In light of the previous success achieved by the “Art of Savings” program, Haya Cultural Center with the exclusive support of Arab Bank introduced new workshops through its online platforms for children and charity organizations to benefit from the “creative mechanics” workshops offered by the program. The workshops aim at familiarizing children with the importance of saving, basic ATM functions and banking operations in an innovative manner. The program is set to reach around 300 children from different areas across the Kingdom.
Each workshop which extends over two days combines arts with simple mechanics where children learn to design and produce a cardboard ATM and equip it with a simple electrical circuit so that the model is able to perform two main processes: cash deposit and withdrawal. Through the workshops, the children will also learn the importance of saving at an early age, as well as basic ATM functions.
To measure the workshops’ success, the program includes a financial literacy assessment to evaluate the children’s financial knowledge pre and post their participation. The workshops also aim to enhance the children’s artistic skills and build their talents by training them to cut, color and mix, use different brushes and much more.
Arab Bank’s support of this initiative comes as part of its corporate social responsibility program “Together, a multi-faceted program that works on improving and developing different aspects of the community through a variety of initiatives and activities in areas related to education, health, poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and orphan support.
Haya Cultural Center has recently launched a new project entitled "My First Project" which entails training 10 children between the ages of 8 and 14 registered at local community service associations, on project management and budgeting according to project requirements, as well as project implementation and marketing. The program is exclusively sponsored by Arab Bank and comes as part of the bank’s ongoing cooperation with the center.
Through the program, the children will be able to choose the concept of their project after conducting a study on children’s communities and identifying their needs. This is followed by a series of specialized workshops and trainings in time management, challenges and solutions, action plan development, project objectives setting and results, budgeting, as well as small project implementation and management. The children will then begin implementing their small projects step by step under the supervision of Haya Cultural Center’s team based on a detailed plan that has been drawn following the completion of the training.
“My First Project” aims at providing children with a valuable opportunity to participate in an exceptional experience and acquire a number of life skills that build their capacity in project management. The program will also contribute to improving their future career opportunities, enhance their self-confidence, refine their talents and creativity in a structured manner and provide them with cash management skills.
It is worth mentioning that the “My First Project” program is part of an innovative financial literacy initiative for children that the Haya Cultural Center is implementing with the exclusive support of Arab Bank. The initiative also entails “The Art of Innovation” program that achieved remarkable success in 2019 and will continue in 2021. The center will also launch the “Mobile Bank”, first of its kind in Jordan, being a branch model inspired by Arab Bank’s branches and equipped with the basic banking devices to introduce children to the different banking operations and spread awareness among them on the importance of saving.
As part of the ongoing cooperation between Arab Bank and King Hussein Cancer Foundation, the bank renewed its support to the Foundation’s “Back to School” program for the academic year of 2021 – 2022.
Arab Bank’s support of the program, which is held in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, covers several aspects including classes taught by the bank’s volunteering employees. During the 2020 – 2021 academic year, a total of 105 online classes and 192 workshops were conducted for patients, and 8 students were transferred to centers for children with special needs.
The bank’s support also included the provision of 19 laptops and 16 tablets in order to enhance the students’ accessibility to the necessary educational tools. This is in addition to distributing 225 educational platform subscriptions to the students.
Through the program, 392 students were able to successfully complete the first semester of the year during their course of treatment at the center, and proceed with the second semester.
Commenting on this collaboration, Ms. Nisreen Qatamish, Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, said: “We congratulate our students on completing the semester despite the surrounding exceptional circumstances. We take pride in our collaboration with Arab Bank, which contributes to our efforts in supporting our patients both psychologically and academically as part of the holistic care we provide at the center and we look forward to sustaining this cooperation to enable our patients to realize their dreams.”
Arab Bank’s support of the “Back to School” program comes as part of its social responsibility and constant commitment towards contributing to the national efforts and initiatives supporting the education and health sectors. The “Back to School” program plays an integral role in supporting cancer patient students to regain their self-confidence and sense of normality, while alleviating their struggles as well.
For its part, the Ministry of Education assigns teachers each year for the program, which has been officially registered as a public school at the Ministry.
