By Gavin Gibbon
UAE banking sector has higher trust rating than US, UK, China, Japan, France and Germany
Customer confidence in the banking sector has increased according to the UAE Banks Federation’s (UBF) 2019 Trust Index Survey, with 76 percent of respondents having high trust in the sector, up from 74 percent in 2018.
The fifth edition of the survey also revealed that customers trust traditional banks more than any other financial service provider to keep their money safe.
Traditional banks received a score of 7.2 out of 10 in relation to keeping customers’ money safe, followed by card schemes with a score of 6.6. Digital banks and FinTech scored 5.2.
AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of UBF, said: “Trust is an essential underpinning element of the banking sector. For traditional banks in particular, it is a fundamental asset that must be preserved and strengthened to give banks a competitive edge over new players entering the industry.
“However, trust is no longer inherent or awarded by default – it must be continuously earned. UAE banks are no different, and they’ve consistently worked tremendously hard to instill confidence in customers.”
The results of the survey showed that the UAE banking sector has a higher trust score than several other developed nations, including the US, UK, China, Japan, France and Germany, with 82 percent of UAE consumers strongly agreeing that their bank is honest, trustworthy, and fair; substantially outperforming the global average of 66 percent.
“While we are delighted to see such positive results, we accept that there is still room for improvement. Despite banks increasingly offering digital customer service options, for example, there is still a reluctance among some consumers to adopt them. We will continue to leverage these findings to steer the UAE banking industry towards greater resilience and competitiveness for the benefit of the wider country,” Al-Ghurair added.
The Trust Index found that 77 percent of consumers in the UAE used digital channels monthly, falling short of the global average of 87 percent. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital banking products and services in the UAE, and this trend is likely to continue post-pandemic.