Olivier Crespin, CEO of Zand, the UAE’s first fully digital bank, has stepped down to pursue other interests, the bank said in a statement.

CTO Mark James Chittenden will be the interim CEO until a new appointment is made by the board, the bank said.

Zand’s Chairman Mohamed Alabbar, said: “On behalf of the board, we thank Olivier for his rich contribution to creating a truly digital-first bank fit for the new reality.

“He has played a key role in building Zand's operations from the ground up. He also assembled a talented and highly capable operational team of experienced bankers and technologists, who will continue to deliver on the vision of the Board of Directors.”

Crespin, who is also a co-founder of Zand, said: “Zand has achieved significant milestones that will establish its position as the bank of the future. I thank the board of directors and the excellent team for the passion and commitment to transform conventional approaches to banking.”

In a Zawya interview in August, Crespin said the bank had been created as a “bank in a box” which could be lifted and dropped into new markets at pace and spoke of plans to disrupt the industry.

Zand received its banking licence from the UAE Central Bank in July.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)