In collaboration with the Charity Clothing Bank; one of Jordan Hashemite Charity Organizations (JHCO), Arab Bank recently sponsored the World Orphans Day program, through which clothes, toys and sweets were provided to 1,200 children on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr in Irbid, Salt, Mafraq, Al-Zarqa, Karak, Ma’an, Aqaba and Amman.
This cooperation comes as part of Arab Bank’s corporate social responsibility program “Together” and in line with the bank’s efforts towards reinforcing social solidarity by supporting charitable and humanitarian initiatives that contribute in achieving community cohesion and empathy among the society.
It is worth noting that Arab Bank’s collaboration with the Charity Clothing Bank began since the clothing bank’s establishment as part of the World Orphans Day program. Over the past years, 5,806 children benefited from the program and about 29,030 items of clothing and shoes were provided.
Dr. Hussein Al-Shebli, Secretary General of JHCO, expressed its deep appreciation for Arab Bank’s continuous support of the Charity Clothing Bank, which contributes in spreading happiness among children. He affirmed that the strategic collaboration with national institutions such as Arab Bank supports JHCO’s efforts and humanitarian role to serve different segments in the community and achieving the national goals.
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank has taken an active role in the community by adopting a comprehensive strategic approach and collaborating with several NGOs to achieve sustainable economic, social and environmental development. “Together”, Arab Bank’s corporate social responsibility program is a multi-faceted program that works on improving and developing different aspects of the community. Through a variety of initiatives and activities, the program aims to serve the community in areas related to health, poverty alleviation, environmental protection, education, and orphan support.
The Children's Museum Jordan carried on its “Community Connections” program activities online through its social platforms following its temporary shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions. Community Connections, supported by Arab Bank since 2014, includes several programs for children and their families with a focus on vital topics and special occasions throughout the year, such as the Ramadan program which was launched online last year due to the pandemic and was presented again this year with various topics that combine fun activities for children and childhood topics for parents.
Following the success of the online program, which witnessed great attendance last year by thousands of followers on the Museum’s social media pages, the museum designed a special daily Ramadan agenda this year that includes compelling storytelling videos, competitions, knowledge on Islamic figures, guests hosting, music, as well as live shows on science and art. The program targets families in Jordan and the region considering its ease of access online from any location.
Since the start of the pandemic, Arab Bank deployed a unique model in responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, prioritizing its commitment to social responsibility through supporting innovative initiatives aimed at providing valuable programs and activities for children and youth, which have a positive impact on their lives and in alleviating the pandemic’s repercussions, most notably the Children’s Museum Jordan’s efforts in sustaining the learning process through providing interactive educational content to Jordanian and Arab families.
Arab Bank Group has consolidated the financial statements of Oman Arab Bank under Group accounts in the first quarter of 2021. Oman Arab Bank has also recently finalized the acquisition of Al Izz Islamic Bank, a full-fledged Islamic bank, accordingly strengthening its presence in the Sultanate of Oman, in line with Arab Bank’s strategy to reinforce its business in the Gulf region. The consolidation of Oman Arab Bank under the Group accounts has materially increased the size of Group balance sheet during this period, with total assets increasing by $8.1 Billion and loans and deposits each increasing by $7.1 Billion.
Arab Bank Group reported net income after tax of $128.3 million as compared to $147.6 million for the same period last year, recording a drop of 13%. Customer deposits grew by 30% to reach $45.8 billion as compared to $35.2 billion, while loans grew by 28% to reach $33.5 billion as compared $ 26.2 billion.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors remarked that the results of Arab Bank reflect the Bank’s resilient performance in this challenging economic environment, as compared to the pre-covid normal operating environment which prevailed in the first quarter of the last year.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, commented that while operating revenue continues to be impacted by low interest rates and a higher cost of risk, the Bank’s performance demonstrates its robust fundamentals, its highly liquidity and its strong capital base with equity of $10 billion, capital adequacy of 16.4%, and a loan to deposit ratio of 73.1%.
Mr. Masri concluded by expressing his optimism in future economic prospects, noting that the high pace of vaccination programs witnessed by countries around the world will hopefully lead to the gradual recovery of regional and global economies.
