Trust in UAE banking sector remains high

68% of respondents stated their trust in the UAE banking sector

Image used for illustrative purpose. A customer makes a transaction at a bank in Dubai.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A customer makes a transaction at a bank in Dubai.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The UAE Banks Federation (UBF) has unveiled the results of its 2017 Trust Index annual survey conducted by an independent leading global consulting firm.

The results of this year, which provide a comprehensive overview of consumer confidence, showed that trust levels remain high, with 68 per cent of respondents stating their trust in the banking sector. In addition, 93 per cent of UAE retail banking customers indicated that they are satisfied with the performance of their main bank. The survey also reveals that banks are doing a great job in meeting the expectations of their customers, particularly in providing greater convenience and customer experience.

The results show improvement in three main areas of the survey compared to those recorded during previous years: 76 per cent of participants had a “very positive” perception of their banks in 2017, compared with 72 per cent in 2016 and 70 per cent in 2015. However, the level of trust remains stable at 68 per cent in 2017 and 2016 compared with 70 per cent in 2015. The survey also showed that the participants’ perception of the banking industry has improved to 47 per cent in 2017, up from 41 per cent in 2016 and 2015, while 37 per cent said that their opinion of banks is the same in 2017 compared with 42 per cent in 2016 and 48 per cent in 2015.

Furthermore, 40 per cent of respondents also stated that the country’s banks offer better services than those in their home nations, up from 33 per cent in 2016 and 38 per cent in 2015, while 30 per cent said that their home country banks offer better services than those in the UAE, compared with 27 per cent in 2016 and 23 per cent in 2015, where 25 per cent of participants stated that services provided by their home country banks and the ones in the UAE are about the same, compared with 31 per cent in 2016 and 32 per cent in 2015. The survey also shows that UAE enjoys higher levels of trust in the banking sector than many other developed nations around the world.

The report reveals positive feedback across a number of important areas, with efforts to harness digital innovation, improve online services and prevent cybercrime highlighted as being particularly appreciated by customers. Although branch, online and ATM channels were all highly rated, the performance of call centres was noted as area with room for improvement, reflecting the needs of an increasingly discerning client base.

“Despite global challenges and transformations, the banking industry remains committed to offer customers best services, qualitative products and outstanding experience. We are confident that this survey will inspire our member banks to further enhance their performance and achieve significant improvement across the industry. We will continue coordinating with all of our members to further developing their products and services to meet customers' expectations, and therefore boosting the trust level and overall customer experience,” said HE Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman, UAE Banks Federation.

Launched in 2015 by UBF to measure consumer perceptions and confidence in the banking industry, the annual Trust Index Survey gathers valuable data which helps drive corrective measures and strategic action plans throughout the sector. The third edition of the Trust Index surveyed a group of 1,504 adults (aged 18+) based in the UAE in 2017, where respondents were carefully selected from a diverse range of nationalities and demographics to ensure a representative sample, with less than three per cent margin of error.


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