National Bonds to take on financial advice in UAE

Published:  10 Nov at 6 PM
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Dubai-based financial firm National Bonds is planning to move into the UAE with a digital app offering affordable investments and general financial advice.

According to National Bonds CEO Mohammed Qasim al Ali, IFAs in the UAE are very limited and only offer expensive options to potential investors and pension savers. The company will concentrate on challenging the poor advice given by established IFAs in the region by launching an app offering a varied selection of investment choices in addition to National Bonds. Al Ali told local media the UAE has few IFAs and those who do practice in the emirates are very expensive.
he company plans to offer detailed financial advice tailored to clients’ specific situations as part of a game-changing strategy to address the UAE’s financial advice dilemma. One reason for al Ali’s move is the huge number of complaints made to the authority about expensive, poorly performing fixed-term investment plans, some of which have proved disastrous for investors.

The National Bond initiative is taking place at the same time as an overhaul of the entire industry concentrates on its dependence on products marketed by a number of international offshore insurance companies. After hundreds of complaints of mis-selling from UAE expats and citizens, many of which involved UAE banks, National Bonds will be expected to tackle the controversial issue of high fees. According to al Ali, his company will go in the opposite direction, charging much lower fees for financial advice. He added the company’s exiting products have a small list of fees, and the app will be free to use.

At the same time, the UAE’s Central Bank is stepping up its action against mis-selling of investment products. So far, the clampdown has resulted in around 100 investors having their money refunded due to banks’ lack of information on the cost of the various plans they recommended. Officials at the Central Bank believe consumers with little knowledge of financial matters and investing received poor service as regards products’ suitability for their investment needs.
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