On the occasion of the Arab Financial Inclusion Day which marks the 27th of April each year, Children’s Museum Jordan launched with the support of Arab Bank, an interactive virtual workshop entitled “My Financial Calendar”. The workshop aims at introducing children to key financial concepts such as differentiating between wants and needs, understanding financial income, managing finances, as well as launching small businesses to generate income.
The virtual workshop was designed to provide children with a fun learning experience that combines interactive learning with e-learning by delivering a set of tools to their homes, to be used during the online workshop.
The launch of this workshop on the occasion of Arab Financial Inclusion Day comes as part of the “Community Connections” program by Children’s Museum Jordan that is also supported by Arab Bank. The program aims to shed light on special local and global occasions, such as the World Children’s Day, Disabilities Awareness Month, the Holy Month of Ramadan, Arab Financial Inclusion Day, and other events taking place during the year.
Despite the challenges and restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Children’s Museum Jordan is keen to continue delivering its educational content and interactive programs online, including Ramadan program, which is live on the museum’s social media platforms. The program presents various scientific activities, Ramadan competitions, storytelling, knowledge on Islamic figures, and many more fun activities for children to benefit from and to alleviate the psychological impact of the pandemic on them and their families.
Arab Bank’s support of the “Community Connections” program is in line with its comprehensive strategic approach to achieve sustainable development through supporting and implementing innovative educational projects and programs that are directed towards children and youth in Jordan.
In line with the values of social solidarity in the holy month of Ramadan and the strategic collaboration between Arab Bank and Tkiyet Um Ali, the bank continued its support to Tkiyet Um Ali’s programs during Ramadan. This entailed distributing food parcels and delivering iftar meals to underprivileged families replacing the regular Ramadan practice “Mawae’d al-Rahman” which was usually held daily at Tkiyet Um Ali’s premises in Amman, whilst complying with the government measures undertaken to ensure the health and safety of the underprivileged families.
Through this initiative, Arab Bank was able to provide needy families living in Amman, Zarqa and Al-Balqa’ with 2,270 iftar meals and donate food parcels to Tkiyet Um Ali’s underprivileged families in Ajloun, thus bringing the total number of beneficiaries to over 2,614 individuals.
Mr. Samer Balkar, Director General of Tkiyet Um Ali, thanked Arab Bank for its continuous support to Tkiyet Um Ali’s programs, stating: “We are grateful for Arab Bank’s long-term commitment and support over the years, especially during Ramadan and in light of the exceptional circumstances that the Kingdom is going through. This support is a true manifestation of Arab Bank’s vital contribution to securing food for underprivileged families across the Kingdom, and its belief in Tkiyet Um Ali’s mission to eradicate hunger in Jordan.”
Tkiyet Um Ali provides monthly sustainable food support to 20,000 underprivileged families living in extreme poverty in all provinces and governorates across the Kingdom. The families receive monthly parcels containing 19 food items that include all the basic nutritional elements which fulfill the needs of a family for the entire month.
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank’s social responsibility program “Together” has been supporting community initiatives since its launch. The program also allows customers to donate to several NGOs through Arab Bank’s electronic channels that include ATMs, internet banking as well as “Together” Platinum Credit Card.
EHSI and Arab Bank signed a collaboration agreement that aims at providing innovative payment solutions to the healthcare sector, as well as a host of financing programs through the national e-health program “Hakeem Claim”, creating a positive impact on healthcare providers, insurance companies and patients alike.
The agreement was signed by EHSI Chairman Dr. Rami Farraj and EHSI Deputy Chairman of the Board H.E. Ms. Majd Shweikeh, as well as EHSI CEO Dr. Ghassan Al Lahham, and Arab Bank’s Jordan Country Manager, Mr. Walid Samhouri.
“Hakeem Claim” is an integrated and a consolidated platform that facilitates the exchange of medical insurance approvals and claims between healthcare providers and insurance companies. It also presents an Electronic Health Record solution (EHR), where doctors and other clinicians are able to electronically access medical records of patients, easily and immediately without the need for paper records. This is in addition to minimizing drug interactions, and sending alerts on any possible allergies that patients may have. The platform also manages doctor appointments and provides a remote healthcare option with the ability to pay for the service received online.
