Mohammed Al Habtoor joined First Gulf Bank’s mid-year offsite as an exclusive guest at an event at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa on Monday, June 16, 2014.
In a discussion with Simon Penney - who is Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Wholesale Banking Group at FGB - Mohammed Al Habtoor discussed the local and international banking practices, including the evolving commercial banking trends in the UAE ahead of the EXPO 2020.
“Banking is very competitive - retail, corporate, investment or private. The services and facilities provided by banks and the response time is the most important. Pricing is ranged in the same percentage, in general. But the most successful are those who respond fast.”
The Al Habtoor Group's Vice Chairman and CEO also gave his view on the difference between local and international banks. “We started to concentrate more on local banks in 2008-2009 when the crisis happened… The international banks started shrinking their facilities at that time, yet like most of the businesses in Dubai our [AHG] balance sheets were fine… We want to work with people in good times and bad times. Because local banks strengthened their relationship during the crisis with business houses and companies in Dubai, they received more support from everyone and they’re getting bigger than international banks.”