Keren Bobker: Any UAE bank can refuse to extend credit to a borrower where risk is high

Keren Bobker

I work for a supply company related to the oil and gas industry. I have been told that, due to the oil crisis, no banks are now lending in the UAE. I’ve never had a problem obtaining a loan nor have I ever missed any payments, but now when I mention the company I work for the banks automatically say it is not on the list. The bank I have an existing loan with says there is a note against the company. Is there anything I can do about this? T C, Abu Dhabi

Banks in the UAE are still lending money, by way of loans and mortgages, but applications are being underwritten. This means that the risk level of the lending and the ability to repay is being assessed and an important factor here is the security of employment. Because of the substantial fall in oil prices this year, there have already been some redundancies in the oil and gas sector and in other areas of employment that are dependent on it. Following the issues caused by the global financial crisis of 2008-09, all banks have a list of approved companies whose employees they are generally comfortable with lending to. The companies not on the list may be those where they consider jobs are at risk and so they will be unwilling to extend credit. There is not a standard edict issued by the Central Bank, but it may be that the banks have agreed that they will not lend to employees in this sector until they consider the situation to be more stable. Any bank has the right to refuse credit and there is nothing T C can do in the circumstances if they are unwilling to lend to him.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.

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