UAE's new digital bank Zand set to launch 'imminently' after Dubai Bank acquisition
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UAE’s new digital bank Zand set to launch ‘imminently’ after Dubai Bank acquisition

UAE’s new digital bank Zand set to launch ‘imminently’ after Dubai Bank acquisition

Dubai Bank, acquired from Emirates NBD, will be relaunched as Zand

The shareholders of Zand, the upcoming digital bank in the UAE, have acquired the majority of shares in Dubai Bank from Emirates NBD.

The move will support the “imminent” launch of the new bank, which claims to be the “first digital bank to provide both retail and corporate services”.

“We have acquired Dubai Bank to relaunch it as a digital bank named Zand, the first of its kind catering to retail and corporate customers,” a spokesperson said.

Emirates NBD merged with Dubai Bank in 2011, and in April this year, Emirates NBD entered into an agreement to sell a controlling interest in Dubai Bank to Abu Dhabi-based Eradah Capital.

The size of the transaction was not revealed.

Digital bank Zand is planning to launch its establishment roadmap “imminently”, the spokesperson added.

The bank, which announced in April, is being chaired by Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar.

“We are excited to be closing in on our goal of establishing the UAE’s first native digital bank,” he said.

“We have been actively working with design, technology and financial partners to create a platform that will change the way people bank. As a commercial, financial, and technology hub, coupled with a progressive approach to regulation, the UAE provides the ideal environment into which to launch.”

Olivier Crespin, co-founder and CEO of Zand, stressed that the bank is stepping away from the “legacy mindset and processes of traditional banks”.

“We are now in the final stage of going live and all remaining steps including regulatory approval are well on track for an imminent launch,” he added.

The UAE has seen a rise in fintech solutions as well as digital banking platforms.

Earlier this week, Dubai Islamic Bank launched a new digital app called rabbit focusing on the younger generation. It will initially launch with a current account, a debit card, and payments and transfers. The app will also offer loyalty options and discounts.

In March this year, Dubai-based YAP launched the first independent digital banking platform in the UAE.

Read: UAE’s first independent digital banking platform launched

Also in October 2020, Abu Dhabi investment firm ADQ announced plans to set up a digital bank with an initial capital of $545m after obtaining the legacy licence of First Gulf Bank.

Read more: Abu Dhabi investment firm to form digital bank with $545m capital

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