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Home loan issue

I have a home loan with Dubai Bank, which has now merged with Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB), thus my loan bank is now EIB. The loan is for a property in the Remraam Community. I got a handover notice from the developer, Dubai Properties, in November 2011, but the bank then informed me that they will only release the payment a little later as they are in some negotiations with the Bank.

It is two years since and many calls and e-mails later, but I have absolutely no update on the status or an expected handover date.

I am living in the same community, two buildings away from my own apartment, which I pass every day, but cannot enter. I am paying rent and losing money every month, which should be going towards my Equated Monthly Installments (EMI). If other banks have handed over apartments in the community, what is keeping EIB from doing so?

I would like to ask EIB why they are not releasing my apartment? Why am I suffering as an investor and as their client just because they have an issue with the developer, which does not involve me? Why is the Bank not updating me on the status – that’s basic level customer service I expect?

Most frustrating is every e-mail to the bank goes unanswered, every call results in - we will call you back, and as always no response. All I want is my apartment, which I know is ready, and the decency of an update from my bank.

Please help.

From Ms Preeti Chopra

Dubai

Editor’s note: We received this complaint on October 3, 2013 and was sent to Emirates Islamic on the same date for investigation.

A spokesperson from Emirates Islamic Bank responds on January 23, 2014: Thank you for bringing Ms Chopra’s concerns to our attention. On behalf of Emirates Islamic, I would like to inform you that this matter has now been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both the customer and the bank.

Our experienced Home Finance team has investigated this issue thoroughly, in coordination with the Dubai Property Group, developer of the Remraam community. We have been in touch with the customer to update her about the situation, and the handover formalities of the property have actually begun on December 17, 2013.

Emirates Islamic is a customer-centric organisation truly committed to providing our customers with world class financial services tailored to meet their specific requirements. We regret the inconvenience faced by our valued customer Ms Chopra in this instance, and would like to assure her that appropriate measures have been taken to ensure that this unexpected delay will not happen again.

Ms Chopra responds on January 26: Thank you Gulf News for your email. Highly appreciate your follow up on my grievance with EIB.

Yes, we have received the handover notice from Dubai Properties Group but after chasing for over a month the actual handover is still pending. The Bank too I confirm is now in touch with me and we are still trying to sort out the relevant issues on handover delays from Dubai Properties Group.

However, we still have issues at the Bank’s end, too, as there is a deviation on the interest rate mentioned in the agreement and one stated to us during our last meeting. As per the Ijarah contract the profit rate chargeable after delivery should be Repo + 2.99 per cent, but the bank is insisting on a much higher fixed rate.

This is to keep you posted. I would appreciate if you can help communicate the same to EIB.

A spokesperson from Emirates Islamic Bank responds on February 9: Thank you for sharing Ms Chopra’s response with us. As Ms Chopra has confirmed, Emirates Islamic is in constant communication with her to review and address her concerns regarding the handover of the residential property, and the modifications to the original facility terms and associated agreements. The Bank would like to confirm that any modifications to the Ijarah profit rate have been made within the terms of the original contract, which has been accepted by Ms Chopra. Our dedicated Home Finance team has also explained the changes and resulting benefits to Ms Chopra on a number of occasions.

Emirates Islamic is constantly committed to providing its customers with world class services at the best possible terms, and continues to make all attempts to address and resolve the various matters raised by Ms Chopra to her satisfaction.

Emirates Islamic is the registered brand name of Emirates Islamic Bank PJSC.