UAB claims top position in local banks

DUBAI — United Arab Bank, or UAB, has reached the top position amongst local banks in terms of disbursing mortgage loans in the second quarter of the current year, according to a top official of the bank.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Mon 25 Jul 2011, 10:59 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:38 AM

The Sharjah-based bank, which has been in existence for 36 years, is a new entrant to the mortgage segment, having launched this conventional and Shariah compliant product in December 2010 for the first time.

“We are the top performing local bank in mortgages for the last three months in terms of value,” Tom Smith, Executive Vice-President, Group Head- Retail Banking, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

The global economic downturn badly hit property sector across the world and the UAE was no exception. “United Arab Bank entered the mortgage market after the downturn which has allowed us to take advantage of more realistic market values and offer attractive rates to customers who are not speculating on capital appreciation but are committed to making the UAE their home for the foreseeable future”, Smith said.

“Our target market is UAE Nationals and Committed Expatriates and we finance up to 85 per cent of the property value for UAE nationals and up to 80 per cent for committed expatriates with tenors up to 25 years,” said Smith.

The bank has recently created great excitement in the residential mortgage market by announcing the lowest interest rate in the UAE last month with fixed rate of 4.99 per cent available for one year and 5.99 per cent for five years. This is a welcome addition to the mortgage landscape for customers who are looking for a sensible alternative to bring down their monthly commitments.

The bank offers this product to salaried and self employed UAE nationals as well as expatriates with conventional and Islamic financing options also available. Last month the UAE Federal Cabinet decided to extended visas for foreign property buyers to three years from the existing six months.

“As our target market is UAE nationals and committed expatriates where this legislation will have the most positive impact, we are absolutely delighted with this announcement,” Smith said.

“It will not only benefit mortgage holders in the UAE but also the UAE economy at large,” Smith concluded.

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