affairs.

The CBUAE has 7 Departments. Banking Supervision and Examination, Banking Operations, Research and Statistics, Administrative Affairs, Financial Control, Treasury, and Internal Audit, 7 Divisions (Information Technology, Personnel, Correspondent Banking, Public Relations, General Secretariat and Legal Affairs, UAE SWITCH, and the Governor's Office Division) and 7 Units (the Anti - Money Laundering and Suspicious cases Unit, IT Projects Unit, the Strategy Unit, the legislative Development Unit, the Banking and Monetary Statistics Unit, the Financial Stability Unit, and the Benchmarking Unit), in addition to a Risk Bureau.

The Banking Supervision and Examination Department (BSED) is responsible for the soundness of financial Institutions, including local banks, branches and representative offices of foreign banks, moneychangers, finance companies, as well as brokers in shares and financial instruments, financial investment companies and financial consultancies.

The Department is responsible for setting the standards regulating the sector, monitoring compliance, and it processes applications for licenses.

BSED is also entrusted with the task of international cooperation with other regulatory authorities and supranational institutions, such as the Bank for International Settlements, the Financial Action Task Force, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

The Banking Operations Department consists of five sections: (1) Currency Notes & Coins Section, (2) Vaults and Strong Room Section, (3) Banking Operations Follow-up Section, (4) Banking Operations Statistics Section, and (5) Check clearing.

Under the supervision of this Department, new banknotes are printed and launched. They feature the most up-to-date security marks and maintain technical specifications of the highest standards. The Department also issue several gold and silver commemorative coins in celebration of various national occasions, it monitors the UAE funds transfers system and the UAESWITCH.

The Research and Statistics Department (RSD) is the main source of monetary and banking statistics. This is regularly disseminated through UAECB publications, namely the Annual Report, the Economic Bulletin and the Statistical Bulletin. RSD is also entrusted with the task of follow up with international institutions, particularly the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And it coordinates with other statistics providers in the country (Customs, Ministry of Economy...).

The Administration Affairs Department (AFD) consists of: (1) the Purchasing Section, (2) the Maintenance Section, (3) the Correspondence and Archives Section, (4) the Security and Guards Section, and (5) the Library.

The Financial Control Department's main functions are to monitor, control and report on the financial aspects of the Central Bank. This department consists of three sections: (1) Accounts, (2) Treasury Operations, and (3) Management Information.

The Treasury Department (TD) is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Central Bank's reserves. These reserves are the counterpart of: (1) commercial banks' reserve requirements, (2) currency in circulation, (3) the issuance of Dirham denominated Certificates of Deposit, and (4) capital reserves and permanent deposits from the Federal Government.

TD's investment strategy places considerable emphasis on liquidity and preservation of capital. Thus, only certain government issues (largely, in the G7 markets) and certain other fixed income securities with the highest investment grade ratings are considered.

The Department is divided up into four main sections: (1) Capital Markets, (2) Money Markets and Foreign Exchange, (3) Certificates of Deposit, and (4) Back Office Settlements.

The Internal Audit Department (IAD) is entrusted with the two following tasks:

First: This department shall undertake the following tasks:-
  1. Perform pre-audit procedures on all transactions involving telex or Swift transfers or instructions to debit the accounts of the bank with central and commercial banks.
  2. Continuously ensure the proper functioning of computer security system, particularly with regard to code numbers and security levels, which control access to documents and execution of financial transfers through the computer.
  3. Perform post-audit procedures on expenditures of the Head office and branches and report to the board and the Governor any violations to provisions of the Law or the Bank's rules and regulations, in such respect. Audit the Bank's holdings and stock of currency notes; coins and gold, as well as operations relating to the receipt of currency notes and coins from printing and minting houses, in accordance with the instructions issued in such respect and participate in the annual stock-taking of the Bank's assets.

Second: The department shall, at the end of each month, prepare and submit to the Governor a report, and also at the end of each quarter a more comprehensive report, reviewing its auditing activities during that month and for the year. The reports should also highlight measures taken for the purposes of avoiding shortcomings and mistakes, along with proposals aimed at ensuring proper execution of the Bank's operations and enhancement of its technical and administrative standards.

