The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, launched today its sixth business banking centre in the country and the first in Sharjah in its ongoing effort to expand its services to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The new business banking centre, which exclusively serves SME, operates on the top floor of the NBAD Burj Avenue branch in Shajah. It follows NBAD’s launch of several business banking centers in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai since the beginning of the year.
H.E. Ahmed Al Medfaa' , Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI); Board members of SCCI, H.E. Hussein Muhammad Al Mahmoudi, SCCI Director General; Saif Ali Al Shehhi, the Senior General Manager of the Domestic Banking Division of NBAD and senior executives of the bank inaugurated the new business centre.
“We are pleased to extend NBAD’s exclusive SME services to the Northern Emirates and to deliver NBAD’s commitment to provide a wide range of banking solutions and products to meet the ever expanding demands of our customers,” said Saif Al Shehhi, the Senior General Manager of Domestic Banking Division at NBAD. “SMEs are very important players in economic growth and NBAD is keen in providing best products and highest standards of services to our SME clients.” Launching dedicated business banking centres is in line with NBAD's strategic objective to support and grow the SME sector by meeting growing demands for business banking services. “Small- and medium-sized businesses serve a vital role in the economic development of the Northern Emirates and of course the wider nation,” said Haitham AlRefaie, the Head of Business Banking Group at NBAD. “We continue to open new banking centers that exclusively serve small- and medium-sized businesses because serving this important segment is a core strategy of NBAD’s domestic operations.” NBAD's new business banking centre, which will be run by professional and experienced talent, offers credit facilities to companies, as well as trade finance, treasury services, among its many superior services.
Recent statistics reveal that SMEs account for more than 46% of the UAE's GDP and around 90% of all businesses in the country. “NBAD plans to have 14 dedicated business banking centres throughout the UAE by end of Q1- 2012, which is in line with our strategic objective to serve this significant sector,” Mr. Al Refaie said.
NBAD launched its first business banking centre in February 2011 in Abu Dhabi Industrial City (ICAD) and followed with new centres in Al Ain, and in Jebel Ali and Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.
NBAD plans to launch two (2) more business banking centres in Dubai and one in each of the Emirates of Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah/Umm Al Qaiwain, and Fujairah this year.
Business Banking Group at NBAD provides optimal solutions for financial transactions of all companies operating in the commercial segment through the Bank’s extensive branch network in the UAE and specialised products.
In the first half of 2011, NBAD acquired about 3,000 new SME accounts and increased SME deposits by AED 1.15 billion; and loans rose by AED 400 million.
“Expanding our network is an essential element in NBAD’s commitment in providing exemplary service and making our services more accessible to SME customers,” Mr. Al Refaie added. “NBAD is an integral part of UAE's fabric and is fully committed to the Government’s initiatives and plans to support SMEs and UAE economy.” In last few months, NBAD has launched several SME-oriented products and services that include Rent Finance, Visa Business Credit Card, as well as several partnerships.
To support SMEs in the UAE and facilitate their growth, NBAD became an administrator of the Khalifa Fund through its partnership with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development which began late last year. The Bank also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai SME and Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ).