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  • Important Announcement

    The Board of Directors of National Bank of Kuwait is pleased to invite the shareholders to attend Ordinary General Assembly meeting scheduled to be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday 23rd of March 2024, either by attending and voting directly at the Bank’s headquarters located in Kuwait City - Al Shuhada Street, or by attending and voting through the electronic system in accordance with Policies and Procedures for Electronic General Assemblies issued by Kuwait Clearing Company, the right to attend the aforementioned Ordinary General Assembly will be for shareholders registered in the Bank’s Ledger of Shareholders on Sunday 10th of March 2024, and the final date for purchasing the shares to entitle the right to attend this Assembly will be on Tuesday 5th of March 2024, these dates apply to any postponed Ordinary General Assembly meeting, to discuss the topics listed in the agenda. Read More

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Kuwait: NBK Organizes a Lecture on “Challenges for the Banking Industry Post-Digital”

18.09.2023

Continuing to invest in the human capital and increase employees’ efficiency, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) organizes a series of lectures and workshops focusing on developing personal and practical skills in areas related to digital transformation, innovation, leadership and effective communication.

In this context, the bank held the third of a 6-lecture series in September, which hosted 80 participants. Delivered by Ricardo Perez, Professor of Information Systems, Innovation and Corporate Strategy at IE, the lecture covered the challenges for the banking industry post-digital and implications of the next generation of technologies.

Understanding the developments in digital transformation and its implications for the banking industry is crucial as it directly affects setting policies, business strategies and plans in financial institutions so that they are able to keep pace with developments as they seek to achieve sustainable growth.

Speaking on this, Najla Al-Sager, Head of Talent Management, Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait, said: “Investing in the human capital is instrumental in NBK’s strategies and culture, and a key focus for the bank’s endeavors to achieve sustainable growth and create a banking generation capable of occupying leadership positions in the future.”

“At NBK, we firmly believe that efficient workforce is crucial to delivering high-quality banking services from different types, and that employees’ awareness of the changes and developments in the banking industry boosts this efficiency. Therefore, today's lecture comes within our endeavors to enhance the capabilities and skills of NBK human capital and provide them with top-tier training programs,” she noted.

Al-Sager emphasized that NBK harnesses all its capabilities to help develop the career of its employees by providing the best-in-class training and development programs, in collaboration with the world’s most renowned educational institutions.

Founded in 1973, IE Business School is one of the largest business schools in the world, consistently ranked among the top international educational institutions by international magazines and newspapers, Forbes, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg.



Kuwait: NBK Offers Complimentary Limo Ride for Private and Privilege Banking Customers

27.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) always seeks to enhance customer banking experience by providing the best exclusive offers and exceptional benefits that suit their different segments. In this context, the bank has announced providing complimentary limo ride for Private and Privilege Banking Customers.

According to the offer valid from 22 February to 2 March 2024, Private and Privilege Banking Customers can avail a complimentary one-time limo ride through Q’go Concierge by calling their designated number 1888125.

This service from NBK is one of the many services provided by “Q’go Concierge” including fast-track check-in, extra luggage allowance, free baggage delivery, hotel offers and Umrah packages, in addition to cash delivery of up to KD 10,000. It also features Messenger Services including renewing and applying for ministry documentation, business special consultation and set-up, airport transportation, limo service, and airport Meet & Assist in Kuwait.

Speaking on this offer, Nora Al-Najjar, Manager, Consumer Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait said, “At NBK, we always strive to provide our customers with the best benefits and services to enhance their banking experience. We also seek to be always closer to them by providing exceptional offers that offer them more luxury and peace of mind.”

“We are well aware of our customers’ preferences, as we maintain close communication with them through various channels. This goes in line with our keenness to maximize their benefit from the services, special offers and exceptional rewards that we carefully tailor to fit the lifestyles and needs of their different segments and ages,” she added.

It is worth mentioning that over the past years, NBK was able to maintain top-notch Privilege Banking services, and is always striving to offer customers an even more innovative banking experience.

NBK provides Premium Banking Customers with an exclusive array of services, including: a dedicated relationship manager for our Privilege Customers and a Personal Banking Officer for our Thahabi Customers taking care of all customer’s banking needs. It also provides them with access to Premium Banking lounges, diverse investment solutions including: SmartWealth and Watani Brokerage, Family Banking package, Premium Banking Teller Services which grants them priority in making their transactions in a quick and easy way, in addition to card home delivery service, priority status when contacting NBK Call Center on 1801801 available 24/7.



Kuwait: NBK Unveils 'NBK Wealth' for Premium Wealth Management Solutions

22.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) revealed the launch of its prestigious “NBK Wealth” brand, positioning itself as a leading global organization and one of the most significant regional groups in comprehensive wealth management.

The brand features a unique visual identity that accurately represents the Group's business orientation and encapsulates the trust, credibility, and success associated with NBK Group, the leading financial institution in the Middle East.

NBK Wealth, set for its official brand launch next April, encompasses a range of services and products under its umbrella. This includes the private banking services of NBK - Kuwait, Watani Investment Company, Watani Wealth Management Company (Saudi Arabia), NBK Banque Privée (Suisse), as well as National Bank of Kuwait (International) PLC and Watani Financial Brokerage Company (WFBC).

NBK Wealth provides an extensive array of comprehensive solutions in private banking services, covering financial planning and wealth management, as well as investment management and advisory services. This is facilitated through a vast global network of integrated operations spanning 9 cities across 5 countries worldwide.

The Group, boasting personal financial assets of approximately US$ 37.6 billion as of the end of 2023, is supported by an elite team of over 100 investment professionals and traders, each with extensive experience in their field.

NBK Wealth stands as a premier destination and a trusted partner for delivering innovative solutions and sophisticated services in asset management. This includes investment management and alternative investments, alongside traditional investments, and trading solutions.

The new brand caters to a sophisticated group of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and institutions with a passion for maintaining and accelerating their financial wellness. It offers financial consulting services aimed at growing and sustaining their wealth through holistic investment and banking solutions.

Within wealth management, NBK Wealth presents a broad spectrum of innovative solutions, backed by an extensive network of investment professionals with specialized knowledge, and a distinguished team of highly skilled asset management experts. The valuable collaborations with JP Morgan Asset Management and Intervest further leverage multiple dimensions, including advisory services and the development of new investment solutions.

Commenting on this news, Mr. Faisal Al-Hamad, CEO - NBK Wealth, stated: “The introduction of the NBK Wealth brand marks a pivotal moment in our dedication to offering unmatched wealth management services and solutions. It underscores our role in assisting our clients as they navigate the path to accumulating significant wealth and creating a lasting legacy that will benefit many generations.”

“At NBK Wealth, our approach is client-centric and comprehensive, aimed at thoroughly understanding our clients' needs to offer solutions that align with their aspirations. Our objectives extend beyond merely generating wealth; we strive to fulfill their requirements and deliver long-term added value from a holistic and integrated standpoint,” Al-Hamad added.

Furthermore, the CEO elaborated that the Group is dedicated to reinforcing its status as the premier and trusted option in wealth management, both regionally and globally, backed by an extensive global network of integrated operations.

"Our motto, “Guiding Your Path Beyond Wealth,' encapsulates our vision for ushering in a new era of wealth management for both high-net-worth individuals and institutions. This vision is realized through holistic investment strategies, leveraging our global presence in key financial and business hubs, and our extensive experience in delivering exceptional service that fulfills all their aspirations," Al-Hamad noted.

NBK Wealth in Numbers

 

• US$37.6 billion in personal financial assets as of the end of 2023

• More than 100 investment professionals and traders, and 80 relationship managers

• Presence in 5 countries and 9 key financial hubs around the world

• Offers private banking solutions, encompassing financial planning, wealth management, and banking services

• Asset management solutions covering investment management, alternative investments, traditional investments, and trading solutions



Kuwait: NBK Mobile Banking.. The Ultimate Travel Companion

22.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) always strives to enrich its digital banking services provided through the NBK Mobile Banking App by introducing new features and enhancements that are meticulously designed to meet customers’ expectations and enable them to manage their accounts, and make more transactions easily and securely, anytime, anywhere, especially during the official holidays and travel seasons.

Managing cards during travel

Customers can manage their debit, credit, and prepaid cards while traveling. They can inform the bank by selecting the cards they would like to use while being abroad.

Report lost/stolen cards

Users can report/lost stolen cards with a click of a button via the App. Once the card has been reported, a replacement card will be issued automatically.

Temporarily block/unblock credit cards

Users have the capability to easily block or unblock their credit cards using the App with just a few simple steps. The service is instant, safe, and available around the clock.

Easier transfers

Transfers are made easier now, as customers don’t need an OTP. Instead, they can authenticate with their password or biometrics (Face ID).

FlexiPay

FlexiPay is available on the App providing eligible NBK Credit Cardholders with the flexibility to make payments for their in-store or online purchases, whether made locally or internationally.

Quick Pay

Customers can use the enhanced service of Quick Pay to send links and receive money, anytime, even during the weekends and official holidays, and choose the preferred method of sharing the link.

Transfer receipt

App users will get a transfer receipt after making transfers. They can also refer to the account statement, go to the transfer transaction, and get the transfer receipt.

Manage registered devices

Users can manage their registered devices on NBK Mobile Banking through the App itself. They can add a device or delete it. For the safety and security of the customer, NBK is keen to limit the number of devices allowed to register for the service.

In addition, the bank has recently released new useful services and enhanced some so the transactions can go through easily including: applying for cards, loans, or increasing credit card limit prior to travel, displaying amount on hold for credit cards and accounts, finding currency exchange rates, in addition to the existing services such as increasing or amending monthly transfer limits, making bill payments, and much more.

Commenting on this, Mohammed AL Dakheel, Head of Mobile Banking, Consumer Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait said: “Through NBK Mobile Banking App, we provide a full-fledged banking experience aiming to empower customers digitally and provide them with the latest and most advanced banking services.”

“The NBK Mobile Banking App is well deservedly called the “Ultimate Companion” for NBK Customers. It is also considered the bank’s main digital channel, which accounts for the major share of banking transactions with over 600,000 registered users and over 68 million transactions made through the App in 2023,” he added.

“During 2023, we introduced over 50 releases, each included a bundle of new services and enhancements. With the new interface and enhancements, the App has become more user-friendly, smarter, enabling users to make their transactions faster with less screens,” he explained.

Through the NBK Mobile Banking App, NBK aims to offer customers a secure platform to conveniently manage their finances at any given moment. This service facilitates a wide range of banking activities, including opening new accounts, monitoring transactions on accounts and credit cards, accessing accumulated NBK Miles and NBK Rewards Program points, settling credit card dues, making payments for electronic bills, locating the nearest NBK Branches, ATMs, and CDMs across Kuwait, submitting requests for account statements, updating personal information, as well as toll-free numbers to call when they are abroad to reach the bank for any help/inquiry.

Customers can easily download the NBK Mobile Banking App, which is currently available on various platforms including the Apple Store, Google Play Store, and the Huawei App Gallery.



Kuwait: NBK Announces Partnership with Almosafer to Provide Outstanding Travel Offers for Customers

22.02.2024

Seeking to enhance customer banking experience with top-notch services and offers according to the lifestyles of their different segments and ages, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has announced a new exclusive partnership with Almosafer, to provide NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Cardholders with exclusive offers that meet their expectations.

This new partnership will give NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Cardholders access to a world of tailored offers that meet their travel needs, including airline tickets and hotel bookings.

Under the partnership, cardholders will get 10% NBK KWT Points when using their KWT Card to pay for airline tickets and hotel bookings at Almosafer stores or via its app or website.

As this offer will continue going forward, cardholders will be able to avail it, as part of KWT Card product benefits.

Commenting on this partnership, Mr. Hisham Al-Nusif Deputy Head, Consumer Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait said, “We always seek to enhance our customers banking experience, and with the beginning of the new year, we wanted to provide exclusive offers tailored to their needs and expectations. We also work tirelessly and around the clock to keep pace with their changing needs and live up to their growing expectations.”

“NBK maintains solid relationships with leading institutions across different sectors, and we are glad to partner with Almosafer, being one of the most trusted travel agents for customers. We aim to leverage this partnership to enhance customers’ banking experience by delivering top-notch offers, discounts and benefits for an unmatched banking experience” he added.

“Customer satisfaction and top-notch banking experience are embedded in NBK’s culture. Thanks to our extensive experience gained over long decades, we are able to understand customers’ needs, evaluate their goals, and even exceed their expectations,” he noted.

Muzzammil Ahussain, CEO of Almosafer, added; “We are happy to partner with the National Bank of Kuwait, an industry leader in the banking sector in the Gulf region, to offer Almosafer’s exclusive travel deals to the bank’s esteemed customers. Kuwait is a key market for us and by extending our special offers, discounts and benefits we hope to leverage our expertise in the industry and provide tailor-made-travel solutions for NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Cardholders. Our digital-first, seamless experience, powered by data driven solutions, will aid Kuwait’s premier national bank to provide their clients with value-added benefits. Together we hope to raise the bar on exceeding client expectations by going one step further to deliver top-notch quality services that is bound to distinguish us from the rest of the market.”

A Card Like No Other

NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card is the most popular credit card in Kuwait, as it offers customers a unique lifestyle with exceptional rewards, benefits and offers tailored to meet customers’ needs and expectations, and cashback up to KD 1,000 in NBK KWT Points every month.

