Emirates Development Bank (“EDB” or “the Bank”), the key financial engine of UAE economic development and industrial advancement, has been named the ‘MENA SME Bank of the Year’ at the MEED Banking Excellence Awards.
Since the launch of EDB’s five-year strategy in April 2021 – aimed at empowering SMEs and large corporates in five priority sectors – the Bank has deployed AED813 million in Credit Guarantee Scheme capital to SMEs and approved a further AED2.12 billion in SME financing.
The Bank also has a mandate to deploy AED30 billion in financing support to 13,500 companies within its five priority sectors – renewables, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and food security – by 2026.
The award recognises the leading SME banks in the Middle East and North Africa region, acknowledging the banks that demonstrate excellence in providing innovative and effective financing solutions to SMEs.
Winners are selected following a rigorous evaluation of various parameters, including the bank’s financial performance, product and service offerings, customer satisfaction, and contribution to the development of the SME sector in the region.
Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Development Bank said: “We are honoured to have been recognized as MENA SME Bank of the Year. We exist to help businesses thrive in the UAE, for all of our benefit. Our success in the SME market is driven by our ability to innovate and offer meaningful solutions that cater to the needs of businesses and address the challenges they may face. We aim to ensure flexible, smooth access to finance for SMEs and corporates, and will continue delivering excellence in customer service, with an increasing range of digital-first products and simplified loan application processes.”
As part of EDB’s commitment to support SMEs in the UAE, EDB has launched its ‘Business Banking’ App powered by YAP (UAE based Fintech) in 2021. The app provides an unmatched digital bank account user experience, allowing businesses to open bank accounts and receive an IBAN within 48 hours. Additionally, the app features a lending service that enables SMEs to apply for loans up to AED5 million and receive approval or feedback within five days.
The Bank also supports SMEs via a range of non-financial products and services, including The Business Lab, an online platform that provides free essential resources and content to help entrepreneurs at various stages of their business development. Entrepreneurs can receive practical professional tips on credit worthiness and financial literacy on how to address common business challenges delivered through short films.
EDB offers a patient debt approach with an emphasis on developmental impact. The Bank’s direct and indirect financing is offered with long tenors, higher loan-to-value ratios, lower rates and interest grace periods.