Banks in the UAE are not meeting customer expectations, according to a recent study by TNS, the world’s largest custom market research organisation.
The study looked closely at the services offered by corporate banks with the outcome suggesting that ‘banks are just not delighting their corporate customers’, which is impacting customer-bank relationship, as well as provoking a resistance to offering customer referrals.
“It seems that customers of corporate banking services believe their bank could up-the-ante on service and this sentiment negatively affects the willingness to recommend banks to others. Indeed, even after rating a bank’s performance as good, more than 70 per cent of respondents are not willing to offer a recommendation,” said Stephen Hillebrand, CEO, TNS Middle East.
The study highlights the need for banks to improve across customer experience, long-term relationship management, faster responsiveness, as well as turnaround time. It also suggests that local banks have ‘some catching up to do’ when compared to multi-national players (MNC).
“Another interesting observation is that the performance of financing products and treasury services specifically is considered ‘below average’,” says Hillebrand.
He noted that an opportunity exists for local banks to better use the industry strategy dubbed ‘know your customer’ (KYC), and noted a high interest in Islamic banking, specifically for credit facilities, such as bilateral and syndicated loans, as well as project financing.
The TNS Annual Corporate Banking Excellence Study was created by TNS Middle East following face-to-face conversations with senior finance directors across more than 425 organisations in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai and Sharjah.
Those surveyed included SMEs with annual turnover of AED 30-100 million, medium-sized enterprises with annual turnover AED 100-500 million, and large corporates with minimum annual turnover of AED 500 million.
“This first-of-its-kind corporate banking study was generated to ensure that the UAE banking sector has a neutral industry standard that focuses on the voice of customer.
“Time is money and a bank’s ability to respond, provide solutions and be proactive will improve reputation. The call from customers seems to be to marry delivery with a basket of services customised to each corporate segment needs and wants. This will result in a win-win,” Hillebrand concluded.