The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) set up in Bahrain in 1987 as an offshore bank to provide treasury and wholesale banking services to customers. In 2003, the bank obtained a commercial banking license to widen its offering and customer base. Today, NBK Bahrain offers full commercial banking services across a broad spectrum of areas including trade, contractor and corporate financing, treasury and retail. It has fully dedicated relationship managers trained to tailor solutions that meet customers’ needs. NBK Bahrain works as well closely with its counterparts within NBK’s network of branches and subsidiaries to support customers with their cross-border transactions and global investment needs.
Vision & Mission
The NBK vision is to be the trusted bank of choice, building on our core values, people and expertise.
To deliver world-class products and the highest quality service to our customers.
To attract, develop and retain the best banking talent in the region.
To support the communities in which we operate.
To adhere to our core values of passion, integrity, conservatism and knowledge.
In following our mission, we believe that we will be able to achieve consistently superior returns to our shareholders.
The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was established in 1952 when a prominent Kuwaiti merchant went to the British Bank of the Middle East to open a letter of guarantee for the amount of 10,000 Indian rupees, (which is equivalent today to 750 Kuwaiti dinars). Much to his surprise, his request was rejected, on the condition that he provide a guarantor. This well-known merchant was shocked and appalled by the treatment that he had received, and news of this was all over town.
This incident gave rise to the question and the idea of having a Kuwaiti bank with a mission to serve citizens’ needs as its priority, stimulate the economic growth of the country, and look after the savings of its clients. In fact, a meeting was held with the late Amir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who congratulated them on the idea and promised them his complete support. An Amiri decree was issued on May 19, 1952 to open the National Bank of Kuwait, and NBK started operations on November 15th 1952.
The founders of NBK are:
• Khalid Zaid Al-Khalid
• Ahmed Saud Al-Khaled
• Khalifa Khalid Al-Ghunaim
• Khaled Abdullatif Al-Hamad
• Sayed Ali Sayed Sulieman Al-Rifai
• Yousef Abdulziz Al-Fulaij
• Yousef Ahmed Al-Ghanim
• Mohamed Abdulmohsen Al-Khorafi
• Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Sager
NBK was the first national bank in Kuwait and the entire Arabian Gulf region. All the board members and the founders of NBK were renowned merchants of Kuwaiti origin. NBK was established with a capital of 13,100 shares, each valued 1,000 Indian rupees – equivalent to 75 Kuwaiti dinars today. Over the years NBK has proved itself to be a financial leader in the Arab world.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to introduce the National Bank of Kuwait’s 2021 Annual Report. Despite the various challenges that remain in the wake of the pandemic, National Bank of Kuwait has delivered solid growth and encouraging operational and financial performance in 2021, buoyed by the beginnings of economic recovery and a gradual return to pre-pandemic activities.
As the restrictions imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19 were gradually eased, the Kuwaiti economy experienced a moderate rebound in 2021, supporting a resurgence in business activity.
The strong recovery in oil prices significantly improved the fiscal position of the government, contributing to a gradual return to economic growth and a rise in government revenues in 2021.
With interest rates remaining at historically low levels, domestic consumer spending rose significantly, supported by loan payment deferrals, stable employment among Kuwaiti nationals and reduced overseas travel.
The Central Bank of Kuwait continued its support to the Kuwaiti banking industry in the form of liquidity support, capital adequacy ratios and loan-deposit ratios.
Amid this promising early recovery, NBK remained committed to achieving its strategic objectives and goals, namely, to remain broadly recognized as the trusted bank of choice in Kuwait, building on its core values, people, and expertise to deliver world-class products and the highest service quality to customers, whilst also attracting top Kuwaiti talent.
Executing our Strategy
Our corporate strategy is designed to achieve consistently superior returns for our shareholders, through the focused and faithful execution of our three strategic cornerstones: to defend our leadership position in our core business; grow by accessing segments beyond our core; and deliver consistent improvements in profitability.
Enabled by our deep commitment and accelerating investment in innovation and digital transformation, we seek to grow our business in corporate, consumer and private banking. We also strive to diversify in terms of our geography, products, and services, as we target further regional expansion, particularly in the Islamic and wealth management spaces.
Throughout our strategic journey, we will maintain focus on expanding our customer base in the affluent and mass affluent segments whilst also leveraging our expanding product portfolio to attract high-net-worth private banking clients.
Supporting National Priorities
NBK is committed to supporting the Government of Kuwait development plans as part of the national long-term goals defined in New Kuwait 2035.
In particular, the Bank is advancing the nation’s strategic agenda in terms of driving economic growth through the private sector to achieve increasing economic diversification.
