The UAE's first digital only independent bank is to launch both retail and corporate services under the leadership of Emaar Properties' former chairman Mohamed Alabbar.

The digital bank, called Zand, is subject to regulatory approvals, it said in a statement on 12 April.

Zand's new chairman Alabbar said: "As the first fully independent digital bank in the country, with a full UAE banking licence, Zand will provide innovative, effective financial solutions that help simplify businesses and lives, addressing the needs of both retail and corporate customers."

The UAE combines progressive regulations with commercial, financial, and technology hubs, which provides the perfect environment for a world-leading digital bank that can be launched in the UAE and scale beyond, he added.

Olivier Crespin, Zand's chief executive, said: "Backed by strong shareholders and working with the best bankers and technologists, we've built a bank that delivers on the promise of understanding and meeting customer needs. From our systems to our processes and our team, we're built and ready, and we're looking forward to welcoming the first customers soon."

Crespin previously worked for Eradah Capital, CIMB, and DBS Bank.

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