Mon 27-04-2020 23:51 PM
ABU DHABI, 27th April 2020 (WAM) - First Abu Dhabi Bank, FAB, the UAE’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest and safest financial institutions, reported its financial results for the first quarter ended 31 March 2020 today.
The bank delivered a resilient performance with a net profit of AED 2.4 Billion for the first three months of 2020, down 22% from the same period in 2019 mainly as a result of lower revenue due to rate cuts and unprecedented market conditions during the period, as well as prudent provisioning in light of a more challenging operating environment. The Group focused on maintaining a robust balance sheet during the period, with strong liquidity and capital ratios, as well as healthy asset quality metrics, leveraging its inherent strength and scale to support customers and the wider community navigate unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Chairman of FAB, said: "FAB entered a period of unprecedented challenges for the global economy with an exceptionally strong balance sheet and capital position, enabling the bank to fully support customers and help to mitigate the wider economic impact by playing an integral role in the government’s targeted relief measures. FAB has worked with the public and private sectors throughout in a spirit of partnership and collective responsibility, to support the economic prosperity of our nation and extend support where it is needed.
"On behalf of myself and the board, I congratulate Abdulhamid Saeed on his appointment as UAE Central Bank Governor. His knowledge and expertise are based on decades of experience, from building FGB and then spearheading the merger that established FAB as not only the UAE’s largest bank, but also as an important catalyst for economic growth across the country. Abdulhamid Saeed’s record of accomplishment and leadership will greatly benefit the banking sector and the wider economy as we collectively navigate the way forward. I would also like to express our gratitude to the FAB team for continuing to deliver uninterrupted services to our customers throughout this period."
Commenting on the results, André Sayegh, Group Chief Executive Officer, added: "FAB delivered a resilient performance in the first quarter of 2020 in an unprecedented and challenging market environment. Our net profit of AED 2.4 Billion was 22% lower than the first quarter of 2019 driven by prudent provisioning in light of a more challenging operating environment and lower revenue due to rate cuts and unprecedented market conditions during the period.
"Despite market headwinds, we have maintained a robust balance sheet and our capital, liquidity and funding position remain strong. This enables us to attract liquidity across our global network, underlining a flight to safety benefitting FAB in the current environment. In addition to being a major supporter to the private sector in the UAE, we continue to work closely with the UAE Government and other public sector entities in the financial domain to support the economy in all respects.
"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FAB activated its robust business continuity plan in a prompt and timely manner and I am proud to say that our staff adapted very quickly to a new operating environment, which enabled us to deliver uninterrupted banking services to our customers and stakeholders. With the vast majority of customers asked to stay at home, we were able to maintain service levels through our continuous investment in online and mobile banking platforms.
"Our achievements over the past few years, our inherent scale, market leadership and efficiency have allowed us to enter 2020 from a position of strength. As we move into the second quarter and beyond, we will continue to take the necessary actions to maintain our robust foundation and financial strength, and to enable us to continue to support our clients and communities through these challenging times. As a driver for UAE economic growth and prosperity, we remain confident in our ability to continue delivering long term value for all our stakeholders."
Supporting customers and the community during COVID-19 FAB has taken, and is continuing to take, decisive measures to support employees, customers, and the UAE community at large.
The bank activated a robust business continuity plan early on to ensure all critical functions operate without interruption, supporting the migration of customers to digital banking from in-branch transactions, whilst providing them with "how to" guides and educational videos.
FAB was also among the first UAE financial institutions to launch relief measures for our customers, including the postponement of loan repayments and the suspension or reduction of fees and charges across a wide range of products in line with the directives of the UAE authorities. FAB launched a virtual General Assembly Meeting (GAM) service for listed companies to support the preventive measures introduced by the UAE Government to reduce health risks associated with COVID-19.
In addition to supporting employees and customers, FAB has also offered extensive support to the community during the COVID-19 outbreak. Initiatives include pledging AED 1 million to the Emirates Foundation to provide food boxes to people in need during the Holy Month of Ramadan; AED 2 million to Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) to provide meals for frontline health professionals and meal boxes to support people in need to safely break their Ramadan fasts; and AED 5 million to provide laptops to students for distance learning, in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
FAB will continue to assess new ways to provide further assistance and practical support to the community as we collectively navigate the challenges of COVID-19, together.