Analysts say the caps will ensure more vulnerable customers get help. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Analysts say the caps will ensure more vulnerable customers get help. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

New banking fee caps raise transparency levels in the sector



The Central Bank of the UAE’s decision to revise its caps on the fees and commissions applied to banking products and services helps to bring the nation’s banking sector in line with international standards by raising transparency levels.

Being open about the fees applied to a bank’s products and services is key to any banking sector as it instils an element of trust between the lender and the borrower. At a time when some UAE consumers are struggling with high level of indebtedness due to cost-of-living struggles, poor money management and low financial literacy levels, the revisions will help to alleviate their pain.

According to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank's moneysmart index released in May, almost half of UAE residents (48 per cent) struggle to meet their debt repayments each month compared to 31 per cent in 2014.

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Read more:

What the new bank fee caps mean for UAE customers

UAE Central Bank caps retail banking fees in boost to expat-friendly economy

Bounced cheques in UAE: new rules 'a progressive step for the justice system'

A nine-step guide to help you renegotiate bank debts in the UAE

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This the second time in recent years the Central Bank has issued new guidelines on the charges banks can make to consumers. The latest caps are an Amendment to Annexure 2 of the Regulations Regarding Bank Loans & Services Offered to Individual Customers, issued in February 2011 to help curb rampant lending in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The regulations introduced seven years ago limited loan amounts to 20 times a customer’s salary and repayment periods to 48 months as well as introducing a limit on how much of an individual’s salary can service debt repayments.

What is significant about the latest changes is that banks must publish them on their websites to further increase transparency. The fees will also be reviewed annually to “ensure that consumers are appropriately protected”.

Consumer experts say the caps will ensure more vulnerable customers avoid getting trapped by their debt. However, the caps could also strengthen the banking sector; if banks are recouping less in fees, they will need to improve their risk systems and potentially reject customers not suitable for high levels of debt. And lower fees on mortgage lending could boost the property market by encouraging home ownership at a time when the market has flat-lined.

The caps also complement a series of measures by the UAE over the past month to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy from a reliance on oil revenues.

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

SHAITTAN

Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Friday's schedule at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

GP3 qualifying, 10:15am

Formula 2, practice 11:30am

Formula 1, first practice, 1pm

GP3 qualifying session, 3.10pm

Formula 1 second practice, 5pm

Formula 2 qualifying, 7pm

Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.
Pros and cons of BNPL

Pros

  • Easy to use and require less rigorous credit checks than traditional credit options
  • Offers the ability to spread the cost of purchases over time, often interest-free
  • Convenient and can be integrated directly into the checkout process, useful for online shopping
  • Helps facilitate cash flow planning when used wisely

Cons

  • The ease of making purchases can lead to overspending and accumulation of debt
  • Missing payments can result in hefty fees and, in some cases, high interest rates after an initial interest-free period
  • Failure to make payments can impact credit score negatively
  • Refunds can be complicated and delayed

Courtesy: Carol Glynn

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5


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