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UAE plans new rules to regulate bank fees

Banking system liquidity increased -


February 2, 2011 1:26 by

The United Arab Emirates central bank will come up with new rules to prevent the Gulf Arab country’s banks from charging excessive fees, its governor was quoted as saying by a news website on Wednesday.

“I agree that banks have increased their fees and commission rates and not interest rates,” Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi was quoted as saying on website.

“There is a new set of regulations that are coming, and the central bank will intervene because matters are getting out of control,” he said.

Dubai’s popped property bubble left UAE banks with heavy exposure to the emirate’s indebted state-owned firms, dragging down the oil-reliant UAE economy.

Despite signs of revival and improved liquidity in the OPEC member’s banking system, loans to the private sector had been down for 11 months in a row until the end of October 2010.

Suweidi said liquidity in the system was rising: “I will stick to the point that there is increased liquidity.”

UAE interbank offered rates  have dropped since state-owned Dubai World  sealed a deal to restructure $25 billion in debt in September with the three-month benchmark at 2.13 percent  at Wednesday’s central bank fixing.

Suweidi also said the central bank has not seen suspicious financial transactions from Egypt to the UAE as a result of the political unrest in the North African country.

The closure of Egyptian banks has prevented Gulf-based Egyptians from sending vital remittances back to Egypt, an exchange operator said this week.

(Reporting by Martina Fuchs; Editing by Toby Chopra)


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