GCC central bank governors discussed central bank digital currency, fintech, payment systems, and monetary and financial development in the region
Muscat – As Oman currently holds the presidency of the GCC Committee of Central Bank Governors, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) hosted the 81st meeting of GCC central bank governors in Salalah on Tuesday.
The meeting was chaired by H H Sayyid Taimour bin Asa’ad al Said, chairman of the board of governors of the CBO, with the participation of governors from the GCC central banks and the GCC Secretary-General.
During the meeting, a range of topics related to monetary and financial developments in the GCC states were discussed. The meeting also addressed issues related to the supervision and surveillance of the banking sector, payment systems, fintech in the GCC banking sector, and GCC Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Central banks in many countries are looking to develop digital currencies amid the growing popularity and acceptance of digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Some countries in the GCC, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have already announced their plans and strategies to introduce central bank digital currencies. Oman’s central bank also stated in May 2022 that it is working to develop its own digital currency and open banking services.
The CBO is actively monitoring developments in various emerging areas and has established task forces dedicated to studying Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and other digital innovations, as stated in its recently released Financial Stability Report.
‘This proactive approach allows the CBO to equip itself with the expertise required to navigate the evolving landscape of digital finance and stay prepared to take appropriate action when necessary,’ the CBO said.
The GCC Committee of Central Bank Governors also addressed issues related to the latest developments within the framework of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, cybersecurity in the banking sector, and common topics between the GCC Afaq Payment System and the Arab Regional Payment System (Buna).
Moreover, the committee reviewed the GCC Secretariat’s general report on the implementation of its decisions at the previous meetings.
The committee was also briefed on updates regarding the progress of the signature and ratification of the agreement on linking GCC payment systems and other monetary and banking issues, in addition to the topics listed in the committee’s agenda, on which appropriate decisions were taken.