The card combines an exclusive package of exceptional rewards with a design inspiring national pride, making it a card like no other, and gives customers the flexibility to choose the way they want to earn rewards based on their lifestyle; either the “Spends Tier” or “Merchant Category” option.

When choosing the “Merchant Category”, customers can earn NBK KWT Points on all payments made using NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card at the selected categories, with 10% on dining and telecom, 5% on fitness and beauty and 3% on clothing, grocery and education.

Meanwhile, when choosing the “Spends Tier” earning option, based on their monthly spends, with up to 5% on digital payments, up to 5% on international POS and up to 3% on all other spends.

The earned NBK KWT Points can be redeemed through NBK Online or Mobile Banking whether as cashback directly to the card, travel booking at more than 800 airlines and 150,000 hotels, e-vouchers from over 190 merchants, or points exchange with most preferred airlines.

NBK Visa Credit Cards offer the best payment method for the convenience and benefits they provide to customers, especially when using them in shopping including NBK Rewards Program as well as Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty.



Kuwait: NBK Launches Salary Acquisition Campaign With Exceptional Benefits up to KD 5,000

22.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) always seeks to enrich customer banking experience by providing top-notch services and exceptional offers through unique campaigns and rewards. In this context, the bank has launched its new salary acquisition campaign for 2024, which gives customers the opportunity to avail benefits up to KD 5,000.

The salary acquisition campaign this year will give customers exceptional benefits with the best packages that offer them the strongest exclusive offers, best cards, most appropriate financing solutions that suit their needs, as well as instant discounts, cashback, and rewards at 900+ outlets, while enjoying access to the largest branch network across Kuwait.

Upon transferring their salary, customers will receive many benefits including cash gifts, the highest cashback, the best suite of credit cards, the best packages to suit all salary levels, weekly free cinema tickets, and weekly coupons from talabat.

Commenting on this campaign, Mr. Mohammed Al-Othman Chief Executive Officer of Consumer & Digital Banking at National Bank of Kuwait said, “We always seek to provide our customers with the best special offers and exceptional benefits that suit their different segments and ages. To this end, we have launched our new salary transfer campaign for this year with unmatched benefits and rewards.”

“Salary transfer allows customers to enjoy NBK’s top-notch banking solutions, including innovative digital services and cutting-edge payment solutions, within a banking experience offering utmost luxury, security and peace of mind,” he added.

“All offers provided in salary transfer campaign this year are tailored to customers’ needs and seasonality, as part of our commitment to always provide the most valuable and relevant offers to our customers,” he emphasized.

“Salary transfer qualifies customers to special benefits including banking and investment solutions, as well as instant discounts and points earned through Kuwait’s largest rewards program, NBK Rewards.” he added.

Customers get various benefits when transferring their salary to NBK including access to the largest branch and ATM network in Kuwait, as well as the broad geographical footprint across key regional and global markets.

Moreover, NBK Customers can enjoy quick and easy banking anytime using the digital channels spearheaded by NBK Mobile Banking, which undergoes frequent enhancements and revamps and is highly popular among customers, and accounts for the major share of banking transactions. 



Kuwait: NBK Supports LOYAC Agricultural Trips to Promote Sustainable Agriculture

22.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and LOYAC concluded four environmental local trips to Sulaibiya and Al Wafra. The four trips go with the UNSDGs goal 15 life on land and in line with NBK’s Strategy focusing on integrating the UN SDGs into its social programs. In addition to an intensive two weeks of internship of daily learning and application in permaculture at different locations in Kuwait.

NBK’s support to LOYAC’s trips comes as part of the bank strategic partnership with the organization.

74 volunteers from different backgrounds ages between 14 and 28  participated in these trips which were designed to introduce regenerative farming principles, explore techniques for maintaining healthy soil; practice cover cropping & mulching techniques; demonstrating composting; introducing crop rotation; creating Swales & learning about keyline designs; in addition to the importance of companion planting.

This support reflects NBK’s commitment to its social responsibility as well as the vital role it plays in supporting students, youths and self-building initiatives in Kuwait.

“Sulaibiya and Al Wafra field trips were truly an inspiring environmental learning experience that added profound value to the young people involved”, said Joanne Al Abduljaleel, NBK Public Relations Manager. “This is not the first-time we go with Loyacers in field trips. We were happy to join Loyacers in lots of inspiring cultural trips around Asia and Africa.  This time , we had the chance to know better our local farms and actively participate in sustainable agriculture and permaculture activities, including planting, maintaining farms and greenhouses, and applying permaculture principles”.

  “NBK always strives to empower Kuwaiti youth to realize their potentials, build their personalities and motivates their ambition. These agricultural trips with LOYAC comes in line with our strategy to invest in our society,” Al Abduljaleel added.

Throughout the program, Loyacers had practical training in agriculture with the aim of achieving advanced skills in the field that will allow the trainee to find job opportunities in existing and expected agricultural initiatives and projects..

LOYAC is a nonprofit organization that runs several programs for the youth to develop their professional skills, enhance their personal growth and help them find their sense of purpose by extending themselves to others. 



Kuwait: NBK Concludes the Fifth Edition of “Tamakan” Training Program

17.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has concluded the Fifth Edition of “Tamakan” training program for Kuwaiti fresh graduates, organized by “Creative Confidence” with the bank’s strategic sponsorship.

The closing ceremony was attended by Mr. Isam Al-Sager, Vice-Chairman and Group CEO of National Bank of Kuwait, Mrs. Shaikha Al-Bahar, Deputy Group CEO of NBK, Mr. Sulaiman Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of NBK – Kuwait, Mr. Faisal Al-Hamad Chief Executive Officer - Global Wealth Management, Mr. Mohammed Al-Othman, CEO-Consumer and Digital Banking, Mr. Mohammed Al Kharafi, COO – Head of Group Operations and Information Technology, Mr. Zaid Isam Al-Sager, GM - Deputy Head of International Banking Group, Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, GM - Group Human Resources.

The ceremony held at NBK’s HQ, included a discussion session where the bank’s executive management listened to trainees’ presentations of their outstanding graduation projects, showcasing creative ideas and visions from the ambitious Kuwaiti youth.

Over the course of the program spanning 10 weeks, NBK hosted 34 trainees at different departments where it provided them with courses aimed to upskill, qualify and prepare them to start a successful career.

Tamakan offers an innovative training experience for Kuwaiti fresh graduates who need support to overcome the challenges ahead as they seek to start their career or set up their own business, thanks to developing the required skills, as well as expertise to stand on solid grounds as they navigate their way into the highly challenging labor market.

“Tamakan” aims to develop the personal skills needed to become compelling candidates, in addition to motivating Kuwaiti youth to explore their potentials and energies. It also unleashes the creativity of young talent through workshops about creativity and innovation, design thinking, business model design, career exploration and innovative de-risking solutions.

On their part, the trainees expressed their pleasure with participation in this program and extended thanks to NBK for supporting them and providing its long-standing expertise to develop their skills and qualify them for the labor market in a professional manner, thanks to the bank’s highly professional organizational approach.

The trainees also thanked NBK’s executive management, who participated in open discussions with them where they conveyed their long experience in the banking industry, in addition to providing them with valuable advice to build a successful career. They referred to the significant development achieved and knowledge acquired during the program, which adds value to their upcoming career. They also highlighted they benefited from upskilling on various sides, and regarded “Tamakan” as their gateway from the academic world to career exploration and working life.

NBK strongly believes in the importance of nurturing the Kuwaiti youth by attracting and developing talents and providing all means of support to help them navigate their way into the labor market. It also supports different social initiatives that align to Kuwait National Development Plan (KNDP), and serve the country’s strategic agenda to drive growth, and create job opportunities for the Kuwaiti youth in the private sector, being the country’s most valuable resource and the cornerstone for national development.

It is worth mentioning that “Tamakan” received “The Social Work Pioneer Project Award” from the GCC Council of Ministers of Social Affairs and Labor, recognizing it as an innovative training experience for Kuwaiti fresh graduates to achieve professional self-development in pursuit of emerging as active and efficient workforce.



Kuwait: NBK and Zain Sign MOU with KFAS to Launch a Digital Program for the Kuwaiti Youth

13.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Mobile Telecommunications Company – Zain Kuwait have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), with the goal of initiating a training program designed to develop and empower young national talent. This program aims to provide participants with the essential skills necessary to fulfill labor market demands, particularly in the fields of digital transformation, data knowledge, and artificial intelligence.

The agreement was signed at KFAS’s headquarters, in the presence of Dr. Ameenah Rajab Farhan, KFAS Director General, Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of National Bank of Kuwait - Kuwait, and Mr. Nawaf Algharabally, Acting CEO of Zain Kuwait. 

The MOU details a cooperative effort to exchange expertise and knowledge for the purpose of advancing and improving digital skills among the youth, equipping them with the essential qualifications needed for the labor market. Furthermore, it encompasses the planning and implementation of educational initiatives, activities, and events specifically targeted at the young participants, in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI).

The agreement involves KFAS, supported by NBK and Zain, forming strategic alliances with global academic and research institutions renowned for their expertise in digital technology capacity building. This collaboration aims to aid in designing and delivering training programs, activities, and events both within Kuwait and internationally.

This unique initiative is designed to engage young individuals in the programs, activities, and events that will be provided to them in a competitive format, ensuring equal opportunities for recent graduates and entry-level professionals.

The training program aims to develop digital skills and capabilities of individuals to use advanced digital tools, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, coding, big data, robotics, and cybersecurity. This initiative aims to enable participants to effectively leverage and implement these tools in the professional workplace.

The program’s objective is around fundamental concepts, incorporating interactive hands-on activities and project-based learning. It also features mentoring and coaching to support participants throughout their learning journey. The curriculum is multi-modular, offering both in-person and virtual modules, with sessions taking place in Kuwait and South Korea.

During this event, Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of National Bank of Kuwait - Kuwait, remarked, "We are delighted to formalize this agreement, showcasing the dedication of private sector organizations to their societal obligations in training and preparing our youth for a labor market currently undergoing significant changes and advancements, primarily influenced by artificial intelligence, robotics, and data knowledge".

Al-Marzouq further noted that the main goal of this collaboration is to help close the digital skills gap in Kuwait and to equip Kuwaiti talent with the digital skills and competencies required to thrive in an increasingly technology-dependent world.

Furthermore, Al-Marzouq emphasized NBK’s commitment to actively contribute to the developmental journey of the current generation of Kuwaiti youth through various sponsored initiatives. He highlighted the importance of providing proper guidance to fully harness the energy and capabilities of young Kuwaitis, thereby bolstering sustainable development efforts.

NBK firmly believes that joint private public sector initiatives to provide the young generation with the required knowledge and skills are instrumental to individual as well as social wellbeing and prosperity.

NBK also recognizes the importance of investing in the human capital, and to this end, it has recently launched NBK Tech Academy, the first of its kind academy focusing on digital and data technologies. 

The Academy provides a professional training program to qualify young Kuwaiti talents in areas including FinTech, Data Analytics, Ethics in Technology, Cyber Security, Fundamentals of Digital Payments, Digital Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, Scripting and Programming, Fundamentals of Codifications, and Finance for Non-Finance Professionals.

Mr. Nawaf Algharabally, Acting CEO of Zain Kuwait, commented: “Through this partnership, we will explore collaborative avenues in digital transformation, with a focus on nurturing the tech innovation skills of our youth. Our shared vision is to cultivate digital communities and foster a collaborative ecosystem that fosters innovation and empowers capacity building.”

Algharabally added: “This collaboration aligns seamlessly with our strategic initiatives, bolstered by our existing MoUs with various entities, all aimed at investing in and empowering local talents, particularly within the areas of technology and digital proficiency. Over the years, Zain has proudly trained thousands of ambitious young men and women, reinforcing our commitment to the nation's sustainable growth.

He continued: “At Zain, our strategic vision revolves around creating an empowering environment for our youth, equipping them with the skills necessary to navigate the opportunities presented by today's digital landscape. Technology undeniably underpins people’s personal and professional lives, ushering in a new generation reliant on tech innovation to navigate evolving career pathways.”

Algharabally concluded by saying: “Promoting a digital culture among young people is of paramount importance today, given the pivotal role technology plays in achieving digital transformation objectives. That’s why Zain is steadfast in reinforcing strategic partnerships, recognizing the indispensable role of technologies such as AI, managed cloud services, cloud computing, and digital applications in shaping today’s business landscapes."

This step reflects Zain’s unwavering efforts to support and grow the innovation ecosystem in the local community, and comes as an extension to the MoU signed between Zain and KFAS last October. The agreement saw the two partners join forces to accelerate capacity building, upskill national talents in the private sector, grow research & development in innovation, enable social enterprises, and empower local entrepreneurs.This partnership also goes in line with Zain’s Innovation Nation initiative, under which all of Zain’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs fall, especially within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. The initiative mainly targets the youth, and centers around a number of pillars, including entrepreneurship, investment, startup acceleration, supporting inventors, fostering innovation, and more.



Kuwait: NBK Hosts First Annual Meetup for “Tableau” Data Analytics and Visualization Software

12.02.2024

Underlining its ongoing commitment to increase employees’ efficiency and qualify them with the most advanced solutions, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) hosted the First Annual Meetup for Tableau data analytics and visualization software, with the participation of Salesforce, the famous American cloud-based software company and developer of Tableau. 

