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UAE Central Bank 'surprised'

By Staff

The UAE Central Bank has said it is working on new regulations for credit cards, setting interest rates and fees for the first time in the country following growing public complaints about random charges by banks.

A senior official said the Central Bank had been in touch with all banks in the UAE to obtain information about rates and fees imposed by them on credit card holders, adding that this would help formulate the new rules.

He said information obtained by the Central Bank from the country’s 51 banks was a “surprise”, in an apparent reference to the high rates and many types of fees imposed by banks on credit card clients.

“We are studying a new comprehensive system that will regulate the credit card market and it will be binding to all banks,” head of the treasury at the Central Bank, Saif Al Shamsi, told Emirat Alyoum Arabic language daily.

“All options are under consideration…they could include setting a ceiling on fees and interest rates on credit cards or fixing definite fees and rates.”

Shamsi said the new system, which could be the first in the region, has not materialized yet, adding that it is still being discussed by the Board.

“The Central Bank is keen to scrutinize all fees and services related to credit cards in detail before approving the new system in its final form…it is difficult to say now when this system would be enforced but I hope in the near future.”