UAE central bank to review retail lending rules

Decision follows move to cap personal loans, repayment periods in February
UAE central bank to review retail lending rules
Sultan Nasser Al Suweidi, UAE Central Bank governor, said earlier this year that bank fees had become "excessive"
By Staff writer
Sun 21 Aug 2011 11:27 AM

The UAE’s central bank plans to review its retail lending
rules at the beginning of next year, an official from the central bank's
supervision department was reported as saying.

"The central bank is still receiving feedback from
banks and customers," Saleh al-Tenaiji, senior manager at the central
bank's supervision and examination department was quoted as saying by The
National newspaper.

"We will collect all of this information until it gets
[to] such a time to study it and submit it to the board of directors to see if
we need to amend the regulations," he said.

The UAE said in February that it would curb excessive bank
charges to consumers in a rollout of wider regulations aimed at stopping
excessive lending practices seen during the oil boom years of 2007-2008.

The central bank of the Gulf state also capped personal
loans at 20 times a borrower’s monthly salary and said repayment periods can’t
exceed 48 months.

Monthly installments for all loans, including personal, car,
housing loans and credit cards, must not exceed 50 percent of a customer’s
gross salary and any regular income, the central bank said.

In June, shops in the Gulf state were barred from charging
consumers additional fees on purchases made with credit cards as commission.

The global financial crisis and Dubai's debt woes have
slowed lending growth in the OPEC member. Private sector credit growth was flat
year-on-year in May compared with rates of over 50 percent in 2008.

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