Commenting on this collaboration, Dr. Rami Farraj highlighted that implementing “Hakeem Claim” will play an active role in providing patients with better healthcare standards in line with Hakeem Claim’s strategic vision to achieve prompt, precise and transparent communication between all parties. Furthermore, Arab Bank’s banking solutions offered as part of this agreement will ease and foster payment making and collection process through the platform.
Dr. Farraj also noted that the immediacy and accuracy of information provided by “Hakeem Claim” will ease patient’s access to Arab bank’s financing solutions - within specific terms and conditions, thus providing them with comprehensive healthcare services and enhancing their overall experience. He also emphasized on the platform’s most significant benefits and features including enhancing patient’s wellbeing, minimizing human error and improving the efficiency of healthcare workers in terms of processing claims and approvals, by referring to one consolidated automation platform. Dr. Farraj concluded by thanking Arab Bank for its cooperation and contribution to the upgrade of the platform.
In turn, Mr. Walid Al Samhouri expressed Arab Bank’s appreciation to collaborate with EHSI through this agreement which comes in line with the bank’s constant efforts to support national initiatives through providing innovative and streamlined banking solutions that respond to the need of vital sectors. Mr. Samhouri added that through this agreement, Arab Bank will play an integral role in accelerating the payment process of medical claims, especially that they are conducted instantly among Arab Bank accounts. This is in addition to will providing special digital financing solutions that meet the needs of different parties in the healthcare sector based on the bank’s leading experience in the field.
It is also worth noting that the financing solutions provided also include Shariah-Compliant options provided by Islamic International Arab Bank.
Arab Bank and INJAZ signed a joint cooperation agreement for the second consecutive year to implement a specialized cybersecurity training program by INJAZ at different universities for students.
The program aims to enable students to identify the techniques and methods that maintain high safety and cybersecurity levels online and ensure the protection of data against theft or damage when transferred, saved, or shared. It also aspires to maintain the confidentiality of information, respect users’ privacy and educate students on how to deal with modern technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) , and the basics of e-learning through various interactive activities that employ e-learning tools. The program will be applied during the 2020 – 2021 academic year at Al Al-Bayt University, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Isra University, UNRWA University and the Applied Science University.
Commenting on the initiative, Executive Director at INJAZ, Mr. Muhannad Al-Jarrah expressed that the cooperation between Arab Bank and INJAZ is essential to keep pace with the rapid developments in cybersecurity and contributes in reducing the knowledge gap among students in this field.
During the 2019 – 2020 academic year, INJAZ also implemented the cybersecurity program in collaboration with Arab Bank at 13 different universities where nearly 1,046 participating students benefited from the program.
Arab Bank’s support of this program comes as part of its constant commitment to empower the youth and build their capacity through providing them with the knowledge and skills required to enter the labor market and contribute to sustainable development in light of the acceleration in technology and digital transformation that the world is currently witnessing.
AlJude Foundation for Scientific Care continues to implement the “Sunbulah” initiative at public schools by challenging the teachers to identify inspiring and creative ideas that are applicable on the ground as well as to invest their skills in useful projects. The initiative comes in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the support of Arab Bank as the main strategic sponsor.
Despite the COVID-19 repercussions on various sectors and the suspension of many entrepreneurial volunteer projects, the “Sunbulah” initiative continued its mission challenging all obstacles through hard work and dedication.
During the pandemic, the initiative launched a weekly competition, through which a challenge was presented each week for teachers to develop solutions for. The winning projects were announced weekly based on an evaluation process conducted by a panel of judges specialized in social entrepreneurship.
Following the completion of the competition, the “Sunbulah” online program was launched to keep pace with the change that occurred worldwide, whereby the number of teachers benefiting from the initiative reached nearly 350 teachers from north, central and south areas. The initiative had a positive impact on 2,000 students and parents with the participation of 68 public schools from various governorates across the Kingdom.
Most recently, the “Sanbelha” competition was launched as part of “Sunbulah” initiative to introduce public school teachers and different governorates to the initiative as well as the various projects that are implemented on the ground. The video reached 120 thousand views on social media and as a result, encouraged many other schools to express interest in participating to create a positive impact on teachers, students and the community.
