Abu Dhabi banks slashed 1,300 jobs in 2017

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Nearly 1,300 jobs were slashed across banks in Abu Dhabi during 2017, with the total number of bank employees in the emirate falling to 11,900 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 , Gulf News has reported.

According to the latest figure released by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (Scad), the total number of employees has fallen by 10.3 per cent when compared to the 13,200 employees in service at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.

Of the 1,300 jobs axed during the year, around 200 of those were cut in the second half of 2017. An earlier report from Scad had said the number of employees in the banking sector stood at 12,100 at the end of June 2017 as opposed to 13,000 at the end of June 2016.

The redundancies in 2017 come as industries across the board cut costs amid pressure from slower economic growth during the year, financial statements show.

Additionally, in April 2017, the merger between the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) became effective, creating the entity now called First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). The merger is reported to have resulted in numerous jobs cuts, though the bank has never confirmed just how many.

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The Scad report, which reviews the performance of banks headquartered in Abu Dhabi, also said that the total net income of banks in the fourth quarter of 2017 reached Dh7.8 billion, with nearly 83 per cent coming from commercial banks while Islamic banks accounted for the remaining 17 per cent.

Scad attributed the growth in the gross income of commercial banks to an 11.2 per cent increase in investment returns and a 35 per cent jump in income from “other sources.” Net interest income, however, edged down by 2.1 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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