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For the second consecutive year, KPMG has partnered with data analytics company, DataEQ, to benchmark consumer sentiment on social media amongst major retail banks in the United Arab Emirates.

By analyzing the key drivers of consumer satisfaction and frustration, the study aims to ascertain whether UAE retail banks are meeting expectations of customer service and market conduct on social media.

The seven UAE banks included in the analysis are Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and Mashreq Bank UAE.

172,588 public tweets mentioning these banks for the period from 1 January - 31 December 2021 were processed using Crowd and AI technology. A statistically relevant sample of these mentions was analyzed to understand consumer concerns within the UAE retail banking sector in areas such as customer service, products, reputational risk and market conduct.


All of the analyzed banks had negative Net Sentiment, as consumers shared complaints and feedback towards services. The negative sentiment of the industry’s operational conversation (-66.8%) detracted from the positive sentiment towards branddriven activities (+2.0%).

1. Slow customer service was a major pain point across the industry

Customer service was the main driver of negative sentiment, with complaints revolving mainly around a lack of support provided by bank staff. Long wait times and a lack of feedback were common conversation themes here.

2. Close to a third of priority tweets went unanswered by banks

Covid-19 has acted as an accelerator to digitization in many ways, even in daily chores. People in the UAE are showcasing a digital readiness mindset. With a constant acceleration of this trend, digital banks are expected to fare well due to their innovative and agile nature. Our present aim is to streamline banking operations with minimal paperwork.

4. Downtime was a prominent driver of risk conversation

Service disruption was a frequent pain point across the industry as consumers were unable to use banks’ mobile apps and complained of issues using online banking services.

5. Consumer conversation was rich with market conduct-related themes

Across the industry, 62% of sentimentbearing consumer conversation contained at least one of the six “Treating Customers Fairly” outcomes. Outcome Five, performance and service, was the most common conduct theme.