Dubai — United Arab Bank, or UAB, while celebrating its 40th anniversary on Saturday, said 43 per cent of its clientele are UAE nationals, Khaleej Times has learnt.
Speaking at the sidelines of a treasure hunt function, Paul Trowbridge, chief executive officer of UAB, said six years ago, only four per cent of their customers were Emiratis.
“The UAB, now having a very strong proposition, has grown its Emirati customers to 43 per cent, and even with many locals holding senior management positions at the bank branches across the country,” he said.
But, of course, when it comes to dealing with companies, they can be from all over the world, or even international companies based here, he stated.
“Actually, we do have a lot of appeal to all Arab customers as well,” he told Khaleej Times.
Despite uncertainty about the global economy, mainly as oil prices have drastically fallen but are much stabilising now, the UAE is an area with opportunities, Trowbridge added.
“I think the region is going through a period of some flitter growth in the next couple of years, but most importantly is that the history of the UAE has always been one of growth, and we expecting more consolidation in the coming years.”
Elaborating, he said UAB is planning a series of rolling events and promotions with lots of prizes throughout the year. “We had a target number of branches of 35 which we have now reached across the UAE. Even though when the economy is growing strongly, we are going to consolidate and build upon those,” he said.
Though UAB is a small yet well-regarded bank compared to 53 banks operating in the UAE, its assets in the country have grown from Dh5 billion since its expansion six years ago to Dh26 billion in 2014, he said.
“It is very competitive, but we’ve got a strong aspiration to grow bigger in the next few years.”
Trowbridge noted that UAB is trying to build deeper relationships with existing customers and get some new ones, particularly as they don’t have any government shareholders.
“We are trying to consolidate and to make sure that we deliver better customer services in the next few years targeting more growth and profits, build more sustainable relationships with customers and live up to their expectations.”
UAB, established in Sharjah in 1975, offers a range of financial services in both corporate and retail and is acknowledged as a leading solutions provider to the growing commercial and industrial base across the seven emirates.
Trowbridge said UAB, ranked 23rd amongst the top-listed companies here and one of the top 50 banks in the GCC in terms of market capitalisation, announced a record net profit of Dh605 million for the year ended December 31, 2014.
“In December 2007, UAB became part of a GCC regional banking alliance upon the acquisition of 40 per cent interest by the Commercial Bank of Qatar, Qatar’s largest private sector bank.”
Meanwhile, UAB announced the winners of its treasure hunt — held on Saturday at the UAB Business Bay Tower Building site, the bank’s future Dubai regional office — to celebrate its 40th anniversary serving customers across the UAE.
The successful event was attended by over 250 employees and selected invitees from across the country, where a total of 100 winners successfully competed for prizes. The grand prizes — two annual home rents up to Dh200,000 — were won by Jennifer Merlino, an American-Italian, and Kathlyn Sulleza, a Filipino. The second prizes — three school tuition fees up to Dh135,000 — went to three other participants, two from India and one from the US.
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