The new system will give customers access to full transactional services on their phones from September once they download a program to their phones.

“This will effectively create 6.5 million potential branches for us in the UAE,” says Douglas Beckett, head of retail banking at the firm.

The bank is also hoping to open 10 new branches in the UAE in 2009, after opening 17 in 2008. “We will have 64 branches in the UAE by the end of the year and we have a request in with the Central Bank of the UAE to open a further 10 branches in 2009,” adds Beckett.