The UAE Banks Federation, UBF, has officially released its annual report for the year 2017, shedding light on major developments, and trends in the UAE banking sector as well as local and regional economies.
The report also highlights the UBF’s key initiatives and events, which continue to contribute significantly to the banking sector in the UAE. The report underscores that the UAE’s banking sector remained strong and robust in 2017 with an uptick in growth on the back of strong economic momentum in the country.
Driven by a diversified economy, higher government spending, and growth in trade, the UAE economy expanded by 1.5 percent in 2017, reflecting a sustained increase in investments and consumer confidence. The ongoing rebound in the global economy, steady recovery in oil prices, improved fiscal outlook and higher deposits from the government further stimulated the growth in the sector.
In his introductory message, AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UBF, noted, "At the UBF, 2017 was a remarkable year for us. Banks were well capitalised and comfortably liquid, reporting a healthy growth in deposits and a moderating growth in credit and improvement on a number of performance metrics.
"Going forward, 2018 seems to be an exciting year for the UAE in general and the banking sector, in particular. Anticipated higher oil prices, VAT revenues, further diversification of the economy and the build-up to Expo 2020 Dubai will lead to a better government fiscal position, higher investments and spending to further drive the economy. On the back of improved economy, the UAE banking sector will have better growth across deposits and credits."
The 2017 annual report highlights the contributions of the UBF CEO Advisory Council, UBF’s diversified technical committees, as well as member banks towards creating a stable, competitive and innovative banking sector capable of meeting the customers’ expectations and contributing to the country’s economic development.
It also emphasises the UBF’s initiatives during the year, including the launch of TASHARUK, a cybersecurity intelligence platform to counter cyber risk and threats.
In addition, the report highlights the key findings of the UBF’s annual Trust Index survey, which showed that trust levels remained high with 68 percent of respondents expressing their trust in the UAE banking sector, and 93 percent of the UAE retail banking customers indicating that they are satisfied with their banks.