This includes our contribution to developing and expanding the nation’s financing of infrastructure to enable growth in the SME sector and beyond, as well as our role as a key finance facilitator for the establishment of public–private partnerships (PPPs).
We are also actively involved in the process of digitizing Kuwait’s economy, as a key partner in the government’s drive to expand the country’s digital innovation.
Kuwait’s Leading Financial Institution
NBK remains in a highly attractive market position, as the leading banking Group in Kuwait in terms of assets, customer deposits and customer loans and advances, with a market share in Kuwait in excess of 30% across key financial indicators. NBK’s market capitalization stood at USD 23.7 billion as of end-December 2021.
The Bank has been ranked amongst the 50 safest commercial banks in the world by Global Finance, amongst the top 10 banks in the region and the most valuable banking brand in the country by Brand Finance; complemented by strong across-the-board, long-term credit ratings (A1, A, A+). Moreover, NBK has physical operations across 14 countries to better serve our customers in addition to its competitive advantage as the only bank in Kuwait with access to conventional and Islamic banking.
Robust Corporate Governance
NBK continued to strengthen its corporate governance and risk management practices during this year, in full compliance with local regulations and alignment with international best practices. We reviewed and updated the Group’s governance organizational structure, policies, and Board and Board sub-committees charters according to the regulatory instructions in Kuwait and the instructions issued by the regulatory authorities in countries where the Group operates. The Bank’s AGM and EGM were held on 6 March 2021, at which there was a quorum of 78.4%. All Board of Directors’ proposals were approved; proposals included the distribution of a 20% cash dividend to shareholders (equivalent to 20 fils per share) in addition to the distribution of 5% bonus shares (5 shares for every 100 shares owned for the year 2020).
Moreover, in the EGM held on 4 December 2021, shareholders approved the increase of the authorized share capital to KD 1.0 billion from KD 750 million.
Furthermore, and for the year 2021, the Board of Director’s recommended the distribution of 30% as cash dividend (30 fils per share) to shareholders that is equivalent to KD 215.8 million. The Board also recommended the distribution of 5% bonus shares to shareholders (5 shares for every 100 shares owned); all of which are subject to AGM approval taking place in March 2022.
As part of our continuous efforts to lead in governing our practices, the Bank appointed two independent Board of Directors in 2021; in compliance with CBK revised corporate governance regulations issued on 10/9/2019. In addition, we enhanced and implemented automated systems for compliance, governance, Anti-money laundering/Combating financing of Terrorism, Anti-financial crimes, Information technology and Cybersecurity risks.
We also looked to develop and standardize governance practices across our Group, improving reporting systems among Group entities and conducted an independent review and assessment of Corporate Governance at NBK’s subsidiaries to identify potential gaps or areas in which governance and risk management could be improved.
Putting ESG at The Core of NBK
NBK has a long-standing commitment to lead the banking sector as a responsible corporate citizen. Therefore, the Bank has embarked on a new journey to achieve world-class environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and reporting. NBK initiated intensive planning in 2021 to devise a strategy to guide our sustainability initiatives going forward.
Our ESG vision will place sustainability at the heart of our strategy, corporate culture, and operations across the Group, and foresees the integration of these elements into an ESG framework that leverages our advanced existing governance structures to apply sustainability principles at every level.
During 2021, NBK continued to seek to impact through a wide range of ESG initiatives and partnerships, which included reinforcing the responsibility of our Board and Board sub-committees to align with critical ESG issues.
The Bank’s training initiatives – both internal and for the Government of Kuwait, youth, and community – reflect our profound commitment to investing in the human capital of the nation. To this end, the Bank continues partnering with leading educational institutions and engages a selection of reputable experts to share their expertise, in line with the Bank’s social and development agenda. In 2021, this included programs designed for government departments, new university graduates, top female talent and future leaders of the Bank on a wide range of financial, digital, and regulatory topics.
To keep our stakeholders up to date on our progress and achievements related to ESG, we updated our Sustainability webpage and issued our annual Sustainability Report. These engagement channels highlight the Bank’s social, economic, and environmental initiatives, and the implementation of corporate governance principles, in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and our broad commitments to supporting the Kuwait National Development Plan and the global sustainability agenda encapsulated by the UN Sustainable Development Goals in addition to our voluntarily alignment with Boursa Kuwait’s sustainability guidelines.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the Bank’s executive management for their successful stewardship throughout 2021. Their dedication to NBK’s strategic objectives has been both admirable and highly effective in realizing our goals in yet another year of challenges.
