Day 1



Dr Gillian Tett
Chairman of the US Editorial Board and
America Editor-at-Large, Financial Times

Welcome Address

Dr Khaled Kawan
Group Chief Executive Officer, Bank ABC

Banking Beyond Digital

A comprehensive overview of the event’s central theme: “Banking Beyond Digital”, touching on each of the key themes covered in the two-day discussions. As the no-touch economy has arrived half a decade before its time, he shares his vision for “The Bank of the Future”, how the pandemic has turbocharged digitization across the global financial services industry and the new normal “Invisible Banking.”

Sael Al Waary
Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, Bank ABC

COVID-19 Driven Financial Transformation and the Future of Regulation

COVID-19 has witnessed a massive investment into digital banking. No longer is digital regarded as a disruptor but as a critical enabler in the post COVID-19 era. To what extent has the pandemic driven digital financial transformation? What does it mean for governance and regulation? Has the rapid rise in digital banking resulted in a lag of effective regulation and governance.

Hear from Dr. Gillian Tett on how financial innovation should be regulated going forward, and the risks and opportunities.

Dr. Gillian Tett
Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America
Editor-at-Large, Financial Times

Regulation in the Digital Age

Regulators from the MEA Region discuss the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and their predictions for the future regulation and banking.

The Governors and Regulators from the Central Banks in the Region will explore the dramatically changing landscape of banking. We explore the challenges of regulation in a digital age. Can regulation keep pace with the speed of innovation? What is their view on the proposed Central Bank’s digital currencies? How will it work? What are the pitfalls? How should the digital payments industry be regulated in the future? What is the view on the issuing a virtual digital banking license? What is the view on the post pandemic recovery and the future of banking? And finally, what should the Central Banks do to encourage greater financial inclusion for the unbanked and underserved?


HE Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain
HE Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority
Dietrich Domanski, Secretary General of the Financial Stability Board

Dr. Gillian Tett
Chairman of the US Editorial Board and
America Editor-at-Large, Financial Times

The Bank of the Future

Disruptive technologies are transforming our lives and the way we conduct our finances. In this session, Accenture share their insights on the future of banking and address what is happening in the banking world, and why it matters.

Dr. Edwin Van der Ouderaa
Senior Managing Director, Customer Sales and Service Europe, Global Digital Banking, Accenture

Redefining Banking with AI

AI is powering banking especially retail and wholesale, and not just with open banking that presents a customer portfolio of accounts in one place and allows third parties access. The opportunity for cybersecurity goes beyond biometrics and passwords to behavioural profiles and the use people will make of IoT. Data is the real asset and will provide contextual scenarios to address the financial needs of clients, their willingness to purchase financial products and best of all, to predict their future behaviours.

Dr. Inma Martinez
Digital Pioneer and A.I. Scientist

Road to Recovery: A Regional Perspective

In this fireside chat, Jamal Fakhro discusses his perspective on the MENA region. Charting the journey over the past few years and looking towards the future challenges and opportunities.

Jamal Fakhro
Managing Partner, KPMG Bahrain


Banks Embracing Digital Transformation

In this session, Dr Gillian Tett moderates a panel of the CEOs from leading Regional and International Banks. This session will explore how the so-called traditional banks are responding to the demand for digital banking. Whether banking is destined to become little more than a utility, like telecommunications, in the future. The future of banking. How banks are responding to the double threat of COVID-19 and the acceleration of digital banking? How will CEOs reconcile reduced incomes from negative interest rates with the pressures for paying dividends whilst increasing investment in digital?

Dr. Gillian Tett
Bank CEOs’ Panel

Dr. Khaled Kawan, Group CEO, Bank ABC
Atiq Rehman, CEO - EMEA Emerging Markets, Citi
Martin Tricaud, CEO, MENAT - HSBC Group


Day1 Reflections

Dr. Gillian Tett Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America
Editor-at-Large, Financial Times
In Conversation with
Sael Al Waary Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer , Bank ABC

Day 2


Looking Beyond the Pandemic

Stephen Sackur, Journalist & Presenter of BBC HARDtalk, opens Day 2 of the forum with his observations on the pandemic; how countries and leaders have been challenged in their response; and predictions for the future.

