"Central": National banks close 109 branches within 10 months

Bankers: 80% of bank services are provided "online"

  • There are transactions that require visiting the branch, such as depositing large sums of money.

    Emirates today

  • Amjad Nasr: "The banks possess a strong technical infrastructure, which cost them millions of dirhams over the past 10 years."


Bankers said that banks provide 80% of their services to individuals and companies electronically, either through their websites, or through smart applications on mobile phones, noting that some services still require visiting the branch, such as large cash deposits, or signing an account opening form, or request finance.

They explained, to "Emirates Today", that banks in the UAE possess an advanced technical structure that is comparable to the best systems in place in the world. However, some dealers still prefer to visit the branches, either because they are unable to deal with modern technologies completely, or because they are not confident in completing their tasks. Banking via smart applications.

According to the latest data issued by the Central Bank, during the first 10 months of last year, national banks closed 109 branches, bringing the total to 547 branches at the end of last October, compared to 656 at the end of December 2019.

Technical structure

In detail, the banking expert, Amjad Nasr, said that the banks possess a strong technical structure, which cost them millions of dirhams over the past 10 years, through which they provided about 80% of their services through “online” and smart phone applications, at a time they can still access 100% during the coming period.

He added that the circumstances of the emerging corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic have deepened the trend towards completing banking transactions electronically and working remotely, so there is no longer a need for branches as was the case before.

He explained that despite this, banks maintain a reasonable number of branches to serve customers who want to deal directly, such as the elderly, or those who do not trust online banking transactions, pointing out that some transactions also still require visiting the branch, such as signing the account opening forms Or, request financing, or depositing large sums of money.

Saving expenses

For his part, the banking expert, Muhannad Aouni, said that 80% of banking services for individuals and companies can now be done via "online" or by phone call. Therefore, large branches are no longer needed, and their number has been reduced to save operational expenses, and direct them towards Improving services, protecting the banking system, and ensuring information security, which in turn is very costly.

Awni continued: “Some services still require visiting branches at present, such as transferring money in large numbers, with more than 100,000 dirhams, or depositing it in the bank account, in addition to the necessary signatures, as some banks require the customer to attend in person, and visit the branch to obtain a sealed account statement. , Or open a bank account, or apply for financing.

number of visits

In the same context, banker Ahmed Nasser agreed that about 80% of banking services are provided "online", but if the customer does not have sufficient experience in dealing with modern technologies, he is forced to visit the bank branch to complete his transactions.

Nasser emphasized that the number of visits to bank branches decreased very much, compared to previous years, thanks to the reliance of many customers on services via the "online", especially since banks provided applications on smart phones with a high degree of safety, and the same customer preferred to shorten the time. And do what he wants through his phone, or call the customer service center, or send an email with a service request.

He added, "There is still a very limited number of transactions that require the customer to visit the branch, such as opening a bank account, if the bank does not support the electronic signature, or if large sums of money are transferred or deposited."

He said, "It is natural in this situation for banks to close the branches on which there is no pressure, especially since the period of remote work has proven the efficiency of the approach to electronic banking services."

Banks have provided applications on smart phones with a high degree of security .. and the customer prefers to shorten the time.

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