I would also like to thank our customers for their continued trust in NBK, and our devoted staff for their tireless efforts to safeguard and advance the interests of the Bank, despite the difficult working conditions brought about by the pandemic.
Finally, thanks are also due to the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Markets Authority for their ongoing efforts to propel the banking sector, and to our valued shareholders for their enduring support for our vision to further cement NBK’s leadership of the Kuwaiti banking sector.
Board Of Directors
Mr. Hamad Mohamed Al-BaharGroup Chairman
Mr. Isam Jasem A. Al-SagerVice-Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Yacoub Yousef Al-FulaijNon-Executive Board Member
Mr. Muthana Mohamed Ahmed Al-HamadNon-Executive Board Member
Mr. Haitham Sulaiman Al-KhaledNon-Executive Board Member
Mr. Emad Mohamed Al-BaharNon-Executive Board Member
Mrs. Huda Mohammad S. Al-RefaeiNon-Executive Board Member
Dr. Robert Maroun EidIndependent Board Member
Dr. Nasser Al-SaidiIndependent Board Member
Mr. Abdulwahab Ahmad H. Al-BaderIndependent Board Member
Mr. Farouq Ali Akbar A. BastakiIndependent Board Member
Mr. Ali FardanGeneral Manager
Mr. Mahmood Al AaliDeputy General Manager
Mr. Mohammed YusufChief Operating Officer
Mr. Mohammed MoamenHead of Treasury
Mr. Yusuf Al AsfoorHead of Compliance & MLRO
Awards & Recognition
Best Private Bank Sustainable Investing in the Middle East
Best SME Bank Kuwait
2013 - 2023
Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Kuwait
2013 - 2017, 2019 - 2021, 2023
Best Foreign Exchange Provider in the Middle East
Best Mobile Banking App - ME
Best in Lending - ME
Outstanding Innovation in Mobile Banking - Weyay
Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Kuwait
Most Innovative Private Bank Middle East
Best Bill Payment & Presentment - Kuwait
Best Financial Innovation Labs in Kuwait
Most Innovative Digital Bank - Kuwait
Most Innovative Digital Bank - Middle East
Best in Lending - Kuwait
Best Online Product Offerings - Middle East
2020 - 2022
Best Consumer Digital Bank in Middle East
2018 - 2022
Best Consumer Digital Bank in Kuwait
2018, 2021, 2022
Best Mobile Banking App - Kuwait
2015 - 2022
Best Private Banking in Kuwait
2014 - 2022
Best Bank in Kuwait
2008 - 2018, 2020 - 2022
Best Trade Finance Bank in Kuwait
Best in Social Media Marketing and Services - Kuwait
World’s Top 50 Safest Commercial Banks
Best Bank for Liquidity Management in the Middle East
Best Bank for Cash Management in Kuwait
Best Emerging Markets Bank Worldwide
The Innovators - Real Time End-To-End Payment Tracking on Customer Payment
Best in Mobile Banking - Consumer in Kuwait
2006 - 2019
World’s Top 50 Safest Banks for 14 consecutive times
Best Bank for Financial Risk Management Kuwait
Best Bank for Financial Risk Management Middle East
Best Innovator in Trade Finance
2010 - 2016
Best Emerging Market Bank in Kuwait
Best Bank in the Middle East
2010 - 2013, 2015
Best Emerging Market Bank in the Middle East
Best Provider of Money Markets Fund in the Middle East
Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Kuwait
Best Bank for ESG in Kuwait
Best Bank for Diversity & Inclusion in Kuwait
Best Private Bank/Technology: Innovative or Emerging Technology Adoption in Kuwait
Best Private Bank/Wealth Manager for Mass/Super Affluent Clients in Kuwait
Best Private Bank/Wealth Manager for Ultra High Net worth Clients in Kuwait
1994 - 2018, 2021
Best Bank in Kuwait
Best Cash Management for Non-Financial Institutions
2006, 2009, 2015 - 2018
Best Private Banking in Kuwait
Best Managed Company in the Middle East
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013
Best Bank in the Middle East
Best Investment Bank in Kuwait
Outstanding Contribution to Middle East Banking
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 - 2019, 2021, 2022
Bank of The Year - Kuwait
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2022
Bank of The Year - Middle East
Innovation in Digital Banking Award - Middle East
Best Customer Service and Project Finance in the Middle East
2007 - 2009
Best Deal of the Year in the Middle East
2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007
Best Deal of the Year in Kuwait
2015 - 2022
Number 1 Banking Brand in Kuwait
Best Credit Card Initiative in MENA
Best Retail Bank in Kuwait
Best Youth Program Initiative
Best Retail Bank Kuwait
Best Loyalty/Rewards Programme Middle East