Consumer confidence in the UAE banking sector rose from 84 per cent to 90 per cent in 2023, demonstrating the sector’s excellence, rapid digital transformation, and innovation. The UAE's banking sector ranks higher than the global average in the trust index and surpasses prominent international financial centers, highlighting its ability to cater to diverse customer segments.

Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), emphasized the significance of customer trust in banking and finance, attributing the increase in consumer confidence to the continuous development of the banking sector. He stated that under the direct supervision of the Central Bank of the UAE, the sector is committed to achieving excellence, accelerating digital transformation, and developing innovative solutions leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics to enhance services and digital infrastructure while improving cybersecurity.

Al Ghurair also underscored the robust performance of UAE banks, citing an increase in net profits, operating profits, revenues, and assets. He highlighted the sector's resilience in overcoming challenges, meeting growth targets, and maintaining strong financial indicators, in line with Basel III principles.

The UAE's banking sector leads in adopting digital solutions to meet evolving customer demands and technological advancements. Al Ghurair noted that the focus remains on offering secure and reliable banking experiences through continuous modernization of digital infrastructure and enhancing specialized services, APIs, cloud computing, and digital channels.

In addition, he emphasized the importance of investing in human capital to keep pace with evolving changes and requirements, enabling the sector to deploy innovative technology and expertise needed in the digital age.

Focusing on customer satisfaction and driving innovation, the sector aims to provide personalized financial services by harnessing data analytics and artificial intelligence, thereby empowering customers to manage their finances effectively. Furthermore, the sector prioritizes sustainability initiatives, promotes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, and supports companies prioritizing sustainability for a more sustainable future.

According to a recent study by KPMG and DataEQ, UAE and Qatar lead in regional “reputational net sentiment” within the GCC banking sector. The study underscores the importance of understanding consumer sentiment and its implications for both consumers and banks, providing valuable insights for brands looking to tailor consumer-centric strategies.