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The heartlessness of UAE banks shines again

UAE banks

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

“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.

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  1. Zhang on July 31, 2012 3:04 am

    Why simple things are so hard in UAE? Why banks are not fined for every case like this and obliged to pay compensation to their bullyied customers? If this was the case, Banks will do a much better job in terms of customer service and due deligence. Banks, developers, utilities and telecomunication companies are all abusing customers with no consequences…so far. hope this will change soon and UAE will “implement” a normal consumers protection law

  2. dismanirie on July 31, 2012 1:02 pm

    It is the very protection that the laws give to the banks that encourage them to make loans and issue credit cards to customers who would not otherwise qualify.

    The banks know that they can impede the departure of debtors until repayment is made, so there is little incentive to observe due diligence and common sense when granting credit.

    The banks need to do their job far better, and serve all their customers more diligently and constructively.

  3. Mohammed on July 31, 2012 4:43 pm

    Today I do not blame the banks operating in Dubai as they have to recover an amount of +/- AED 9 billion from the market in the next 24 months for various loans given by them to individuals, corporations, trading companies and government in the hay days of 2006-2009 where greed had taken the better part of them.

  4. mike ali on August 4, 2012 12:16 pm

    if we want to write about banks in uae and what they are doing with clkients and how they treat them, believe me you need hundered of stories and will never end. if etislalt and du can record the bank numbers specially collection , then can find how they talk to their clients as if he is a theif and even bad words that in any civlized country can sue them. but nothing can be done her as central bank and government gave those banks freedom to treat clients like a shit without caring for any kind of human rights not even 1%. when this will finish, GOD only knows.

  5. Worried on October 1, 2012 11:08 pm

    I am already in this situation and have filed 2 complaints to the Centra Bank hoping they are at least as good as their word. I had enough to manage 7 months of a loan instalment and changed jobs My Abu Dhabi bank locked my account, kept my EOS, Savings and asked for new salary which they then also kept, can you belive these guys!. Never ever move jobs without emptying your account – still fighting !


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