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Tue 23 Dec 2008 07:42 AM

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Consumer pain as banks tighten lending rules

Two of Dubai's largest lenders raise minimum salary required to get personal loan.

Two of Dubai's largest banks have hiked the minimum salary required to get a personal loan amid the escalating financial crisis and growing concern over bad debt, Arabian Business can reveal.

Emirates Bank International on Monday doubled the minimum monthly salary threshold to 10,000 dirhams ($2,722) from 5,000 dirhams, citing the financial crisis.

Staff at the company, which is a subsidiary of the country’s largest bank by assets, Emirates NBD, said they had been given Monday to process applications already in the pipeline, given that all the documentation required was provided.

The move comes just a month after Emirates Bank increased the amount customers must earn in order to get a loan to 5,000 dirhams ($1,361) from 3,000 dirhams.

An Emirates Bank spokesman said the company did not comment on credit policy for retail customers, but that the policy was "revised in a timely manner, according to market conditions".

Meanwhile, Dubai Islamic Bank, the UAE's largest sharia compliant lender, more than doubled its minimum monthly salary threshold two weeks ago to 8,000 dirhams from 2,500 dirhams, staff said.

Dubai Islamic Bank was not immediately available for comment.

Emirates Bank and Dubai Islamic are the latest in a long line of UAE-based banks to tighten lending conditions due to the freeze in credit markets.

Several British banks operating in the country, including Lloyds TSB and HSBC, have significantly increased their minimum month salary thresholds to obtain a loan, as have local banks such as National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and National Bank of Dubai (NBD).

Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes said earlier this month UAE banks were poised to post declines in net profit in 2009 as they aggressively restrict lending and increase provisioning due to the financial crisis.

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Maria 11 years ago

I do not see how can someone still survive in UAE, particularly Dubai with a salary below AED 10,000??? Things are getting tough for even those who earn more than 20,000.

Bikash Mallick 11 years ago

Tightening lending conditions for personal loans to a minimum monthly salary threshold may not be the solution to reserve the operating capital.

nerissa 11 years ago

One of the reasons why expats cannot survive here in dubai anymore is because banks has increase their salary requirement to 5,000 dhs even it's a salary transfer loan. What will happen to workers with less than 4,500 dhs salary who wants to cope up with the Global crisis by applying a loan , Instead of going back to their home country? Is there any banks here in Dubai that can still accept loan applications to individuals with less than 4,500 dhs salary?