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Interview: Yasmeen Al Sharaf, head of fintech and innovation unit, Central Bank of Bahrain
This article is part of the CW Middle East issue of October-December 2019
Yasmeen Al Sharaf graduated from the University of Bahrain with a BSc in banking and finance, and now runs the department focused on developing financial technology (fintech) at Bahrain’s financial regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). During her 14 years at the CBB, Al Sharaf has held several roles, including one that that involved licensing research and development, where she came into contact with financial services firms trying to set up in Bahrain. She now heads up the CBB’s fintech and innovation unit. The bank is pro-innovation and encourages the development of fintech, and has tasked the unit with establishing an ecosystem in a role that includes overseeing and supervising the CBB’s regulatory sandbox. Al Sharaf says fintech is important to Bahrain because it reduces the country’s economic dependency on oil and gas. “In recent years, Bahrain has expended significant resources on diversifying away from a previous focus on hydrocarbons,” she says. Bahrain already had a good reputation in the Gulf region for ...
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Features in this issue
Biometric and blockchain technologies are being used in tandem to provide ID verification at Saudi Arabian cash machines
Sovereign wealth fund’s internal IT team handled migration process, which has slashed the organisation’s technology operational costs
Yasmeen Al Sharaf heads up financial technology strategy at Bahrain’s central bank, which is on a mission to grow and diversify the sector in the Middle East island state