In the two-day event, Tableau Experts delivered specialized workshops to elevate creators’ skills in the growing community of hundreds of Tableau users, including workshops on advanced visual analytics and design thinking. It also shed light on harnessing the value of data assets using AI-powered analytics and automated workflows.

This training comes in line with NBK’s consistent efforts over the past years to invest heavily in Data Analytics and processing to understand customers’ needs and behaviors. 

Business users of all levels can now answer their own questions and generate insights by automating data preparation and easy-to-use visual analytics dashboards. Business lines were also able to see, in real-time, how other departments have been streamlining their analytics and benefiting from time and cost savings.

Popular tools like tableau are increasingly being adopted across the industry in Kuwait, signifying a shift towards empowering business users to discover data visually.

This event exemplifies the Group Data Office’s commitment to a culture of self-service analytics and enabling domain experts to leverage their knowledge with the help of analytics tools like Tableau.

Speaking on this, Mr. Sudhakar Nibhanupudi, Chief Data Officer at National Bank of Kuwait said: “Hosting this event reflects NBK’s commitment to invest heavily in enhancing collaboration and excellence of its employees, in addition to qualifying talents and competencies with professionally refined skills in Data Analytics.”

“It is the strategy of Group Data Office to enable data-driven decision making by businesses and self-service analytics is an integral part of this strategy,” he added.

“This event aligns with NBK’s commitment to continuously upskill employees with the aim of maintaining an edge in the rapidly evolving technical landscape,” he noted.

NBK pays paramount attention to developing the capabilities of its employees, harnessing all its resources to progress their career by providing training and development programs, in cooperation with globally renowned educational institutions. In addition, NBK consistently supports its employees in building their careers within the bank, reflecting its conviction that continuous developing and upskilling of its employees is instrumental to sustaining its excellence in the rapidly evolving technical landscape in the banking industry.



Kuwait: Al-Ablani: Passion, Perseverance, and Patience Are Keys to a Successful Career

11.02.2024

In the program’s sixth panel discussion, “Tamakan” hosted Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, GM – Head of Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), who shared his extensive experience gained through a long career, highlighting the key milestones in his journey until assuming this leading position at the largest banking institution in Kuwait.

In a highly engaging open discussion with “Tamakan” trainees, Al-Ablani shared the key challenges he faced throughout his long journey. He also gave them some tips to help them navigate their way towards a thriving career, and the best ways to develop personal skills and capabilities to successfully make their way into the labor market and ensure career development. At the end of the discussion, he answered participants’ questions about various aspects of work inside NBK.

The keys to success

Al-Ablani started his speech by urging “Tamakan” trainees to be patient and work hard to achieve their desired career development, and to cooperate with co-workers, as working in one-team spirit is a key success factor for large institutions, and this is a main characteristic of the work environment in a reputable organization like NBK, as everyone has different qualities and abilities, which makes success a guaranteed result of integration between the members of one team.

“Attaining a leading position in a prestigious institution like NBK requires three basic skills: passion, perseverance and patience, which are the keys to success and moving forward in achieving a thriving and sustainable career and rising to the highest positions,” he mentioned.

 “It takes careful research and sufficient study to make the right decision in choosing your job, whether regarding the sector or even the workplace, as building a career requires ambitious young people who have unwavering desire and passion. Therefore, I always advise the youth to join the private sector because it is more agile and dynamic, and there is more room for innovation, development and creativity,” he added.

The beating heart

In response to a question from one of the participants about the role of GHR, Al-Ablani said, “GHR is the beating heart of NBK’s system through its various arms including Training and Development, Talent Management, and Business Partners. Our mission is to attract and build professional and dynamic human resources at all levels, from new recruits joining the organization until reaching the highest positions, as well as providing an atmosphere that ensures utmost employee well-being.”

“NBK’s strategy is to build an agile and dynamic workforce by focusing on 4 pillars: First: placing the right competencies in the right roles at the right time; Second: preparing future leaders by developing leaders inspiring and driving employees towards innovation; Third: acquisition of high-caliber talent by attracting, retaining and developing qualified employees; Fourth: creating a sustainable performance environment and a culture promoting diversity, inclusion, clear results management principles, and protection of employees,” he explained.

Calculated risk

On a question by one of the participants about choosing the ideal job and work environment, Al-Ablani said, “First, you have to set your goals according to your desires and skills, then work to develop clear plans to implement these goals, but the key factors are passion, perseverance, and patience, and developing the skills to help you achieve your goals.”

Al-Ablani called on the young people to develop and learn by addressing questions all the time and benefiting from the work team and their expertise. Every question is important, and you must get a sufficient answer when you ask so that you have a broad knowledge of your job duties and the function of your department, especially that NBK’s work environment encourages learning and development and always seeks to motivate employees and appreciate their efforts and contributions.

Al-Ablani went on to advise the youth saying, “Always make sure to know the negative comments from your managers, and work to address them to improve your performance, and do not think about moving from one department to another or one job to another just because of some negative comments or poor appraisal. Every employee must calculate the risks in every step he takes, as there is no “zero risk,” but there are calculated and uncalculated risk. So, I advise all employees at the beginning of their career to always talk to their manager and discuss with him their performance and what aspects that can be developed and learned to avoid negative comments and obtain a higher appraisal going forward.”

“NBK’s work environment always encourages discussion and exchange of ideas and opinions. There are also other communication channels that help all employees express their opinions, and the bank listens to their feedback and suggestions, and their satisfaction with the work environment,” he noted.

Don’t fear job interviews

Al-Ablani touched on job interviews saying, “When we conduct job interviews, we always look for young people who are capable of learning, innovating, and communicating, by addressing some questions and evaluating the answers, reactions, and extent of response. The best answers during job interviews are honest ones, even if they do not serve the job applied for, so do not try to beautify or provide incorrect information as this may backfire.”

“At NBK, we believe that attracting, retaining and developing high-caliber talent is instrumental to achieving our long-term ambitions, as well as advance the bank’s efforts to build sustainable human resources, especially that we always seek to attract young talent that have the passion, ambition and desire for continued development and building a thriving career,” he added.

Al-Ablani called on new graduates not to fear job interviews, because fear may be an obstacle to highlighting all your skills during the interview, advising them to be responsive with the interviewer and not just give brief answers. He also called on the interviewers to stay away from personal matters that may embarrass applicants, such as social and political questions, as well as to simplify the interview and not touch on complicated topics to display their experience, as most applicants are fresh graduates who do not have that broad experience, and the tasks of the jobs they are applying for may not require such deep knowledge.

Employee development

Continuing his responses to participants’ questions, Al-Ablani answered a question about employee development: “Once employees join the bank, they receive training courses relevant to each stage of their career, as learning is a deeply rooted culture in NBK that contributes to developing and increasing the efficiency of our human resources, which translates in improving our service quality.”

“NBK training programs do not end at a certain level and are not limited to a specific stage in the career, stressing that all employees in the bank receive training programs to develop their skills, starting from new recruits to leaders, and from day one in the job and continuing throughout their career with the bank. After an employee is promoted and transferred from one job level to another, they receive specific training programs commensurate with the skills required for the new job and qualifying him for the next level until they reach the highest leadership roles in the bank. There is also monitoring to follow up the training and development process to see the results of employee development,” he elaborated.

Al-Ablani mentioned that all the training programs provided by NBK are carefully designed by specialized experts to suit all job levels, noting that “Tamakan” program provides an exceptional opportunity to enhance the skills necessary to navigate the labor market in general, not only working at NBK,” he mentioned.

“NBK is firmly committed to investing in human capital with the support of the executive management, by attracting training and upskilling national talent. We boast an ideal and unique work environment providing exceptional opportunities for continuous career development through high-quality training programs delivered to its employees as well as fresh graduates, which helps them build a sustainable career,” he added.

Golden tips

Al-Ablani shared with the trainees the following important tips to help them navigate their way towards a thriving career:

• Search for the jobs that suit your skills and ambitions

• Always seek to benefit from the expertise of your team members

• Always ask questions and ensure you get adequate answers to develop your expertise

• Work hard and be patient to achieve your desired career development



Kuwait: NBK Named “Best Trade Finance Provider in Kuwait” for 2024

07.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has received the award of “Best Trade Finance Provider in Kuwait” for 2024 in Global Finance’s annual survey. The selections were based on entries from banks and other providers, as well as input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts worldwide.

Global Finance stated that the criteria for choosing the winners included transaction volume, scope of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative technologies.

NBK was selected as one of the World’s and MENA’s best trade finance providers in Global Finance’s 24th annual World’s Best Trade Finance Providers in more than 100 countries across 8 regions.

The award was granted to NBK in recognition of its initiatives in developing top-notch banking solutions and high-quality services to meet customers’ expectations.

This prestigious award underscores NBK’s solid position and dominant share in the trade finance market given its participation in the major deals across many vital sectors, thanks to its outstanding customer service and added value provided. This is helped by the bank’s broad regional and international network encompassing branches and subsidiaries across 4 continents.

The award also reflects NBK’s exceptional ability to maintain close and sustainable relationships with its clients, making it well-positioned to participate in major financing deals and strengthening its leadership and dominance, locally and regionally.

NBK has a highly experienced professional team in Trade Finance who work tirelessly to ensure delivering the highest service level to customers.

Global Finance, founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York, is one of the most reputable magazines specialized in finance and economics. It has a circulation of 50,000 readers in 193 countries around the world, including senior corporate and financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions. The magazine conducts various annual surveys about innovation and profitability for banks and financial institutions worldwide, based on which it selects top performers on the regional and international levels.



Kuwait: Al-Bahar: We are Optimistic for More Political Stability, Promoting Business Environment in Kuwait

06.02.2024

In an interview with Bloomberg, Ms. Shaikha Al-Bahar, NBK Deputy Group CEO, expressed optimism that a stabilized political environment will improve Kuwait's business landscape.

During the interview, Al-Bahar confirmed that in 2023, NBK consistently maintained strong asset quality and solid capitalization.

Optimism & Positivity 

Al-Bahar expressed confidence in the impact of Kuwait's political landscape on business prospects. She underscored the favorable perspective on the newly appointed government and the transformative policies introduced by the new Prime Minister. Recognized as technocrats committed to a reform agenda, the new cabinet representatives aim to implement strategic changes that will boost the business environment in Kuwait.

“The new cabinet has started to actively engage with the parliament to align on the direction and promote cooperation,” Al-Bahar stated, noting that while the political scene is currently calm, the resumption of sessions and further interaction and execution progress by the newly appointed government are key to gain more confidence in a more optimistic outlook.

“What is important here is to highlight that a stable period of political dialogue can see a lot of these hanging issues get resolved and translate into a more productive legislative calendar,” Al-Bahar added. 

Discussing the projections for 2024, Al-Bahar pointed out that NBK maintains an optimistic and positive outlook regarding the revival of project execution, fostered by a more stable political environment. Such stability is expected to catalyze improvements in the non-oil GDP growth and boost credit demand.

“The strong momentum of projects is expected to continue and feed into the market in 2024, with another KD 6.2 billion worth of awards in the pipeline,” Al-Bahar indicated.

She also pointed out that the projects market rebounded sharply in 2023 with KD +2.5 billion worth of awards: surpassing last year's awards by almost 300%.

“We are hopeful to see some political stability and an improved dialogue between parliament members and the newly appointed cabinet as this will trigger project activity that can revive non-oil GDP activity and demand for credit,” Al-Bahar noted.

Al-Bahar also mentioned that Saudi Arabia is considered a key market that NBK is approaching from all fronts. She also noted that as the operating environment in the kingdom continues to improve, presenting lot of emerging opportunities that align with the bank’s strategic goals.

“We are also expanding under our newly launched Global Wealth Management platform. We have been active in the Saudi market and the NBK franchise is playing an important role in our AUM growth in KSA,” Al-Bahar stated.

2024 Outlook: Navigating the Future

Al-Bahar emphasized that the performance in 2024 may be influenced by an anticipated shift in the Fed’s monetary policy towards a direction that generally does not favor banks, given their business models are designed to thrive in environments of high or rising interest rates. She pointed out that the operational challenge for banks in 2024 will be to defend their margins.

“With our diversification and our growing focus on fee business, we partially hedge revenue from interest rate movements. Our focus will remain on strategy execution and keeping the strength of our balance sheet intact as this is what helps us navigate through different economic cycles,” Al-Bahar explained.

Al-Bahar further elaborated that alongside the core banking's growth momentum, there is an expectation for the ongoing expansion of NBK’s international and wealth management operations, supported by the Group’s presence in key markets, stating that” Our commitment to digital investments will persist in defining our future, with an increased emphasis on incorporating digital services across all business sectors and markets”.

In answering a question regarding provisions in 2023, Al-Bahar explained that the provisions are primarily a precautionary measure, reflecting a historically prudent stance towards managing credit risk.

The challenges facing the Egyptian Pound

When asked about the Egyptian market's condition and the future of the bank's investments there, Al-Bahar stated, "The Group considers Egypt to be a key strategic market for our operations, often referring to it as our 'second domestic market.' She emphasized that NBK has a steadfast presence in Egypt and has no intentions of exiting from this investment, viewing it as a long-term commitment."

“With regards to our operations in Egypt and in domestic currency terms, it remains one of the most profitable in the Group with the highest ROEs and ROAs,” Al-Bahar responded.

