Debts cleared for more than 3,000 Emiratis

The Non-performing Debt Relief Fund worked with banks to waive Dh361 million owed by 3,310 who had defaulted on their debts

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More than 3,000 Emiratis with debts of Dh361 million in total have had their dues waived by the country’s debt relief fund in co-operation with banks.

The Non-performing Debt Relief Fund worked with 13 banks to waive Dh361million owed by 3,310 debtors, according to a statement on Wam on Saturday.

Jaber Al Suwaidi, the director general of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and chairman of the Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Debt Settlement Fund, said the aim was to secure the living conditions of citizens and enhance the financial stability of their families.

The fund was established under the directives of the President, Sheikh Khalifa, to address the issues and concerns of citizens and provide them with the means for a decent standard of life.

Mr Al Suwaidi said the decision announced on Saturday was taken to coincide with the Year of Tolerance and thanked the banks for working towards the initiative to forgive the debts of those who had defaulted.

The banks that participated included Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi First Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Ras Al Khaimah National Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Union National Bank, Noor Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade.

Awareness sessions on financial literacy have been conducted to explain the risks of living on credit and teach young people to manage their personal finances after surveys showed the need for more information about savings.

About 54 per cent of youth said their financial behaviour was largely influenced by their friends, as per a 2013 study by the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development.

An earlier study in 2011 by McKinsey & Company showed that 70 per cent of UAE nationals younger than 35 were in debt.