UAE banks cut staff, branches
UAE banks have laid off more than 600 people in 2017-18 and reduced the number of branches, says the annual report of the UAE Banks Federation. It also said there were 29,056 employees at national banks in December 2017 compared to 29,532 in the same month the previous year, a reduction of 479. Foreign banks in the country cut their workforce by 128, reducing staff from 7,439 to 7,311. The number of national bank branches also reduced by 75 last year compared to 2016 from 846 to 771, while foreign banks cut 3 branches, from 85 to 82. The report said banking infrastructure has been contracting since 2014, with consolidation in branches and employees. One key area of consolidation last year came through the merger of two of the country’s largest banks – National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank. The banking sector, however, saw a 4.1% increase in deposits last year to Dhs1627.7 billion.