Stephen Sackur
Journalist & Presenter of BBC HARDtalk

In Conversation with
Sael Al Waary
Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer , Bank ABC

MEA Economy:
The Digital Economy

In conversation with Stephen Sackur, this promises to be an exciting discussion on the role of technology in the digital economy in 2021 and beyond. Dr Ziad Daoud will explore the opportunities from technological advancement as well as threats. It will outline the winners and losers in the global technological race and the impact on the Middle East region.

Stephen Sackur
Journalist & Presenter of BBC HARDtalk

In Conversation with
Dr. Ziad Daoud
Chief Economist, Emerging Markets Bloomberg

COVID-19 Driven Digital
Financial Transformation : Spotlight on
Transaction Banking

A fireside chat with a senior leader from Goldman Sachs. In this session we explore how digital is transforming business finance from transaction banking to intelligent finance. Hari Moorthy shares his experiences and talks about innovations in banking technology for corporations and what it’s been like to build the first-ever digital-only transaction bank over the past two years.

Hari Moorthy
Global Head of Transaction Banking Goldman Sachs

Digital Financial Transformation : Spotlight on Transaction Banking

Even before the disruption brought by the global pandemic, the transaction banking industry was already amidst the greatest disruptive phase in its history driven by digitization, automation and FinTech; smarter data & analytics-driven decision-making; ever-faster payments highways and ever-higher customer and industry expectations. This pace of change guarantees one thing: the industry in 2030 will be radically different to that of today.

Giulio Romanelli
Partner, McKinsey

The Digital Economy: Focus on China

With the pandemic accelerating a cataclysmic shift from the physical towards a digital world, China is spearheading the way. From contactless payments, to facial recognition, to the latest technologies have transformed the lives of billions in China and the rest of the world.

Winston Ma High-Tech Investor, Digital Economy Author, China-US
cross-border lawyer, NYU Adjunct Professor on SWF funds

Challenger Banks: Challenging the Status Quo

Digital banking was thought until recently to be a side strategy for banking. Yet COVID-19-19 has transformed the way we interact and digital banking has now come of age. In this session, we hear from the CEO’s from the so-called Challenger Banks and their vision for the future

Anthony Thomson, Founder and former Chairman of Metro
Bank and Atom Bank, Co-founder and Chairman of Bank 86 400

Challenger Bank CEOs’ Panel
Mohamed Al Maraj, CEO ila Bank
Robert Bell, CEO of Bank 86 400
Deniz Güven, Chief Executive Officer,Mox, Standard Chartered’s
new digital bank.

Digital Payments:
The New Low Touch Economy?

Digital payments have exploded in 2020 due largely to the pandemic. Some commentators are concerned that digital payments remains an unregulated part of banking. Yet the demand for digital payments A riveting fireside chat with one of the senior leaders from Google on the future of digital payments and hear about the plans for the next 1 billion users.

Mahesh Bhalerao
Global Director, Partnerships, Google

Cyber Security:
The Biggest Threat Post COVID-19?

The threat of cyber security keeps many senior executives and Regulators awake at night. Over the past two days, we have looked into the future and explored the opportunities coming from disruptive technologies. Yet cyber risk has become more and more important as new technologies and technology platforms become the new realities. A fascinating presentation and discussion from an expert in cyber security describing what some might call the ‘dark side’ of digital.

Ciaran Martin
Founding CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre and Professor, University of Oxford

Leading Agile Transformation

As we come to the close of the MEA FinTech Forum: Banking Beyond Digital, we explore the future of digital, innovation and agile leadership. In this fireside discussion we explore how senior leaders can best navigate the new disruptive technologies? Who will be the winners of the future? What does it mean to be agile? What are the new capabilities required to be successful in the post pandemic world.

Dr. Simon Hayward
Author, The Agile Leader

Key Highlights from the MEA Fintech Forum

Stephen Sackur
Journalist & Presenter of BBC HARDtalk

In Conversation with
Sael Al Waary
Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer , Bank ABC