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25 February 2024

UAE bank ATMs explode by 48%, while branches rise 11%

This expansion is necessitated by the rapid growth of our customer numbers Tirad Mahmoud, ADIB. (EB FILE)

By Shuchita Kapur

The UAE bank branches grew by more than 11 per cent while the electronic banking service units of foreign banks increased by almost 22 per cent, official Central Bank data shows.

The number of ATMs in the country, on the other hand, went up by more than 48 per cent, from 2,420 at the end of 2008 to 3,599 by the end of last year.

Many of the country's leading banks continued with their branch expansion despite a decline in profits due to massive loan loss provisions.

Tirad Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), confirmed to Emirates Business in a statement that the bank will continue its expansion this year.

"In 2009, we grew our branch network to 52 from 44 while our ATM network expanded to 204 from 116. In 2010, we have a clear target of 70 branches in all emirates of the UAE," he said.

"This expansion is necessitated by the rapid growth of our customer numbers, at a CAGR of 30 per cent over the past two years," Mahmoud added.

"RAKBank will be looking at more opportunities this year to further extend its reach within the UAE through new branches and off-site ATMs," Graham Honeybill, General Manager of the bank, told this paper. RAKBank opened two new branches in 2009 while it added 12 ATM units in the year. In a statement issued during the launch of Emirates NBD's branch in Downtown Dubai earlier this month, Jamal bin Galaita, Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said: "At a time when the bank is finalising the complete external and internal rebranding of its domestic network, we remain focused on expanding our network."

It was not just the locally incorporated banks that expanded their network. Electronic banking service units of foreign banks too went up from 38 in December 2008 to 43 in January 2010.

Total bank assets (net of provisions) in the UAE grew 4.65 per cent year-on-year, from Dh1.44 trillion at the end of January 2009 to Dh1.51 trillion at the end of January 2010.


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