Zand gets Central Bank licence, onboards first customers

By successfully securing a UAE banking licence, Zand is now authorised and regulated to operate as a fully independent commercial bank.

Olivier Crespin.— Supplied photo
Olivier Crespin.— Supplied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 11:15 AM

Zand, the first digital bank to provide both retail and corporate services, announced that it had been granted a banking licence from the Central Bank of the UAE to become Zand Bank, a fully licenced bank.

By successfully securing a UAE banking licence, Zand is now authorised and regulated to operate as a fully independent commercial bank.

“We’re thrilled that Zand has reached another milestone and is now a fully licenced bank. Today’s announcement represents yet another excellent example of the UAE’s pioneering vision of having progressive regulations that drive FinTech innovation,” said Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Zand.

“With a UAE banking licence, we look forward to commencing our innovative banking services and contributing to the UAE’s legacy of innovation as well as economic growth.”

Led by a team of expert bankers and technologists and backed by a strong group of shareholders, Zand is activating its strategic partnerships with regional and international companies to provide its corporate customers with a banking experience underpinned by security, transparency, and convenience, while powering up all systems and connections for its personal banking launch phase.

“We got our banking licence on June 30, and we celebrated by welcoming our first corporate customers,” said Olivier Crespin, Co-founder and CEO, Zand.

“Zand’s corporate offerings will be made available to our customers incrementally. We look forward to revealing our full innovative banking services and expanding them to key sectors of the UAE economy.”

Zand corporate services include a range of products designed to enhance the digital experience of corporate banking. From seamless onboarding and fast account opening to an automated loan approval process, businesses have ultimate control over their banking relationship.

Zand recently announced the formation of its board of directors. Chaired by shareholder, Mohamed Alabbar, the board includes a panel of seasoned business leaders, each bringing a unique approach on building a banking experience for the digital age.

The Chief Commercial Officer of Emirates, Adnan Abdulfattah Kazim Abdulfattah joins the board as an independent director. Representing Franklin Templeton, Gregory Johnson is the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Franklin Resources, Inc.

Representing Al Hail Holding LLC and Global Development Group, the Founder and CEO of Al Hail Holding LLC, Hamad Jassim Al Darwish is a prominent investment leader with a wealth of experience in building successful businesses across a broad category of sectors. He also serves as a Board Member and Chairman of various group companies across the GCC.

The Chief Operating Officer of Al Hail Holding LLC, Mohammed Alshaiba Almazrouei, is also representing Al Hail Holding LLC. The Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive, Raja Al Mazrouei, is joining the board as an independent director.

As Group CFO of the $45 billion multinational conglomerate, Aditya Birla Group, Sushil Agarwal is representing Solfrid Investments Pte. Ltd. He has led various strategic initiatives of the Group, including M&A and restructuring, for over three decades. An advocate of corporate governance and trusteeship, he serves on the board of several group companies and is a member of the group’s Business Review Council.

As an independent director, the CEO and co-founder of HWH Investments, Talha Al-Hashimi, is a hospitality investment leader with a successful history of investing in emerging hospitality trends, award-winning food and beverage projects, and hospitality-based technology platforms. Before dedicating his time to HWH, he served as the CEO of a leading investment company in the UAE where he managed a multibillion dollar real estate and investment portfolio.

As the Chairman and Managing Director of the retail conglomerate Lulu Group, and Shareholder of Zand, Yusuff Ali MA leads the Group’s multinational operations of more than 235 shopping malls, Hypermarkets and sourcing centres in 23 countries with $7.4 billion in annual global revenue. He is also on the board of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as Vice Chairman.


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