I had a bad experience with Mashreq bank. I applied for a personal loan with Mashreq bank (Sharia) in July 2010. After several follow-ups, an officer called me and told me that my loan was not processed. I was then told that I would have to sign and was requested to go to Business Park Branch. I went there and they kept me waiting for one hour. They did not even get my signature. So, I decided not to take the loan.

Subsequently I got a text message saying that the loan had been cleared even though I didn't sign the application form and that it would start getting deducted from my salary. After two days, a bank official visited me and took my signature. He informed me that the loan was Sharia compliant — the processing fee would be 0.5 per cent of the loan amount and the insurance fee 1 per cent of the loan amount — and that the loan would be processed after the Eid Al Fitr holidays.

Instead of processing it after the holidays, the officer kept calling me on a daily basis asking if the loan amount had been credited to my account. I even got a call on August 29, 2011, at 10.16 pm.

To my surprise I received a text message on August 30 at 8.51 am (Eid holiday) from Mashreq saying that the loan amount had been credited to my account. I received another message at 9.01 am on September 1 (holiday) from Mashreq showing the total amount of the loan after deducting the first instalments. Another thing that took me by surprise was that the processing fee was charged at 1.25 per cent.

The management of Mashreq responds:

We would like to thank Gulf News for sharing Mr Hajji Ansari's letter.

At the outset, Mr Ansari applied for a personal loan in August 2011, which was processed after obtaining all necessary approvals including his signature on the application form. The charges debited from Mr Ansari's account against the processing of the loan were clearly mentioned in the form that was signed by our customer.

In our communication, Mr Ansari expressed his wish to convert the personal loan into an Islamic loan, on which we have reverted that it can only take place once the present liability and an early settlement fees are settled. We would like to share that Mr Ansari signed on the original application form of the personal loan which detailed all charges and fees pertaining to this product. We have communicated to Mr Ansari offering any further assistance that he may require. We would like to thank Gulf News for seeking clarification.

Mr Ansari responds:

I appreciate Gulf News' assistance. The staff from Mashreq called me and tried to convince me that the bank acted as per the signed documents. I am not satisfied with their reply. When I was signing the document, I might not have read fully. I believed the sales officer who told me that the loan is Islamic, the processing fee is 0.5 per cent and that the loan application was being processed after Eid holidays. None of the above was fulfilled.

I am totally disturbed by the way the sales officer handled this matter. I am not worried about a few thousand dirhams, but the way I was dealt with hurts. I am depressed as well. I have requested Mashreq to arrange for a meeting with all concerned in order to settle this issue amicably.

Mashreq responds:

In response to Mr Ansari's letter, we would like to once again confirm that the original loan application was signed by the customer, hence the loan was disbursed in a timely manner. Furthermore, as per Mr Ansari's request, we are in the process of scheduling a meeting to discuss this further. We would like to thank Gulf News for seeking clarification.