Interview: Dr. Bernd van Linder, CEO, Commercial Bank of Dubai

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) is one of the top seven banks of the United Arab Emirates, with more than $20 billion in assets and market share of around 3.5 per cent.

In an exclusive interview with BusinessLive ME Head of Operations Poonam Chawla, CBD Chief Executive Officer Dr Bernd van Linder talks about the institution’s contribution to the UAE economy, the role of Islamic banking and the importance of embracing digital technology

“We’re a young and dynamic 50-year-old bank,” says Dr Linder adding that they have 15 branches across the UAE and customer base from 50 nationalities.

Traditionally a bank by and for the UAE trading families, CBD has now eyes set on expansion, especially in Abu Dhabi.

“We believe there’s sufficient room for growth in the UAE, which is our main focus. If you look at out business today, there’s roughly 70 per cent of the business in Dubai, 15 per cent in the Sharjah and Northern Emirates, and 15 per cent in Abu Dhabi. So one area we really believe we can grow is Abu Dhabi. We can add a lot to the trading families in Abu Dhabi, like we have done in Dubai and Northern Emirates,” Dr Linder tells BusinessLive Me, adding that the bank is eyeing specific sectors of growth such as oil and gas.

Another area of potential growth targeted by the institution is Islamic Banking.

“About 15 per cent of our total business is in Islamic and driven by customer demands, which is where we want to grow. It is clear that many of our customers want Sharia compliant solutions whether on the retail side or corporate commercial side and that’s a requirement we want to meet as a bank,” says Dr Linder.

CBD’s new wealth management business wing is another area where the bank is plans to focus in the coming days.

Check out the complete interview of CBD Chief Executive Officer Dr Bernd van Linder above.

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