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Banks would rather lend to Emiratis

Banks would rather lend to Emiratis

And we’re pretty sure most people would feel the same way, when you consider that one fifth of expats can’t pay their bills. Kipp looks into it.

July 29, 2010 3:01 by

Emiratis are seen as “safer” bank customers according to the National newspaper. The paper reports that banks in the country are vying to attract Emiratis, as their better job securities and bigger salaries make them less of a credit risk.
And according to analysts, that means Emiratis can expect to be offered better mortgage rates and more attractive personal loans.

“After the crisis there were worries about working environments,” Dalia Kenawy, a senior product manager at National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) told the paper. “As UAE nationals’ job security is much higher than others, this was one of the reasons why there has been more of an emphasis on lending to UAE nationals.”

Jamal Alvi, the head of consumer risk management at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which has a majority Emirati customer base, said “It’s a safer segment as most Emiratis are employed by the government and have good job security and regular salary increases.”

And although Emiratis have historically banked with local lenders international banks are expected to step up efforts to compete.

And you can see why. The paper quotes Datamonitor figures that show 22.1 percent of expatriates in the country were unable to meet loan or credit card payments at some point over the past year (June 2009 – June 2010) compared with 19.7 percent of nationals. Hardly a ringing endorsement of lending to either group, if you ask Kipp.

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