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UAE banks failing consumers

UAE banks failing consumers

A new survey has revealed that as many as one in five UAE consumers is considering ditching their banks. This guest article from, who conducted the research, explains all.

October 4, 2010 4:33 by

This guest article courtesy of

A fifth of banking customers in the UAE are considering terminating their relationship with their main bank, amid widespread dissatisfaction and a host of common grievances, a study by cashy, the Arab world’s first dedicated personal finance website, and YouGov Siraj has shown
High services charges are the most cited reason for people thinking about voting with their feet and taking their business elsewhere, with 47 percent of respondents saying that is one of the reasons they are now considering leaving their main bank. A litany of customer service disappointments behind the decision to shift include a lack of importance given to customers (42 percent), poor response to customer complaints (40 percent) and a lot of hidden charges and fees (37 percent).

Whilst 18 percent of the 2,788 people questioned by YouGov Siraj for the study said they are “very dissatisfied” or “dissatisfied” with their main bank, a worrying half of respondents said they would not recommend their bank to a friend or colleague. Just 20 percent say they would recommend their current bank.

Nima Abu-Wardeh, founder of cashy, said: “Banks in the UAE are failing consumers. There is a catalogue of complaints against the companies that provide our current accounts, credit cards and savings products. Consumers are becoming more financially astute and more demanding in what they expect.”

The top five grievances people faced when dealing with their main bank in the past year are: delay in answering a phone call (28 percent); delay in resolving the problem (24 percent); high service charges and unprofessional customer services (both 22 percent); hidden charges (19 percent) and high interest rates on banking services (18 percent).

“UAE consumers are behaving differently post recession; it appears to have made them choosier and they’re no longer willing to take poor service. They tell us they are prepared to vote with their feet. The survey suggests banks would do well to focus on really great customer service, which starts and ends with listening,” she said.

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