Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Banking in UAE

Is it just me or is the banking scene messed up in the UAE. Please tell me what your experiences have been with banks in the UAE and if any of my readers is satisfied with a bank here please tell me which bank it is and all you UAE bankers out there, please explain how you guys do such great work.

I'v been here about 4 years and have changed as many banks in these 4 years. For a "booming economy" the banking sure is prehistoric. I mean come who ever heard of an online bank which does not have a toll free number, you have a problem you call our regular number hold for hours and you will be told that the issue will be dealt within 48 hours. after 48 hours you call again and hold for another couple of hours and you will be told "sorry about that, we dont see the problem in the system, why dont you fax us a complaint and we will respong within 48 hours". and the cycle goes on, and for doing that they charge another AED 10 to talk to you. I'm not kidding, you need a certified bank statement for anything sure they'll give it to you at the rate of AED 25 per page, yes per page, so a 6 months bank statement might cost you anything over AED 500. This is Higway robbery, and they don't tell you about any of these charges when you open the account, they say "free online bank statements", well if they are free why don't you certify them. You deposit cash into an ATM machine and it dissapears, happens, but to get the situation fixed you will have to call them a 100 times visit their brach several times and then you will get access to your funds. Your account relationship managers will stop responding to your calls once they realize that they have "misplaced" $50,000 in a branch to branch transfer and have no clue for 2 weeks where your money is.

I'm not kidding all of these problems are a norm, getting a checkbook issued can take weeks. There are charges for every freaking transaction. These are not just local banks, regional banks as well as huge multinationals all are eggs of the same basket. The banking system and how the banks deal with customers need to be changed in this country, even Pakistan has better well established banking and customer service.


Syed Sibgatullah said...

It was so surprising to get to know the state of affairs of banking in the UAE is such as you have described. It's so pathetic!!!

Although Pakistan has a lot lot lot better customer service in the banking sector and banks have been making record profits since the last few years; these banks have also started paying nice compensation to the employees. But, the depositors are suffering big time. The returns on bank accounts are negative inspite of a suggestion by the State Bank recently that this longstanding issue be addressed. On the other hand, interest charged on facilities provided by the banks is on the rise. This creates a huge banking spread that's been contributing to banks' profits, but isn't being shared with the depositors!!!

Boo! said...

D rebel - I don't know what banks you are going to, but I'm sure the multinationals there would be better at their customer service. ABN Amro, Citi etc would be a little more expensive (fees and smaller profits I'd think), but you should'nt have the kind of problems you are currently having.

Salarzae said...


I was wondering if I was alone but I don't have to ink in all my experience, just one attestation is enough. I deposited AED2K and punched in AED1K by mistake on 27th April 2006, after dozens of calls and half a dozen visits, it is still to be rectified!


Damn all the banks are same here, no exception!

Destitute Rebel said...

@ Salarzae, same here machine ate 20K on the 6th and broke down, situation still isnt fixed and its the 16th.

@Boo, The banks here are all the same, there are some reasons behind that, all banks have to have a % age of local employees, traditional work habbits get involved, plus who are they competing, rotten banks so they dont even work.