UAE Central Bank issues First License to low-risk Specialized Lender
UAE Central Bank : The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has issued its first license under a system of low-risk specialized banks designed to serve UAE residents. The central bank set the maximum total assets for low-risk specialized banks at not more than 25 billion dirhams, Al Roeya paper reported.
Citizens’ ownership should not be less than 60 percent of the paid-up capital, and no single ownership in the specialized bank should exceed 20 percent of the total shares, unless an exception is granted by the central bank.
Lending to business enterprises should not exceed 50 percent of the total lending by specialized banks, and the total business financing should not exceed 40 percent of the total financing.
The new low-risk banking system specified the credit anchors allowed for the specialized bank at 10 percent of the total capital funds of the bank for a single borrower, 15 percent for a group of related borrowers, 10 percent of the capital funds for subsidiary and sister companies, and 20 times the salary or 2 percent of the total percentage of total capital funds for bank employees.
The system allows specialized banks to practice different licensed financial activities and to issue credit, debit and prepaid cards if they are in operation with licensed payment systems in the country. These banks may only provide their licensed services in local currency.
Specialized bank deposits and certificates of deposits should not exceed 30 percent of the total deposits and certificates of deposit and should not exceed 10 percent of the total capital funds.
Specialized banks can issue debt securities in Emirati dirhams only and with the approval of the central bank, while foreign financing should not exceed 25 percent of total financing.
The system does not allow lending to major shareholders and their subsidiaries, members of the board of directors, external auditors, advisers, and lawyers.
The new low-risk banking system allows specialized banks to borrow from state banks. The central bank will accept license applications for traditional or Islamic specialized banks, and it is prohibited to operate Islamic windows in traditional specialized banks.