United Arab Bank responds to SME demand

SME applications increased four-fold in six months, prompting bank to grow services
United Arab Bank responds to SME demand
By Neil King
Wed 20 Mar 2013 11:32 AM

United Arab Bank has responded to a rapid increase in the number of SME applications it receives by doubling its services to small and medium sized businesses.

In the past six months the UAB has seen the number of SME applications grow by four times, and expects a further doubling of SME business in the next six months. This has prompted the bank to double its specialist SME team, and provide SME services throughout ten new branches that are opening during 2013.

The bank’s services will be offered in ten languages including Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Hindi, and other major languages of the sub-continent.

Paul Trowbridge, CEO of UAB, said: “With an unrivalled understanding of the local banking sector and having been catering to the UAE economy for the past 37 years, we are well positioned to contribute to this segment with innovative offerings.

“Our commitment to the SME sector is further reinforced by the fact our director, Najla Al Midfa, is actively associated with the prestigious Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.”

The Khalifa Fund was established in 2007 to help develop local enterprises in a bid to create a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs. As well as a capital investment fund of AED2bn (US$545m), it provides courses, programmes, mentoring and support to local entrepreneurs and SMEs.

UAB’s chief financial officer and head of strategy, Brian West, said: “Our new SME offering is proving to be a key driver for attracting new customers to the UAB portfolio. The segment is already proving to be a significant contributor to the bank’s balance sheet and profitability.

“We are building a sustainable and rewarding SME business based on understanding the customers’ special needs and addressing them through a highly experienced team of SME relationships, risk and operational professionals.”

Head of SME Banking, Sreeram Subramaniam, added: “Simple customer solutions form the core of UAB’s SME Banking offering. Exclusive product and service propositions are designed to take care of all business need, from short term cash flow requirements met through Business Installment Loans to Working Capital and Trade Services for medium enterprises.”

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