Dubai: Customer satisfaction among customers of UAE banks surged to a new high in 2017, with 93 per cent of retail banking customers indicating they are satisfied with the performance of their main bank, according to the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) Trust Index survey.

The survey showed trust levels remain high, with 68 per cent of respondents affirming their trust in the banking sector.

The survey also reveals that banks are doing a satisfactory job in meeting the expectations of their customers, particularly in providing greater convenience and customer experience.

“Despite global challenges and transformations, the banking industry remains committed to offering customers best services, qualitative products and outstanding experience. We are confident that this survey will inspire our member banks to further enhance their performance and achieve significant improvement across the industry,” said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation.

On the overall perception of the banking sector, more than three-fourths (76 per cent) of survey respondents had a “very positive” perception of their banks in 2017, compared with 72 per cent in 2016 and 70 per cent in 2015.

The study indicated improvement in service quality with 40 per cent of respondents stating that the country’s banks offer better services than those in their home nations, up from 33 per cent in 2016 and 38 per cent in 2015, while 30 per cent said that their home country banks offer better services than those in the UAE, compared with 27 per cent in 2016 and 23 per cent in 2015.

The survey also shows that UAE enjoys higher levels of trust in the banking sector than many other developed nations around the world.

The report revealed positive customer feedback across a number of important areas, such as digital innovation, improvement of online services and efforts to prevent cybercrime. Although branch, online and ATM channels were all highly rated, the performance of call centres was noted as area with room for improvement, reflecting the needs of an increasingly discerning client base.

“We will continue coordinating with all of our members to further developing their products and services to meet customers’ expectations, and therefore boosting the trust level and overall customer experience,” Al Ghurair said.

Launched in 2015 by UBF to measure consumer perceptions and confidence in the banking industry, the annual Trust Index Survey gathers data which helps drive corrective measures and strategic action plans throughout the sector. The third edition of the Trust Index surveyed a group of 1,504 adults (aged 18+) based in the UAE in 2017.

“The stabilisation of the trust index over the past few years is a sound indicator and proof that banks are pursuing a successful strategy to achieve their joint goal of customer satisfaction and happiness,” Al Ghurair said.