Trust levels in the UAE’s banking sector have risen over the past year, according to an annual survey carried out by the UAE Banks...

Trust levels in the UAE’s banking sector have risen over the past year, according to an annual survey carried out by the UAE Banks Federation (UBF).

Its 2018 Trust Index Survey revealed that 74 percent of respondents had high trust in the UAE banking sector, up from 68 percent in 2017.

The survey, conducted in collaboration with Kantar, a data, insights and consulting company, also revealed that consumer confidence in the banking sector increased, with 95 percent of retail banking customers being satisfied with the performance of their main bank, up from 93 percent in the previous year.

The results also showed that overall impressions have improved, with 83 percent of participants recording a ‘very positive’ perception towards UAE banks, compared to 76 percent in 2017 and 72 percent in 2016.

Specific areas that have shown significant improvement are ‘Excellent Customer Service’, which is up from 65 percent to 76 percent year-on-year, ‘Contribution to the Economy’, up from 68 percent to 77 percent, and ‘Range of Products and Services’, up from 65 percent to 76 percent.

The survey revealed that 72 percent of respondents stated that UAE banks are equally good or even better than banks in their home country, up from 65 percent in 2017 while 77 percent of respondents stated that their experience with ATMs was excellent or very good and 76 percent of respondents stated that their experience with internet banking was excellent or very good.

AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of UBF said: “The sustainable growth of the economy is strongly related to consumer confidence, and trust is a key parameter that helps us understand the banking industry’s capability to generate this confidence.

“We are delighted that despite global geopolitical and economic headwinds, this 4th edition of the Trust Index Survey shows marked improvements, demonstrating the UAE banking sector’s ongoing commitment to enhance services and products, provide convenience and outstanding customer experience, and address key issues and challenges.”

The survey also showed that when asked what challenges banks in the UAE faced, 61 percent of the respondents voice concerns about the high interest rates for loans and credit cards.

It highlighted the fact that the UAE enjoys higher trust in the banking sector than many other developed nations, including the US, UK, China, Japan, France and Germany.

Al Ghurair added: “UBF will continue working closely with its 52 member banks to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and fulfill its key role to elevate the standards of the industry for the benefit of the wider community and country.”

This year’s poll surveyed a group of 1,515 adults based in the UAE in 2018.

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