The Arab Committee on Banking Supervision (ACBS) was established in 1991 by the Council of Governors of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Agencies. Membership of ACBS consists of the managers of banking supervision departments in the Arab countries. Similar to its role in the Council of Governors, the Arab Monetary Fund acts as the Technical Secretariat of the ACBS.
The Council identified a set of objectives for this committee, the most important being: 1) monitoring of compliance with the Basel Committee standards on capital adequacy, 2) identifying opportunities for application of international practices in banking supervision in Arab countries, and 3) the development of banking legislation and accounting systems with the objective of standardization among the Arab countries.
In addition, it’s an objective of the Committee to provide training and technical assistance to the AMF’s member states for developing their own supervisory capacities. In this regard, it should be noted that the Arab Monetary Fund, as the technical secretariat of the Committee, contributes to coordination on banking supervision field, and exchange of experience among Arab countries, by providing training courses at the AMF’s Economic Policy Institute for staff working in banking supervision departments.
The ACBS plays a vital role in the coordination effort among the Arab countries in the area of banking supervision, and constitutes an active platform for the exchange of experience and information among local supervisory authorities. As a body of the Council of Governors, the ACBS continuously discusses the working papers dealing with issues related to banking supervision, initially prepared by a working group, and submits its recommendations to the Board for approval and application according to the legal and regulatory framework of each state.
The ACBS carries out on annual basis two studies on selected issues related to recent developments and regulatory standards in banking supervision, and submits its recommendations to the Board of Governors for acceptance and guidance on applying those recommendations. Most of these working papers are introductory papers that aim to identify the topics to tackle, and are, very often, based on international standards and principles, particularly those issued by the Basel Committee.
The initial drafts of these papers are prepared by a working group set up by the Committee that meets several times per year. The papers are then discussed by the ACBS in its annual meeting, where final adjustments are incorporated into the documents. The next step consists of submitting these papers to the Permanent Bureau of the Board of Governors, which may introduces modifications, before the final endorsement by the Board in its annual session.
The ACBS maintains a close cooperation with the Basel Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, whereby a representative of Basel Committee regularly attends the annual meetings of the ACBS, which are also attended by the Secretary General of Union of Arab Banks as an observer.