Al-Mahrouq: The joining aims to enhance Jordanian banking capabilities to keep pace with international developments.

This took place on Friday, June 21, 2024, during the annual meeting held by the General Assembly of the European Banking & Financial Services Training Association (EBTN), with the aim of discussing the organization’s activities and requesting membership from the Association of Banks in Jordan as a participating member. The meeting was held in Serbia, and the membership application was presented by Dr. Maher Al-Mahrouq, the Director General of the Association.

Al-Mahrouq emphasized the importance of cooperation with the network and its role in enhancing the future work of the Association of Banks in Jordan. He discussed the establishment of the association, its services, and its interest in obtaining membership in the European network due to the numerous benefits that contribute to the advancement of the Jordanian banking sector.

Regarding membership, Al-Mahrouq mentioned that the Association of Banks is the third Arab member to join the European Association, alongside representatives from Egypt and Lebanon. This highlights the importance of the Association of Banks entering the European Association community and future cooperation on regional and international levels.

Al-Mahrouq also noted the substantial support from members of the European network for the association, as the membership request was unanimously approved without objection or abstention. He highlighted the support provided by three international institutions, underscoring their ongoing collaboration with the Association of Banks, which reflects positively on the association’s reputation in international and regional circles, as well as its connection to the strong and secure Jordanian banking sector as classified by these institutions.

Additionally, Al-Mahrouq mentioned that the European network includes numerous countries worldwide, with 34 European and 8 non-European members. Participating countries include Belgium, Italy, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, India, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and Canada. He clarified that the European network is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, within the European Union headquarters. It is a non-profit European organization focused on developing and enhancing excellence in education and training in banking and financial services in Europe. It also facilitates collaboration with various stakeholders, including banks, financial institutions, training providers, and educational institutions, to enhance the quality and effectiveness of training and education in the banking and financial sector. The network serves as a platform for institutions and organizations to collaborate in various banking areas, develops standards for specialized training and education programs in banking and financial services, and organizes a wide range of important banking events and conferences while providing advanced training programs related to the banking sector at the international level.

Al-Mahrouq emphasized that the decision to apply for membership in the European network came after thorough study by the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks and a firm conviction of the importance of joining. This is aimed at enhancing Jordanian banking capabilities to keep pace with global developments and changes in various fields such as sustainable finance, green finance, digital transformation, and leveraging artificial intelligence tools.

He stated that membership in the European Association will offer numerous benefits, including building international partnerships and networking with representatives from European and non-European financial institutions worldwide. It will facilitate the exchange of experiences and ideas, providing access to one of the most important and largest sources of knowledge and innovation globally. This enables learning about and following best practices in training and capacity building in banking sectors. Additionally, it allows for benefiting from the financial and banking expertise within the European network, as well as from its training programs, activities, conferences, and workshops, including specialized committees such as the Sustainable Finance Committee and the Personal Finance Committee.

Regarding training and capacity building, Al-Mahrouq highlighted that the Jordanian banking sector is one of the best economic sectors in terms of efficiency within the Jordanian economy. It boasts qualified human resources, with approximately 23,000 employees, of which about 35% are female. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Association to diligently work to maintain this advanced level of human resources in the sector by expanding training opportunities and positive engagement with European network activities for mutual benefit.

He mentioned that the Association of Banks collaborates closely with numerous local and international institutions to develop training aspects and enhance the building of banking human resources capabilities. This aligns with the Association’s strategy to strengthen its regional and international presence and develop the efficiency of training programs and services it offers, especially in contributing to building competencies, skills, and professional capacities of those working in the banking sector. This membership in the European network also aligns with the Central Bank’s vision and the vision for the economic modernization of the Jordanian banking sector in opening up new horizons and potentials, particularly in aspects of financial sustainability and green finance facilitated by the European network through its specialized committees.

Fatima Derks, President of the European Association, highlighted during the General Assembly meeting the longstanding reputation of the Association of Banks in the Arab region, noting its 50-year history since its establishment. She provided a brief overview of the services it offers and emphasized the importance of the Association’s membership in the network, as well as highlighting avenues for future cooperation. Derks also expressed widespread welcome from members of the European Association for the Association of Banks to join.

In conclusion, at the end of the General Assembly meeting, Al-Mahrouq expressed heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the European Banking & Financial Services Training Association (EBTN), represented by its president and all its members, for welcoming the Association of Banks in Jordan as a member. He emphasized that the Association will strive to contribute everything possible to enhance the work of the European network and build upon its efforts in developing training and building banking capabilities, aligned with enhancing training capabilities in the Association of Banks to serve the Jordanian banking sector uniquely and suitably for its future needs.

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