BLOM BANK JORDAN

Jordan 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Dr. Adnan Al'Araj, General Manager, BLOM Bank Jordan, on Finance sector.

Dr. Adnan Al’Araj
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Adnan Al’Araj has been the General Manager of BLOM Bank in Jordan since 2005. He is a member of the Association of Banks in Jordan and a board member of the Institute of Banking Studies. Al’Araj holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Jordan University., where he graduated in 1984. He continued his studies there, earning a master’s degree in finance in 1989. Finally, in 2003, he completed a doctoral degree in finance at the Amman Arab University.

What have been your main achievements over the last few years?

BLOM Bank Jordan is a foreign bank working in Jordan. We were established in 2004 in Jordan and concentrate on retail banking. We benefit from good experience and management in Lebanon in the fields of infrastructure, IT, and retail products such as credit cards and e-banking as well as car and housing loans.

Are there any challenges in the Jordanian financial sector?

All banks are changing now toward fintech and e-payments. I see the challenge as twofold: the cultural shift with customers who are less aware, and the risks that come with highly educated customers. Cyber risk is important, and BLOM Bank has the best IT solutions. We continue to develop security solutions and have received many regional recognitions for the security of our IT solutions and systems.

How does digitalization factor into the bank's operations and strategy?

Digitalization in the Jordanian banking sector as a whole has developed over the last two years, especially e-banking and online payments. We have software that allows any customer to pay any invoice through the internet and mobile banking. E-cash development is growing in Jordan as well.

What role does Jordan play in BLOM Bank's portfolio?

We are working to develop products, but the greatest challenge is the macroeconomic situation. This directly affects banks, especially in retail banking. Jordan is almost on its own in the region, and we face the challenge of how to progress without fully open borders. But the banking sector here still has significant opportunities to develop. It needs more development, and we can do a great deal more in e-banking.