ON ALL FRONTS

Kuwait 2017 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Sheikh Mohammed Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Chairman of Kuwait International Bank (KIB), on being named Best Islamic Bank in the GCC, new products and services, and human resources.

 Sheikh Mohammed Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah,
BIOGRAPHY
With extensive experience in the banking, insurance and real estate investment sectors, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of KIB in 2010, after having initially joined the Board of Directors in 2007. In addition to his role at KIB, Al-Jarrah is also Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks, a member of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Banking Association, a member of the Board of Trustees at the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Warba Insurance Company.

You were recently named the Best Islamic Bank in the GCC, the latest in a string of accolades for leadership in the Arab Islamic banking sector. What distinguishes KIB within the region's Islamic finance space?

I am delighted to say that 2016 proved to be a highly successful year for KIB on all fronts, and the numerous awards we have received only served to highlight that. Much of our continued success can be attributed to our forward-thinking strategy and visionary outlook, which have been extremely successful in enhancing our position within the Islamic banking sector. This has been a key driving force pushing us to continuously develop our offerings, in order to provide customers with innovative, contemporary, and market-leading Islamic banking solutions. Our continued stability has also been one of our biggest defining attributes. KIB has proven to be one of the most stable financial institutions in the region time and again, and we have continued to perform strongly in every aspect of our business. Our employees and management team have also played a key role, as I for one truly believe that the success of any organization is dependent on the efforts and dedication of its employees. KIB houses a team of highly qualified and experienced banking professionals across all levels of our organization, and they work cohesively and collaboratively to help the bank attain its strategic objectives and long-term goals. Additionally, one of our biggest areas of focus as an organization has been social responsibility, and I am proud to say KIB continues to have one of the most comprehensive and successful social responsibility programs in the market. Social responsibility has been a fundamental cornerstone of our vision since inception, and we have always sought to be true corporate citizens and have worked diligently to fulfill our duty towards Kuwait, its people, and its society—beyond just our economic role and functions.

What new products and services from KIB would you like to highlight?

We continue to make major strides in our mission to enhance our full suite of products and services, introducing innovative and state-of-the art banking solutions crafted to meet the ever-changing needs of both customers and the market. Our Arzaq Deposit continues to offer one of the most attractive profit rates in the market, and our savings account enjoys one of the highest return rates, in addition to providing the benefits of savings and investment simultaneously in a single account. In 2016, we also launched one of our most successful promotional campaigns to date. The “Get Half Your Salary Cash" campaign gave new salary customers the opportunity to win half their salary cash instantly upon transfer, and without any draws. There is also a major push on the corporate banking side of our business, as we are developing tailored solutions and innovative products for our corporate clients.

In what ways is KIB investing in human capital development?

We have always actively sought to support, nurture, and develop talents within the local banking sector. Our goal is to continuously attract aspiring young Kuwaiti professionals of both genders, providing a wealth of career opportunities and professional training programs for newly graduated Kuwaiti nationals. In a testament to our outstanding employment strategies and ongoing efforts to support local human capital, KIB was honored at the 15th ceremony recognizing excellence in workforce nationalization policies in the private sector in the GCC, which took place under the auspice of the Council of Ministers of Labour and Council of Ministers of Social Affairs of GCC States. We are also committed to investing in our employees and promoting their professional growth and development, and we continue to provide professional training and development opportunities across all divisions and levels. We maintain a comprehensive program of training initiatives year-round, designed to enhance the skillsets and abilities of all of our employees. We are also in the midst of implementing a new performance management process, which will balance performance assessments with career aspirations and professional development.