x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Deals of the Week: NBAD helps customers consolidate debt

NBAD's new programme allows Emiratis to borrow up to Dh5 million and expats Dh2m.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the country's second-biggest bank by assets, has launched a new personal loan product that enables customers to consolidate their debts into one facility to save on a variety of interest charges.

The Dream Big. Live Big campaign is open to both Emiratis and expats. UAE nationals can borrow up to Dh5 million, while expats can borrow up to Dh2m at an interest rate starting from 6.99 per cent.

The loan rate is average on the personal loan market and matches HSBC's current 6.99 per cent offering. However, HSBC's maximum personal loan amount is Dh750,000.

Earlier this year, the Central Bank introduced new regulations that cap the amount banks can lend to customers at 20 times their salary. It also set a maximum loan repayment term of four years.

NBAD, which is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, says the offer includes a free for life pre-approved NBAD credit card and a pre-approved overdraft facility.

"The NBAD Personal Loan allows responsible borrowers to have the lifestyle they dream of while taking advantage of NBAD's fantastic rates to pay off debt," says Suvo Sarkar, the general manager of consumer and elite banking at NBAD.

"Our loan products aim to enhance our customers' lives and help build their aspirations."

Loan eligibility is based on an applicant's total income, financial liabilities and debt-serving capacity, Mr Sarkar says, adding that approved customers will be given a 45-day grace period before the first instalment payment is due.

For more information about Dream Big. Live Big, call 800 2211 or go to www.nbad.com.

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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has scrapped its fees for transactions and services on all current and savings accounts.

The country's third-largest bank by assets says customers will not pay fees for a range of banking activities, including requests for additional chequebooks, standing instructions, utility bill payments, cash deposits or withdrawals in foreign currencies and requests for account statements.

The move is in line with new rules introduced by the Central Bank, which came into effect on May 1, that were designed to restrict fees and commissions charged by the country's banks. This includes banks no longer being allowed to charge fees for opening a new account or leaving one dormant.

"Customers are always looking for lower fees and better service and rightly so," says Arup Mukhopadyay, the head of consumer banking at ADCB.

"It is important that we listen to the market and react to its demands."

Ala'a Eraiqat, the chief executive of ADCB, says the bank's decision to launch the Free Banking service offers more transparency to customers.

"It [also] facilitates further positive growth in the UAE banking industry," he says. "We are the first and only bank in the UAE to offer such a fee structure."

For more information, go to www.adcb.com.

pf@thenational.ae