The number of employees in banks operating in the country has stabilized in July and August, despite the decline in the number of bank branches during the same period.
According to data of the Central Bank, the number of bank employees reached 36.3 thousand employees by the end of August 2019, compared to the same number during July and June, while the number of bank branches in August decreased to 706 branches, compared with 711 branches at the end of July and 713 branches in June.
Two financial experts told Emirates Today that banks are adhering to competent staff to take care of things that alternative technology channels cannot do, stressing that technology is still limited to some banking tasks.
In detail, data showed the Central Bank of stable staff numbers in banks operating in the country during July and August 2019, despite the decline in the number of branches of banks during the same period.
The data showed that the number of employees working in domestic and foreign banks, reached 36 thousand and 311 employees by the end of August 2019, compared to the same number during the months of June and July.
This came at a time when bank branches witnessed a decline during this period, falling to 711 branches by the end of July, compared to 713 branches in June, while the decline continued in August, after the number of branches to 706 branches, according to the latest statistical bulletins of the Central Bank.
The banking expert, Awatif Al Harmoudi, said that there is a general trend among banks to alternative channels that prevent them from opening branches.
However, she pointed out that with the decline of the number of branches of banks, but the banking transactions are increasing, which requires an increase in the number of employees who do not deal with customers, or what is known as «Back office», pointing out that there are other regulatory requirements, led to an increase in numbers Employees in departments such as compliance and risk management.
Hormoudi added that banks are currently restructuring jobs, as they take advantage of existing qualified staff, and direct them and train them on new tasks, rather than laying off them and hiring new employees.
She stressed that banks continue to intensify their investments on technology, in light of the preference of customers to use technology channels over traditional transactions in banks, which will affect the staff who deal with customers.
Al-Harmoudi pointed out that modern technology also performs many tasks performed by back-line employees who do not deal with customers, but stressed that artificial intelligence and technology have not yet been able to perform specific banking tasks, which contributes to the relative stability of the numbers of jobs in banks.
Branches of commercial centers
For his part, the banking expert, Ahmed Arafat, that one of the factors that contributed to the relative stability of the number of employees in banks, the tendency of all banks to open branches in commercial centers, pointing out that those centers are usually staffed by many employees, and work over two years Daily until 10 am, it can accommodate twice the number of staff in the regular branch.
However, Arafat stressed that the use of modern technology is beginning to affect the number of employees who deal directly with customers, expecting that in the coming period will affect the back-line staff, whether in the credit, analysis or risk departments.
He pointed out that «there is a new device in the banks, where the customer put the identity card, and this device determines the eligibility for a credit card, where this device contact with the Union Credit Information Company, and can find out the salary and obligations of the customer, and give him the result of his request At about the same time. ”
Arafat pointed out that banks are currently laying off less qualified staff and retaining only qualified staff to handle other things that alternative technology channels cannot do. He explained that the expansion of electronic branches will prevent the increase in the number of employees.
Two main reasons
In its latest report, the Union of UAE Banks attributed the decline in the number of bank branches in the UAE to two main reasons. The first is the policy of restructuring the financial and administrative situation adopted by the banking sector management during the past three years, while the second is the intensive use of modern financial technology, which Relatively low costs. However, he explained that despite this trend, the banks in the country added about 1954 new jobs during the past year, which fell in the number of branches by about 3.51%, equivalent to the closure of about 30 branches, pointing out that the new hires focused mostly on competencies High in the use of modern financial technology.
A staff member at
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