More than a fifth of UAE expats were unable to meet loan or credit card payments over the past year, research from Datamonitor has showed.
The level for defaults for UAE nationals was marginally lower at 19.7 percent, compared to 22.1 percent for foreign customers, it was reported on Thursday.
As a result, banks are vying to attract more Emirati customers as better job security and bigger salaries make them less of a credit risk to lenders, UAE daily The National reported.
So-called profiling of customers based on their country of origin and also their credit history is expected to increase as banking checks become more sophisticated in the UAE, the paper added.
“In this market there’s opportunities for different rates based on the profiling of consumers and as banks look to better understand their client base there will be opportunities for increasing profitability going forward,” said in commRichard Adams, a consulting analyst at Datamonitor said in comments published by the paper.
Although Emiratis have historically chosen to bank with local lenders, both local and international banks are expected to increasingly compete for their services, the paper said.
Some foreign banks are reducing mortgage rates and offering better car loans to attract clients, Janany Vamadeva, a banking analyst at Al-Futtaim HC Securities, told the National.
Some banks were forced to write down debts linked to the thousands of expatriates who left the country after a wave of job losses and a collapse in the country’s property market.