Emirates NBD Sees Surge in Retail Banking as Economy Recovers

United Arab Emirates’ lenders will boost retail banking revenue at “high single to early double digit” rates as consumer lending increases amid the region’s accelerating economic growth, the country’s biggest bank said.

Retail banking, which includes products like credit cards and personal loans, will likely account for 50 percent of revenue at most banks over the next three years, up from about 35 percent now, Suvo Sarkar, the head of retail banking at Dubai-based Emirates NBD PJSC, said in an interview yesterday.

Dubai’s economy, the second-biggest of seven that make up the U.A.E., is recovering from one of the world’s worst property crashes, helped by a rebound in tourism and retail trade. The country, with a population of 8.3 million, is home to 51 banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc.

“The penetration of wealth management among customers is quite low and even today, less than 20 percent of the spending here is done on cards,” Sarkar said.

Emirates NBD’s revenue from consumer banking and wealth management grew 13 percent in the first half to 1.24 billion dirhams as lending advanced 12 percent in the six months through June.

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