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UAE banks add 2.5m new loans and credit cards in 2023

Commerce via social media channels remains untapped in the Gulf region Shutterstock
The number of active contracts (loans and cards) reached 9.8 million at the end of December 2023, up 11% year on year

The number of bank loans and credit cards issued by banks and financial institutions in the UAE last year grew by 3 percent year on year, driven by increased confidence in borrowers’ capacity to fulfil their financial obligations.

The number of contracts reached 2.52 million in 2023, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, citing Marwan Ahmed Lutfi, director general of Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB).

The increase indicates the strength of the financial position of both borrowers and banks, he added.

The number of active contracts – loans and cards – reached 9.8 million at the end of December 2023, up 11 percent from 8.9 million at the end of 2022.

Lutfi said the bureau’s database covers 16.6 million individuals and companies, including 7 million borrowers (individuals and companies), of which 4.2 million are active.

He pointed out that the number of individual borrowers hit 4 million, while the number of borrowing companies stood at 189,000.

The combined net income of the top ten banks in the UAE rose 54 percent year on year in 2023 to AED77 billion, primarily due to higher interest income, according to the latest UAE Banking Pulse report by professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal.

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