Wholesale Banking Group

Three employees talking.


The Wholesale Banking Group (WBG) provides a complete portfolio of corporate banking services, including investment and transaction banking, powered by a range of digital technologies that offer instant services through intuitive client interfaces. We serve a broad spectrum of clients, from government entities, large corporates and financial institutions to mid-sized corporates and commercial customers (SMEs) and maintain strategic relationships with leading banks around the world.


The Wholesale Banking Group registered a strong performance in 2021, capitalising on an active lending pipeline, broadening corporate relationships and building its capital markets capability. The business has established a robust platform for growth, underpinned by continued digital transformation and optimising cost of funds.

Total assets increased by 15% during the year to AED 185 billion as at the end of December 2021, with net loans increasing to AED 144 billion, up 4% from a year earlier, despite a substantial volume of corporate repayments throughout the year.

Decorative icon.
185 bn

Total Wholesale Banking assets (AED)

Despite the subdued macro-economic conditions, ADCB’s wide network of corporate relationships powered loan growth during the year. The Bank extended AED 40 billion in new credit to targeted economic sectors in line with our five-year growth strategy, and achieved increased risk-adjusted net interest margin.

Notably, loans to the public sector and government-related enterprises increased by AED 13.4 billion to reach AED 67 billion at the end of 2021— accounting for 26% of the Bank’s total gross loans, up from 21% a year earlier. The Bank also expanded lending to a wide range of other sectors, including financial institutions, trade, manufacturing and energy.

Meanwhile, corporate repayments of AED 36 billion contributed to a reduction in concentration risk in sectors such as real estate. Loans to the sector reduced by AED 12.2 billion during the year to AED 60 billion as at 31 December 2021, accounting for 24% of the Bank’s total gross loans, down from 29% a year earlier.

A sustained reduction of cost of funds enhanced ADCB’s competitiveness in balance sheet lending, which was particularly key to credit growth in the relatively low-risk public sector.

Iconic Public sector and GRE transaction

ADCB participated in a landmark transaction for Mubadala Petroleum committing in December 2021 to finance the company’s acquisition of a working interest in Israel’s Tamar Gas field.

A meeting between four people.
Mubadala Petroleum logo

This acquisition is the largest commercial transaction between the UAE and Israel following the normalisation of diplomatic relations after the historic 2020 Abraham Accords. ADCB, which was the only UAE bank involved in the transaction, is well positioned to support further economic initiatives between the two countries.

The Wholesale Banking Group continued to strategically reduce time deposits, while the Bank’s award-winning cash management platform continued to drive growth in corporate CASA deposits. Consequently, CASA deposits increased to 63% of total deposits at the Wholesale Banking business at the end of 2021, compared to 58% a year earlier. Total liabilities for WBG climbed 28% to AED 131 billion at the end of 2021.

ADCB’s cash management solution, ProCash, continues to be highly popular among clients. This was reflected in ADCB being ranked for the third successive year as ‘Best Service Provider’ in the 2021 Euromoney Cash Management Survey, following a poll of corporations and other nonfinancial institutions.


In 2021, we embedded a new coverage structure, introduced a centralised digital model, and initiated a new approach to portfolio management — developing individual coverage strategy plans for close to 600 top clients. The Wholesale Banking Group collaborated closely with Treasury to ensure the Bank cross-sells a full suite of products and services to our corporate clients, while also enhancing our offering in liquidity management, corporate credit cards and supply chain financing.

This highly coordinated approach and a focus on cross-selling across the Bank drove an increase in fee income, with notable growth in foreign exchange and liability-related fees.

While the UAE remains the central focus for the Wholesale Banking Group, we continued to develop relationships across the region. The business has stepped up engagement with major corporates in Saudi Arabia, where we see high potential for further growth, driven by the country’s wide-reaching economic reforms and strategy for growth and diversification.

Furthermore, the growing strength of ADCB Egypt’s corporate relationships also provides a greater opportunity to support a broad range of clients involved in regional and global trade and investment flows. Our long-standing strategic partnerships with over 30 large international banks, including the top five banks in each of the major regions of Europe, the United States and Asia, provide a robust network, allowing us to offer tailored solutions on an international scale.

