Police chief savages bankers
UAE Economy Minister says things are looking up, while Dubai police chief says things are still tough and it’s all the banks’ fault. That’s why we love him.
August 31, 2010 2:02 by Samuel Potter
So while Al Mansouri may well be right about the UAE recovery overall, it could well be that growth in Abu Dhabi accounts for much of the positivity. If Lieutenant General Tamim is correct Dubai is still in the mire.
As for the banks, well our police chief may well be onto something there. Global Finance Magazine has just released its World’s Safest Banks list for 2010, and it won’t stun you to know that in the global top 50, the UAE has precisely no representatives at all. In fact, there isn’t a single GCC or even Middle Eastern bank in the list. And even in the region, only one UAE bank makes the top ten (the National Bank of Abu Dhabi grabs a respectable second place). Most of the others come from Saudi, with two from Kuwait and one from Qatar.
Since bank stability is a cornerstone of attracting investment, and vital for healthy business, the lowly positions of our banks are not promising. The situation was captured wonderfully by Tamim, according to Emirates 24-7.
“There are hamours [big heads] inside banks….these hamours are running the banks according to their wishes….the crisis is not a real estate on but that of banks…these banks have adopted an uncontrolled lending policy away from government control to take advantage of the extensive investments in the real estate sector,” he said.
“The fragile management of these banks and real estate projects have prompted the GCC citizens not to trust any property project any more, particularly in the aftermath of the global crisis…this should prompt a revision of previous projects and plans and the preparation of new development plans.
“There is sufficient liquidity with banks…their statements show they made high profits even in the middle of the crisis…these banks created a problem and I don’t think there was a real estate crisis but a banking crisis. Again I say that we are in face of big hamours in the Gulf banks…they are running them as they like…as far as I am concerned, I am talking about some banks in the UAE which I know very well…perhaps we would not have seen a crisis in the Gulf region had there been some pragmatism, rationalism and balance in the government’s strategic planning.”
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