UAE banks added 760 employees in the first seven months of this year despite decrease in the number of branches, official figures showed.
According to the Central Bank data, local banks increased hiring while foreign banks reduced number of employees during January to July period. In total, 35,435 employees were working across all the foreign and local banks in the country at the end of July. During January to July period, local banks added 791 employees to 29,847 while foreign banks laid off 31 employees to 5,588 during the first seven months.
Recruitment firm Robert Walters's second-quarter results revealed that banking and financial services witnessed the second highest growth in demand in terms of number of jobs advertised in the UAE at 46 per cent after legal sector at 72 per cent.
Increase in the number of employees can be attributed towards more hiring into digital banking units of the local banks as a trend shift towards digital banking among the residents.
The Central Bank data showed that local banks reduced the number of branches and pay offices from 771 to 753 and from 51 to 40, respectively.
UAE Banks Federation's (UBF) 2017 report revealed last week that around 600 employees were made redundant by the banks last year. its data revealed that both local and foreign banks reduced staff by 1.6 per cent last year from 36,971 at 2016-end to 36,367 by end of December 2017.
According to UAE Central Bank, total assets of banks grew from Dh2.693 trillion at end of December 2017 to Dh2.77 trillion at the end of July, an increase of 2.85 per cent; while deposits grew from Dh1.627 trillion to Dh1.694 trillion during the comparative period, a growth of four per cent.
Total credit lending increased from Dh1.452 trillion at end-2017 to Dh1.488 trillion in July. Credit lending to the private sector grew from Dh1.10 trillion to Dh1.138 trillion, reflecting increased activity in business during the first seven months of 2018.
Global professional services firm Alvarez and Marsal said in its second-quarter report that UAE banks' profitability continued to increase with operating income and net interest margins significantly higher than in previous quarters.
It compared the data of the 10 largest listed banks in the UAE.
During second-quarter, deposits grew faster at 2.18 per cent than loans and advances at 1.75 per cent, resulting in a slightly reduced average loan-to-deposit ratio for Q2 2018.
Banks' return on equity increased due to a decrease in the cost of risk and an increase in operating income, despite a slight decrease to return on assets.