For the third consecutive year, KPMG has partnered with data analytics company, DataEQ, to analyze consumer sentiment on social media about major retail banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). By unpacking the key drivers of consumer satisfaction and frustration, the study aims to ascertain whether UAE banks are meeting expectations of customer service and market conduct on social media.

The seven banks benchmarked 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. DataEQ retrieved 96,321 public tweets1 mentioning these banks for the period from 1 January - 31 December 2022 and processed them using their unique Crowd2 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.


  1. Net Sentiment improved year on year in the industry, while remaining net negative overall. Positively, most banks showed improvement in performance.
  2. Reputational Net Sentiment masked the banks’ operational deficiencies. The Industry Net Sentiment was elevated by reporting on awards, partnerships and company financial performance.1
  3. Customer service complaints due to slow turnaround time and staff competency drove down operational performance for most banks. Other bottlenecks included account admin, transfer delays, loan applications, and fees.
  4. On average, response rate improved with almost two thirds of priority conversation receiving a reply. However, response time still exceeded a full working day.
  5. Risk conversation grew, heavily influenced by downtime and perceptions of business conduct. These service interruptions and suspected fraudulent transactions increased consumer cancellation threats.
  6. Investment products and business banking resonated with consumers. Savings, investments, and SME assistance were key themes in this regard. Debit and credit accounts drew complaints due to delayed transactions and service issues.


  1. Only public tweets were included in this study due to limitations imposed by other social media platforms.
  2. The DataEQ Crowd is a proprietary crowd-sourcing platform comprising a network of trained and vetted local language.

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