Saudi Arabia: Best Domestic Bank 2020
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Saudi Arabia: Best Domestic Bank 2020


The Saudi British Bank created history in June 2019 by joining forces with Alawwal Bank to create the third-largest lender by assets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As a combined force, it is quite something with more than a million retail customers and one of the best wealth management business to be found anywhere in the region.

Over the past 12 months, SABB ticked a lot of boxes. Under the leadership of managing director David Dew, SABB launched a new mobile banking app that had, at the end of June 2020, been downloaded 280,000 times. It unveiled 142 new online banking services and reinforced its status as the country’s number-one processor of e-commerce transactions.

David Dew, Managing Director, SABB.jpg
Michael Smith 2019

SABB has invested well and wisely in digital. It is the first bank to launch a fully digital know-your-client capability. Last year, it launched the first co-branded credit card with Emirates, and a pre-paid card called ‘Umlaty’ through which consumers can process transactions in any of six currencies.

It launched a first-of-its-kind service called ‘Waafer’, an online savings account that yields a return of 2.95% – more than most savings accounts on offer in the Kingdom – or indeed anywhere these days.

It also joined forces with Ripple and MasterCard to roll out a cross-border instant remittance service for customers, available in three currencies including Pakistani and Indian rupees.

SABB is a leader across the board in Saudi Arabia, whether in corporate cards or trade finance, where it had a market share of 16.9% at the end of September 2019.

Its digital roadmap strategy is slowly taking shape: SABB last year became the first Saudi-based lender to launch blockchain-based transaction banking, and rolled out its new, state-of-the-art supply chain platform.

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