Master Corporate Banking Solutions in the UAE

what is corporate and investment banking

What corporate banking solutions are at your disposal in the UAE? This question is one of the most critical throughout the company formation process, not just for the Emirati market but our other jurisdictions. While what you can find in the UAE is going to be our primary focus, there are some critical parameters we must approach before we can delve deeper into the plethora of features of corporate banking.

What is corporate banking?

Corporate banking, which you sometimes hear being called business banking, is the division of a bank that caters to corporate customers. That’s different from retail banking, which is the division of banking open to the general public. Retail banking is when you go to the branch, deposit money into your current or savings account, and then the retail bank will give out loans to their customers who are either people or enterprises. In contrast, corporate banking divisions serve a wide range of businesses from small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and global conglomerates. 

One of the critical questions about corporate banking is corporate banking vs investment banking. What’s the distinction? The difference between corporate banking and investment banking is that investment banking is the banking discipline centring on creating capital, whether it be for governments, corporations or other entity classes. Investment banking activities include facilitating mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations, assisting the sale of securities, brokering trades for institutional and private investors and underwriting new securities and debt. 


The features of corporate banking 

As we previously stated above, corporate banking only serves customers that are corporate entities. Another curious feature of corporate banking is that you can only open corporate banking accounts after receiving a unanimous vote from the company’s board. Just like with your limited liability company, the liability on corporate banking products pertains to the organisation, separating your entity’s debts from the shareholders’ liability as people. As a result, a board member’s creditors for their personal banks do not have the rights to assets in your corporate accounts. The company treasurer tends to be in charge of opening the accounts you might need.

Some of the largest local Emirati banks, as well as the Emirati subsidiaries of global banks, have corporate banking services as part of their suite of financial products. Corporate banking examples in the UAE include Emirates NBD’s Wholesale Banking division under which corporate banking falls and US-based Citibank’s branch in the UAE as well as the UAE HSBC and Barclay’s affiliates.  


What are corporate banking products?

Commercial banks, the type of entity where you go to open corporate products, offer the following services: 

  • Credit products including loans
  • Treasury and cash management services that corporate banking customers employ to manage the requirements for currency conversions and working capital 
  • Commercial real estate services that entail reviewing portfolios, analysing assets and structuring a firm’s equity and debt
  • Customised loans and lets for the equipment you need to operate in a wide range of industries
  • Employer services that can include pensions and other packages managed in another division of the bank, as well as payroll
  • Trade finance services that include bill collection, letters of credit and factoring

Corporations are not strictly limited to the products in the corporate banking division. If you work with a commercial bank that has an investment banking division, you can refer to the investment banking team to manage your securities and other assets. As you evaluate what bank operator to work with, you will want to consider the types of financial products you may need as you establish your presence.


What are the requirements for contracting corporate banking solutions in the UAE? 

As in every country, the process for opening an account can vary depending on the bank. In the United Arab Emirates, every financial institution’s requirements to apply can be strict. There are varying levels of the available scope of the services on offer in their corporate banking divisions, and every bank has its minimum deposit requirement that is not universal across the system.

What might you need if looking to open a corporate bank account? The required documents will often include a trade licence or certification of incorporation, as well as personal details for the directors. They may also want to look at the projections of your future profits, clarifying information about your planned activities and of the transactions you may wish to make.


Are you ready to explore UAE corporate banking solutions?

Choosing the right corporate banking provider is a fundamental part of your company formation process in the UAE. Our expert corporate banking team at Europe Emirates Group can advise you on which bank you should choose. Depending on your business goals and the size of your enterprise, you’ll want a banking solution that satisfies your corporate needs. If you would like to begin the process, contact our team today.


Written by

Adrian Oton, CEO Europe Emirates Group 


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