Prime Minister Mr. Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government addressed the annual Banking Conference in the Kurdistan Region, organized by the Iraqi Private Banks League in collaboration with the Kurdistan Investment Commission.
Barazani expressed his delight in participating in this conference, saying: "I am honored to join you today at this significant conference dedicated to banking systems and the advancement of banking services, particularly those pertaining to private sector banks. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the organizers for choosing this critical topic. The imperative for reform, development, and improved efficiency in the banking sector underlines the urgent need for economic progress."
Barzani also outlined key initiatives aimed at transforming the banking sector in the Kurdistan Region, starting next year. Pensioners in the Kurdistan Region will no longer need to endure long waits in scorching summer heat or freezing winters. Instead, they will be able to deposit their pensions directly into their bank accounts promptly.
He continued that traders will no longer be burdened with carrying large sums of cash. Instead, they will enjoy the convenience of managing their finances online. Applicants for small loans will be able to apply online, and those wishing to send money to relatives abroad will have the option to do so online, eliminating the need for transfer agencies.
Barzani also tackled that by year-end, thousands of public sector employees will be enrolled in the "My Account" project, enabling them to have private bank accounts for salary deposits. this program's implementation will be expedited next year.
He added: "We are committed to ensuring that one million employees have bank accounts by the end of the following year, and we are expediting the program's implementation and have made all the necessary preparations."
He pointed out that we decided to support the banking expansion plan, through the following program:
once all public sector employees are registered with banks, the private sector employees must do the same. This will make banking services accessible to hundreds of thousands of people in the Kurdistan Region.
We also encourage banks to expand their branches across the Kurdistan Region and increase the number of ATM machines tenfold. Additionally, we are working to ensure the availability of electronic payment machines in most markets across Kurdistan.
We must acknowledge that banks have thus far fallen short of meeting the needs of our citizens. Overreliance on cash has hindered our economic growth and created opportunities for fraud and money laundering. It's time for change. We will offer any necessary support to private banks to enhance and expedite their services.