The Information Technology Division (IT) studies manual systems in the Central Bank and the feasibility of their automation. To this end, IT Division carries out Software evaluation and it develops programs required for automation, in addition to the identification of the equipments needed, in this respect.

Other tasks of IT Division include:
  • Develop and update structural designs for data-files or database systems, and explain the manner in which database files may be utilized.
  • Provide training and relevant technical assistance to users of computer systems in the Central Bank.
  • Provide council and technical advice to the Central Bank's management on automation and systems.
  • Perform routine data processing work.
  • Perform procedures relating to hardware installation, determine specifications, maintain and monitor functioning thereof.
  • Operate systems and application software.
  • Effectively manage telecommunication network operations within the security, and protect measures prescribed for such operations.
  • Perform hardware evaluation procedures and operation systems.
  • Organize and follow-up access to the Computer Center.
  • Manage the various aspects of system security, including code numbers assigned to systems' operators.
  • Receive and register programs provided by suppliers and maintain original copies thereof.
  • Maintain in a safe place all documents relating to computer systems along with tapes, diskettes, books and pamphlets.
  • Ensure that the process of data entry and retrieve is conducted in accordance with established procedures.
  • Enter accounting data to the computer and prepare the relevant monthly, quarterly and annual reports.

The Personnel Division comprises three sections: (1) Staff Salaries & Expenditure Section, (2) Contractual and Individual Affairs Section, and (3) Development and Training Section.

I - Staff Salaries and Expenditure Section

Its main tasks are:
  1. Carry out procedures relating to payment of staff salaries, increments, allowances, remuneration, and disbursement of medical expenses, in addition to providing insurance coverage for Staff work related injuries and payment of Staff loans and accommodation leases
  2. Prepare the estimated annual budget of Staff expenses, and
  3. Organize documents, settlement memorandums and payment orders, execute financial settlements relating to the section's works and maintain records, statements, and data which might be required by the section.

II - Contractual and Individual Affairs Section

Its main tasks are:
  1. Implement the provisions of the Staff Regulations and any rules, instructions or resolutions issued in accordance therewith, and ensure proper implementation of resolutions issued by the Board, the Governor and the Executive Committee.
  2. determine the recruitment needs, prepare appropriate advertising and carry out recruitment procedures, and
  3. Execute and/or follow up administrative and other routine procedures relating to Staff attendance, appointments, confirmation of appointments, increments, promotions, and transfer along with procedures relating to provision of insurance and medical care to employees and their families, and medical check-ups for new recruits.

III- Development and Training Section

This section undertakes to:
  1. Propose training programs for new and existing staff with a view to enhance their capabilities and efficiency.
  2. follow up employees' development and develop special qualification programs for promising employees with potential caliber to be promoted to more significant posts in the future, and
  3. Follow up all matters relating to employees' study leaves and training courses, in accordance with the Bank's established rules.

A new Correspondence Banking Division has been established, consisting of three sections, namely, Correspondents, Financial Analysis and Test Keys. The Division aims to follow-up international credit risks to reduce risky placements with such institutions. The Division also undertakes follow-up and documentation of Central Bank dealings with international banks and organizations.

The Public Relations Division has become an independent unit, entrusted with contacts with the media for the publication of Press Releases, Circulars and Directives issued by the Central Bank. The Division also undertakes supervision over social and sports activities.

The General Secretariat and Legal Affairs Division undertakes secretarial works for the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and provides legal counsel to the Board, the Governor and other Departments of the Central Bank. This is to ensure compatibility of the Central Bank's rules, procedures and circulars with the constitution and established laws in the country.

The UAE SWITCH Division was created when the Central Bank proceeded with the execution of the Electronic SWITCH project, which aims to connect the automated teller machines (ATMs) of banks operating in the country through a unified network managed and supervised by the CBUAE. The electronic SWITCH provides services such as cash withdrawals, balance enquiry and point of sale services (POS) to bank customers.

The UAE Interbank SWITCH, which became operational since 1996, facilitated the use of ATMs. As a result, at end 2006, a total of 1,603 ATMs are connected to UAE SWITCH, and 7,700 ATMs are connected to GCC SWITCHES.

