In preparation for its consumer bureau operational launch in Q1 2014, Al Etihad Credit Bureau, the UAE's sole provider of credit reports, has announced that it has conducted a series of technical and awareness workshop sessions for U.A.E. financial and banking institutions. The technical workshops were attended by over 180 representatives from 42 U.A.E. financial institutions. The primary focus of the workshops was to train credit and risk executives to effectively access and use the new Al Etihad Credit Bureau system, understand its technical functions and correctly interpret credit reports. To support the technical workshops, Al Etihad Credit Bureau also conducted 27 general awareness sessions for more than 600 front-line customer service staff from 9 of the largest retail financial institutions in the U.A.E.. The sessions were conducted to provide frontline banking executives with a deeper understanding of credit reporting and equip the banks with the required knowledge to explain credit reports and the importance of maintaining a good credit rating for customers. The awareness workshop sessions featured a presentation about Al Etihad Credit Bureau's services and credit reports, as well as a discussion about the benefits offered by the new system and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) session. Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau, said, "We are conducting intensive operational workshops to assist our partners in preparing for the upcoming launch of the consumer credit bureau. Our constant dialogue and collaboration with senior executives, credit managers, risk officers and IT specialists within the U.A.E. financial sector will ensure a robust, long-term platform for successful operation. All U.A.E. financial institutions have expressed full compliance and we are delighted to reveal that all retail banks are actively submitting data to the Bureau through secure point-to-point connections." Alex Thursby, Group Chief Executive Officer, CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NABD), said, "NBAD is working in close partnership with Al Etihad Credit Bureau to support the roll-out of this project and help ensure its success. We are looking forward to the operational launch of the credit bureau at the end of Q1 2014, and strongly believe that it will add tremendous value by encouraging responsible lending and borrowing practices while enabling the banking sector to better manage risks on future credit losses from bad or non-performing debts." Al Etihad Credit Bureau will commence operations soon after the announcement of the by-laws approval by the U.A.E. Cabinet of Ministers in the official gazette.