Arab Bank held its general assembly meeting online on March 25th, 2021, in compliance with Defense Law (13) of 1992, Defense Order (5) of 2020, that was published officially on March 31st, 2020 and the procedures issued by H.E. the Minister of Industry – Trade & Supply on April 9th, 2020 in line with the defense orders listed above.
The meeting was headed by Mr. Sabih Masri, Arab Bank’s Chairman in the presence of the board of directors, the Chief Executive Officer and shareholders (in attendance and by proxy), which make up 79.27% of the bank’s capital. Dr. Wael Armouti, the Companies’ Controller had also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, all articles on the agenda of the ordinary general assembly meeting were endorsed.
Mr. Masri highlighted that during 2020, the Arab banking sector was severely affected by the unprecedented global and regional economic contraction. Banking profitability dropped regionally and globally, due to lower interest rates and commission fees, a large increase in provisions to meet the expected rise in non-performing loans, weak lending opportunities, along with a retreat in portfolio quality and increased cost of risk.
Mr. Masri also reaffirmed that in the face of these global challenges, Arab Bank Group maintained its solid position and performed strongly. It reported a net operating income of over US$1 billion, while maintaining its strong liquidity and capital positions, reflecting the bank’s ability to deal with these challenges effectively through its prudent strategies and operating policies.
He also noted that In response to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, Arab Bank was careful to support corporate and consumer customers, both of whom were affected by the pandemic. In line with government and regulator initiatives, Arab Bank supported community programs aimed at alleviating the burden on customers by restructuring, deferring, or reducing instalments and lowering interest rates for the most exposed sectors, particularly small and medium enterprises. Arab Bank Group also donated US$25 million to support national efforts aimed at mitigating COVID-19’s health, economic, and social repercussions on citizens in Jordan and the other countries in which the bank operates.
To conclude, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Central Bank of Jordan and the local authorities for their pivotal role and efforts in overcoming the exceptional circumstances we currently face.
Mr. Masri concluded by thanking the Central Bank of Jordan and the local authorities for their pivotal role and efforts in overcoming the exceptional circumstances we currently face.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that Arab Bank Group ended 2020 with net income after tax of US$195.3 million, compared to US$846.5 million in 2019, a drop of 77%. The Group’s equity grew to US$9.4 billion in 2020, despite the unprecedented circumstances, compared to US$9.1 billion in 2019. In view of the global economic conditions during 2020, the bank has maintained its prudent policy of applying precautionary measures to offset the economic challenges affecting the region and the world.
Mr. Sabbagh highlighted that The Group’s net operating income stood at US$1,007 million, 25% lower than the prior period due to the decrease in net interest and commission income, and the drop in the contribution of the bank’s affiliate companies. Customer deposits grew by 7% to reach US$38.7 billion, compared to US$36.2 billion in 2019, while loans grew by 1% to reach US$26.5 billion, compared US$26.1 billion in the previous year. The Group maintained its strong and robust capital base with a capital adequacy ratio of 16.8%. The Group also enjoyed high liquidity with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 68.4%, while credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%.
He also reaffirmed that Arab Bank Group was able to deal with the COVID-19 crisis effectively by applying several measures to safeguard its healthy liquidity and capital ratios, maintain its resilient asset quality metrics, and scale up digital banking initiatives and channels for corporate and consumer clients across the group. These measures helped to ensure that the bank continued to be able to provide vital banking services to customers across the various sectors.
Mr. Sabbagh concluded by stating that Arab Bank’s solid position has enabled it to overcome the challenges faced during the crisis and enhance growth rates. The increased provisions taken across the group are in line with International Financial Reporting Standard #9 and the bank’s internal projected credit loss model.
The General Assembly endorsed the Board of Directors’ recommendation to the shareholders on the distribution of 12% cash dividends for the financial year 2020.
Arab Bank launched a special auto loan offer in collaboration with the Unity Trading Est. – Hyundai Jordan on a selection of Hyundai car models. The offer comes as part of the bank’s constant efforts to provide its customers with value-added banking services and promotions in line with their expectations and diverse needs.
