Kippreport gets the scoop from Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax, and Nadeem Khanzadah, head of omnichannel retail at Jumbo GroupSeptember 2, 2015 5:24
The heartlessness of UAE banks shines again
The Central Bank is stepping in again to set a limit for the banks in the UAE; eliminating their current freedom to bully customers
July 30, 2012 12:29 by Muhammad Aldalou
“I have no liabilities with the bank – I’ve paid of my car loan and my credit card. I have never skipped a payment. I need to leave the country but now I have to stay here until I sort the bank issue out. What gives the bank the right to hold onto MY hard-earned cash? Nothing at all, but apparently that doesn’t matter. If they decide to hold onto your money they can do it without any repercussions, and then they have the cheek to take four days to solve a problem that they created,” says Andrea Anastasiou, a soon to be Ex-Dubai resident.
Kipp is always on the look out for heartlessness in bullies and boy have we found many examples. We have even come to the conclusion that banks in the United Arab Emirates may either have been given too much freedom in the past and are now dragging it on or been too negatively affected by run-offs during the height of the recession; leaving them in a current state of paranoia. Wake up, people. Things are getting better all the time and a little democratic procedure won’t hurt anybody.
Sometimes, the UAE Central Bank does step in and say ‘buddy, you’ve gone too far here’ but sometimes it may be too late and someone has already been negatively affected. An article published by Gulf News caught Kipp’s attention.
The man in this story remained anonymous, only described as S.S. In a nutshell, he had taken a personal loan from his bank for the amount of AED 230,000 and according to him; was paying every installment regularly without any delay. His employer later told him that they would have to let him go and in a blink he had discovered that his loan amount had decreased to AED 185,000. Happy news? No, because the bank had frozen his account and taken over 70,000 Dhs of his end of service benefits to pay towards the outstanding loan.
Media publications are currently investigating the bully-like nature of banks here because of the countless incidents of people falling victim to their bureaucracy and red tape paranoia. In fact, in the case of S.S; his employer had given him his notice period and the freedom to keep his visa until he hunted out for a new job. The bank had absolutely no grounds to freeze his account and if you don’t believe me then perhaps you would take the word of the Central Bank who has also issued a rule that any banks operating in the UAE have NO right to seize the money of their clients unless they had missed three successive loan payments.
It comes as a shocking surprise to Kipp that the bank was provided with this Intel about S.S’s job so quickly. Funnily enough, the communication bridge was made of unbreakable titanium when it came to losing a job or paying back a loan but God forbid we should want that same level of communication with customer service or something that could benefit us.
The Central Bank has urged those subjected to freezing of their funds by banks for unjustifiable reasons to file complaints with it.
“I had good credit record and was never late in paying. So I tried to reach a deal with the bank asking them to take only half and give me the chance to pay my rent and survive until I had found another job. The bank lifted the freeze on my account but it was empty since they insisted on taking the entire amount towards my loan,” S.S said.
Residents are calling for protection and regulation from the Central Bank so that people don’t get tangled in the spider web of today’s corporate banking. The interest of both parties needs to be safeguarded; and hopefully we may begin to see some leniency in the near future. For now, how about we dial down on selling us credit cards and loans only to criminalize us later if we should so much as hiccup.
“Banks in the United Arab Emirates have no concept of Customer Services & use scare tactics primarily because people don’t know their rights,” Tweeted Basil Khamis, a Dubai resident.