To underpin our growing relationships, the business has redefined its service culture for corporate clients to ensure we consistently deliver added value and efficiency. In 2021, we reviewed and optimised over 50 processes, producing significant savings in terms of time and operating costs. We now benefit from an efficient, well-structured organisation with a clearly defined direction to enable us to grow at pace and scale. This focus has been reflected in the net promoter score (NPS) for the Wholesale Banking Group, which was at 64 in 2021.

Empowering Small Businesses

ADCB is supporting SMEs in recognition of their growing importance to the UAE economy and the fabric of our communities. We offer a range of products and solutions, from current account and transaction services to loans, trade finance and foreign exchange.

A man and child smiling.

Our online digital platforms make transactions easier and faster than ever, while our teams are focused on providing exceptional customer service.

Take up of our ‘Business First Package’, which offers a flexible proposition that is unique in the UAE banking landscape, increased by 74% on the previous year. The package allows clients to customise their banking services through five cost-effective options through a monthly subscription model without needing to meet average balance requirements.

In addition, our new ‘SmartStart Account’ for small and micro-businesses, which was launched in 2020 and achieved lift-off in 2021, attracted more than 450 businesses. The package includes free corporate Internet Banking, a corporate debit card and ProCash transaction access, with no minimum balance requirements.

Digital engagement among our SME clients has also increased significantly, with transactions by small businesses through the ProCash platform increasing by approximately 50%. The number of accounts opened digitally increased by 48% from the previous year.

ADCB continues to be closely connected to wider initiatives to promote SMEs in the UAE. This includes providing credit administration services to the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, participating in the Ghadan 21 credit guarantee scheme to promote financing to SMEs and partnering with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development to develop a web portal to provide SMEs with essential products and services.

Standing with an SME through transformation

Health Premium Home Health Care Services launched in 2015 to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s social fabric by enabling patients who need regular medical support to remain in familiar surroundings and close to family. However, when the global pandemic took hold in early 2020, the company found that its home care infrastructure and expertise were well suited to the provision of Covid-19 related services, including PCR testing, across Abu Dhabi.

As the company expanded operations to help contain the virus and support patients recovering at home, ADCB ensured services could be scaled up rapidly and seamlessly. The Bank offered a wide range of products and services, including working capital to provide extra home care services for elderly patients. In addition, we provided a loan under the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance’s SME Credit Guarantee Scheme. As a result, Health Premium made a significant impact, supporting thousands of patients through the pandemic.


ADCB’s proactive approach to NMC Group was a catalyst for significant positive developments during the year, culminating in creditors voting overwhelmingly in September 2021 in favour of a debt restructuring plan. This followed ADCB’s rapid legal action taken in April 2020 to appoint administrators to NMC Health PLC and the Bank’s consistent support of NMC Group to ensure its operational continuity and an orderly restructuring process.

In line with this approach, ADCB structured, and was the lead lender in, an Administration Funding Facility (AFF) alongside several other regional and global banks. This ensured the implementation of a three-year business plan for the company to create and maximise value at NMC Group’s core operations, divest non-core assets and reduce debt.

As a result of the agreed debt restructuring plan and ADCB’s participation in the AFF, the Bank is due to receive approximately 38% of transferable exit instruments in a new USD 2.25 billion facility — a debt claim sized to the expected future value of NMC Group.

Holders in the exit instruments will receive interest payment for the facility, which will ultimately be repaid from the proceeds generated by the sale of the underlying business at a later stage. There are further possibilities for the participants to benefit from any rise in the valuation of the NMC business and any recoveries made by the company from its ongoing litigation strategies. Given this material progress in restructuring, the Bank considers the provisions and interest in suspense for NMC recorded to date to be at an appropriate level.


The Gulf region is experiencing a notable uplift in capital markets activity, and ADCB has strengthened its investment banking capabilities, expanding our Debt Capital Market (DCM) and Equity Capital Market (ECM) offering with the addition of senior dealmakers while continuing to build on our strengths in the Loan Capital Markets (LCM).

In 2021, we facilitated a range of important deals across the full spectrum of DCM products for a wide range of clients, including sovereigns and major corporates.

