One third of GCC banking loans is personal, says report
The total level of credit extended by commercial banks in the GCC countries rose from $66.7 billion in 1993 to $114.46 billion in 1998, with personal loans comprising 34 percent of the $116.04 billion, followed by loans to trade-based business at 24 percent, the construction sector at 11 percent, the manufacturing and government sectors at 10 percent each, and the transport and communication sectors at 3 percent, each, according to a report by Doha-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), reported by Gulf News.
The GOIC report noted a range of factors, which it said have served to slow the growth of banking in the Gulf region. These include the small size of the banking units and the number of branches, overly stringent banking laws, the lack of medium- and long-term financing facilities, the absence of banks offering comprehensive services, and a scarcity of qualified professionals who are nationals of the region.
The report was critical of the banks’ ability to attract clients wishing to handle their financial affairs over the Internet. This is essential, it said, and indeed the banks must provide a range of new services and products to suit the changing economy. In particular, the GOIC stressed, the banks invest in human resources development and advanced technologies. – (Albawaba-MEBG)