digital banking
Traditional banking is scoring big on trust, and other banking lines will have a lot of catching up to do. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: More than three-fourth of UAE bank customers trust their banks, with 76 per cent having a high trust in the sector and up from 74 per cent in 2018, according to UAE Banks Federation’s 2019 Trust Index Survey.

The fifth edition of the survey, done in collaboration with RFI Group, showed that customers trust traditional banks more than any other financial service provider to keep their money safe.

“Trust is an essential underpinning element of the banking sector," said AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UBF. "For traditional banks in particular, it is a fundamental asset that must be preserved and strengthened to give banks a competitive edge over new players entering the industry.

"However, trust is no longer inherent or awarded by default – it must be continuously earned.”

Competitive with the best

The survey show the UAE banking sector has a higher trust score than many other developed nations, including the US, UK, China, Japan, France and Germany, with 82 per cent of UAE consumers strongly agreeing that their bank is honest, trustworthy, and fair and outperforming the global average of 66 per cent. Furthermore, the survey found that UAE banks generally measure up favorably compared to banks in expats’ home countries.

Al Ghurair said: “We accept that there is still room for improvement. Banks need to seriously analyse the reasons for lower satisfaction levels among some segments of customers.”

Surge in digital

The Trust Index found that 77 per cent of consumers in the UAE used digital channels monthly, falling short of the global average of 87 per cent. However, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital banking products and services in the UAE, and this trend is likely to continue post-pandemic.

“We will continue to leverage these findings to steer the UAE banking industry towards greater resilience and competitiveness for the benefit of the wider country,” said Al Ghurair.