By Andy Sambidge
National Bank of Abu Dhabi to open eight centres as part of commitment to small businesses
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plans to launch eight new business banking centres in 2012 to further serve small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UAE.
Since the beginning of 2011 NBAD Business Banking has opened 10 business banking centres all over the UAE.
In just over a year, NBAD increased SME customers by about 8,000, an increase of 54 percent between the end of 2010 and March 31, 2012, the bank said in a statement
NBAD added that it was committed to investing in SMEs.
"NBAD realised the potentials for growth in SMEs, which for long had been treated as part of consumer banking, however, what distinguished NBAD strategy in serving this segment is that we positioned NBAD stronger financial standing during crisis to invest in serving SMEs," said Haitham AlRefaie, head of the business banking group at NBAD.
AlRefaie said the group's staff had tripled within a year and half as its services to SMEs grew in the UAE.
"The NBAD Business Banking Centresrecognise the unique needs of SMEs. The set-up, the environ is designed to allow one-to-one, confidential interaction so our professionals can understand each client's business model and explain our products that meet each need," he added.
NBAD has so far opened four business banking centres in Abu Dhabi, four in Dubai, and one each in Al Ain, and Sharjah.
NBAD will open at least five more centres in the coming months in Ajman, RAK, Fujairah, and Western Region.
In the UAE, SMEs contribute more than 46 percent of national GDP and accounts for about 95 percent of all businesses in the country.
"Nurturing entrepreneurship would ultimately create greater business for us as it would greatly help the growth of the UAE export sector and diversification of the economy away from oil and gas and help the development of Abu Dhabi into a world destination for tourism and commerce," AlRefaie said.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.