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UBF launches initiative to handle customer complaints

Bank federation also launches “Service Promise,” a guideline for banks to follow

Gulf News

ABU DHABI

The UAE Banks Federation (UBF) has announced it will build a unified framework to handle customer complaints.

The UAE Central Bank has approved the initiative, the UBF said in a statement. The UBF is a professional body representing 48 member banks operating in the UAE.

“The proposed framework was developed as part of the UBF’s continued efforts to enhance customer experience, as well as bring higher levels of transparency and efficiency in addressing the concerns of the bank customers in the UAE. The Central Bank’s blessing for the framework paves the way for the countrywide implementation of this landmark initiative, which is in line with global best practices. It will ensure that customers’ concerns, rights and interests are taken care of and protected,” Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UBF, said.

The UBF has also released its “Service Promise,” a set of guidelines that set standards for good banking practices to observe when dealing with complaints. While the “Service Promise” is not a legislation, member banks have agreed to adopt and honour its obligations.

“The purpose of the Service Promise is to upgrade the quality of service that bank customers across the UAE will receive when they file a complaint about a product or service. By providing a set of guidelines and adequate quality assurance to customers, the Service Promise will raise the industry standards and ensure standardised processes and experiences across banks, as well as help encourage consumer confidence in the banking industry,” Al Ghurair said.

The UBF said the “Service Promise” is built around five guiding principles transparency, fairness, empathy, reliability and accessibility, which the Federation views as the core to daily banking operations.

“The guiding principles are designed to ensure that banks in the UAE conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the highest ethical standards and demonstrates the banking industry’s aspirations to be in line with global best practices for the way banks attend to consumer complaints. As a banking ecosystem, we are committed to operating according to this Service Promise and uphold our five guiding principles while handling customer complaints,” Al Ghurair added.

Customers will be able to lodge a complaint through a variety of channels, including through the call centre, branch, internet and mobile banking, email and web complaint forms, and the social media. The bank will notify the complainant of the receipt of the complaint within two business days of the submission, and if the complainant has not been provided with a resolution by then, he/she will be provided an estimated resolution time within four business days. If the bank is unable to solve the complaint within 60 days, the complainant will be provided with information about their options for external escalation.

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