Major transactions included:

  • Lead manager for the USD 3.9 billion Galaxy pipeline project bond in February 2021
  • Joint lead manager and bookrunner for Mubadala’s EUR 1.32 billion bond in March 2021, followed by a USD 500 million issuance in May 2021
  • Structuring agent for Mubadala’s USD 1 billion Formosa bond in May 2021
  • Co-bookrunner for USD 1.195 billion ADNOC exchangeable bonds in May 2021
  • Joint passive bookrunner for Saudi Aramco’s USD 6 billion in June 2021, through its newly established international sukuk programme

ADCB was ranked number two bookrunner amongst UAE banks for loan transactions for GCC borrowers¹ in 2021. We also played a leading role in successful international syndications including acting as bookrunner and coordinator for 10 financial institution syndications (eight in Turkey, one in South Africa and one in Mauritius), and as bookrunner for two syndications in Africa.

The Bank was a global coordinator on a USD 600 million sustainability-linked term loan for Investec Bank and lead arranger on a USD 3 billion loan for the Government of Egypt to be partially used to finance sustainable projects. In addition, the Bank arranged loan transactions for Etihad, ADNOC, Jumeirah Group and other large corporates in our home market.

We also used our market position to trade AED 6 billion of loans in the secondary market, optimising capital allocation and profitability.

Meanwhile, an upward trend in IPO activity has also helped to drive our ECM business. ADCB acted as a major receiving bank for the AED 2.7 billion IPO for satellite communications company ‘Yahsat’ — the first Abu Dhabi IPO since 2017 — accounting for 34% of subscriptions through participating banks. We also supported the IPO conducted by ADNOC Drilling, which raised more than AED 3.7 billion. Deepening capital markets is a strategic objective in the continued development and diversification of the regional economy. We expect to increase our activity in this space in 2022 as privatisation gathers momentum and more firms prepare to list.

  1. Source: Bloomberg league table ranking ADCB as #9 book runner overall for GCC borrower loans, and #2 amongst UAE banks
Two men meeting and reviewing data on a tablet.

WBG introduced multiple enhancements to its digital platforms in 2021 and continued to expand customer self-service capabilities, with 96% of transactions performed on electronic platforms.

New developments included a beneficiary management feature on ProCash and account statement and payment notification APIs. At the same time, we also continued to work on further enhancements to ProTrade, resulting in a new suite of credit cards supported by a range of tailored benefits.

Digital transactions continued to increase in 2021, with ProTrade and ProCash accounting for 64% of all trade finance and 96% of all cash management transactions. ProTrade clients rose by 22% in 2021, while ProCash customer numbers have grown by 19%.


Increase in ProTrade clients in 2021


Increase in ProCash clients in 2021

The ‘Virtual Accounts’ solution introduced two years ago continues to grow in popularity. In 2021, we added new functionalities to enable customers to open and close virtual accounts with greater ease. Almost 700 corporate customers now hold Virtual Accounts with ADCB. The Bank is investing further in AI and advanced data analytics to empower deeper client relationships and promote a tailor-made approach to product development.

A targeted B2B digital marketing campaign launched in December 2021 showcasing the Bank’s digital products and solutions has been well received by corporate clients. The campaign trended on multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, receiving over 5 million views and driving more than a 10-fold increase in traffic to the business banking pages of the ADCB website.

Looking ahead, WBG is focused on growing its franchise and optimising capital utilisation. We will continue to build our fee generating businesses and take advantage of cross-selling opportunities across the Bank to provide clients with service excellence and additional opportunities. In addition, ADCB’s strong balance sheet allows us to pursue credit growth to high priority sectors in line with the Bank’s five-year strategy.

We are stepping up value-based account planning and will continue to focus on CASA growth, while expanding opportunities in supply chain finance. In line with the Bank’s digital transformation strategy, we will invest further in our platform to provide best-in-class digital services.

WBG’s focus remains on the UAE, however, we will pursue select opportunities in regional economies, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Oman, as well as leveraging cross-border relationships through ADCB Egypt.

Almost 700 corporate customers now hold Virtual Accounts with ADCB