Emirates Islamic Bank topped the annual Benchmarking and Service Quality Study of banks conducted recently by Dubai-based Ethos Consultancy. The 100% Shari'a compliant bank scored 72.2 per cent and was ranked as the best Islamic bank in the UAE while coming third in the overall standings of 29 banks surveyed.
Mr. Robert M Keay, Managing Director of Ethos Consultancy, handed over a trophy on the occasion to Mr. Ebrahim Fayez Al Shamsi, Emirates Islamic Bank CEO, at the bank’s headquarters in Dubai.
This second annual survey in the country used criteria based on quality of service and the speed of customer service staff response. Trained and experienced researchers or “mystery shoppers” tracked all the different channels – branches, call centers and websites – over a five-week period from August to September 2006 to rank the banks.
Expressing happiness at the accolade, Mr. Al Shamsi said, “The award is a credible recognition of the services we extend to our customers. It’s not surprising as from the beginning Emirates Islamic Bank has strived to give the best in service and products to our customers that is within the parameters of Islamic banking. We are very happy and proud of being recognized in such a manner and will continue to better our service to continually delight our customers.”
Researchers visited branches of the banks, looked at the performance of tellers, checked on ATM machines functionality and observed if branch fixtures were in proper working order. The researchers also contacted the bank via websites allowing them to monitor the response time taken by the banks. Telephone calls made to call centers gauged the response time and service quality.
During the study, the researchers visited 870 branches, made 870 calls and visited bank websites 870 times, asking 86 questions. In the end, the 29 banks averaged a benchmark of the 64 per cent, way below the Western benchmark of 75 per cent for quality service in the retail banking sector.
Commenting on the award, Mr. Keay said, “We are glad that Emirates Islamic Bank has stood at the top of all other Islamic Banks in the country. We spared no efforts to ensure complete transparency and objectivity in our research and Emirates Islamic Bank has come out with flying colours. With the increase competition in the market and the whole region, such an effort is very commendable and hopefully sets an standard for those wishing to enter this market and also those aiming to achieve retail banking leadership in UAE.”
The rapid growth of UAE’s population has also seen the demand for banking services increase manifold; service quality and the speed of response becoming quite likely the key differentiators.
Emirates Islamic Bank opened its doors in October 2004 with a mission to provide consumers in the UAE with effective and innovative Shari’a-compliant financial solutions and total peace of mind. EIB is headquartered in Dubai offering retail, corporate and investment services throughout the UAE. The bank is driven by a vision to be the leading Islamic bank in the country and to consistently develop new solutions to meet the ever-evolving needs of all its customers