Jordan: Best Domestic Bank 2020
Arab Bank emerges as the obvious winner of this award. It dominates both its home market and beyond, with 600 branches scattered across five continents, including Asia and Europe.
Thanks to the leadership of chief executive, Nemeh Sabbagh, it is in better shape than ever before. Arab Bank generated revenues of $2.2 billion in 2019, against $2.1 billion the previous year, with net income rising a little over 3% year on year to $846.5 million.
Despite the impact of the pandemic this year, Arab Bank managed to maintain the quality of its credit portfolio, with credit provisions held against non-performing loans exceeding 100%, excluding the value of collateral.
A systematic approach to investing in its digital platform continues to pay off. During the awards period, Arab Bank launched a fintech accelerator designed to promote the rollout of new financial services and leverage any innovations.
When the pandemic struck, the bank moved up the launch date of a new mobile payments service called Arabi MobiCash, the first of its kind in Jordan, and accelerated the rollout of its digital biometric banking services. It introduced fully digital onboarding for consumer and corporate banking customers.
On the sustainability front, Arab Bank is working with several multilaterals and IFIs to invest in clean-energy solutions and projects in Jordan. In December 2019, a huge new solar PV plant came on stream, funded by the Jordanian lender in alliance with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Germany’s KfW, and built and run by National Electric Power and Riyadh-based Acwa Power.
Beyond its home shores, Arab Bank is a leader in clean energy in Egypt, where it is working with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, to fund nine solar projects in the Benban region. It also donated $25 million to the Jordanian government’s pandemic-response fund.