Abu Dhabi, UAE- 11 March 2024:

The UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, has reaffirmed that the launch of Sanadak, the first Ombudsman Unit catering to consumers of Licensed Financial Institutions and Insurance Companies in the Middle East and North Africa  (MENA)region, represent a major milestone to develop the financial service sector in the UAE and broader region, and will cement the UAE’s status as a leading financial and banking center, under the direct supervision of the Central Bank of the UAE.

The launch of Sanadak is part of the Central Bank of the UAE initiatives to raise consumer’s trust and ensure their rights, by enhancing an efficient and effective mechanism for receiving, processing, and settling consumer complaints transparently and impartially in line with the UAE leadership’s directive to enhance government services, and in accordance with the regulations set by the Central Bank of the UAE. Sanadak is the first legally independent Ombudsman Unit, with a focus on safeguarding consumers rights and resolving complaints that arise from dealings with financial institutions and insurance companies.

The UAE Banks Federation (UBF) emphasized its commitment to ensure full cooperation and support of its members with Sanadak, which will partner with financial institutions and insurance companies to achieve its objectives. UBF will support efforts to further elevate the efficiency and integrity of the UAE’s financial ecosystem, providing best possible conditions to customers to get secure and seamless banking services in line with highest international standards.

In his keynote speech at the Sanadak’s launch event, Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF), said: “This pioneering initiative, led by the Central Bank of the UAE, marks a crucial step towards ensuring consumer protection and nurturing trust within the financial services sector. Sanadak is designed to act with impartiality, fairness, and transparency in resolving financial and insurance complaints between consumers and Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs) and Insurance Companies”.

“It is poised to set the pace for consumer complaint resolution through its clear, effective, and transparent processes as well as capabilities to expedite settlement of disputes amicably and at the best possible conditions for the concerned parties. By doing so, Sanadak will not only safeguard trust in the UAE’s financial services sector but also cement the UAE status as a thriving global financial hub,” Mr. Jamal Saleh added.

Director General of UBF further explains: “The UAE has ranked second globally and first in Asia, Africa, and Europe in consumer trust in banks in 2022, and the banking sector remains the most trusted sector in the UAE – thanks to the Central Bank of the UAE’s diligent guidance to ensure continued advancement of the sector to meet the growing needs and expectations of all individual and institutional customers”.

He disclosed that “The consumers’ trust in the UAE banking sector has soared to 90% in 2023, up from 84% in 2022. Again, we outperformed the average global trust index, and surpassed advanced global financial and banking centers”.

“Sanadak is committed to advancing financial inclusion, ensuring that all consumers have access to fair and efficient financial services. This is a valuable addition to UBF’s efforts as we believe in financial inclusion and providing best banking products and services to all segments of banking consumers, particularly startups and SMEs, which play a major role in the economic and social development of the UAE, by increasing economic diversification and creating jobs,”. Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of UBF concluded.

-Ends-

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