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UAE: Majority wouldn’t recommend own bank

Banks in UAE

Lack of customer service huge factor of classification.

October 27, 2013 12:41 by

Banks in the UAE are missing out on potential growth that comes through the power of customer recommendations, a new survey reveals.

According to a recent poll conducted by Dubai-based financial comparison website, only one in ten customers would actually consider recommending their bank to friends and family. This figure is a four per cent drop from last year’s results.

The annual findings were based on the responses of more than 4,000 customers who were asked: “Would you recommend your current bank to a friend or family member?”

A whopping 74 per cent say they would not promote their bank to others, while 14 per cent are neutral about it. It further adds that Noor Islamic Bank had the highest rate of recommendations from its customers, followed by EmiratesNBD.

Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO of, describes the UAE as a very competitive market and says that one of the most obvious ways to differentiate a bank from another can be through customer service.

“These statistics are an opportunity and indication for UAE banks with regards to where to invest and what their customers are asking for. Customer recommendation is one of the most powerful acquisition channels and creates excellent brand loyalty,” she says.

Kipp is no stranger to the love-hate relationship that UAE residents seem to have developed with their banks over the years; nothing else comes close to inspiring heart-felt camaraderie within the community.

Last December, we were invited to a roundtable discussion by Those present included two bank representatives (only two agreed to be present), members of the press and a few selected guests.

Based on the issues discussed and propositions brought forward, Kippreport made a list of six possible reasons as to what (or who) might be responsible for the dislike felt towards UAE banks.

The list included diversity and multiculturalism as being a barrier, outdated processes, inadequate customer service representatives (who are not empowered) and the possibility that customers themselves may need an attitude makeover.

Do you dislike the bank you’re currently dealing with and, if yes, what horror stories do you have to share? Tell us about it via Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below.

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