Governor's Office Division
This division undertakes to:
  1. prepare responses to correspondence in both Arabic and English languages received from local entities and entities outside the UAE,
  2. maintain files relating to correspondence with Arab and foreign Central Banks and follow-up of current issues with such banks,
  3. organize Governor's interviews, meetings and lectures/articles in addition to responses to media questions, and
  4. Maintain the Governor's files of Director's meetings, meetings of GCC Governors, Arab Governors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addition to subjects relating to these institutions and its current issues.

1- The Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU) was created to enhance the Central Bank's actions in support of international efforts to combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, and in fulfillment of United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1373 of 2001, and IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51). To this end, swift measures were taken by UAECB to search for and freeze accounts that belong to individuals and/or organizations identified as having links to terrorism. Moreover, the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (UAEFIU) was set up at the Central Bank and strengthened by additional human and financial resources, and it became a member of the Egmont Group in June 2002.

2- The IT Projects Unit (ITPU) was created in 2002. The unit is responsible for delivery of all major IT Projects undertaken in implementation the strategy of the Central Bank. Projects are initiated by the IT Committee, which is made up of senior management and chaired by His Excellency the Governor.

Solutions are either developed in-house or are sourced from third party suppliers. The ITPU is continually evaluating emerging technologies, in its quest to ensure that the Central Bank delivers efficient and cost effective solutions to the financial sector in the UAE.

Major projects undertaken include:
  • Payments systems
  • RTGS
  • Image based cheque clearing. The clearing system currently in use has been developed into an automated system, which ensures more accurate inter-bank settlements.
  • Anti-Money Laundering reporting systems
  • Risk Bureau systems
  • Banking Supervision reporting systems
  • Office automation solutions
As regards funds transfer, an Inter bank Funds Transfer System (IFTS) replaced the Telex transfer system in August 2001. It is real time gross settlement for funds transfer between banks, cash withdrawal/deposit pre-authorization, account status monitoring, account reconciliation facilities... The system, which was developed in-house to maintain full control over the facilities, reduced systemic risk, eliminated the need for Central Bank intervention in the inter-bank payments, and streamlined cash-handling services. As a result, transfers through IFTS increased substantially.

Based on requirements of the Federal Government's Strategic Plan, the following units were created in 2008: the Strategy Unit, the Legislative Development Unit, the Banking and Monetary Statistics Unit, the Financial Stability Unit, and the Benchmarking Unit.

3- The Strategy Unit

Its main function is to follow-up good implementation of Central Bank's Strategy and its operational plans. Its main tasks are:

- Coordinate with Central Bank's Departments, Branches, Divisions and Units concerning Central Bank's Strategy and its operational plans, including but not limited to implementation of initiatives and operations and confirm their effectiveness.

- Follow-up performance of Central Bank's Departments, Branches, Divisions and Units concerning implementation of Central Bank's Strategy and its operational plans, and submit brief periodic reports to the Governor in this regard.

- Propose restructuring of sections within Central Bank's Departments, Branches, Divisions and Units, in line with the strategic objectives.

- Coordinate with the Prime Minister's Office, ministries, federal and local authorities, concerning Central Bank's Strategy and its operational plans.

4- The Legislative Development Unit:

This Unit undertakes the review of economic, financial and banking laws and propose updating thereof. Its tasks are specified as follows:

1- To review banking and financial laws and related regulations and propose updating them.

2- To participate within Central Bank's assigned Team to meet with technical committees at Ministries and Government Institutions, for the purpose of reviewing economic laws and propose amendments thereof.

3- To coordinate, via the Central bank above team, with Ministries, Federal and Local Authorities regarding reviewing of laws.

4- To review proposed agreements and memorandums of understanding, to which the Central bank is a party, and provide legal opinion on them.

5- The Banking and Monetary Statistics Unit:

It main task is to prepare all needed banking and monetary statistics. More particularly, it has to:

1- Receive the dully filled-in BRFs by banks and other financial institutions supervised by the Central bank electronically.

