Emaar's Alabbar to head UAE's first digital bank

The first full-scale digital bank will offer both retail and corporate services

  
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, speaks during opening the "Erbil Downtown" project in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, October 27 2013. Image for illustrative purpose.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, speaks during opening the "Erbil Downtown" project in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, October 27 2013. Image for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

The UAE will soon get its first full-scale digital bank, Zand, that will offer both retail and corporate banking services.

Mohamed Alabbar, the founder and former chairman of Emaar Properties will head Zand.

"The UAE combines progressive regulations with commercial, financial, and technology hubs. This provides the perfect environment for a world-leading digital bank that can launch in the UAE and scale beyond," Alabbar said in a statement on Monday.

"As the first fully independent digital bank in the country, with a full UAE banking licence, Zand will provide innovative, effective financial solutions that help simplify businesses and lives, addressing the needs of both retail and corporate customers,” he said.

Zand, which will be a "digital economic accelerator", will serve as a platform for wider digital services that focus on businesses and individuals, according to the statement.

Zand’s CEO, Olivier Crespin, said: “Backed by strong shareholders and working with the best bankers and technologists, we’ve built a bank that delivers on the promise of understanding and meeting customer needs. From our systems to our processes and our team, we're built and ready, and we're looking forward to welcoming the first customers soon”.

Zand is currently awaiting regulatory clearances before launching. Olivier Crespin, who was head of Dubai-based Eradah Capital will be the CEO of Zand.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)

brinda.darasha@refinitiv.com

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