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Emaar Properties’ founder to head UAE’s first digital bank

By Leandra Monteiro

April 12, 2021


digital bank, Zand, UAE's first digital bank, Emaar Properties’, Mohamed AlabbarThe UAE’s first digital bank, called Zand will soon be launched, and the financial institution will be headed by Emaar Properties’ former chairman Mohamed Alabbar. The bank intends to provide both retail and corporate banking services. It will also provide solutions that meet the needs of both businesses and individuals.

“The UAE combines progressive regulations with commercial, financial, and technology hubs. This provides the perfect environment for a world-leading digital bank that can launch in the UAE and scale beyond,” Alabbar said in a statement, according to media reports.

“As the first fully independent digital bank in the country, with a full UAE banking licence, Zand will provide innovative, effective financial solutions that help simplify businesses and lives, addressing the needs of both retail and corporate customers,” he added.

Zand, which will serve as a digital economic accelerator, will serve as a platform for broader digital services that focus on businesses and individuals, according to the statement released. The newly formed digital bank is awaiting final regulatory approval and will launch imminently. Olivier Crespin, a veteran banker, who has previously been part of organisations such as Eradah Capital in Dubai as well as BNP Paribas, Citi, and DBS Bank, will be the chief executive of Zand.

Zand’s CEO, Olivier Crespin said, “Backed by strong shareholders and working with the best bankers and technologists, we’ve built a bank that delivers on the promise of understanding and meeting customer needs. From our systems to our processes and our team, we’re built and ready, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the first customers soon”.


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