“We are looking forward to some easing of geopolitical tensions to allow for some recovery in foreign currency inflows and a reactivation of the government’s asset sales program. Once the confidence is restored in the economy and the currency, we believe there are huge opportunities in Egypt and remain optimistic on its prospects,” Al-Bahar concluded.



Kuwait: Al-Sager: Our Presence in Different Regions is Crucial in Delivering Top-notch Services

05.02.2024

The “TAMAKAN" Program organized a panel discussion featuring Mr. Zaid Isam Al-Sager, General Manager - Deputy Head of International Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait. During this event, Mr. Al-Sager engaged with the participants, outlining the key milestones of his professional journey, and offering advice on how to forge a successful career path. He also participated in an open dialogue, sharing his banking experiences with the attendees.

This event signifies the fifth successive edition of the "TAMAKAN" Program, aimed at training young Kuwaiti graduates. Continuing for its fifth year in a row, the program receives sponsorship and strategic support from National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), with organization by Creative Confidence.

The Professional Journey of Zaid Al-Sager

At the start of his speech, Zaid Al-Sager began by stating, "I pursued finance and earned my degree from Bentley University in Boston, USA. Following my graduation, I joined NBK Capital in 2005. At that time, it was a newly established company with a modest workforce. Over the years, it has grown to become a leading firm in asset management and investment operations within the region. Today, it operates under a new brand, NBK Wealth, offering extensive wealth management services."

Al-Sager continued: “During the 14 years I dedicated to the company, I was able to develop a diversity of technical and financial skills, starting as a junior analyst and progressing to become the head of the Debt Capital Markets unit within the Investment Banking Department, before eventually transitioning to NBK”.

He elaborated that his tenure at NBK Capital endowed him with comprehensive expertise in corporate finance, fixed income, and capital markets. He highlighted his established history of successfully managing both conventional and Islamic debt securities transactions, alongside public offerings, and private placements for a diverse portfolio of local, regional, and multinational clients.

Al-Sager also emphasized to the young audience that mentorship plays a crucial and essential role at the start of one's professional journey. He pointed out that this stage often presents significant challenges for many young individuals. Overcoming these hurdles, he advised, requires persistent inquiry, research, and learning. He encouraged the youth to actively engage with numbers and data, analyzing them to refine their skills and expand their knowledge base. Al-Sager highlighted the importance of utilizing databases and information, noting that they significantly facilitate making informed decisions especially in challenging situations and when making strategic decisions.

"After accumulating experience at NBK Capital for 14 years, I felt a strong urge to seek out a new challenge. I realized that overseeing NBK’s international branches offered the kind of dynamism that matched my passion and ambition. Consequently, I decided to transition to managing NBK’s International Banking Group. I climbed the corporate ladder, and today, I have reached the position of Deputy Head of International Banking Group.

Inspiring Career Path

Al-Sager imparted wisdom to the newly graduated youth, drawing from his own career path. He emphasized that securing a job position or a promotion and achieving a certain rank is merely the beginning. He stressed the importance of continual development to handle the responsibilities and workload that each level entails.

Each job grade, he noted, comes with its own set of duties and challenges, urging the youth to always be prepared and equipped with the requisite skills and experience to fulfill their roles effectively and sustainably.

He encouraged “TAMAKAN” Program participants on the importance of self-improvement, stating: "The best investment you can make is in yourself, through honing your skills, engaging in ongoing learning, and acquiring experience by continuously asking questions and drawing from the expertise and experiences of those around you."

"Do not fear making mistakes and asking questions, as they are one of the learning paths, particularly at the start of your professional journey. Always exercise patience and don't expect to or focus on simply climbing the career ladder without putting in the effort that qualifies you for that advancement. With each step upward in your job level, the responsibilities increase. Therefore, it's essential that you are prepared to shoulder those responsibilities and possess the capability to tackle work challenges and solve problems," he advised.

International Banking Group

In response to a participant's inquiry regarding the operations of the bank's international branches, Al-Sager explained, "The bank's primary focus is on financing projects carried out by institutions, governments, and international companies across various markets."

“NBK provides a diverse array of services and products, including capital markets, short and medium-term loans, corporate financing, trade financing and letter of credits, as well as commercial real estate financing, mortgage and real estate services on an international scale," 

Al-Sager added.

NBK additionally offers real estate financing services that assist customers in purchasing and selling residential and commercial properties across various locations, including the UAE, the UK, USA, and France. The bank additionally facilitates connections for its clients with top professional advisors such as lawyers, real estate appraisers, and accountants. Furthermore, it provides guidance on real estate financing deals and collaborates with international companies specializing in real estate management located in the UK, France, and the USA.

In response to another inquiry regarding employment at IBG, Al-Sager stated, "NBK is consistently committed to recruiting young skilled national talents, and endeavors to nurture them with the latest programs that align with the most recent global standards."

Forging the Future: A Proactive Vision for Excellence

Al-Sager highlighted the significance of international branches to the operations of NBK Group, stating, "Historically, banks in Kuwait concentrated on the local market and the expansion of domestic branches. 

However, shifts in the geopolitical landscape of Kuwait and the surrounding region, coupled with the saturation of the local market, have precipitated a pressing need for income diversification and the generation of new, geographically diversified revenue streams. This led to our strategic expansion and the development of our business activities beyond Kuwait's borders. As a result, we have achieved a regional and international presence, now spanning the MENA region, Europe, America, and Asia."

"NBK has consistently embraced a forward-thinking approach towards international expansion, evidenced by our international branches, some of which have been operational for over 40 years. We offer our services in some of the world's most prominent cities and financial hubs, including New York, Paris, London, China, and Singapore," Al-Sager added.

“Initially, our overseas branches offered basic services, reflecting our primary focus on Kuwait as the central hub of our business operations. However, as time progressed and our ambition for regional and international growth intensified, we have evolved to deliver cutting-edge banking services and sophisticated investment solutions tailored to our customers' demands. NBK - France serves as a pivotal center through which we extend our services to a broad clientele across Europe, including Germany, Italy, and Spain, among others. 

This includes catering to clients from Kuwait and the GCC who conduct business across various European capitals as well as top-tier European clientele and corporations,” Al-Sager explained.

“We remain committed to actively engaging and broadening our financing operations with major corporations and leading institutions on a global scale,” Al-Sager confirmed.

"Five years ago, the assets of our international branches accounted for 27% of the Group’s total assets. This figure has since increased to approximately 40%. Looking ahead, we aim to further elevate the proportion of our foreign branches' assets relative to the Group's total assets over the next five years," Al-Sager stated.

Al-Sager concluded by emphasizing that NBK is tirelessly striving to maintain its leading position in the local market while developing its regional presence through an overseas expansion strategy. This approach aims to diversify income sources, accelerate growth, and generate maximum added value for shareholders and stakeholders alike.



Kuwait: NBK Launches a Series of Short Ads to Promote Financial Culture among School Students

04.02.2024

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the reach and impact of the “Bankee” program, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has launched a series of short ads on financial literacy and positive behaviors, with the aim of spreading awareness, promoting financial culture, and instilling moral values in the students of private and public schools in Kuwait.

“Bankee” is the first program of its kind in Kuwait, which was officially launched last October by NBK, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), with a view to promote financial inclusion, especially among school students, to elevate sustainable financial culture among all members of society in the future.

Commenting on this, Asmaa Bin Hussain, Public Relations Officer at National Bank of Kuwait, said, “The program aims to familiarize students with key financial concepts including earning, spending, and saving, and financial responsibilities, through the classroom economy model, which simulates a real-world economy in a practical and interactive manner.”

“The series of ads includes short video clips to familiarize students with “Bankee” content and objectives, encourage them to adopt positive behaviors in early educational stage, and instill basic values, like self-development, responsibility, and teamwork spirit. This reflects NBK’s dedication to raising a generation of young Kuwaitis who understand the importance of financial stability and independence and possess the required financial skills and knowledge to contribute to achieving sustainable development and economic welfare for individuals and society,” she explained.

“The video clips focus on many positive values that help raise a new generation on the right foundations, such as integrity, honesty, saving, differentiating between desires and needs, cooperation, cooperation, and kindness,” she added.

Within Bankee activities, NBK’s executive management organizes frequent visits to government and private schools to follow up on the latest updates on the implementation on the program, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Nazaha and Creative Confidence.

These visits see large attendance of the parents of participating students who express their pleasure with the significant improvements in their children’s financial behavior and knowledge, as the program has become part of their daily life in the classroom.

Bankee’s remarkable success encouraged more schools and students to join it, with 150 schools applying to join, and a total of 15,000 students and 3,000 teachers enrolled in it.

Seeking to enhance the content, Bankee’s website was launched in Arabic and English, as well as social media pages on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, to enable all participants to benefit from the provided content, activities and events held at different schools all year round.

Bankee is designed based on the classroom economy model, which simulates a real-world economy within the classroom. This is done in an innovative and interactive way enabling students and teachers to leverage an online tool to make different financial transactions using “Bankoz”, the program’s digital currency.

The program gives students the chance to apply for classroom-specific or school-wide jobs, which offer them an opportunity to earn additional income or salary. Classroom jobs are tailored to each classroom and encompass roles such as attendance monitor or teacher's assistant. On the other hand, school jobs involve participating in extracurricular activities at the school level, such as joining the student council. The program also instills responsibility and accountability in the student through incorporating financial expenses as an integral part of the program. Students are required to manage their finances by making payments for classroom-related expenses, such as renting desks and paying utility bills such as water and electricity.

Among the central components of Bankee is the Bankee Store, where students can engage in real-life simulated transactions using the virtual currency, Bankoz. It serves as a practical and interactive platform within the classroom economy, allowing students to experience the process of buying tangible and intangible items, thereby enhancing their financial literacy and decision-making skills.  The store also offers a wide variety of items and services that are relevant and appealing to students, such as school supplies, toys, stationery, and school privileges.

NBK firmly believes that joint private public sector initiatives to provide the young generation with the required knowledge and skills are instrumental to individual as well as social wellbeing and prosperity.

It is worth mentioning that NBK recently received the Bronze Award for its “Bankee” program in the Social, Sustainable & Responsible Banking category, which recognizes the innovations made by institutions to integrate ESG standards into their operations. 



Kuwait: NBK Reports KD 560.6 Million in Net Profits for Financial year 2023

01.02.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) released its full year 2023 financial results for the twelve months period ended December 31, 2023. The Group recorded a net profit of KD 560.6 million (USD 1.8 billion), up 10.1% year-on-year from KD 509.1 million (USD 1.7 billion) in 2022.

As of the end of December 2023, total assets grew by 3.7% year-on-year to reach KD 37.7 billion (USD 122.8 billion), whereas customer deposits surged by 8.8% to reach KD 21.9 billion (USD 71.6 billion). Meanwhile, total loans and advances stood at KD 22.3 billion (USD 72.6 billion), up by 6.1% year-on-year, while attributable shareholders’ equity reached KD 3.7 billion (USD 12.0 billion), growing by 7.3% year-on-year.

 In terms of distributions, the Board of Directors proposed a cash dividend distribution of 25 fils per share for the second half of 2023, bringing the total cash dividends for the year to 35 fils; a payout ratio of 50% of profits attributable. The Board of Directors also proposed the distribution of 5% bonus shares. The proposed distributions are subject to approval by the Annual General Assembly, which is scheduled for March 2024.

Earnings per share (EPS) stood at 68 fils per share for the year 2023, compared to 61 fils in 2022.

Mr. Hamad Al-Bahar, Group Chairman commented on the financial results: “In 2023, NBK achieved robust financial results, showcasing the adaptability of our business model and affirming our consistent progress toward delivering enduring long-term value to our customers, shareholders, and communities”.

“We persist in making substantial strides in executing our strategic agenda, and we are confident that the initiatives undertaken in the past year will serve as a catalyst for even stronger performance in the future,” Al-Bahar continued.

He also emphasized that NBK has a robust balance sheet and a stable capital base, providing support for meeting the expanding needs of its customers while simultaneously striving to achieve optimal returns for its shareholders.

Al-Bahar expressed optimism that the operational environment in Kuwait will gain momentum in the upcoming period, particularly following the attainment of political stability. This positive outlook is further bolstered by the appointment of new prime minister and government, placing a priority in its agenda on addressing economic challenges and fostering efforts to restore confidence in the business climate.

“Throughout the past year, NBK solidified its pioneering position as a leading contributor to social responsibility in Kuwait; affirmed through contributions exceeding KD 28 million across various sectors, including health, care for children and society, environmental initiatives, sports and education,” Al-Bahar stated.

Al-Bahar emphasized that sustainability has become a pivotal driver to enhance the Bank's long-term growth opportunities. He highlighted that NBK continues to undertake numerous significant initiatives supporting responsible business practices, contributing to the sustainable development of Kuwait’s economy. The latest of these initiatives was becoming a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact; recognized as the largest sustainability initiative for responsible business practices.

Meanwhile, Mr. Isam J. Al-Sager, Vice Chairman and Group CEO, said: “In 2023, we delivered a robust performance, experiencing growth in both revenues and profits. The favorable operational performance persisted across our business, as we continued to leverage the advantages of our diverse business portfolio and strategic investments in talent and technology”.

Al-Sager underscored that NBK’s primary business sectors demonstrated strong performance throughout the year, registering increased momentum in the operational performance across key areas including international operations and wealth management. These key segments are witnessing substantial expansion in alignment with the Group's strategic plans to grow in main markets and enhance its offerings in investment and wealth management services.

