The bank said loans increased by 63 per cent in the three months to 30 June to AED106bn, while customer deposits rose by only 15 per cent to AED89bn.

This reflects the difficulty banks are having attracting deposits at a time when the UAE’s inflation rate means that interest rates are effectively negative.

During the first half of 2008 expenses at the bank rose by 44 per cent, which NBAD attributed to increased investment in infrastructure and expanding the network of the bank.

Also on the 24 July, Investcorp, the Bahrain-based alternative investment company, reported a 50 per cent decline in net income for the 12 months to 30 June, driven by the declining global financial markets. Investcorp said net income was $151.1m, compared to $302.3m for the 12 months to 30 June 2007.