Emirates Bank to open five new branches

DUBAI - Emirates Bank International will open five new branches this year located in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, in addition to its fast expanding network of meBank branches across the UAE, said Louis A. Scotto, general manager, Retail Banking, Emirates Bank International.

By Babu Das Augustine

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Published: Wed 6 Aug 2003, 11:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 7:46 PM

Speaking after the opening of the 19th meBank branch in the UAE at the Century Mall complex in the Al Mamzar area of Dubai, Scotto said, EBI is simultaneously expanding its branch network both in the traditional banking portfolio and the meBank portfolio. Currently EBI has 24 branches, in addition to 13 Middle East Bank branches and 19 meBank branches.

The new EBI branches will come up at Shaikh Zayed Road and Al Qussais in Dubai; National Paints Roundabout and Buhairah Corniche in Sharjah, and one branch in Abu Dhabi. In addition to its traditional branches and meBank branches EBI will also begin franchising its meBank branches to third part operators. "We are in the process of working out the details of the meBank franchisees. We expect to launch the first franchise outlet in the fourth quarter of this year," he said.

meBank Century Mall is the latest in a series of branches which have been designed to facilitate the passer-by. Other convenient new locations include the Orange supermarket, Bur Dubai; Al Mamzar Shopping Centre, Jebel Al Food Court and Le-Meridien Hotel, Fujairah.

EBI had recently launched its premium Al Shaheen service for high net worth clients at its Jumeirah branch where clients get their own relationship manager and banking lounge, as well as a no-fee platinum credit card which provides free access to the first class lounge at Dubai International Airport.

"This special relationship banking is part of our retail strategy to provide value added services high net worth individual clients and small to medium enterprises. Currently, we have launched this at the Jumeirah branch and have plans to introduce in 15 new locations across the UAE," Scotto said.

Offering special services to non-resident Indian (NRI) customers, EBI has entered into an alliance with the ICICI Bank of India offering ICICI private banking services to the NRI members of the Al Shaheen Club.

Commenting on the retail banking business in the UAE, Scotto said, currently, the retail business is going through a great time. "The low interest rate environment has helped the retail business a great deal. The cards and personal loans business have witnessed big growth this year. The first half results of most banks show that the retail income including fee-based income have gone up substantially." Emirates Bank Group had reported 10.4 per cent increase in its first half net profits at Dh284.21 million this year.

The Group's net interest income increased by 9.4 per cent from Dh295.50 million last year Dh323.56 million in the first half this year, while the fee based income including commissions and other income increased by 35 per cent from Dh109.8 million to Dh149.2 million in the first half this year.

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