"The Group's net operating income surged by 15.6% annually, reaching KD 1.2 billion, driven by the growth of net interest income and fees and commissions." Al-Sager added.

He further explained that the growth in profitability aligns with the strength of NBK’s financial position. The expansion of the loan portfolio, total assets in general, and customer deposits was sustained while maintaining robust asset quality levels, thanks to NBK’s prudent risk management policy.

“In 2023, we witnessed a compelling demonstration of the strength of our investment philosophy in growth initiatives, underscoring the value of our customer centricity.  This played a pivotal role in the sustained growth of our diverse business sectors as we persistently invested in the future throughout the year. A central focus was placed on enhancing our digital capabilities to better serve our customers.. We also introduced innovative products and solutions crafted to assist our customers in seamlessly meeting their banking needs,” Al-Sager confirmed.

He emphasized that throughout the year, NBK maintained a steadfast focus on positioning its customers at the core of its priorities, supporting their financial goals through the provision of innovative digital services and products. Notably, the bank garnered several prestigious accolades during the year, including the recognition for being the most innovative bank worldwide in delivering digital banking services by Global Finance Magazine.

“As we navigate the opportunities and challenges that the year 2024 may present, our commitment remains unwavering in maintaining a focus on profitability, capital robustness and sustainable growth. We also acknowledge the importance of closely monitoring various challenges, particularly the escalating geopolitical tensions. Consequently, we approach the future with a sense of caution, mindful of the potential impacts on the operational environment in the region,” Al-Sager said.

He highlighted that the Group, guided by a commitment to responsible leadership, has embraced a new trajectory for its ESG strategy through the formal adoption of a framework for ESG standards. This commitment is evident in the integration of ESG principles into products and services, including offerings such as green mortgage loans, consumer loans for electric cars, eco-friendly housing loans and sustainable finance value propositions.

In addition to that, NBK is committed to reducing its total operational emissions by 25% by 2025 and strives to achieve net-zero operationally by 2035. These efforts are integral to the Bank's comprehensive plans to attain carbon neutrality by 2060. These initiatives have played a role in improving NBK’s MSCI ESG ratings to BBB, in their 2023 review.



Kuwait: Impressive Response from NBK’s Employees in “Your Voice Matters 2023”

30.01.2024

Seeking to improving employee engagement, and to foster a positive organizational culture and workplace environment, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) held its third bank-wide Employee Engagement Survey called “Your Voice Matters 2023”, where employees had the chance to provide their feedback about work environment at the bank.

The survey was first launched in 2018 for NBK Kuwait only, then the second survey in 2021 was expanded to include all international locations, furthering it this year to Group level by including employees in NBK Wealth Management, for the first time. NBK has partnered with a third-party organization “Willis Towers Watson” to ensure utmost confidentiality and give employees the freedom to express their opinions.

The aim of the survey is to measure employee engagement and satisfaction, and highlight NBK's key strengths and areas to improve, which helps make NBK a better workplace, and increase employee satisfaction and retention. It covers 21 main categories, with this year featuring two additional aspects namely ‘Employee Wellbeing’, Diversity & Inclusion’.

The survey that ran for 3 weeks in 4 languages attained a remarkable response rate at 86%, significantly higher than the global average response rate, showing high levels of pride and commitment to NBK as a great organization to work for, with the number of participants reaching 5,200 employees It also achieved a high ‘Sustainable Engagement’ score of 84% for NBK Group, ahead of the global average rate for financial institutions, with main strengths being Learning & Development, Image and Reputation, and Employee Well-Being.

Other key highlights of the survey included 93% of employees expressing their pride to be associated with NBK, 96% stating they work beyond what is required to help it succeed, and 86% seeing that their work gives them a sense of personal accomplishment. In addition, 92% of employees said they fully support the values for which the Bank stands, and 84% believe strongly its goals and objectives.

On this occasion, Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, Head of Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait said, “Your Voice Matters survey is a great opportunity for our employees to play an active role in shaping the future of the work environment at NBK.”

“Our role is to listen to the opinions of our employees and work with them to improve the work environment in the bank, reflecting our belief that every voice in NBK really matters and contributes to change,” he noted.

“The survey results are shared directly with the executive management, and we have started working on implementing the received feedback by a specialized team formed from different departments that works carefully to address the issues and suggestions raised in the survey,” he explained.

“This initiative reflects NBK’s unwavering dedication to enhancing the work environment, by evaluating employees’ opinions, interests and experiences, and taking decisions and actions accordingly,” he added.

It is worth mention that NBK has taken many actions in response to employees’ feedback received in the previous surveys; mainly including entitling female employees to tickets payout for their spouse and children, allowing flexible working hours, enabling employees to benefit from annual leave balance in advance, and outsourcing the management of NBK Clinic to ensure high-quality healthcare services.

Regarding its human capital as the most valuable asset and an instrumental element for success and growth, NBK strives to attract and nurture high-caliber talent, and to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace. It always focuses on employees’ physical, mental, and financial well-being to thrive at work.

As the leading organization in the banking sector, NBK stands out as the employer of choice for Kuwaiti talent, leading the entire private sector in terms of national labor ratio, while also enjoying the highest retention rates of Kuwaiti employees.



Kuwait: Al-Othman: NBK’s Digital Excellence is the Result of a Forward-looking Banking Vision

28.01.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) hosted a panel discussion for Mr. Mohammed Al-Othman, CEO-Consumer and Digital Banking with Tamakan program trainees, in which he shared his extensive experience gained through a long career in the banking industry.

Tamakan is an immersive and innovative training initiative designed for young Kuwaiti graduates organized Creative by Confidence with a strategic partnership with NBK for the fifth year in a row. This program offers a unique opportunity for Kuwaiti fresh graduates to benefit from the expertise of the members of bank’s executive management.

The session saw remarkable interaction, as Al-Othman shared the milestones of his career in Kuwait’s leading banking institution, and the challenges he faced throughout this journey. He also answered a number of questions posed by the participants, as well as exchanged ideas and visions, and raised issues preoccupying the youth during their early career.

Joining NBK

Al-Othman talked about his early career when he worked as a teller at NBK branches and his progression in the branches, saying: “I joined NBK in 2006, where I started in branches. I enjoyed working in the branches because of direct contact with customers, as I always had a passion for serving people and meeting their needs. Working in branches gave me great experience in identifying customer problems and the ways to solve them.”

“From day one, I had a great passion for continuous development and learning, and working in the branches was a two-shift system. I used to stay at work between the shifts to continue working on developing my skills. So, the key advice I can give to young people at the beginning of their career is to be committed to learning, development and enhancing their skills, especially at a young age, as learning at this stage is better and easier,” he added.

“After moving from the branches to the head office, I sought to serve people and meet customer needs in a broader way, especially after the experiences I gained from working in branches and understanding the needs of customers from different segments and ages,” he continued.

“I participated in many training courses at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools, which represented a major turning point in my career, as it helped to upskill me in different area, which was reflected in my performance and had a significant impact on my career development, and made me more passionate and determined to success,” he noted.

Mistakes are the key to learning

Al-Othman talked about the fear of making mistakes at early career saying, “There is no work without mistakes. The employee will not learn without making mistakes, but what is most important is the effort made and the added value that the employee gives to the work team and the organization he works for.”

“Be brave and let go of the fear of making mistakes in your work. Work to acquire new skills every day, and try to benefit from the experienced and professional colleagues at the workplace, whether they are juniors or seniors,” he advised the youth.

“Learning and development create self-confidence and upskilling yourself makes you stand on solid ground. Therefore, the easiest way to progress to leadership positions is to acquire the necessary experience and skills and be prepared to seize the available opportunities,” he remarked.

“At NBK, career progress is based only on employee’s competence, commitment, dedication, productivity, added value provided to the organization, and his role in improving the quality of the bank’s products and services,” he emphasized.

Work environment

Listing the key factors that enabled him to reach this position, Al-Othman said: “The work environment at NBK is ideal for those who have passion and ambition for advancement by accommodating creativity and innovation. The bank also helps employees to achieve their ambitions, thanks to the unique opportunities for continuous professional development, through the high-quality training programs provided both to employees and fresh graduates, in partnership with globally reputable educational institutions.”

“Working at NBK has instilled in me the culture of continuous development, creativity, innovation, and always looking for solutions to develop work and provide high-quality products and services. I always strive to make my mark in every position, and to add value to the organization, customers, and my team members,” he added.

“NBK has a set of principles defining work culture and all the details related to the work environment and communication between team members, which represents a melting pot for all ideas and different management approaches on all levels, with open-door policy and one-team spirit representing key characteristics of NBK’s work environment. 

Finding passion in NBK

Answering a question from one of the participants about whether he was offered positions in the public sector, Al-Othman said: “Working in the private sector gives me more room for creativity, innovation and continuous development, especially in an institution like NBK. Conversely, the public sector is still characterized by rigidity and routine, so I always follow my passion and choose the place where I feel able to develop work and provide added value.”

Al-Othman advised the youth not to focus on job grade or financial returns only, but most importantly the passion and love of their job. Success is not limited to finding a specific jobs in a large organization, but you must from day one set your goals and work to achieve these goals by doubling effort and continuing education and training so that you can add value to your team and organization.

Al-Othman mentioned that the ambitious Kuwaiti youth are highly interested to join the private sector, and from our side, we are seeking to attract national talent to join NBK, the largest banking institution in the private sector.

“Supporting the youth is instrumental in NBK’s strategy, as we are always keen to attract national talent and provide a series of professional training courses and academic programs to develop upskill and qualify them to take on leadership roles in the future,” he added.

Advancement of payment systems

On a question about the future of payment systems, Al-Othman said: “The payment landscape will see significant advancement during the coming period, as we always strive to develop the services provided to the public, using cutting-edge technology.”

Al-Othman mentioned that Kuwait is a regional leader in digital banking and payment solutions, as the young nature of Kuwaiti society enabled faster spread of technology and wider adoption of digitization among all segments.

Speaking on Weyay, Kuwait’s first digital bank, Al-Othman said, “The launch of Weyay Bank echoes NBK’s digital transformation culture and strategy, as well as our endeavors to stay relevant to the needs of the youth by providing them with all innovative banking services. The idea of establishing Weyay was primarily to attract a segment of young people whose preferences we have studied very carefully according to specialized research and data analysis using advanced scientific methods.”

“The huge digital advancement and boom in banking services over the past years was the fruit of years of work by all departments in the bank, as we developed plans and strategies and set goals to provide customers with the best innovative and advanced products that serve their needs and expectations,” he added.

“Today, we are reaping the fruits of long years of hard work and successful strategies that fostered our excellence in the area of cutting-edge digital services and payment solutions. 

These results also prove our prudent management and forward-looking vision for the changes now taking place in the banking industry,” he noted. “The ideal work environment at NBK propels everyone to do their best to maintain the bank’s leadership among local banks, and ensure its superiority in providing the most advanced digital banking services,” he concluded.

It is worth mentioning that “Tamakan” is part of NBK’s CSR contributions and strategy to achieve sustainable development, which depends on building an innovative, hardworking and responsible generation. The bank also always places the youth as a top priority being the cornerstone for creating a prosperous future for Kuwait.



Kuwait: NBK Celebrates Graduation of the Eighth Cohort of “High-Fliers” Program

25.01.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of the 8th cohort of its leadership development program “NBK High-Fliers” which is held in collaboration with IE Business School, Madrid.

The closing ceremony was attended by NBK Executives, as well as representatives of IE Business School, Madrid.

This cohort extended over a period of 6 months and graduated 21 participants from different areas in the bank including NBK Capital, as well as international locations (NBK KSA Wealth Management, London, Shanghai, Paris and Bahrain).

The program covered a variety of important topics including key leadership skills, new trends in marketing, negotiation skills, building a culture of excellence, change management and innovation, measuring and managing performance, as well as management science, effective communication, developing new and unconventional thinking, and combining technical and leadership skills to cultivate strategic thinking in leadership.

The participating teams presented their projects for innovative banking themes and solutions; and the panel consisting of executives at NBK and representatives of IE Business School, Madrid, selected 3 winners in the top performance ranking, and a winning innovation project team, whose project will be implemented subject to a set of criteria and conditions set by NBK.

On this occasion, Najla Al-Sager, Head of Talent Management, Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait, said, “The NBK High-Fliers program for developing young banking leaders is part of the ongoing efforts to develop our human capital and talent. It also echoes the bank’s vision of placing the sustainable development of human resources as a top priority, especially young leaders, who are considered essential for achieving the bank’s long-term ambitions.”

“NBK places the development of its people as a top priority, harnessing all its capabilities to contribute to their career progression by providing training and development programs held in partnership with globally renowned educational institutions, in order to keep pace with the key changes in the banking business,” she added.

NBK boasts a unique work environment that is comparable with international peers, where it harnesses all its capabilities to develop employees and stimulate their creativity and innovation. This reflects positively on employees’ performance, and helps the bank maintain its leadership position, both locally and regionally.

Founded in 1973, IE Business School is considered one of the leading and top ranked business schools in the world according to international magazines and newspapers including Forbes, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg.



Kuwait: Al-Bahar Visits Al-Ghanim Bilingual School, Overseeing the "Bankee" Program Rollout

22.01.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) paid a special visit to Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa to assess the progress of the "Bankee" Program, marking its official launch in the current academic year.

