Director - Fintech and Innovation Unit

Yasmeen Al Sharaf

FinTech & Innovation Unit at the Central Bank of Bahrain

Yasmeen Al-Sharaf is the Director of the FinTech & Innovation Unit at the Central Bank of Bahrain (“CBB”), tasked with setting up a conducive ecosystem to facilitate a robust regulatory framework that fosters innovation within the financial services sector. She has been working with the CBB for the past 18 years, whereby, she started her journey at the CBB at the Licensing Directorate.

During the time spent within the Licensing Directorate, Yasmeen got to work closely with banks, investment companies, insurance companies, financing companies and ancillary service provider both local and international, as well as gaining insight and a thorough understanding of Bahrain’s regulatory framework governing all sectors within the financial services industry.

Yasmeen has been in charge for designing and implementing the FinTech strategy for the Central Bank of Bahrain.  She has worked on creating the Kingdom’s Regulatory Sandbox and is in charge of supervising all companies operating in the Regulatory Sandbox. Yasmeen has also successfully worked on a number FinTech regulations that were issued by the CBB, making the Kingdom of Bahrain the first country in the GCC and wider MENA regions to issue such regulations.  

One of Yasmeen’s latest achievements was the launch of the Kingdom’s first digital sandbox platform “FinHub973”.  Her tremendous efforts has led to the recognition of the Kingdom of Bahrain as a leading FinTech hub in the MENA region.

Yasmeen represents the CBB at a number of regional and international FinTech Working Group’s and committees, including the Global Financial Innovation Network (“GFIN”).  She is also the Chairman of the Regulatory Sandbox Applications Committee at the CBB, a member of Bahraini’s Women in FinTech Committee which is being led by the Supreme Council for Women in Bahrain and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Bloomberg LP’s GCC gender diversity initiative, ‘A Fair Share’.  She has also been selected as one of the “Top 100 Women in FinTech 2019” by Lattice80 Hub in collaboration with Miss Kaya and has been selected by Innovate Finance UK to be on the “Women in FinTech Powerlist”, for three years in a row (2019, 2020 & 2021), amongst 200 other women from around the world, under the ‘Policymakers and Regulatory Experts’ category.

Prior to joining the CBB, Yasmeen worked briefly at Bahrain Islamic Bank within the Corporate Finance Department. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Banking and Finance from the University of Bahrain.  She also holds a professional certificate in “FinTech & Regulatory Innovation” from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, University of Cambridge.

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