Support Emiratis in repaying loans, UAE warns banks

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Support Emiratis in repaying loans, UAE warns banks Nissar Hoath / 23 January 2014 Banks that do not support Emiratis to get their heavy debts cleared under a programme initiated by the President to be penalised. The Office of the Presidential Affairs on Wednesday warned that banks which fail to cooperate and help heavily indebted Emiratis will be penalised. “Those banks that do not support Emiratis to get their heavy debts cleared under a programme initiated by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in 2011 will also be penalised,” said Ahmed Jumma Al Za’abi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Fund for the Settlement of Bad Debts, at a Press conference after the opening of the fund headquarters in Al Jazira Club complex where Emiratis can visit and submit their applications for their bank debt waivers. Al Za’abi said so far the fund has helped 2,700 out of 6,000 applicants clearing debts of over Dh1.8 billion with the support of banks. “More than 50 per cent of the banks operating in the country have been very helpful and providing concession to help clear the loans of Emiratis under the fund programme. The other banks have been little helpful. However, if we don’t see any cooperation from these banks, action will be taken against them and (they will be) penalised,” he said without disclosing the names of the banks that did not take part in the initiative. He also said in case of non-cooperation, the names of the banks will be sent and published by the Central Bank, and there will be no cooperation and support from the government to these banks. Al Za’abi further added the fund has agreed to write off 50 per cent of the debtors’ loans, while the other half would be settled by the loans’ fund that would be reimbursed from the debtors through their salaries. He also said the fund was initiated by the President in 2011 with the allocation of Dh10 billion to help those Emiratis who were facing lawsuits or police cases related to their bank loans. To a question, Al Za’abi said the fund was established for the support of UAE citizens only and expatriates will not benefit from it. He also said under the fund programme, all criminal cases pending in connection with bounced security cheques and non-repayment of loans by Emiratis have been suspended and debts cleared. Al Za’abi, said most of the cases relate to, personal and car loans and loans sought for setting up small businesses. In March last year, the Shaikh Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development signed a joint deal with 34 defaulting Emiratis entrepreneurs to protect them from prosecution. The fund was established in 2007 with a Dh2 billion fund. For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →

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