NBK executive management conducted a school tour to observe key advancements in the implementation of the "Bankee" program across schools. This initiative seeks to raise awareness and foster financial literacy among students in both public and private schools. The program is carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Anti-Corruption Authority "Nazaha," and Creative Confidence.

The visitors included Ms. Shaikha Al-Bahar, Deputy Group CEO at National Bank of Kuwait, Dr. Salman Al-Lafi – Assistant under Secretary of Private and Qualitative Education and Eng. Abrar Al- Hammad, Assistant Secretary-General of the Prevention Sector at Nazaha and Sumayah Al-Jasem, Founder, Managing Director at Creative Confidence.

The school's program managers briefed Al-Bahar on the students' engagement with the unique content of “Bankee” Program. They discussed details related to the program's application, including the virtual bank experience enabling students to have a financial account and trade using the virtual currency "Bankoz." The students earn rewards by accumulating program currency in their accounts.

Al-Bahar visited several classrooms to observe how the program has integrated into students' daily routines, witnessing firsthand the awards given for exceptional performance and behavior. 

The visit attracted a significant number of parents who engaged with their children, discussing the program's features. 

Al-Bahar expressed her satisfaction with the notable progress of the Bankee Program, highlighting the excellent engagement from the entire system, including schools, students, and supportive parents who have embraced the idea since its inception.

Al-Bahar emphasized that the Bankee program aligns with NBK’s overarching commitment to promote financial inclusion across all societal segments. She stressed the importance of supporting initiatives that empower children to manage their financial resources effectively, enabling them to build a secure future for themselves and their families.

Al-Bahar expressed that NBK, driven by a sense of national duty and responsibility, is committed to leveraging its unique capabilities and extensive financial experience. This commitment aims to make a substantial contribution in promoting awareness of financial stability and independence among the present generation of Kuwaiti youth.

“Comprehensive financial education not only opens doors but also plays a crucial role in fostering the long-term well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Increased financial literacy serves as a foundation for both personal and national prosperity,” Al-Bahar said.

“Empowering our children with financial knowledge is an investment in our future. Equipping them with the skills to make informed financial decisions sets them on the path to success and prosperity,” Al-Bahar added.

Al-Bahar also emphasized NBK’s strong belief that the youth are the future leaders of our nation, and the bank’s aims to play a key role in their development journey by imparting valuable lessons on managing money wisely.

The success of the program in the pilot phase has garnered interest from schools and students, prompting the initial registration of 30 out of 150 applicants. Additionally, a special needs school (Joan Al Kuwait Elementary School), has also joined "Bankee" Program. Over 16,000 students are currently benefiting from the program, with the active involvement of 3,000 teachers.

"Bankee" Program has expanded its reach by launching its website in both Arabic and English. Additionally, it has established a presence on various social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. These initiatives aim to facilitate access for all participants to the program's content, activities, and events taking place in different schools throughout the year.

NBK has recently been honored with the Bronze Award from Qorus in the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) category for Bankee Program. This recognition signifies the bank’s commitment to incorporating innovations that integrate sustainability and environmental, social, and governance standards into its activities.

"Bankee" stands as the pioneering program launched by NBK, designed to contribute to financial inclusion within the community. Specifically tailored for students in schools, the program seeks to enhance levels of financial literacy, ensuring sustainable improvement for the future. NBK officially inaugurated the program in October in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Nazaha.

The program's objective is to familiarize students with fundamental economic concepts and practices, including earning, spending, saving, and financial responsibilities. This is achieved through the implementation of a classroom system that mirrors the real economic environment, employing practical methods within an interactive setting.



Kuwait: Al-Kharafi to the Youth: Never Stop Striving for Development.. Unleash Your Creativity

21.01.2024

As part of the ongoing panel discussions of “Tamakan” with the executives of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the program hosted Mr. Mohammed Al Kharafi, COO – Head of Group Operations and Information Technology, who shared his extensive experience gained through a long career in the banking sector, and gave them advice on the best ways to develop their career.

This is the third the panel discussion of “Tamakan” program for training Kuwaiti fresh university graduates, organized by Creative Confidence for the fifth year in a row with NBK’s strategic sponsorship.

The discussion focused on key insights for a successful career in a dynamic landscape of the banking business, where the ambitious graduates gained insights into career success and the future of information technology in the banking sector.

A unique opportunity

Commencing his discussion with the youth, Al-Kharafi said: “Tamakan” program is a unique opportunity to enhance the skills required to navigate your way into the labor market. Over the past years, the program has achieved many excellent outcomes, so, every participant should make the most of this opportunity, considering it as the starting point for a successful and sustainable career.”

“At NBK, we believe in the importance of supporting the youth, and therefore, we are always keen to attract and develop young national talents. This program has been designed for the youth who are ambitious and passionate about their career, by helping graduates choose their professional and academic path more clearly. Therefore, the program is an opportunity for fresh graduates to develop their knowledge and become an effective workforce,” he added.

Al-Kharafi called on the young people to take advantage of training opportunities, saying, “Make your ambitions sky-high, and strive to develop the necessary capabilities, experiences and skills that help realize these ambitions. Do not lose passion or let frustration creep into you just because of the obstacles you encounter at the beginning of your career. On the contrary, you should rather learn how to overcome these obstacles and learn from them until you reach your goal.”

Successful career

Speaking of his early career, Al-Kharafi mentioned: “ My passion  and my first choice was to work in the banking sector; because it always propels me to learn, develop, acquire new skills and exposes me to new experiences every day, and stay ahead of the latest technologies, which I utilize to improve and to develop the products and services provided to customers,” he noted.

I joined NBK and started at Branches division, where I worked my way up to become branch manager. Afterwards, I held several positions until I currently reached the position of Head of Group Operations and Information Technology.”

“The transition from working as a branch manager to joining Group Operations & IT was not easy, due to the difference in work nature, but my passion for learning, developing, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles was undoubtedly crucial to my career accomplishment,” he continued.

Al-Kharafi highlighted the importance of discipline and adhering to high work ethics, having a continuous learning mindset, and adaptability to the ever-evolving labor market landscape.

He shared real-life tips on navigating the early stages of career, noting that focusing on problem solving and critical thinking are key characteristics of a successful personality, as well as the ability to analyze complex situations and develop creative solutions is essential for success in any job role.

“Curiosity and passion for continuous learning is what we look for in new employees, because this desire is the main driver for building a successful career. New employees have a margin of risk at their early career, as well as the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of team members in each department,” he added.

Al-Kharafi called on the trainees to go the extra mile in continuous learning and developing skills, and to try to make the utmost benefit from all the top-notch training programs at the beginning of their career to raise their efficiency and skills with knowledge, which will help them make the right decisions in the future.

Continuous development

Al-Kharafi spoke about the development of banking, especially with technological advancement and mobile banking apps that revolutionized how banking transactions are made, and have grown to account now for the largest share of banking transactions. “NBK led the way in digital transformation, and Group Operations play a fundamental role in achieving NBK Group’s goals by providing top-notch innovative digital banking solutions. We are also constantly working to advance the bank’s digital agenda, as one of the trailblazers of digital innovation in Kuwait and across the entire region,” he explained.

“We are always seeking to embrace innovation and apply it in all of the bank’s operations and business models. We also provide a work environment promoting continuous development and flexibility, which enables us to keep pace with the ever-evolving customer requirements in light of the fast-paced technological advancement in the banking industry,” he added.

Robotics for speed and accuracy

In the discussion, Al-Kharafi highlighted the emerging trends, innovations and intersection of banking and technology as well as the future of IT in banking and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and leveraging new technologies to advance the bank’s digital agenda.

He gave an insight into the important role of RPA in banking operations, highlighting its potentials and impacts, and explaining how RPA improves efficiency, simplifies operations, and propels the industry to higher levels of innovation.

Al-Kharafi discussed how these technologies are transforming the way banks operate, making them more efficient, secure and customer-centric.

“With customers increasing reliance on smartphones for their banking transactions via the NBK Mobile Banking App, we continue to focus on robots to automate our operations using AI, which helps reduce service turnaround times while improving accuracy and customer experience,” Al-Kharafi noted.

“Al-Kharafi Confirmed that In line with the instructions and directions of the Central Bank of Kuwait & The Cybersecurity Strategic Frame work , Cybersecurity is the a key pillar of our digital transformation agenda. NBK adopts a proactive cybersecurity strategy to meet the dynamic development of cyber threats, in addition to its endeavors to improve internal operations and create a robust digital culture across the bank, including a comprehensive framework for data governance, privacy and security,

NBK Group Operations & IT organizes a program titled “Innovation Lab”, which serves as provides an incubator to help stimulate employees’ creativity to provide innovative solutions for challenges simulating their work nature in the bank. At the end of the program, the participant with the best idea is named and honored.

Golden tips

Al-Kharafi advised the young people to look for a work environment that provides them with continuous development and helps their progress to the highest positions. He noted that NBK regards supporting the youth as a fundamental part of its strategy, and always seeks to attract national talent and develop and upskill them through a series of training courses and professional academic programs, in preparation for taking on leadership positions in the future.

It is worth mentioning that the goal of “Tamakan” program is to develop the personal skills needed to become compelling candidates, in addition to encouraging the Kuwaiti youth to explore their potentials and unlock their creativity. 

The program adopts the Blended Learning methodology and focuses on many themes and workshops about creativity and innovation, design thinking, business model design, career exploration and innovative de-risking solutions.

NBK is a key contributor in different social initiatives aligning with Kuwait National Development Plan (KNDP), including youth empowerment and education development, reflecting its belief that the youth are Kuwait’s most valuable resource and the main driver of national development.



Kuwait: NBK Hosts a Series of Workshops for the Employees of Kuwait Fund

18.01.2024

In line with its strategic partnership with many government institutions across all sectors, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) hosted a series of workshops for the employees of Kuwait Fund For Arab Economic Development (KFAED), which focused on key areas related to the Fund’s activities including Treasury, Trade Finance, and Money Transfers.

The series included 2 workshops held over 4 days at NBK Headquarters and attended by 25 KFAED employees during the period from 10 December 2023 to 14 January 2024.

The sessions included interactive discussions and knowledge sharing, with the aim of fostering a stronger connection between KFAED and NBK, and ensuring continued support for its vital contributions and strategic initiatives in global economic development. KFAED plays an active role in the international development efforts by providing technical assistance, as well as loans on concessionary terms to finance development projects in many developing countries. 

Speaking on this, Ghena Ben-Ghareeb, Head of HR Strategic Business Partners, Group Human Resources at National bank of Kuwait said, “These workshops underline NBK’s dedication to actively engage in developing the human capital of government entities, aligning with its role as the main banking partner of the government sector.”

“NBK has unwavering dedication to developing human resources, within its partnerships with all institutions, especially in the government sector, in line with delivering its social and development responsibilities. This complements the bank’s annual initiatives stemming from its belief in the profound impact of these purposeful programs in serving society and people, and reflecting its leading role in this field over long decades,” she noted.

“Disseminating the banking culture and familiarizing the government sector cadres with the banking business in general comes within NBK’s endeavors to align the Group's economic sustainability goals with those of the country, which are also driven by highly trained and qualified human resources,” she added.

“NBK maintains solid relations with Kuwaiti government institutions, and the training plans for national cadres come within this synergy and the bank’s effective contribution in preparing a competitive and productive generation to elevate national workforce,” she emphasized.

NBK’s initiatives underline its profound strategy for investing in the human capital and raising financial awareness in all entities in Kuwait. To this end, the bank allocates a team of prominent banking experts to share their knowledge and expertise with the promising talents.



Kuwait: NBK Organizes a Masterclass on Leadership and Influence, in Partnership with IE Madrid

17.01.2024

Regarding its employees as the most valuable resource, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) always strives to develop them and increase their efficiency through the best training and development programs and workshops in collaboration with globally renowned educational institutions and experts. In this context, the bank organized a masterclass focusing on Leadership & Influence titled “Achieve Greater Influence and Impact with Less Effort”, in partnership with IE University - Business School Madrid.

This masterclass is the last of a series of 6 masterclasses organized by NBK covering a number of key topics including Innovation and Leadership and Effective Communication and Negotiation Skills.

The Masterclass was delivered by Professor Mark Fritz, the prominent leadership speaker, and professor at IE University - Business School Madrid and attended by 40 NBK leaders.

In the Masterclass, Mark shared with participants a framework with the ways for leaders to extend their influence to places they cannot personally reach. When leaders extend their influence and impact, they expand success, not just for themselves, but also for everyone in their team. 

Mark has mentored leaders and delivered masterclasses in over 50 countries across the world. He has also delivered leadership development programs for leading companies, banks and other institutions, and taught courses on ownership, leadership and influence at prestigious business schools across Europe.

Speaking on this, Maryam Al-Nasrallah, Talent Management Manager, Group Human Resources at National Bank of Kuwait, said: “We are always working to enhance the competencies and technical skills of our employees, including leadership capabilities and personal and professional skills. This aligns with NBK’s belief that work team efficiency is essential to ensure the quality of different banking services provided to customers, and that continuous training keeps employees abreast of the changes and developments taking place in the banking industry.”

“Investing in our employees is instrumental in our strategy to achieve sustainable growth and maintain our excellence and leadership. Therefore, NBK strives to keep pace with the latest developments in the training and development area, as part of the continuous support provided to employees to empower and qualify them through specialized programs,” she added.

“NBK has a unique work environment that is comparable with international peers. We harness all our capabilities to develop employees and always seek to unlock their creativity and innovation, which positively reflects on their performance, and help maintain our leadership position, both locally and regionally,” she noted.