The offer, which will run until 13 March 2021, allows customers who desire to purchase any of the Hyundai car models listed within the campaign to benefit from many exclusive privileges including preferential interest rates, free insurance, free 5,000 km maintenance contract and a 5 year/100,000 km factory warranty. This is in addition to obtaining the loan at zero down payment as well as the ability to trade in the customer’s existing car - regardless of the type and model - as a down payment or as part of the full price, through a simple and easy process.
Commenting on the offer, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, said: “We continue to introduce competitive financial promotions and value-added offers to our customers in line with their diverse financial needs and lifestyle.” Matouk added: “Our collaboration with Hyundai Jordan is an excellent opportunity for customers to own a brand-new Hyundai car while benefiting from an array of exclusive privileges and flexible features.”
For his part, Mr. Hassan Elayyan, the Director General of Unity Trading Est. – Hyundai Jordan, said: “We are pleased to launch this special joint offer which provides our customers with flexible financing solutions on a wide range of Hyundai models, the most sought-after vehicle in the market. We strive to provide our customers with a streamlined purchasing process supported by flexible payment and financing options that fit their needs and financial capabilities.”
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank’s auto loans offer a wide range of benefits, including competitive interest rates, loan amounts up to JOD 100,000 with a tenor up to 10 years, including new and used cars according to the bank’s special terms and conditions, options to finance more than one car, in addition to a dedicated sales team. Arab Bank also offers the ability to apply for a loan online easily through the bank’s digital banking services which include Arab Bank’s website, the bank’s mobile application “Arabi Mobile” and its internet banking service “Arabi Online”.
Global Finance, the New York-based international publication, has recently granted Arab Bank the “Best Trade Finance Provider 2021 in the Middle East” award. The recognition comes as an acknowledgment of the bank’s leading position in the region and its exceptional capabilities in providing the latest banking solutions and trade finance products that meet its clients’ evolving needs across the different sectors.
Arab Bank was selected for this award based on an evaluation process conducted by a panel of the magazine’s editors with input from international financial analysts, corporate executives and technology experts. Criteria for choosing the winners included transaction volume, scope of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative technologies.
This global recognition is a testament to Arab Bank’s solid performance and long success record driven by its institutional vision and constant efforts towards adopting the latest technologies in the banking industry to provide seamless and well-rounded banking experience to its clients. It also comes as a manifestation of its integral role in facilitating trade across the Middle East and North Africa by delivering comprehensive banking solutions and services that are in line with the latest developments in the banking sector locally, regionally and globally.
Arab Bank owns one of the largest global Arab banking networks with more than 600 branches spanning five continents, as well as extensive experience in trade finance and deep understanding of the region, thus reaffirming the bank’s ability to meet its clients’ evolving needs across countries.
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank also received several international recognitions during the past year, most notably the “Best Bank in the Middle East” award from Global Finance for the fifth consecutive year. The list of awards also includes “Best Bank for Cash Management in the Middle East” from Global Finance, “Best Trade Finance Services in the Middle East” from EMEA Finance, “Cash Manager of the Year in the Middle East” from Global Investor/ISF. The bank also received the “Best Mobile Banking App in the Middle East” award from Global Finance in recognition of its corporate digital banking services.
Arab Bank has recently launched a special offer in collaboration with Travel One Group, the leading travel agency in Jordan and the region, for its customers in Jordan when paying for their travels using their cards through toghi.com or by visiting Travel One Group offices.
The new offer available for Arab Bank’s credit and debit cardholders until the end of March entails 10% cashback of the value of the cardholder’s reservation, credited automatically to the card account. The cardholders will also earn reward points through “Arabi Points” program, which allows customers to redeem their points for cash and gift vouchers; in addition to the reward points available on toghi.com. Furthermore, the offer allows Arab Bank credit cardholders to exclusively benefit from the Easy Payment Plan Program with 0% interest up to 12 months upon using their credit cards to make payments at any of Travel One Group offices or through their website.
Travel One Group, through its website toghi.com, provides comprehensive travel and tourism services, which include booking and issuing airline tickets, international hotel bookings, personalized travel packages, car rental and transportation services, as well as specialized MICE services – both locally and abroad, at competitive rates and after-sales services.
