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Irrelevant: A UAE Bank’s Bankable Problem

Irrelevant: A UAE Bank’s Bankable Problem

Many of us opt to bear and grin through our banking problems, but when a recent contact with the bank ends in an 8-page fax, clearly time to change banks.

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November 23, 2011 4:54 by



For some reason this particular Kipper first opened our first ever UAE bank account with a a local bank from the northern Emirates that has made itself irrelevant by not implementing some of the features its competitors (and indeed Kipp) would see as standard.

And though, we know that we should have switched over to one of the usual giants dominating the UAE’s over serviced banking industry, a genuine belief in loyalty and the good of local banks meant we’ve stayed on through the thick and the thin. Well, more like we were too lazy to drive up north to get the paper work in order.

The procrastination hasn’t paid off; quite the opposite. For starters for years this particular bank had a mere shell of a website. What that meant, was while my other smug online-bank-savvy friends were smugly refilling their mobile phones with credit, or smugly transferring money to one another or smugly paying their RTA bills, I stuck to good old hard cash.

I have never visited the bank, primarily because most of the offices warrant a road trip of its own-let’s just say I try to limit contact with the bank as much as I can.

But with the mandatory IBAN introduction, I had to call my bank. It wasn’t as difficult as I imagined, I just had to enter my account and pin thrice before I was attended to. The friendly lady on the phone asked me five security questions and then gave me my IBAN. She offered to help me out with anything else and that’s when I got plain greedy. “Could I please just change my postal address, please, please please?”

Seeing as I’d been through a rather thorough check that proved I was indeed the owner of the account, you’d think changing my postal address would be as simple as providing the call attendant with my new numbers…

You thought wrong. Apparently the bank needs to fax me forms that I needed to fill and fax-back with a copy of my passport and visa.

Fax? Do people still use those clunky noisy machines?

After giving her my fax number, I waited for two whole hours before an 8-page application came through. Most of them have a big “FAX” written on them, but I have spotted a few forms to fill in.

Needless to say, the fax still sits on my desk here at work—chances are even if I manage to fill them and fax it over, by the time the bank actually changes my postal address in my records, I might have changed postal addresses again.



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2 Comments

  1. OFiroz on November 24, 2011 9:01 am

    Needless to say, the banks in UAE is far behind when it comes to punctuality, service and transparency from banks else where in the world.
    I would like to share one of my friend’s problem with the a well reputed bank in UAE.
    He wanted to take a car loan, when asked over the phone they instructed him to get a Evaluation Certificate for the car he intended to buy from a well known car dealer on Sheikh Zayed Road, they provided the certificate for AED 300. When he went to the Bank main branch they refused to accept the certificate! The Branch Manager said it is not this car dealer he should be getting the certificate from but another one. He called their 800 – toll free number again and asked where to get the certificate and he got the answer same as before. So he end up losing AED 300 for nothing! Bank Manager acted helpless and warned him not to just call and clarify but to come to the branch physically to make sure of things! So why those Toll Free and 24 hours telephone assistance really exist?

     
  2. p.deleon on November 24, 2011 1:26 pm

    Hi OFiroz
    thank you for sharing your friend’s story. Did he end up solving it? We’d love to hear more…Keep Kipping!

     

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