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AwardsMiddle East's Best Bank Awards

Saudi Arabia: Best Bank 2021


Tony Cripps, SABB.jpg
Tony Cripps, SABB

Two years on, Riyadh’s financial circles are still in a whirl over the Saudi British Bank joining forces with Alawwal Bank. The combination did more than just create the third-largest lender in Saudi Arabia: It raised stress levels across the region.

With more than 1 million retail customers and a bevy of corporate clients, this combined force boasts considerable business and wealth management capabilities. But it also has greater resources to innovate and cater to a young, tech-savvy population hungry for as much digital engagement as a bank can muster.

Clients and shareholders are getting more than just the best of SABB and Alawwal Bank. They’re also harnessing the benefits of the firm’s long-term strategic partnership with HSBC Holdings, making for a global experience.

The combining of departments and synergising did not get in the way of SABB reacting quickly to customers’ needs as the pandemic hit.

It continued to enhance the functionality of its mobile app, for instance, seeing mobile app downloads reach 692,000 as of the end of 2020.

SABB, led by chief executive Tony Cripps, also more than held it together in terms of growth in assets, profitability, new business development, geographical scope, strategic relations and product innovation.