8th Annual Middle East Retail Banking Forum Opens In Dubai, UAE

Dedicated three-day event puts spotlight on the future of Middle East retail banking, while examining its growth opportunities and current obstacles

Dubai, UAE, 15 April 2013: The 8th Annual Middle East Retail Banking Forum has officially commenced today, as more than 200 delegates gather to learn the latest technologies and issues surrounding the region’s retail banking sector. This year’s conference witnesses a unique exchange of ideas on synergisizing the retail element into retail banking. 36 Key sessions will engages participants to question the industry trend setters and help understand the next generation of retail banking products and services.

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Over 53 speakers will involve in knowledge-sharing sessions, intriguing panel discussions, relevant case-studies and networking opportunities with industry peers platform to interact, learn and collect business intelligence and strategic insight.This forum is sponsored by 19 leading industry institutions Participants will witness launch of new banking products and update themselves with the latest banking support systems.

This forum was opened by the event chairman, Richard Fraser, General Manager of Retail Banking of FIS Global, followed by the keynote speech titled “Middle East Retail Banking Outlook – The Big Picture”, delivered by Sanjay Malhotra, Head of Retail Banking: Middle East & North Africa at National Bank of Kuwait, where he emphasised on the region’s political and economic impact retail banking sector, highlighting the opportunities that the region offers to enhance the scope of Middle East retail banking .

Praveen Bandekar, Head of Retail Product Division at Union National Bank kicked off the first presentation where he focused on strategies to increase sales volumes by lowering profit margins, through implementation of correct pricing strategy creating an impact on boosting retail sales. Highlight of the first half of the forum was an exclusive panel discussion entitled as Guru Panel that featured eminent retail banking business heads across the region, exploring new avenues for retail business growth.

Moderated by Richard Fraser, General Manager –of Retail Banking of FIS Global this GURU Panel was joined by 7 panelists including D Anand, General Manager – Personal Banking from Qatar Islamic Bank, Ajay Makhija, Group Head – Global Consumer Bank of SAMBA Financial Group, Mohamed Zaqout, Executive Vice President and Head of Personal Banking of Al Hilal Bank, David Power, Head of Retail Banking Group of Commercial Bank International PSC, Dr. Imad I. Itani, Board Member & General Manager of Group Retail & Islamic Banking, Bank Audi SAL – Audi Saradar Group and George Beatty, General Manager – Consumer & Elite Banking of National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Ajay Makhija, Group Head – Global Consumer Bank at SAMBA Financial Group elaborated the Saudi Arabian Retail Banking experience in his presentation. Capitalizing growth on core product lines through an effective bundling strategy was explained and addressed by D Anand, General Manager for Personal Banking at Qatar Islamic Bank.

Richard Fraser, General Manager of Retail Banking of FIS Global through case-studies and best practises , elaborate on the scope of next generation of retail banking. Effective means of standardization and maintaining consistency in customer experience across all delivery channels was brainstormed by Sundar Parthasarathy, Executive Vice President – Head of Consumer Assets – Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank .

A dedicated session entitled “Credit Engineering – Loan Decision Making, Sustainable Growth and Credit Risk Management”, was presented by Amitava Mandal, Practice Manager – BFSI at Wipro Limited. How DSA deal can be closed in one visit by innovative direct selling strategies was elaborated by Ghiath Halabi, Engagement Director – VeriPark. VeriPark – premium silver sponsor of this forum will launch their new solution VeriTouch DSA.

Daniel Melo, Senior Director of Pre Sales Consulting at FICO addressed th audience at a session where he spoke on on redefining consumer finance offers and matching innovation to change.

Day one of the forum concluded by a panel discussion entitled “Leveraging in the Online Shopping Business to Boost Consumer Financial Services”, which will be followed by a networking reception attended by speakers, exhibitors, delegates and VIPs.

