2019 UAE Banks Federation Trust Index reveals consumer trust in UAE banks remains high

UAE Banks Federation (UBF) has unveiled the results of its 2019 Trust Index Survey revealing growing customer confidence in UAE banks, with 76% of respondents having high trust in the banking sector, up from 74% in 2018.

The 5th edition of the Trust Index Survey, conducted in collaboration with RFI Group, a global data-driven insights provider, also revealed that customers trust traditional banks more than any other financial service provider to keep their money safe. Traditional banks received a score of 7.2 out of 10 in relation to keeping customers’ money safe, followed by card schemes with a score of 6.6. Digital banks and FinTechs scored 5.2.

H.E AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UBF, said: “Trust is an essential underpinning element of the banking sector. For traditional banks in particular, it is a fundamental asset that must be preserved and strengthened to give banks a competitive edge over new players entering the industry. However, trust is no longer inherent or awarded by default – it must be continuously earned. UAE banks are no different, and they’ve consistently worked tremendously hard to instill confidence in customers. The latest edition of UBF’s Trust Index Survey strongly reflects this, and is a clear indicator of the UAE banking industry’s collective commitment to excellence and improvement, time and time again.”

The survey highlighted that the UAE banking sector has a higher trust score than many other developed nations, including the USA, UK, China, Japan, France and Germany, with 82% of UAE consumers strongly agreeing that their bank is honest, trustworthy, and fair; substantially outperforming the global average of 66%. Furthermore, the survey found that UAE banks generally measure up favorably compared to banks in expats’ home countries.

“While we are delighted to see such positive results, we accept that there is still room for improvement. Despite banks increasingly offering digital customer service options, for example, there is still a reluctance among some consumers to adopt them. We will continue to leverage these findings to steer the UAE banking industry towards greater resilience and competitiveness for the benefit of the wider country,” H.E Al-Ghurair added.

The UAE banking industry has been undergoing a digital transformation in recent years.  , The Trust Index found that 77% of consumers in the UAE used digital channels monthly, falling short of the global average of 87%. However, COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital banking products and services in the UAE, and this trend is likely to continue post-pandemic.

Launched in 2015 by UBF to measure consumer perceptions and confidence in the UAE banking industry, the annual Trust Index Survey gathers valuable data which helps drive corrective measures and strategic action plans throughout the sector.

This year’s edition surveyed a group of 2068 randomly-selected adults based in the UAE in 2019. The RFI Group carefully selected respondents from a diverse range of nationalities and demographics to ensure a representative sample. Through specialized research approaches, data, and information collecting, RFI group successfully provided UBF with key insights and recommendations to further understand its customer’s viewpoints and enhance the banking sector.

To view the full 2019 Trust Index Survey, please visit: https://www.uaebf.ae/en/publications/publication-trust.html