First Abu Dhabi Bank Review part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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In general, the banks are expensive and inflexible for most people, compared to the alternatives, which we can introduce, despite the positives that will be mentioned here.
The Arab Emirates began its ascent to the economically developed countries after oil production began on their territory in the 20th century. The rulers of the UAE began to invest in the income generated by the sale of black gold in the development of various sectors that could increase budget revenue: tourism, construction, free economic zones, industry, etc.
Naturally, all this contributed to the rapid development of the banking sector. Today, the financial industry in the UAE is an example for many countries due to its reliability, excellent service, minimal account maintenance fees, and much more. However, it is the successful development of the banking industry that has led to the fact that customers, especially foreigners, cannot choose one of the numerous financial institutions.
What is the banking system of the UAE?
In 1980, the UAE government passed the Federal Law, which outlined the functions of the Central Bank and the activities of financial institutions subordinate to it. And 5 years later, another federal law appeared that regulates the work of Islamic banks.
In addition to the standard of the function for its industry, the Central Bank performs many others, for example, it forms the financial policy of the United Arab Emirates, ensures the stability of their national currency, acts as an adviser to the country’s leadership, etc.
All financial institutions are subordinate to the Central Bank, which can be conditionally divided into 2 groups:
- local organizations that are created on the principle of joint stock communities;
- foreign banks that were able to obtain a license from the Central Bank.
At first, the Central Bank did not skimp on issuing licenses, but soon an overabundance of institutions began to be observed in the banking sector, and the main bank of the country was forced to tighten its policy: for some time, permits for activities were not issued at all and all foreign banks were obliged to limit the number of their branches to eight.
Today, the best foreign banks consider it an honor to open their branch in the UAE, since the government does not allow everyone to enter the market. The latest reports say that the number of local banks has reached 23 names, and foreign – 28.
What is the difference between Islamic banks and other financial institutions in the UAE?
It is not by chance that Islamic banks have such a name – they conduct their activities according to Sharia law. For example, they are prohibited from maintaining a strict deposit and credit policy (setting a percentage). Such principles are dictated by the laws of the Koran: usury is condemned and not accepted. Islamic banks try not to allow those involved in the export/import of pork, alcohol, tobacco products into the client base.
The local population with great pleasure entrusts their money to Islamic banks, therefore the government does not prevent their appearance on the market. Moreover, ordinary commercial banks, wishing to expand their clientele, open branches that rely on Sharia law in their work, especially in relation to loans and deposits.
Clients who do not profess Islam are guided by completely different principles when choosing a bank. They are primarily interested in reliability, comfort, and low cost of maintenance. But other factors should also be taken into account. For example, many foreign entrepreneurs are subconsciously drawn to foreign offices. However, such an approach does not always justify itself, since “foreigners” have a much more modest number of operational branches than “natives”. And this factor is really important if you are going to work in the UAE, and not just brag about having an account.
What to look for when choosing a bank in the UAE?
Opening a bank account in Dubai or another region of your choice is quite easy, but the choice of a bank should be taken seriously. Some of the banks charge too much for service, others provide not very convenient Internet banking, and still, others cannot provide their customers with a sufficient number of branches and ATMs.
If you are just looking for a bank to open an account, pay attention to:
- Prestige of the bank and its place in international ratings.
- The list of services that the bank provides and its willingness to add some additional features to its client.
- Is there a minimum amount for opening a deposit?
- Do I need a deposit to get a credit card, and in general, is it possible for a foreigner to get it.
- What documents need to be provided in order to be able to open an account, and how carefully and for a long time they are checked.
- How much will you have to pay for servicing in this bank.
- How many branches and ATMs does the financial institution you like have.
- Are the customers of this bank satisfied with the service (this information is available on thematic forums).
- What annual interest will you receive if you open a deposit account here.
- Transfers to which countries the financial institution does not make, with residents of which states it is not ready to work.
- Is it necessary to have a residence permit to open an account if you cannot count on a resident visa.
- What types of cards and checkbook will you receive if you become their customer.
It only at first glance seems that the list is too large. In fact, upon careful consideration, you will find that it does not take much time to analyze the work of a particular bank according to your requirements.
First Abu Dhabi (FAB) Overview
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates. It was formed as a result of the merger of First Gulf Bank (FGB) and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).
FAB offers financial solutions, products, and services through its corporate and investment banking and personal banking franchises.
The bank is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, in the Khalifa business park, the bank is present on five continents: Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, America, Middle East, and Africa (EAMEA).
FAB, the largest bank in the UAE and one of the largest and most secure institutions in the world, offers a wide range of bespoke solutions, as well as products and services to provide a personalized experience. Through its strategic offerings, it aims to serve the banking needs of clients around the world through its market-leading corporate, investment banking, and personal banking franchises.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi at Khalifa Business Park, the bank’s international network spans five continents, providing global relationships, experience, and financial strength to support local, regional and international companies seeking to do business at home and abroad. In line with its commitment to putting customers first in order to become stronger, FAB will continuously invest in people and technology to create the most convenient banking experience for customers, and will also support the growth ambitions of its stakeholders in the countries in which the bank operates.
In order to empower its customers and customers to become stronger, FAB has initiated a powerful movement that goes beyond banking. The Grow Stronger movement represents the bank’s promise to support the goals and ambitions of its stakeholders by providing ideas, tools, and expertise to help them grow stronger.
The first bank in Abu Dhabi was formed from the merger of the FGB and the NBAD. On July 3, 2016, two UAE banks announced that their boards of directors voted unanimously to recommend to shareholders that the two companies merge. The transaction was approved by the respective shareholders on December 7, 2016. The deal was completed through a share swap, with FGB shareholders receiving 1,254 NBAD shares for each FGB share they held. The merger in April 2017 created the largest bank in the UAE, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).
The launch of the new FAB corporate identity combined the “Abu Dhabi” and “First” identities of NBAD and FGB, the name First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) reflecting the roots of the two banks in the region. The bank adopted the abbreviation F.A.B. in its logo, which also includes the brand name “Awwal” (“First”), enlarged to represent growth and leadership.
In 2019, the bank began its international expansion with the start of operations in Saudi Arabia. The Bank’s net income decreased from AED 12.5 billion in 2019 to AED 10.6 billion in 2020. In January 2021, Khana Al Rostamani was appointed as the CEO of the group.
FAB has been recognized by Global Finance as the safest bank in the UAE and the Middle East, as well as the best bank in the UAE. In The Banker’s 2020 Top 1000 Global Banks list, as measured by Tier 1 capital, FAB ranked first in the UAE, second in the Middle East, and 85th globally, in addition to being ranked 109th in terms of the size of the assets in the same list.
FAB was also ranked first in the UAE, 4th in the Arab world, and 303rd in the world in the annual Forbes 2000 largest public companies in the world.
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