Current online sales represent 5 percent of their total, in two years they estimate this will double to 10 percent. With this estimated change in future business patterns this panel discussion brainstormed on strategies to change the traditional way to identify future opportunities with the advancement of technology, marketing creativity and understanding the scope of consumer financial services. Gary Mond, Head of Consumer Banking – Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) QSC; Suresh Bajpai, Head of Retail Banking – Doha Bank;Girish Advani, Senior Vice President – Cards Business Head – First Gulf Bank; Pieter Sleeboom, Chief Operations Officer – Cobone.com; Praveen Bandekar from Union National Bank; Daniel Melo from FICO were the participating panelists for this forum.

Tomorrow, day two of the conference, the forum will begin with the opening speech from the day’s chair Gary Mond, Head of Consumer Banking – Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) QSC, followed by a session presented by Mujtaba Naqvi General Manager: Retail Business Planning & Development at HBL (Habib Bank) termed as “Channel Diversification – Adapting to Innovative Alternate Channel Services or being The Flintstones”

Jelmer de Jong, Global Head of Marketing – Backbase will show you the key trends driving the new era of engagement banking in his presentation. Using real world examples, this presentation will focus on Bank 2.0 best practices for both online and mobile banking. A dedicated session entitled “Lessons learned from the Crisis: Adapt fast or perish” will be addressed by Margaritis Manos, Deputy CEO at EXUS.

“How to Do Business Better – Rethink it Differently and Outdo the competition!” will be elaborated by Jiri Zivnustka, Partnerat Adastra Business Consulting (ABC). Dean Young, Vice President, Product Management, Ambit Retail Banking at SUNGARD ( Silver Sponsor) will address a session titled “Digitalisation of the Branch”. In a pre-event interview Dean informed us, “SunGard partnered with Celent last year to undertake research into retail bank readiness to meet consumer demand and we surveyed over 1000 consumers across the Middle East and Asia. One of the key findings was that the branch is one of the top three decision factors in choosing who to bank with. This supports what we are seeing in the Middle East, where banks are heavily focused on making the branch a fully integrated part of their digital strategies. Branch transformation is centred around making this channel more digitalized. When looking at this in terms of serving generation Y, this generation expects its bank to use the technologies that they use in their everyday lives to both serve and self-serve.”

The sole panel discussion scheduled for the second day will debate on a client centric retail banking strategy where the main focus will be on driving process excellence and embedding a lean culture across direct customer channels to ensure quicker response time. This panel entitled as “The Customer Channel” will feature panelists from Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD PJSC, FIS Global, Polaris Financial Technology Ltd, Wipro Limited and Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) QSC.

The thrid and final day of the conference will feature two interactive panel discussions and presentation by speakers from Emirates NBD PJSC, Citibank NA , Polaris Financial Technology Ltd, Bank Sohar SAOG, Axslogic Pte Ltd, Infobip, Gulf International Bank, Allied Bank Limited, Gemalto, du | Emirates Integrated Telecommunications, Company PJSC, MasterCard Worldwide, Bank Nizwa, Gulf International Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Bank Sohar SAOG, Mashreq PSC and many more.

Other exhibitors sharing their latest solutions at the two-day exhibition running alongside the conference include Union National Bank (Strategic Partner), FIS (Premium Gold Sponsor) Wipro Limited, Istanbul Gold Refinery (Gold Sponsors), VeriPark (Premium Silver Sponsor), FICO, Backbase, EXUS and Sunguard (Silver Sponsors), AXS:Logic (Analytical Partner), SAB International (Associate Sponsor), Polaris Financial Technology Limited, D&B, Adastra Business Consulting, Dun and Bradstreet, Infobip (Bronze Sponsor), Bahrain Islamic Bank (Supporting Sponsor), Gemalto (Event Partner), Virtual Technologies, Global Payment Services (Exhibitors).

Media Contact:

Mohor Mukherjee

Fleming Gulf

E: mohor.mukherjee@fleminggulf.com

T: +971 4609 1570

F: +971 4609 1589

http://www.fleminggulf.com/8merb

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