Founded in 1973, IE Business School is considered one of the leading and top ranked business schools in the world according to international magazines and newspapers including Forbes, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg.



Kuwait: Al-Marzouq: NBK is the Perfect Arena for Ambitious Goal-Setters 

14.01.2024

 

In its second panel discussion featuring executive management members of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the TAMAKAN Program welcomed Mr. Sulaiman Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO for Kuwait at National Bank of Kuwait. During the session, Mr. Al-Marzouq shared valuable insights into the pivotal stages of his career with the Kuwaiti youth, offering insights into the most significant stages of his career that eventually led to his assumption of top leadership positions within the largest banking institution in Kuwait.

Al-Marzouq discussed the challenges he encountered during his enriching journey with the participants of the TAMAKAN Program, dedicated to training university graduates. This program, now in its fifth consecutive year, is sponsored and strategically supported by NBK and organized by Creative Confidence. In addition to sharing insights into his experiences, Al-Marzouq offered valuable advice to the participants, serving as a guiding light for them to forge a successful career path.

Fostering an Inspiring Workplace Atmosphere  

Al-Marzouq emphasized the significance of establishing goals early in life for success, along with the importance of selecting a work environment that fuels energy and creativity. During his conversation with young individuals, he remarked, "In the prime of your professional life, each person should define their goals and align their job choices accordingly. While a job can be a means to achieve financial and professional objectives, passion for the work remains the fundamental cornerstone for success, progress, and the realization of one's aspirations."

NBK offers an optimal work environment for individuals driven by passion and ambition to attain top leadership roles. With a workplace atmosphere comparable to international institutions, the bank is dedicated to supporting employees in realizing their aspirations. NBK provides outstanding opportunities for continuous professional development, extending to its workforce, including recent graduates, through high-level training programs in collaboration with renowned educational institutions," Al-Marzouq added.

Al-Marzouq offered guidance to the youth, advising them to embrace the current phase of their lives. His advice included finding joy in their work while their responsibilities are still minimal, pursuing their passion wherever it may lead, maintaining ambition, striving to acquire new skills daily, and making the most of the competencies and experiences gained through their work.

Courage & Accountability

In reference to the commencement of his professional journey, Al-Marzouq remarked, "I initiated my career in the treasury department, drawn to the multitude of skills and experiences it imparts—vital for anyone in the banking sector. I developed a deep appreciation for this role and dedicated 12 years to it, recognizing that the department serves as a crucial link between the bank and the dynamic local and international financial markets, demanding swift decision-making."

“Engaging in treasury management not only deepened my love for banking but also instilled in me the courage to embrace greater work responsibilities. Hence, every ambitious individual should be fearless and unafraid of making mistakes, recognizing that one cannot learn without them. A mistake serves as the initiation of the journey toward success and growth. However, the crucial lesson lies in avoiding the repetition of the same mistake,” Al-Marzouq advised.

Continuing his discussion on his professional journey, Al-Marzouq mentioned, "Following a 12-year tenure in treasury management, I transitioned to the Central Bank of Kuwait. This move afforded me the opportunity to gain extensive skills and knowledge concerning the regulatory and administrative framework that govern the operations of the banking sector in Kuwait."

Emphasizing the significance of the Central Bank of Kuwait, Al-Marzouq highlighted it as a venerable and crucial institution for the operations of local banks. He noted that the Central Bank houses experienced bankers whose wealth of expertise significantly contributes to bolstering confidence in both the local banking sector and Kuwait’s economy.

The Crucial Role of Confidentiality in Banking Careers

Al-Marzouq directed the focus of the youth engaged in the "TAMAKAN" Program to a crucial aspect when embarking on a career in the banking sector – the importance of safeguarding work confidentiality. He emphasized that an employee's reputation is inseparable from the institution they work for, highlighting how a strong personal reputation significantly contributes to one's professional development. Stressing the need for responsibility, he underscored the importance of maintaining both personal and organizational reputations, particularly in the banking sector, where the nature of the work often involves handling sensitive information.

Team Spirit

In response to a participant's inquiry regarding rapid development, Al-Marzouq emphasized the advantages of collaborative teamwork, highlighting how the exchange of experiences and skills among team members is mutually beneficial. 

Encouraging continuous learning, Al-Marzouq emphasized that it enhances an individual's promptness and accuracy. He advised young professionals to exercise patience, urging them not to leave their roles or organizations solely due to factors related to a specific person in a managerial position or within the same team. Instead, Al-Marzouq recommended having a well-thought-out plan and goals, rooted in personal decisions, as circumstances may change, presenting unforeseen opportunities. The key is to be fully prepared to seize these opportunities when they arise.

Al-Marzouq advocated prioritizing the enhancement of skills that contribute to swift and accurate work completion. He encouraged individuals to regularly seek advice from those in their surroundings on the most effective and efficient approaches to completing tasks. Emphasizing the importance of accumulating ample experience and acquiring the necessary skills, he underscored that such efforts are essential for securing higher positions and deserving promotions in one's career.

Emphasizing that career advancement at NBK is contingent on skill and achieving work with excellence, Al-Marzouq highlighted that the career path doesn't conclude solely with promotion or attaining a higher rank. He pointed out that several factors should be considered, with a primary focus on the added value one can contribute to the new role or position.

Charting an Exceptional Career Path

Al-Marzouq recommended that participants in the "TAMAKAN" Program seize the valuable opportunity offered by NBK. He encouraged them to leverage this exceptional experience to enhance their skills and readiness for the job market. The program, he emphasized, serves as a crucial steppingstone for newly graduated university students, facilitating their transition into a dynamic and active workforce within the Kuwaiti economy.

Al-Marzouq further counseled them to focus on honing essential skills and gaining the requisite experience, positioning themselves to meet the demands of a highly competitive labor market across various sectors. He underscored that acquiring these capabilities not only prepares them for employment but also empowers them to potentially establish their own businesses. Al-Marzouq emphasized that the program aligns with NBK's strategy, dedicated to supporting Kuwaiti youth, paving the way for them to forge a bright and successful future.

A Program of Exceptional Empowerment

The TAMAKAN Program aims to cultivate essential personal skills for active participation in professional life. Moreover, it strives to inspire Kuwaiti youth to discover their hidden potential and capabilities, while also fostering the creativity of emerging talents.

The program adopts a blended learning approach, combining in-person sessions with online training through electronic platforms and interactive tools for remote learning. It covers various subjects and workshops, delving into creativity, innovation, design thinking, business model design, career exploration, and the development of solutions to mitigate risks.

The program adopts a blended learning approach, combining in-person sessions with online training through electronic platforms and interactive tools for remote learning. It covers various subjects and workshops, delving into creativity, innovation, design thinking, business model design, career exploration, and innovative de-risking solutions.

NBK is dedicated to supporting Kuwait’s strategic agenda, particularly in fostering economic growth through backing the private sector and alignment with the state's development plans. This commitment is in line with the long-term national goals outlined in New Kuwait Vision 2035.

Navigating a Successful Career Path: Insights Shared by Al-Marzouq

In his session with TMAKAN Program’s participants, Al-Marzouq shared a set of guidance, following which could aid those entering the job market in excelling, progressing, and forging a successful career path.

• Clearly define your goals and align your job choices accordingly.
• Equip yourself with ample experience and the necessary skills.
• Don't fear making mistakes; learning often stems from them.
• Prioritize continuous self-development to stay prepared for opportune moments.
• Pursue your passion and find joy in your work.
• Always consider the added value you contribute to the organization.
• Recognize that an employee's reputation is intertwined with the workplace’s overall reputation.

 

 



Kuwait: NBK Awarded “Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Kuwait” for 2024

11.01.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was awarded “Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Kuwait” for 2024, for the 12th consecutive time in Global Finance’s annual survey based on the input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts around the world.

The criteria for choosing the Foreign Exchange Providers Award winners included transaction volume, market share, scope of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative technologies. Global Finance also considered bank submissions, input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology specialists.

On this occasion, Global Finance mentioned, “This year’s winning FX banks have invested heavily to both increase the breadth of the FX services they offer and provide innovative FX tools to help their clients navigate headwinds.”

Global Finance magazine has named its 24th annual World’s Best Foreign Exchange Providers in 87 countries including 7 different global regions, as well as the winning providers for FX research and analysis and for FX trading technology.

NBK was listed among the Best Foreign Exchange Providers in the Middle East and the World, in terms of providing FX market services along with major international financial institutions such as J.P. Morgan, BBVA, Société Générale, and UBS.

Receiving this prestigious award reaffirms NBK’s position as a local and regional leader in providing top-notch innovative banking solutions to its clients. This leadership is the fruit of the bank’s huge investments in developing its infrastructure to offer high-quality services as well as its investments in high-caliber banking professionals.

Furthermore, it is a testimonial to the dedication and hard work of NBK Treasury team who strive tirelessly to ensure providing clients with highly competitive rates, top-notch customer service, and innovative solutions tailored to their individual needs.

Global Finance, founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York, is one of the most reputable magazines specialized in finance and economics. It has a circulation of 50,000 readers in 193 countries around the world, including senior corporate and financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions.

The magazine conducts various surveys annually about innovation and profitability for banks and financial institutions all over the world, based on which it selects top performers on the regional and international levels.



Kuwait: NBK Tops Social Media in Kuwait with the Highest Followers and Interactions

09.01.2024

As we are approaching the end of 2023, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) continued to dominate banking social media landscape in Kuwait, in terms of the number of followers as well as interactions and engagement across different platforms. In addition, the bank’s social media pages played an instrumental role in enriching customer experience through the proactive response, and customers’ impressive interaction with its engaging content.

NBK has the highest number of followers among all banks in Kuwait, with over 2.2 million followers across all platforms by the end of 2023.

During this year, the bank received 3.2 million interactions and increased the number of its followers by 160,000 followers on all platforms including Instagram, X, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

In addition, staying up to date with trends on TikTok was an important goal in 2023, as the bank succeeded in achieving more than 332,000 views on this platform, demonstrating impressive engagement from a large audience.

Commenting on these accomplishments, Abdul-Mohsen Al-Rushaid, AGM, Head of Digital Communications at National Bank of Kuwait said, “We are proud of our achievements in digital communication in 2023, which reflect our commitment to setting standards for meaningful and effective communicating with our customers, employees, and other stakeholders. This stems from our belief in the powerful role of effective communication in strengthening relationships and stimulating innovation.”

“During 2023, NBK’s Communications team worked hard to develop and implement effective communication strategies that had a positive impact on our business, noting that the engaging content and proactive responses took our platforms to new levels of excellence and leadership,” he added.

 “We continue to benefit from social media, which recorded a growth in the follower base by 10% during 2023, as a vital means of communication and engagement, while focusing on real-time interaction with customers, in addition to highlighting the different aspects of our social contributions,” he emphasized.

“Last year witnessed the launch of campaigns aimed at attracting potential customers, in addition to our pivotal role in supporting the regulatory authorities’ campaigns and keen endeavors to educate customers, most notably the Central Bank of Kuwait’s “Let’s Be Aware” campaign, which aims to promote financial inclusion and disseminate educational materials and awareness content,” he noted.

NBK is constantly updating its social media content, ranging from educational and media awareness campaigns, in addition to engaging content and challenge competitions that give followers the opportunity to enter draws on valuable prizes and exceptional rewards.

It is worth mentioning that NBK’s presence spans various social media platforms including Facebook, X, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, underscoring its keenness to keep pace with all developments in order to satisfy customers’ needs and expectations, in addition to its constant endeavors to optimize communication with followers on these platforms.

Internal Communications

Recognizing the importance of internal communications, NBK has revolutionized its internal communication strategy. Using innovative channels and personalized content, we have fostered a cohesive environment where every employee feels connected, informed and empowered.

The introduction of interactive platforms, real-time updates, and comprehensive information dissemination resulted in developing a comprehensive strategy for internal communications that act as a hub for news and announcements delivered to all employees across different locations.

Improving website user experience

NBK’s commitment to providing an enhanced user experience has been embodied through continuous improvements to the website, by focusing on transparency, accessibility, customer centricity, as well as attractive design.

During 2023, NBK focused on improving website user experience through a new, more attractive and interactive journey that helped achieve unprecedented increase in the number of website users.

The new design of some website pages includes more visually attractive elements when browsing the website content via mobile, which represents 89% of website visits.

During the year, the number of visits exceeded 8 million visits, 73% of which were interactive visits, where users browsed more than one page during the same session, which boosted the number of webpages views to 12 million views.



Kuwait: NBK Hosts a Media Awareness Workshop on Sustainability and Climate Change

08.01.2024

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) took a pioneering step by organizing a workshop, the first of its kind in Kuwait, inviting diverse media outlets and newspapers. The focus was on showcasing ESG initiatives, along with discussions on strategies to promote awareness about sustainability and climate change concerns.

Dr. Ehab Shalaby, Chairman and CEO of DCarbon Global, a renowned expert in the field, delivered a lecture during the workshop conducted at NBK’s headquarters.

Journalists from diverse media platforms participated in the workshop, which delved into wide-ranging subjects such as the significance of environmental and social investment and financing to the hurdles in governance and reporting concerning environmental and social issues. Additionally, it delved into the journalists' role in advocating awareness about sustainability issues and climate change. The presentations within the workshop encompassed various themes, including comprehending ESG principles and their influence on companies and investors, pinpointing significant environmental, social, and governance trends and challenges within the Kuwaiti market and neighboring regions. Additionally, emphasis was placed on the significance of crafting reports on initiatives, measuring their impact, and effectively engaging all stakeholders regarding ESG issues.

