Stock Abu Dhabi skyline
UAE's biggest bank, FAB had assets of nearly Dh1 trillion as of end September. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The UAE’s biggest bank, FAB, recorded a 22 per cent drop in net profit for first nine months to Dh7.3 billion, brought on by “softer” revenue and higher impairments.

For the third quarter specifically, there was a 4 per cent increase in net profit to Dh2.5 billion over the second quarter tally. The bank saw favourable results on cost optimisation.

In a statement, André Sayegh, Group CEO, said: "FAB delivered a resilient performance, successfully managing key risks in the face of unprecedented economic and market conditions. Leveraging our competitive strengths, we were proud to lead prominent transactions for our clients in the third quarter, and to continue to support trade and investment flows across the region."

Dh7.5billion

What FAB extended to retail, SME and corporate customers as payment deferrals under the Targeted Economic Support Scheme

During the nine months, revenues weighed in with Dh13.7 billion. Total assets reached the near Dh1 trillion mark as of September-end. FAB has just divested a legacy banking license it had been holding to ADQ, which intends to launch a digital-only bank shortly. FAB will have a stake in the new venture.

"Our new partnership with ADQ and its future digital bank also represents a new milestone for us, as part of our commitment to support Abu Dhabi’s digital ambitions," said Sayegh. "Internally, our digital-first mindset has allowed us to adopt flexible working policies at FAB and we will continue to look into how we can evolve our operations to best meet our stakeholders’ needs."

While we continued to face headwinds from low interest rates and the challenging environment brought about by the pandemic, this was offset by higher fee-based income reflecting a rebound in business activity

- James Burdett, Group Chief Financial Officer