UAE remittances for family support, savings surged to $1.9bln in 2020: HSBC

2020 transactions up by 62% compared to 2019

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates dirham.

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates dirham.

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Remittances by UAE residents who are looking to assist family members overseas have increased sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, HSBC UAE said on Wednesday. 

Out of the 1.7 million payment transactions made by HSBC customers in the UAE in 2020, transfers meant for savings and family support reached more than $1.9 billion in 2020, up by 62 percent compared to the prior year. 

“It’s a huge priority for UAE-based customers to be able to finance the needs of children studying abroad, save for their own future and support family back home,” said Dan Robinson, head of wealth and personal banking at HSBC UAE. 

HSBC said that overall, international money transfers during the COVID-19 pandemic have “risen sharply”. It said that, besides transferring funds for family support, customers in the UAE have also moved cash for investment, insurance and property-related purposes. 

Global money transfers 

The bank launched on Monday its latest offering, the Global Money Account, to enable customers to hold, manage and send money globally in multiple currencies and in real time through mobile banking. 

The new tool promises to make money transfers to multiple destinations a lot easier, with a transaction lasting only less than a minute. 

According to a report by the UAE Central Bank, outward remittances made through banks in the UAE did increase by 9.8 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion) in 2020. 

However, the overall outward personal remittances from the UAE fell by 5 percent or 8.3 billion dirhams, as money transfers through exchange houses hit a 13.8 percent slump. 

A huge chunk of the funds transferred from the UAE last year went to recipients in India, Pakistan and the Philippines, accounting for 33.6 percent, 11.9 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, of the total remittances. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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