At the workshop, attending journalists were offered a unique chance to delve deeply into comprehensive discussions about ESG issues and their profound effects on the corporate landscape. They explored the risks and opportunities associated with investing in sustainability-related facets, engaging in thorough and expansive conversations on these crucial topics.

Shalaby emphasized the media’s pivotal role in shedding light on the risks posed by climate change and its extensive influence on the business landscape across various sectors. He underscored the significance of this narrative at local, regional, and global scales, highlighting its widespread importance across various spheres.

He emphasized the evolution of "Sustainable Journalism" into a pivotal element in raising awareness and directing focus towards addressing the multifaceted challenges that societies encounter on the economic, environmental, and social fronts. He also highlighted the interconnectedness between decisions, operations, and activities in shaping the capacities of the present and future generations in these realms.

He elaborated on the pivotal role of banking and financial institutions in this domain, citing their integral connection to the companies and entities they finance as the primary drivers within this sphere.

Shalaby further highlighted that progress toward sustainability and the shift towards renewable energy should encompass the entire system. This comprehensive approach involves active participation from financial and banking institutions, pertinent government bodies, and all entities within both the public and private sectors.

He continued by pointing out that recent manifestations of climate change, like floods and forest fires, have adversely impacted certain companies and organizations involved in projects related to these areas. This has intensified the focus on the risks associated with climate change and the evaluation conducted by financial institutions before financing such projects. Ensuring the highest standards of ESG becomes imperative in this context.

Shalaby highlighted that certain countries in the region have made significant advancements and notable strides towards achieving specific sustainable development goals. However, he underscored the necessity for other countries to address pressing environmental concerns, water management, and pollution issues urgently to avoid lagging behind on the global stage.

Meanwhile, Amir Hanna, Head of Investor Relations & Communications at National Bank of Kuwait said: "The media stands as a crucial partner in the endeavor to raise awareness regarding the significance of sustainability. It serves as a pivotal pathway for shaping the future of upcoming generations.”

Hanna emphasized that NBK's initiative stems from a core belief in the importance of transparency and informed discussions that unite relevant organizations. Such collaborative efforts are deemed essential to instigate positive change and actively contribute to supporting Kuwait's sustainable development agenda.

He further added that comprehending and disclosing ESG concerns stands as a crucial step. This understanding equips media professionals with the requisite knowledge and tools needed to accurately report on these issues and illuminate their profound impact on both companies and society as a whole.

He emphasized that NBK has diligently undertaken significant measures in recent years to embed ESG standards at the core of its business framework, operational procedures, and organizational culture.  

Hanna detailed that in the preceding year, the Group restructured its ESG strategy, transitioning from a six-pillar approach to a more integrated model comprising four interconnected pillars: Governance for Resilience, Responsible Banking, Capitalizing on our Capabilities, and Investing in our Communities.

He emphasized that NBK is an industry leader in sustainability, having made significant strides in ESG issues. The bank initiated a comprehensive framework for sustainable financing to fortify and elevate its efforts in this domain. This commitment has now become a foundational pillar woven into all aspects of its business models, operational protocols, and organizational culture, thereby facilitating the transition towards a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. This alignment also resonates with Kuwait's economic plans.

Hanna highlighted that NBK stands among the leading institutions capitalizing on the widespread shift towards sustainable financing. The bank has proactively introduced services and products aligned with the green transformation journey. These include offerings like green mortgage loans, consumer loans to finance electric vehicles, financing for low-emission housing, and various sustainability-related financing options.

NBK has laid out clear plans and targets aimed at curbing carbon emissions within specific timeframes. Notably, the bank pledged to decrease total operational emissions by 25% by 2025 and aspiring to reach net zero operationally by 2035. These efforts are integral components of the bank's comprehensive strategy geared towards attaining carbon neutrality by 2060.



Kuwait: Al-Hamad: The Ultimate Return on Investment in Self-Development

07.01.2024

The inaugural session of the “TMAKAN” training program was launched featuring executive management members from National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). The first panel discussion welcomed Faisal Al-Hamad, Chief Executive Officer - Global Wealth Management at National Bank of Kuwait. Al-Hamad shared his extensive experience spanning numerous years in the banking industry with the youth audience and engaged in an interactive session, responding to inquiries posed by program participants.

This panel discussion is part of the fifth edition of the "TMAKAN" training program, designed to train young Kuwaiti graduates. Organized by "Creative Confidence" and sponsored by NBK, this program offers a unique chance for trainees to tap into the expertise of the bank's executive management through discussion sessions. These open dialogues connect participants with NBK leaders boasting decades of extensive experience in the banking industry, providing invaluable insights to help them forge sustainably successful career paths.

Al-Hamad initiated the discussion by reflecting on the beginning of his career path. He said, "A specialized academic background isn't a requisite to attain a particular position or ascend to the pinnacle of a career. What truly matters is commencing from any point, focusing on growth, creativity, innovation, swift learning, and leveraging experiences within your work milieu."

Professional Debut 

At the outset of his career, Al-Hamad shared, "Following getting my degree from a university in the United States, I spent four years in asset management there. Subsequently, I pursued a master’s degree in business administration before transitioning to employment in Kuwait."

"Upon joining NBK Capital in 2007, the team comprised of just 25 members. However, the corporate culture ingrained within an organization of NBK’s stature instilled in me a fervor for continuous growth and an unwavering commitment to learning. I've imbibed a culture that influences my work decisions, prompting me to derive value from every nugget of information or news I encounter," Al-Hamad continued.

Al-Hamad reassured TMAKAN youth that channeling resources into honing skills and nurturing capabilities through learning and training represents the most lucrative investment, continuously expanding and accumulating gains with each passing day. He emphasized that regardless of one's career stage, there's an ever-expanding pool of knowledge to tap into. Al-Hamad highlighted training as a golden opportunity for recent graduates, urging them to seize this chance, particularly at the outset of their careers.

Work Environment

Al-Hamad delved into the significance of the work environment in fostering employee development, stating, "For anyone aspiring to forge a successful and sustainable career, finding an optimal work setting that fosters ongoing growth is paramount. The employee should harbor an innate passion for learning and maintain an inquisitive nature, constantly seeking to glean insights from those surrounding them."

Al-Hamad pointed out that NBK stands among the select few institutions embodying this attribute. He highlighted the bank's exceptional and distinctive work environment, akin to international standards. This distinction stems from NBK’s commitment to continuous learning, offering top-tier training courses in collaboration with prestigious educational institutions. These efforts aim to holistically develop employees' skills, ensuring they carve out independent, promising, and sustainable careers.

He offered advice to the attending youth, urging them to avoid wasting time on matters beyond their control. Instead, he recommended that they channel their energy into enhancing their job performance. “Foster ambition and prioritize cultivating positive relationships with your colleagues. This approach ensures a tranquil and conducive work environment that nurtures creativity and innovation."

Al-Hamad also underscored the importance of consistently acquiring new skills daily as the sole pathway toward personal advancement and reaching envisioned positions. He emphasized that resting is not a viable option, particularly amidst intensifying competition—both at individual and institutional levels. Every entity aims to draw in the necessary competencies and talents, seeking to distinguish itself from competitors. Hence, continuous skill development becomes imperative in this landscape.

Analytical Thinking

Al-Hamad emphasized the importance of staying abreast of the latest reports and studies while maintaining an analytical and critical perspective. He said, "I possess an innate drive to seek new information daily, honing my analytical thinking through the demands of my profession. I don't merely receive news passively; rather, I habitually analyze its potential impact on our business sector and decision-making processes."

Job Burnout

Addressing a participant's question on job burnout, Al-Hamad highlighted, "Each employee should seek motivations that drive ongoing professional growth. Losing the zest for learning might hinder an employee's ability to fulfill job demands and tasks, potentially leading to job burnout. This burnout can stem from the work environment or the place of work itself. Therefore, I consistently recommend seeking out the optimal work environment, which is precisely what NBK offers."

"Job burnout often arises from sustained work pressures, leading to diminished motivation, exhaustion, reduced enjoyment in tasks, and a loss of confidence in one's abilities. Hence, employees must continuously revitalize their engagement through various solutions. These may include taking vacations to alleviate work pressures, engaging in exercise, pursuing hobbies, or activities that bring joy, aiming to restore mental and physical vitality," Al-Hamad explained.

Practical Challenges

The “TAMAKAN" training program panel discussion proved to be a significant opportunity for recent graduates. It allowed them to hear directly from the CEO of Global Wealth Management at NBK Group, gaining insights into the work environment and strategies for success in their careers. Al-Hamad's advice provided attendees with valuable insights to shape their future professional journeys.

Al-Hamad highlighted the potential challenges awaiting new graduates in their professional journeys and offered guidance on overcoming them. He emphasized the significance of seeking assistance from colleagues and mentors when encountering obstacles. Additionally, he emphasized the value of maintaining an open mind and a readiness to continuously learn as essential strategies for navigating these challenges successfully.

It is worth mentioning that “TAMAKAN” received “The Social work Pioneer Project Award” from the GCC Council of Ministers of Social Affairs and Labor, recognizing it as an innovative training experience for Kuwaiti fresh graduates to achieve professional self-development in pursuit of emerging as active and efficient workforce.

Golden Advice

Al-Hamad offered a series of advice to new graduates, emphasizing the importance of cultivating a strong work ethic and maintaining a professional demeanor in their careers.

He also highlighted the significance of fostering positive relationships with colleagues, cultivating a constructive attitude, embracing adaptability in the face of change, and continuously seeking opportunities for learning and personal growth among other valuable tips for success in one's career.

• Invest in honing your skills and developing your capabilities; it's an investment with continually growing returns.

• Seek out an optimal work environment that fosters continuous development.

• Acquire new skills daily as the key pathway to progress.

• Concentrate on enhancing job performance, nurturing ambition, and fostering passion.

• Foster positive relationships with colleagues.

• Recognize that family understanding is pivotal for success in business.

• Rejuvenate mental and physical vitality through exercise or vacationing.

 



Kuwait: NBK Announces Exclusive Partnership with X-cite for KWT Visa Infinite Cardholders

03.01.2024

Seeking to enhance customer banking experience with top-notch offers and rewards, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has announced an exclusive partnership with X-cite by Alghanim Electronics, subsidiary of Alghanim Industries (Kutayba Alghanim Group), to provide NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Cardholders with exclusive offers that meet their expectations.

Under this partnership, cardholders will get 10% NBK KWT Points when using their NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card to shop at X-cite instore, online or through the app, as well as 2% instant discount on selected products, effective from 1st of January 2024.

Speaking on this partnership, Mr. Mohammed Al-Othman, CEO of Consumer and Digital Banking Group said, “As we approach the beginning of the new year, we aim to provide our customers with exclusive offers tailored to meet their different needs and categories. This comes within our continuous endeavors to keep pace with their changing needs and evolving expectations.”

“NBK maintains solid relationships with leading institutions across different sectors, which we leverage to enhance customer banking experience by delivering top-notch offers, discounts and benefits for unmatched banking experience” he added.

“Service excellence and top-notch customer experience are instrumental parts of NBK’s culture. We depend on the extensive experience gained over long decades to understand customers’ needs, evaluate their goals, and even exceed their expectations, he noted.

On his part, Hussam Ibrahim, Senior Vice President at X-cite, mentioned, “We consider our partnership with National Bank of Kuwait as a strategic and innovative step in the world of e-commerce and banking arenas. This partnership is not just a commercial alliance, but rather a bridge linking cutting-edge technology and top-notch banking services, reflecting our mutual dedication to create an impeccable customer experience.”

“Through this cooperation, we seek to create an interactive system that allows NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Cardholders to avail exceptional offers and exclusive technological benefits that resonate with their dynamic lifestyle. We believe that this partnership will strengthen our position as a leading tech company and enable us to provide innovative solutions that go beyond our customers’ expectations,” he added.

The most popular credit card in Kuwait

NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card is the most popular credit card in Kuwait, as it offers customers a unique lifestyle with exceptional rewards, benefits and offers tailored to meet customers’ needs and expectations, and cashback up to KD 1,000 in NBK KWT Points every month.

The card combines an exclusive package of exceptional rewards with a design inspiring national pride, making it a card like no other, and gives customers the flexibility to choose the way they want to earn rewards based on their lifestyle; either the “Spends Tier” or “Merchant Category” option.

When choosing the “Merchant Category”, customers can earn NBK KWT Points on all payments made using NBK KWT Visa Infinite Credit Card at the selected categories, with 10% on dining and telecom, 5% on fitness and beauty and 3% on clothing, grocery and education.

Meanwhile, when choosing the “Spends Tier” earning option, based on their monthly spends, with up to 5% on digital payments, up to 5% on international POS and up to 3% on all other spends.

The earned NBK KWT Points can be redeemed through NBK Online or Mobile Banking whether as cashback directly to the card, travel booking at more than 800 airlines and 150,000 hotels, e-vouchers from over 190 merchants, or points exchange with most preferred airlines.

NBK Visa Credit Cards offer the best payment method for the convenience and benefits they provide to customers, especially when using them in shopping including NBK Rewards Program as well as Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty.