‘How can I apply for statements of my closed UAE bank account from overseas?’

Ensure that you have soft copies of your account and credit card statements for at least the past year before leaving the country

Closing bank accounts before leaving the UAE permanently is the right course of action. Photo: Unsplash/ Firmbee
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I left Dubai in March and closed my bank account with Emirates NBD. I now need my bank statements for the past six months to support my mortgage application in Ireland. However, I forgot to download copies before closing the account.

I have emailed and called the bank more times than I can count over the past few months and keep being told to log in to online banking — which I can’t do as the account is closed — and use my registered mobile number — I don’t have a UAE telephone number any more — or go to a branch, which isn’t possible.

I tried contacting the bank through the accounts closure email but was advised to contact customer care instead. They asked me to visit a branch or use an ATM, even though I kept explaining that I now live in Ireland.

Please help me as I need the statements and am not getting anywhere. AH, Ireland

I got in touch with my contacts at Emirates NBD and they took prompt action.

Within a week, Ms H confirmed that she had received an email from Emirates NBD with her statements for the past 12 months.

A spokeswoman for the bank said that the group customer experience team contacted Ms H and resolved the matter to her satisfaction.

“I never expected it to be sorted so quickly and appreciate your efforts,” Ms H said.

Closing bank accounts before permanently leaving the UAE is the right course of action for the vast majority of people, but it is also wise to ensure that you have soft copies of your account and credit card statements for at least the past year, if not longer.

They will be required if you need to apply for a mortgage or personal loan in the new country of residence.

I worked for a company in my home country and was transferred to their Dubai office on secondment.

When I joined, I had an official labour card and was on the company’s visa. There was no mention of secondment on any of the official documents.

I was only paid an allowance in Dubai, while my salary was still paid in my home country.

The secondment arrangement went on for three years. Four years ago, my company decided to make me a permanent employee in Dubai.

However, the company did not pay me any gratuity. The labour contract continued as it was, with a jump in pay here.

My labour contract still shows my initial date of joining as the start date of employment. As per UAE law, from which date will my gratuity be calculated? TK, Dubai

When TK started working for the company in the UAE, he had a visa, work permit and a salary, even if it was only part of his total package. This means he was a UAE resident and employee and, therefore, the full provisions of UAE law will apply.

It is understood that he works for a mainland employer, so both the previous and current labour laws apply in full.

This means that the start date of employment in the UAE was seven years ago. The payment of his gratuity should be calculated from that date. The law is clear about how this is calculated.

“The full-time foreign worker, who completed a year or more in continuous service, shall be entitled to end-of-service benefits at the end of his service, calculated according to the basic wage as per the following: a. A wage of 21 days for each year of the first five years of service; b. A wage of 30 days for each year exceeding such period,” according to Article 51 of the Labour Law.

When TK’s service ends, the gratuity payment should be based on his basic salary at that time, calculated from his official start date in 2015.

Can a supplementary credit card holder be liable for unpaid debt? If there are payments outstanding, can they be detained in the UAE? SS, Dubai

SS should check the terms and conditions that relate to the specific credit card as they can vary between banks.

The primary cardholder is liable for all charges and debts, while the supplementary cardholder is only responsible for any charges on the supplementary card. Reuters

Generally speaking, the primary cardholder is liable for all charges and debts, while the supplementary cardholder is only responsible for any charges on the supplementary card.

The supplementary cardholder is not usually held liable for payment or debt.

It is unlikely that a bank could take out a police case against a supplementary cardholder for unpaid debt, but if there are any concerns, SS should check with the bank to confirm the situation.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: August 14, 2022, 5:00 AM