News Column

ADIB-Barclays deal in second half of 2014

May 18, 2014



Banks busy in finalising details; seamless transition guaranteed for customers



Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, or ADIB, is expected to conclude its retail business deal with Barclays in the second half of 2014 as it has received the regulatory approval from the central bank, its senior official says.







"We have just received the green signal from the [UAE] central bank to further proceed on this landmark banking transaction," Anil Kumar, head of business transformation for the retail banking group at ADIB, told Khaleej Times in an interview.







The Abu Dhabi-based Islamic lender had signed an agreement in early April to acquire the retail banking business of Barclays in the UAE. The transaction will result in more than 110,000 Barclays customers joining ADIB's strong network of 80 branches, 602 automated teller machines and the UAE's top-rated Internet and mobile banking platform.







"We are expecting 110,000 customers to be added to our 600,000 customer base in 2014 and we are ready to face this challenge, which will give a major boost to the bank's retail business," Kumar said.







To a question, he said Barclays credit card holders will also automatically shift to ADIB's retail banking network under the deal. "Barclays bank account holders and credit card holders will receive the most advanced chip and PIN debit and credit cards, respectively."







Asked if Barclays account holders will switch to Islamic banking after the transition, he said all accounts will be transferred to ADIB's network and hopefully they will continue their accounts with the bank as they will get access to a wider branch network and a wide range of offers covering home finance, personal care, auto financing and award winning co-branded cards with Etihad Airways and etisalat.







About the progress on transition, he said initial work has been done and the two banks are now busy in finalising details to start work on accounts shifting and data-transferring mechanism.







"We have integrated and transition teams and both are collaborating for a simple and seamless banking transaction," he said.







About ADIB's post-transition plan, he said the bank is ready to face a retail boom expanding its customer base to over 700,000 in one go after the completion of the deal.







"We are working on new innovative products, promotions and welcome offers to retain new clients joining ADIB's growing banking network."







In reply to a question about staff hiring and expanding its branch network to handle over 700,000 customers, he said ADIB will accommodate all retail banking staff of Barclays in its retail banking division.







"We will continue to grow our branch network while alternative channels will continue to provide good customer service and innovative products across the country."







Asked about Emiratisation plans in the bank, he said ADIB is among those banks that promotes local talents and offers good career opportunities. According to bank's latest update in its quarterly results, Emiratisation stood firm at 47.2 per cent as out of 1,965 staff, 928 are UAE nationals.















Positive outlook







Kumar, an industry veteran, sees a positive outlook for ADIB in 2014 and said the retail segment, which contributes a major share in its total business, will drive business growth in a tough and competitive banking environment in the country.







"We have been growing steadily in past three years by posting double-digit growth in our business. The bank's retail operations grew significantly following the doubling of our branch network from 40 to 80 in five years."







ADIB reported a 20.4 per cent increase in its January-March 2014 profits to Dh409.5 million on continued growth in core operations, while its customer deposits grew 21.4 per cent to Dh77 billion from Dh63.4 billion in the same quarter last year. The bank's total assets rose 16.4 per cent to Dh103.8 billion and its net customer financing climbed by 18.1 per cent to Dh63.8 billion during first quarter of 2014.







To a question about further expansion of branch network, he said ADIB will continue its policy to expand its presence across the country.







"We do have a plan to continue going forward. The bank believes in organic growth and will extend its reach to maximum customers in the UAE's retail banking segment."







"Retail contributes to 65 per cent of the total bank revenue and it will continue to drive the growth in coming years," Kumar concluded.







muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com




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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


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