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank credit cards provide a wide range of benefits to its holders, including worldwide acceptance, easy and secure access to credit card accounts anytime through both “Arabi Mobile” and the bank’s internet banking service “Arabi Online” and many more benefits.
Arab Bank has recently launched a special promotional offer in collaboration with Agoda.com, a subsidiary of the Booking Holdings Group - one of the leading online travel agencies in the world. The offer aims at introducing exclusive benefits to Arab Bank credit cardholders when using their cards to pay for their online reservations through the website.
The offer, which will run until 15 June 2021, targets Arab Bank debit and credit cardholders and entails an instant 20% discount on the value of the cardholder’s reservation when booking through Agoda.com, which offers over 2 million hotels globally.
The offer is valid exclusively for bookings made through www.agoda.com/arabbank.
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank credit cards provide a wide range of benefits to its holders, including worldwide acceptance, easy and secure access to credit card accounts anytime through both “Arabi Mobile” and the bank’s internet banking service “Arabi Online”, in addition to the easy payment plan for convenient installments at a variety of merchants. Arab Bank cardholders can also use the “Arabi MobiCash” application to pay with their cards using their smartphones.
Arab Bank Group closed 2020 reporting net income after tax of $195.3 million as compared to $846.5 million in 2019, recording a drop of 77%. Group equity grew to reach $9.4 billion.
The Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders the distribution of 12% cash dividends for the financial year 2020.
The year 2020 was challenging for the global and regional banking sectors due to economic contraction, higher cost of risk, and lower interest rates in addition to the plunge in oil prices since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The Bank entered the crisis from a position of strength, with stable credit quality coupled with sound liquidity and capital ratios. The drop in profits is attributable to the build up of higher provisions, driven by the deterioration of the macro-economic environment regionally and globally, and to lower revenues from interest and fee income due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to lower market interest rates and weakening oil prices.
Group net operating income is at $ 1,007 million, 25% lower than the prior period as a result of a decrease in net interest and commission income, and the drop in the contribution of the bank’s associates in the Gulf. Customer deposits grew by 7% to reach $ 38.7 billion as compared to $ 36.2 billion, while loans grew by 1% to reach $26.5 billion as compared $ 26.1 billion. The Group maintained its strong and robust capital base with equity of $9.4 billion and a capital adequacy ratio of 16.8% calculated in accordance with Basel III regulations. The Group enjoys high liquidity with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 68.4%, while credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors remarked that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on businesses around the world and the economic environments in which they operate. In an effort on safeguard their economies, governments and regulatory authorities launched various programs to mitigate the impact of the crisis. He added that the bank dealt with these challenges while maintaining its strong liquidity and capital positions.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that the Group took several strategic initiatives to help mitigate these unprecedented economic and market conditions, safeguarding its healthy liquidity and capital ratios, maintaining resilient asset quality metrics, and scaling up digital banking initiatives and channels across the Group.
Mr. Sabbagh also highlighted that the increased provisions taken across the Group are in accordance with the guidelines of International Financial Reporting Standard # 9, and as per the bank’s internal expected credit loss model, and include general provisions built due to the current economic situation in Lebanon.
Arab Bank was careful to support both its corporate and consumer customers who were impacted by the pandemic. Arab bank was also actively involved in community programs inline with initiatives by governments and regulators to alleviate the burden on customers by restructuring, deferring or reducing instalments and by lowering interest rates for the most exposed sectors, especially small and medium-sized companies.
Arab Bank Group has also donated $25 million as part of its social responsibility in support of national efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis and to mitigate its health, economic and social repercussions on citizens.
Mr. Masri concluded by stating that while the negative impact of the pandemic is unprecedented, its effect on the Group is well cushioned by the bank’s resilience, the strength of its franchise, and the success of its diversified business model.
The 2020 financial statements are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Jordan.
Global Finance, a New York-based international publication, has recently granted Arab Bank the “Best Mobile Banking App 2020” award in recognition of its corporate digital banking services across the Middle East, offered to the bank’s corporate clients through “ArabiConnect - Mobile” app. The bank was also named “Cash Manager of the Year” in the Middle East by Global Investor/ISF, a flagship title of Euromoney Institutional Investor plc.
