It seems a slippery slope after its big merger and economic slowdown.

Jojo Puthuparampil is a business news writer for Inc. Arabia.

Around 900 jobs were cut across the banking sector in Abu Dhabi over the past year, according to a report from Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

The number of employees in the sector dropped 6.9% year on year to 12,500 in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 13,400 employees working in the space in the first quarter of 2016, the report said.

SCAD said the figures are for the commercial and Islamic banks it studied in Abu Dhabi, but it’s not clear if that includes every Abu Dhabi bank in the study.

The decline comes amid a slowdown in the banking sector, especially during 2016, with many publicly-listed banks reporting lower year-on-year profit growth and some reporting a decline in profitability.

The decline was supported by higher impairment charges and slower loan growth, the report said.

The drop also comes amid consolidation in the sector, with two of Abu Dhabi’s largest banks having merged as of the beginning of April 2017.

SCAD also said banks in Abu Dhabi collectively recorded Dhs7.7 billion in net income in the first quarter of 2017.

Nearly 82.6% of that income was earned by commercial banks, while the remaining 17.4% went to Islamic banks, it said.

Media reports previously said the merger between National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank would result in a loss of around 2,000 jobs.

According to media reports, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank also cut around 364 jobs across the UAE between the first quarters of 2016 and 2017, though it was not sure how many jobs were lost in Abu Dhabi.