Standard Chartered Bank's UAE unit has slashed more than 100 jobs in its retail business as the lender increasingly digitises its services and outsources back-office work to low-cost locations such as India, Reuters reported.
"We are continuously reviewing our businesses and accelerating our shift towards digital and consumer preferences," a spokesperson of the bank said in a statement, declining to comment on specific details.
Standard Chartered's operating income in the UAE in 2018 fell to $637m from $733m in 2017.
Lenders in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, are investing heavily on digitising their services, cutting paper trails and human interactions to reduce costs and boost efficiency. Recently, Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank unveiled their online banks for SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups as they invest in digital transformation to address challenges faced by new businesses.
A sluggish economy and a downturn in the real estate sector have also weighed, prompting rating agency Fitch to warn about risks to the asset quality of banks in the country.
Earlier this year, Dubai's Mashreq Bank announced plans to spend around AED 500 million over the next five years on digitisation, amid plans to shut half of its branches in the UAE this year. The bank will cut about 10% of its workforce of more than 4,000 as part of its digital drive.