Arab Bank was selected for the “Best Mobile Banking App 2020” award based on several factors including: strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives and web/mobile site design and functionality.
As for the “Cash Manager of the Year” award in the Middle East, the bank received this recognition despite fierce competition in the region. It came as a result of the bank’s ongoing commitment towards digital transformation manifested in the advanced solutions offered to its corporate clients across the region such as “ArabiConnect” platform, which enables clients to take advantage of a host of cash management services instantly and effectively. A vital platform especially during the current challenges faced by corporations in the region and across the globe.
The “ArabiConnect - Mobile” app represents a value-added proposition that complements Arab Bank’s digital banking services offering corporate clients further flexibility and convenience while conducting their banking transactions, anywhere and around the clock. The app’s features include: around the clock access to corporate accounts, domestic and cross-border accounts management, cash, liquidity and payables management, among many more. The platform is part of Arab Bank’s fully integrated portfolio of distinguished digital banking solutions designed for the corporate sector and aligned with the latest advancements in the banking industry.
Arab Bank was also named “Cash Manager of the Year 2020” in Jordan based on a cash management survey by Euromoney magazine for non-financial institutions.
Arab Bank has recently opened Al-Yasmeen Branch in its new location on Jabal Arafat Street near Al-Khareeta circle. The opening comes as part of the bank’s strategy to reinforce its branch network and self-service branches, and to provide its customers with advanced banking solutions based on the highest standards of quality and security.
The new branch offers a dedicated area for “Elite” customers, a wide range of services to “Arabi Premium” program customers through dedicated relationship managers, and a transactional kiosk machine that offers instant issuance and renewal of debit and credit cards as well as instant issuance of account statements. The branch also offers ATMs that provide a range of banking services around the clock, including cash withdrawal with double the daily limit, the ability to deposit cheques at anytime, and many more.
Commenting on the branch opening, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk stated: “Shifting Al-Yasmeen branch to its new location comes as part of Arab Bank’s ongoing efforts to provide customers with an integrated banking experience that meets their evolving needs and enables them to conduct their transactions with utmost flexibility and convenience.”
It is worth mentioning that the new branch also offers the usual banking services such as opening all types of accounts, personal loans, auto loans, housing loans and credit card services. This is in addition to the direct banking services (Arabi Online, Arabi Mobile and others) available around the clock, which allow customers to carry out banking transactions, pay bills, issue account statements among other services, easily and securely.
Arab Bank launched a special financing offer in collaboration with Honda Jordan, as part of its constant efforts to provide its customers with value-added banking services and promotions to meet their diverse needs.
The offer, which will run until 28 February 2021, allows customers who want to purchase any vehicle from Honda to benefit from many exclusive privileges, including preferential interest rates, free insurance for the first year, as well as the ability to trade in the customer’s existing car - regardless of the type and model - as a down payment or as part of the full price, through a simple and easy process.
Commenting on the offer, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, said: “We continue to introduce a variety of special campaigns and comprehensive financing solutions to our customers offering them competitive rates, preferential benefits and a seamless process.” He added: “This promotion is the latest in our series of ongoing automotive financing offers. It enables our customers to purchase the car of their choice from a wide range of models available through Honda showroom.”
For his part, Mr. Muhannad Tahboub, General Manager at Tahboub Automotive – Honda Jordan: “At Honda Jordan, we are proud to offer high quality Japanese cars equipped with the latest technologies for top performance, in addition to efficient financing solutions in collaboration with Arab Bank, whom we are proud to collaborate with on this promotional campaign for Honda cars.”
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank’s auto loans offer a wide range of benefits, including competitive interest rates, loan amounts up to JOD 100,000 with a tenor up to 8 years, options to finance more than one car, including new and used cars according to the bank’s special terms and conditions, in addition to a dedicated sales team. Arab Bank also offers the ability to apply for a loan online easily through the bank’s digital banking services which include Arab Bank’s website, the bank’s mobile application “Arabi Mobile” and its internet banking service “Arabi Online”.