Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region, announced today that it had received the award for “Most Friendly SME Bank in the UAE,” at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Awards for Young Business Leaders (YBL), which was organised as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
The award was presented by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates NBD, at a gala event marking the close of the summit.
Emirates NBD has received the award based on its top rating on the SME Friendliness Index, which was launched recently by Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. The rating on the SME Friendliness Index was based on two parameters - Customer Feedback, which underscored satisfaction and Loyalty to the brand, which encompassed retention – eventually leading to greater market share.
“Emirates NBD’s consistent work with SMEs across the UAE has proved to be highly successful, facilitating us to acquire over 25 per cent market share,” said Rick Pudner, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates NBD. “Our Business Banking Division offers UAE-based small and medium enterprises a wide range of tailored products and services that enable better and more professional management of small businesses. We are honoured to receive this award, which is both a testament to the hard work of Business Banking staff and an inspiration to further grow our commitment to supporting the SME sector in the country.”
Emirates NBD’s Business Banking division currently offers SMEs a competitive range of products and services from Letter of Credit (LC), to trade services, to working Capital requirements to a very smart online payment gateway – smartBUSINESS that allows SMEs to do business on the go.
“Small and Medium Enterprises are the lifeline of any economy as they are built to better withstand the challenges of the changing economic environment,” said Abdul Basit Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai SME. “At the same time, SMEs need continuous support both from a financial and advisory perspective, in order to achieve constant growth. We have launched the SME Friendliness Index, which rates organisations on the support they offer to small businesses. We congratulate Emirates NBD on its top rating, as it is evidence of the continued support offered by the bank to SMEs.”
According to official statistics, the UAE has more than 230,000 small and medium-sized companies that contribute more than 30 per cent to the country’s GDP, and employ in excess of 42 per cent of its workforce. While SMEs are widely seen as having considerable potential for growth, they also face challenges in accessing financing. Recent studies state that SMEs have a share of less than 5 per cent of total investment portfolios of banks operating in the Middle East region, compared to almost 25 per cent extended by their peers operating in other developing countries.