National Bank of Abu Dhabi plans to launch eight new business banking centres in the year to further serve small- and medium-sized enterprises. In the one year NBAD has opened 10 business banking centres all over the country. Two years ago when the world struggled with the financial crisis, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi did not hesitate from investing in serving small and medium sized enterprises. “We realised the potentials for growth in SMEs. We positioned NBAD stronger financial standing during crisis to invest in serving SMEs,” says Haitham Al Refaie, the Head of Business Banking Group at NBAD. In just over a year, NBAD increased SME customers by about 8000, an increase of 54 per cent, between the end of 2010 and March 31, 2012. These customers hold multiple products with NBAD. “The NBAD Business Banking Centres recognise the unique needs of SMEs. The set-up, the environ is designed to allow one-to-one, confidential interaction so our professionals can understand each client’s business model and explain our products that meet each need,” Al Refaie says. NBAD has so far opened four business banking centres in Abu Dhabi, four in Dubai, and one each in Al Ain, and Sharjah. At least five more centres will be opened in the coming months in Ajman, RAK, Fujairah, and Western Region. The Bank has introduced several SME-centric products, such as three new Business Current Accounts: Basic, Advantage and the Preferred in addition to a Merchant account that offers the flexibility and rapidity to run business transactions through a Point of Sale machines; Visa Business Credit Card, and cash advance up to 70 per cent of the total limit. Last year NBAD introduced Business Rent Finance scheme, which offers short term advance from Dh25,000 to Dh500,000 to cover rent expenses. Other SME loans offered by NBAD include Business Vehicle Finance, Property Finance; and Foreign Exchange Solutions and other easy-off-the shelf products tailor made for their business needs. All banks have a great reason to serve and help Nurture the growth of SMEs. This is a market segment that helps economic growth on a number of fronts. In the UAE, this segment contributes more than 46 per cent to national GDP and account for about 95 per cent of all businesses in the country.