A number of banks operating in the UAE have reached a secret agreement banning Emirati employees from switching jobs among them despite official instructions to encourage nationals to join the banking sector, a newspaper said on Wednesday.
The Central Bank said it was not aware of such a deal and asked Emirati bank employees barred from jobs at other banks to submit an online complaint, Emarat Alyoum Arabic language daily said.
It quoted an Emirati bank employee, identified as Abdullah S, as saying he had applied for a job at an Islamic bank in Abu Dhabi and was accepted after having three interviews.
“He said that when he mentioned his present job at another bank, he was told that he can not move to this job because there is an agreement between the two banks in this respect,” it said.
Another Emirati employee, Saeed A, said his applications to join other banks were all rejected because of that inter-bank agreement.
“This agreement is now well know among the Emirati bankers…they now have the choice either to accept the agreement or quit the banking sector altogether,” he said.
“I have not reported this to the Central Bank because the complaint takes a very long time….besides, we do not have proof that these banks are mistreating us or putting pressure on Emirati employees.”
Emirat Alyoum quoted an unnamed Central Bank official as saying he was not aware of that inter-bank agreement, adding that the Central Bank always encourages bank to create what he described as an attractive job environment for UAE citizens.
“If there are any wrong practices by banks, we encourage these employees to submit a complaint so we can consider it.”
According to the paper, malpractices and other factors are pushing Emiratis out of the banking sector, with 401 national employees leaving their jobs in the first 11 months of 2011.
This depressed their total number in the UAE’s 51 banks to 12,080 at the end of 2011 from more than 12,480.