2- Receive statistical tables relating to issued currency and cheques from the Banking Operations Department and receive Treasury Department's data and UAE Switch data, all electronically for classification and for preparing related reports.

3- Receive liquidity information from banks, finance/Investment companies on Thursday of every week and prepare a liquidity report.

4- Receive information on Credit portfolios and deposits monthly from banks, finance / Investment companies and prepare a report on growth of credit versus deposits and mark against names of banks exceeding limits of ratios.

6- The Financial Stability Unit:

Financial Stability is referred to as the smooth functioning of the components within a county's financial system.

Established late 2008, the FSU focus is the entire UAE financial system, not individual institutions. It aims at improving the understanding of System Financial Risk to the UAE through the review and analysis of banking and monetary statistics; it makes recommendations for addressing systemic risk.

7- The Benchmarking Unit:

Its main function is to prepare benchmarks relating to low- risk debt instruments and the yield curve.

The Risk Bureau (RB) was created in 1982. It provides information to lending institutions operating in the UAE about applicants, through the following systems:

1- Risk Bureau's Commercial Credit System

In an attempt to provide a better business environment for banks, finance companies and investment companies operating in the country, and in order to assist these institutions in making sound decisions with regard to extending credit facilities to their customers, the Central Bank of UAE is pleased to introduce a new system within the Risk Bureau. The new system will seek to keep up with the great progress in the area of information technology and utilize new computer facilities in providing a more comprehensive view that would facilitate proper assessment of borrower's positions by banks and other financial institutions operating in the country.

The System:

According to the new system, which is called the " RB Commercial Credit System", banks, finance companies and investment companies shall report data on their borrower customers (on line) through their own computer systems, which would be linked by a telephone line with the Risk Bureau's database. The Bureau shall in turn process these data in order to provide consolidated reports on the credit facilities extended to one single borrower, the group he is related to, along with the borrowers related to the owner, or one of the partners.

The Beneficiaries:

All banks, finance companies and investment companies operating in the UAE.

Types of Borrowers Covered by the System:

The system covers juridical persons, including companies, commercial institutions, financial institutions, public enterprises, government departments, governments and similar institutions. It also covers singular or joint natural persons, if the facilities extended to them were of commercial nature (e.g. real estate mortgaged loans or other financial investments), in addition to residents and non-residents whose availed credit facilities (funded or contingent) exceed AED 250,000 or equivalent thereof.

Borrower Details Required for This System

Some of the borrower details required for this system is needed for RB use during the process of assigning code numbers and for the purpose of identifying and distinguishing borrowers' names. Others are required for providing indicators, which would help in giving a clear picture of the borrower's financial position.

The identification particulars used in this system are fit for use in cases of both individual and corporate borrowers according to the following details:

Business Sector Individuals( for commercial purposes)
1- Borrower's Name Borrower's Name
2- Ownership & Percentages Guarantors
3- Place of Incorporation Nationality
4- Date of Establishment Date of Birth
5- Municipality License Number Passport Number
6- Capital & Reserves Annual Income
7- Type of Activity Purpose of Loan
8- External Auditor Employer
9- Extended Facilities Extended Facilities

  Limit   O/S  
Funded Contingent Funded Contingent Total

10- Provisions & Suspended Interest Provisions & Suspended Interest
11- Summary of Securities in Hand Summary of Securities in Hand
12- Classification of Facilities Classification of Facilities

System Operation

All member institutions mentioned above shall deal with the system in accordance with the following mechanism:

1- Data and information on the borrower shall be input on the same day in which facilities are sanctioned, through a specially designed computer screen; part of a program, which shall be made available to all member institutions by the Central Bank.

2- RB shall assign an appropriate code number for the borrower, along with a special code number for partners, and shall communicate it to the reporting agency.

3- Soon after receiving the code number from RB the reporting agency should enter the site of this customer, using the code number provided to it or by inquiring about the customer's name, and print out a statement including all inputs and keep it in the customer's file. Central Bank examiners will ensure that such procedure was performed during their routine examinations.

4- Beneficiaries of this system shall be entitled to enter RB database at any time to add, delete or amend data relating to their customers only. Prior approval of the Central Bank's Banking Supervision & Examination Department may be required in respect of certain amendments such as reducing provisions or suspended interest, or upgrading classification of facilities.

