"Approach the banks with genuine proof showing evidence of damage to business or assets, and we will help," says Abdulaziz Al Ghurair. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Banks in the UAE will definitely give a ‘lifeline’ to those businesses and individuals who were affected by the April floods - but they will need to provide ‘genuine’ proof of the damages sustained.

“If they show us the proof, banks will show the maturity in rescheduling payments they owe us for a certain period,” said Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, the Mashreq Bank Chairman and head of UAE Banks Federation.

“UAE banks had shown maturity in addressing such situations, especially during the Corona virus phase. Banks will stand by those customers who are facing serious issues after the April rains, whether it’s on personal loans, auto or mortgages.

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“There is no point in asking a business that’s been affected and not operating to keep making payments. Just show us the proof - what we don’t want to see is anyone trying to take advantage.”

Banks and insurance companies have seen a glut of claims related to the rains and the damages brought on by it. The institutions are still in the midst of processing these, with some individuals and businesses confirming they have received approvals for loan deferments.

The UAE Central Bank had on April 22 issued a circular calling on banks and insurers to consider up to a 6 month loan deferments on personal and auto loans.

UAE’s ‘Jaywan’ debit cards

The UAE Banks Federation chief also said that UAE’s ambitious ‘Jaywan’ debit card rollout program will be ‘done in stages’.

“Banks don’t have the capacity or the logistics to issue 10 million cards at the same time to clients,” he said. So, the plan is for banks to oversee the replacement of existing cards over a two- or two-and-a-half-year period. And then we stop issuing all other cards - and stick with Jaywan.”

The card scheme is seen as a major challenge to the Visa and MasterCard networks that form the global bedrock of customer transactions.