The Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and the Emirates Bankers' Forum honoured the winners of the UAE Bank Corporate Governance Awards on 30 December 2008, at the Bankers' Lunch, the monthly event held at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) for senior officials of UAE banks.
The winners of the 2008 UAE Bank CG Awards were:
- Winner of Overall Corporate Governance Structure:
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
- Winner of Best Board Award:
Bank of Sharjah
- Winner of Best Transparency and Disclosure Award:
Commercial Bank of Dubai
Dr. Nasser Al Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah said: "It is imperative to invest in strong corporate governance frameworks and practice in order protect and grow the region's wealth. Underlying the current credit crisis and financial meltdown is a failure of corporate governance at the level of banks and regulators. Good corporate governance, coupled with effective supervision and regulation will increase transparency and disclosure, build investor confidence and add depth to financial markets by promoting higher quality protection of shareholder and creditor rights. .The interest in the UAE Bank Corporate Governance Awards is a testament of the increasing importance that the UAE Banks are placing on corporate governance. We must sustain and grow this momentum so that the UAE's banking industry becomes a role model for the region."
Mr. Sulaiman Al Mazroui congratulated the winners of the awards and addressed the audience stressing about the importance of Corporate Governance Practices in light of current global financial crisis and said: "The Global Financial Crisis has fast forwarded the adoption of the local and regional banking and finance sector for Corporate Governance Practices. Financial institutions are increasingly aware of the importance of such practices in boosting investor confidence and enhancing crisis management; however, the local and regional financial sector should adopt latest international practices in this field and create new practices that suit the culture and business practices and environment of the region."
Launched in 2008 by Hawkamah and Emirates Bankers' Forum, the UAE Bank Corporate Governance Award seeks to identify and honour banks that show leadership and initiative in enhancing good corporate governance. The winners were decided following a rigorous assessment by a distinguished jury panel comprised of international banking and governance experts including Mr. Charles Freeland, a well-respected international banking consultant and former Deputy Secretary General, Basel Committee on Banking and Mr. Chris Pierce, Chairman of Global Governance Services Ltd.
The criteria for the Award included commitment to good corporate governance; structure and functioning of the Board of Directors (or equivalent Supervisory Board); control environment and processes; transparency and disclosure; and treatment of minority shareholders.