Dubai Bank Rules Out Layoffs at IT Wing; to Recruit Selectively

DUBAI - Bucking the trend in the banking industry, Dubai Bank has ruled out layoffs at its IT department and rather aims to recruit selectively to augment existing skill sets, a senior bank official said.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Wed 28 Jan 2009, 12:15 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:38 PM

Faizal Eledath, Chief Information Officer of Dubai Bank, said that close to 50 per cent of its customers use internet banking, one of the highest penetration rates in the UAE.

During an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Faizal said: “The bank will soon introduce a new SMS-based service which would allow customers to block and unblock their ATM cards. This would further enhance the control customers have over their ATM transactions. The bank already offers a free SMS based alert service where customers are informed of transactions on their accounts.”

A Dubai Group company, Dubai Bank offers all online banking services free of charge to its customers. When asked on the rational for making charge free, he said, “It is equally beneficial for both customers and the bank. For customers it saves time and for the bank it is economical.”

The bank has a strong fraud-prevention team, which works round-the-clock and is part of the risk management group, he added.

In October 2008, Dubai Bank launched an innovative mobile banking service, the first of its kind in the UAE, which enables clients to conduct comprehensive banking transactions previously limited to the online or in-branch medium, from their mobile. This service does not require a high-end mobile, rather can be availed through any mobile which has a browser. It is designed with ease of use in mind and requires minimal inputs to carry out transactions.

Regarding the budget of its department he said, “Spending on IT department accounts for roughly between 8 to 10 per cent of the total expenses of the bank.” Sharing the experience of bank’s transition from conventional to Shariah-compliant bank he said, “The board decided in the middle of 2006 to become an Islamic bank. The migration of the core systems to support Islamic banking was completed in a record time of six months. Subsequent to this a three-year IT strategy was developed in alignment with the business strategy which has resulted in aggressive modernisation of IT infrastructure, launch of innovative channels and implementation of new operational systems which has benefited our customer service and has improved bank’s operational efficiency.”

Speaking on security, Faizal said “Information Security is of high priority and the bank takes it very seriously. This is supported by a strong and dedicated team.”

The bank has an independent information security team, which sits outside the IT department and is responsible for information security policies and compliance. The bank is ISO certified for information security (BS27001) and quality (ISO 9001:2005).

Regarding biometric technology in banking sector he said, “Currently the usage is not much and I think it will take a few more years before it is widely adopted.”

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