Client Situation

Our client is a UAE based bank established in 1975, with its banking operations beginning shortly a year after. The Bank was formed with the purpose of instilling co-operation amongst the Arab countries and promoting joint economic ventures among them. Cedar had previously developed the retail banking way forward strategy for the client. In the case of this project, Cedar worked with the client to assess its distribution channels and provide recommendations on a retail distribution strategy.

Cedar’s Approach

In this program, Cedar was mandated to review and recommend with regards to the client’s retail arm’s distribution strategy.

  • Assessed the current state of the bank with a review of the current branch, sales setup, and alternate channel performance.
  • Undertook a micro-market analysis across over 90 micro-markets identified in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to determine the efficiency of the current network.
  • Utilized a 6-parameter scoring model to identify new micro-markets for the client’s potential expansion.
  • Conducted an industry trend analysis to assess global and regional best practices in the retail distribution strategy space.
  • Conducted a gap analysis to understand key gaps in the client’s retail distribution strategy based on market best practices.


The program resulted in providing recommendations to establish a best in class distribution strategy.

  • Recommended a three-pronged approach, suggesting realignment of the branch network which included redesigning, relocating and reviewing, and rationalising branches as the first part.
  • Identified expansion of network to 24/7 digital branches led by the branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as key to augmenting customer experience.
  • Recommended rolling out direct sale agents to expand the network and increase sales.
  • Proposed the creation of product focused teams in alignment with the retail way forward strategy.
  • Pushed for an incentive-based migration for consumers to alternative channels to reduce footfall in physical branches.

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