Industry Insiders Optimistic About Financial Services in UAE for 2021

  • 56% of respondents agreed that the outlook for remittances remains positive for the coming year
  • Companies rate changing demographic, labour mobility, unemployment and current pandemic as top concerns that could affect business

Despite being affected by COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG) are hopeful for better days ahead. According to findings from a new survey conducted by FERG, majority of the exchange and remittance houses remain bullish on the future of the industry and have surveyed a positive outlook for foreign exchange and remittance business in the UAE.

The study compiled responses from all members of FERG, which includes top exchange and remittance companies in the UAE, and analysed the projected impact of COVID-19, effect of the industry to broader economic issues, top concerns, and responses of the industry to the changing financial climate along with major currency performance sentiments.

Over the course of the survey, 63% of the respondents said that the pandemic had highly affected their business, with 49% agreeing that remittances for the remaining months will remain subdued. But, at the same time 56% agreed that the outlook for remittances for the coming year remains positive. The figure increased to 61% for the outlook on foreign exchange, indicating the belief that tourism and trade would return to the pre-COVID phase.

Companies surveyed rated changing demographics (27%), labour mobility (23%), unemployment (16%) and the current pandemic (16%) as some of the pressing concerns that would have an effect on the remittance industry. Other concerns of medium importance among respondents included: changing oil prices, geopolitical instability, and dependency on government expenditure.

“Foreign exchange and remittance companies in the UAE, like many other businesses, have felt the impact of the pandemic. But this hasn’t stopped our industry from functioning and many of the companies have comprehensively changed the way they operate and organize themselves while maintaining their operations in a secure, customer-centric and employee-supportive manner. As we have gauged from the survey, the overall sentiment towards business in our industry for the coming year remains positive and we look forward to a resilient year ahead,” said Mohamed Al Ansari, Chairman, FERG.

“It is encouraging to see that majority of FERG members have a positive outlook for the coming year. It has been a tough year, but thanks to the support from the various economic departments across all seven emirates and the government of the UAE, we have been able to weather the challenges. We are constantly monitoring the situation and FERG is working towards creating the appropriate response to manage any unexpected risks,” said Osama Al Rahma, Vice Chairman, FERG.


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