Advantages of the System

1- The system will save the time consumed in exchanging routine correspondence between RB and banks

2- The system will ensure constant provision of updated information on borrowers, along with the potential capability of obtaining consolidated data at any time.

3- Data and information obtainable through this system shall be provided in both Arabic and English, hence ensuring flexibility for member institutions' staff in dealing with the system.

4- The system of instant reporting on a borrower, and the appearance of his name (on line) immediately after sanctioning will do away with the current system's shortcoming of holding the name for a period which used to extend as long as four months.

5- This system will provide abundant information on the borrower and would allow beneficiaries to obtain various types of consolidated reports, which may be summarized as follows:

  • Total credit facilities extended to one borrower by all financing institutions operating in the country

  • The number of banks and finance institutions the borrower deals with

  • Total provisions and suspended interest relating to the borrower

  • The lowest classification assigned to the borrower

  • Statement of the borrower's related and affiliated accounts


Security & Confidentiality

Each member institution is entitled to access the database, review details of all reported borrowers and extract reports whenever they wish. Such facility however, requires that management of the institution establish maximum security measures to ensure that only authorized persons have access to the system. They should provide the Central Bank with an undertaking to the effect that confidentiality of the data they have reviewed shall be maintained and that such data shall not be used for purposes other than those they were intended for.

Optimum Utilization

The Central Bank expects that member institutions shall be keen on optimum utilization of the new system. This however may only be realized under the following conditions:

1- Devoting full attention to each and every stage of the system's operation, particularly the data entry stage, which is considered the cornerstone of the system's functioning. The more each member institution ensure that the entered data (inputs) are complete and correct, the more accurate and complete shall be the reports obtained from the system (outputs). In this context, we refer in particular to reports that show the borrowers related accounts, which would be processed electronically by the computer based on the names entered to the owner or partners column. Therefore, the lending agency must be keen to know the real owner and partners based on the documents to which they have been provided access, and not rely on names mentioned in the trade license, which often differ from reality.

2- Seeking to maintain accuracy and objectivity while filling- in data, regardless of any other considerations.

3- Maintaining constant follow up of borrowers positions utilizing the (on line) nature of the system which provides for amendment data at any time.

4- Utilizing the numerous indicators provided by the system in order to reach to an ideal assessment of the borrower. Apart from the total facilities extended to the borrower, the system also provides the number of banks he deals with, total provisions and suspended interest, classification of the facilities and also all related accounts. Hence regular follow up and analysis of these indicators would enable the institution concerned to read warning signs and take precautionary measures at the right time.

Implementation

The Information Technology Division of Central Bank of the UAE has developed the basic software for this system. The Central Bank will provide banks, finance companies and investment companies operating in the country with all programs, operation manuals and applicable instructions, which would ensure proper functioning of this system. The Central Bank also intends to organize user-training workshops for the concerned staffs of member institutions.

2. Returned Cheques System

The Returned Cheques System "RCS" at the Risk Bureau is an online database containing names of persons and commercial establishments whom 4 or more cheques are returned during a year.

Data are entered by authorized staff at the Risk Bureau based on a standard form completed by banks and financial institutions in the UAE, along with other required documentation such as photocopy of the person's passport or the trade license in case of commercial establishments, in order to ensure accuracy of data. Accounts of such persons and commercial establishments are closed and shall be banned from opening current accounts and receiving cheque books for one year.

This system allows banks and financial institutions operating in the UAE to review details of individuals and establishments listed in the system as a prudential procedure.

The RCS data are updated on daily basis.

3. Customer Rating System (Personal Loans - AED 0- 250,000)

The Customer Rating System (Personal Loans) "CRS" at the Risk Bureau is an online database consisted of names of individuals rated by banks as customers who failed to honor their obligations towards those banks. Being an online system the CRS allows banks to instantly review lists of names and their respective ratings before sanctioning loans. Banks may access the system from their head offices and add new names or delete names. The CRS database is updated on daily basis.

        

Last Updated on 16, January 2017