Central Bank of the UAE grants licence to new digital bank

Al Maryah Community Bank plans to launch soon through app

Al Maryah Community Bank says it will focus on 'supporting individuals and small businesses within the UAE economy. Courtesy istockphoto.com
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A new digital bank focusing on serving people and businesses has secured a licence from the Central Bank of the UAE.

Al Maryah Community Bank said it would be "supporting individuals and small businesses within the UAE economy", offering smart banking services built on artificial intelligence.

"We are pleased to obtain the approval and we would like to sincerely thank [the Central Bank] for their progressive vision that would go a long way to serve and support the digital banking needs of our community," Tarek Al Masoud, chairman of the board of founders for the bank, said on Monday.

The digital bank will be delivered "through the smart application that will be launched soon”, Mr Al Masoud said.

It will develop products to bridge gaps in personal and business banking and will help the "savings [and] investment goals of both Emiratis and expats alike", he said.

The licence granting follows the launch of the UAE's first independent digital bank, known as Zand, on Monday.

Zand also plans to focus on retail and corporate clients.

ADQ, the conglomerate that owns Abu Dhabi government stakes in a range of businesses, said last year it planned to set up a digital bank in the UAE using a legacy banking licence held by First Abu Dhabi Bank.

A Boston Consulting Group survey that polled more than 2,000 respondents in the UAE last year found that 87 per cent would be willing to open an account with a branchless, online bank.