ABA & Banks participate in Afghan Banking and Payment System Validation Workshop
Date: 2 March 2022
Afghanistan Banks Association (ABA) & its member banks participated in Afghan Banking and Payment System Validation Workshop, conducted by UNDP. ABA always strives nationally and internationally to solve the existing problems within the banking sector and provide banking services to the customers on a regular basis throughout the country. In this regard, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in coordination with ABA, held Afghan banking and payment system; validation workshop in Istanbul, Turkey on March 02, 2022. In the workshop, authorized officials of UNDP, UN, UNCDF, World Bank, Afghanistan Credit Guarantee Fundation (ACGF), Central Bank, telecommunication companies, digital payment companies, Commercial banks, banking elites, ABA and Afghanistan Microfinance Association (AMA) participated. The main purpose of this workshop aimed to identify the challenges banks and the payment system face and to develop a comprehensive program to remove restrictions and strengthen the banking sector, in order to contribute well in distribution of internatoinal aids as well as Afghan economic development. On behalf of ABA, Mr. Najibullah Amiri Executive Director provided general information about the obstacles banks are facing, current opportunities and justified proposals to eliminate them.
During his presentation the following suggestions were proposed:
1. Providing deposit insurance to the banks customers
2. Injecting liquidity into the banks
3. Credit Guarantee facility for banks
4. Confidence building within the banking sector
5. Expanding Correspondent banking relationships with foreign countries
6. Strengthening and developing Islamic banking in the country
7. Digitalization of payments to reduce liquidity pressure in the economy
8. Financial support and capacity building for the central bank as well as banks
ABA, the CEOs of banks & experts discussed on the above-mentioned issues technically and professionally and shared their opinions and suggestions . ABA suggested that, making the Banking relationship (CBR) with US Banks as US banks are the world USD currency settlement corridor, play significant rule on Afghan banking system. Furthermore, ABA proposed that the central bank should be engaged in overall stages of planning and implementing the financial/economic recovery program; since sanctions have been removed by USA. UNDP Official stated that: “They are willing to support banking and financial sector of Afghanistan, as the United States has lifted banking and financial sanctions, it has created an opportunity for the banking and financial sector to be improved and strengthened. We are committed working with foreign and domestic partners to provide serious and comprehensive support to the banking sector in these areas, especially in insuring customer deposits, injecting liquidity, capacity building, partial guarantee and expanding electronic payments” UNDP Official said”. In order to prepare a comprehensive and strategic program, UNDP team will soon visit banking sector officials in Kabul.
At the end, ABA and banks management thanked UNDP and other donors for convening the workshop and their cooperation for the economic prosperity of Afghanistan.