Arab Bank has recently released its tenth annual sustainability report. The bank’s 2019 sustainability report provides information regarding the bank’s social, environmental, and economic performance and achievements during 2019.
The report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards using the comprehensive option that reflects the highest levels of transparency and disclosure.
The report comes as part of Arab Bank’s ongoing commitment towards integrating sustainability into its operations, in a strategic manner that dovetails with the bank’s constant efforts to support sustainable community development.
The launch of Arab Bank’s tenth annual Sustainability Report reflects the bank’s leading position on the Sustainability front, both locally and regionally. The bank was one of the first financial institutions, locally and regionally, to issue sustainability reports annually based on the international standards and in line with the best practices in this respect.
The report features the bank’s achievements across its five main sustainability focus areas as part of Arab Bank’s sustainability strategy; these include: responsible financing, employee empowerment, transparent reporting, system optimization, and community cooperation. 2019 marked a year of significant progress in realizing Arab Bank’s sustainability goals on the economic, social, and environmental fronts.
On the social front, Arab Bank continued to build upon its commitment towards community investment. This involves direct charitable donations, CSR based sponsorships, community interventions and initiatives carried out by AHSF, Arab Bank’s cultural and social responsibility arm. The past year marked the 10th anniversary of launching Arab Bank’s corporate social responsibility program “Together” that impacted the lives of over 1,220,000 beneficiaries across Jordan with the support of Arab Bank employees and customers. Over the course of ten years, Arab Bank’s employees were able to volunteer over 24,600 hours through participating 6,700 times in community-based initiatives launched by the bank in collaboration with several NGOs.
On the environmental level, Arab Bank continued its environmental efforts and contributed significantly to reducing the environmental impact of its operations compared to 2018. The bank also helped its customers reduce their environmental footprint by offering them paperless banking solutions through digitalization. This is in addition to Arab Bank’s active role in financing environmentally friendly infrastructure projects aimed at supporting environment conservation and expanding clean energy usage across Jordan.
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank was at the forefront of supporters of Jordan’s national efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its economic and social repercussions, donating a total of JOD 15 million to “Himmat Watan” Fund and the Ministry of Health.
Arab Bank was also awarded “Middle East’s Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program 2019” by EMEA Finance Magazine, in recognition of the bank’s commitment and remarkable achievements in sustainability.
Arab Bank’s 2019 Sustainability Report can be viewed on Arab Bank’s website at www.arabbank.com.
As part of its constant efforts to provide value added banking services and programs, Arab Bank recently revamped its Children’s savings program and relaunched it under the brand “Arabi Junior”, offering an array of new benefits and features for children and teens up to the age of 17 years.
The new “Arabi Junior” program offers a host of banking and non-banking benefits, specially designed to encourage parents to save for their children’s future and to create a fun and rewarding savings experience, fostering a financial culture among kids at an early age. The benefits of the new program entail: various options of deposits at preferential interest rates, money transfers from parents accounts to “Arabi Junior” accounts without fees, Visa debit card enabled for online purchases with a special design at no monthly fees as well as the Contactless bracelet “BandPay” exempted from issuance fees and available in colors and different sizes that are suitable for children and teens. “BandPay” allows payment from the Visa debit card by waving the bracelet over the POS device at merchants that accept Contactless payments without using cards. This is in addition to the “Instant Saver” feature, which allows parents to save for their children upon every purchase they make using their debit or credit cards, through deducting a pre-set percentage or a rounded-up amount from each transaction value to be automatically transferred to the child’s “Arabi Junior” account. The program also offers a special gift upon account opening, bonus reward points within “Arabi Points” program and monthly cash prizes up to JOD 10,000.
Additionally, “Arabi Junior” entails an educational savings plan with waiver of the first monthly installment, special discounts and offers at various shopping outlets, toy stores, entertainment centers and educational centers, as well as bonus reward points when upgrading the account from “Arabi Junior” to “Shabab” program after the age of 17. It also provides the option of converting the reward points’ balance into cash and transferring it from the parent’s account to “Arabi Junior” account within “Arabi Points” program. The new program also entails the ability to view “Arabi Junior” balance details anytime, anywhere via “Arabi Mobile” app, in addition to using the digital saving service “e-Tawfeer” via “Arabi Mobile” app, which provides a host of savings tools with preferential and competitive returns and many more benefits.
Commenting on the new program’s launch, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, said: “The launch of “Arabi Junior” program comes as part of Arab Bank’s leading initiatives and ongoing efforts to provide the latest programs and services to its valued customers in line with their current and future banking needs.” He added: “The new program provides a perfect savings opportunity for parents and their children – up to 17 years old - as it offers a host of unique banking privileges designed specially to cater to the needs of this age group and provides parents with an added value that enables them to establish a solid financial base for their children’s future.”
It is worth noting that “Arabi Junior” program is part of Arab Bank’s comprehensive banking programs offering, supported by fully integrated digital channels designed to meet the evolving banking needs of the whole family throughout its life cycle. The bank’s array of programs respond to the needs of children, youth, employees, and professionals, in addition to providing banking and wealth management programs for middle to high net worth groups, as well as bancassurance services.
Arab Bank has recently introduced the Contactless (NFC) technology across a wide group of its ATMs in Jordan, allowing ATM users to conduct cardless transactions easily, safely and conveniently. The launch of Contactless technology comes in line with the bank’s continuous efforts to reinforce its comprehensive digital banking services, and provide its customers with innovative banking solutions that save their time and effort.
Through the Contactless technology on Arab Bank ATMs, customers will be able to access their accounts and carry out banking transactions by simply waving their NFC-enabled debit cards over the ATM’s Contactless reader and then entering their PIN code. Arab Bank customers who are interested in this service can instantly issue NFC-enabled debit cards anytime via the Transactional Kiosk machines available at selective Arab Bank branches. They can also request the issuance of NFC-enabled debit cards through any of Arab Bank’s branches.
As part of the Contactless technology, Arab Bank customers can also perform their banking transactions at any of Arab Bank’s NFC-enabled ATMs using the Contactless bracelet “BandPay” or the Contactless mobile sticker, by simply waving these items over the ATM’s Contactless reader, and then entering the PIN code - without using their cards.
Commenting on launching this technology, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan said: “The launch of the Contactless technology on ATMs by Arab Bank for the first time in Jordan comes as part of the bank’s strategy to continuously deploy the latest digital banking solutions and provide customers with a unique and seamless banking experience.” He added: “The launch of NFC technology is yet another step in the bank’s digital journey towards providing our customers with the best value propositions designed to meet their evolving needs and lifestyle.”
It is worth mentioning that the Contactless bracelet “BandPay” and the Contactless mobile sticker can both be used at different points-of-sales without the need to enter the PIN code up to a preset maximum daily limit. Arab Bank’s customers can issue both items through any of the bank’s branches.
As part of their long-term collaboration towards reinforcing the values of social solidarity, Arab Bank continued its support to Tkiyet Um Ali’s programs during the holy month of Ramadan. This entailed distributing food parcels and delivering iftar meals to underprivileged families replacing the regular Ramadan practice “Mawae’d al-Rahman” which is usually held at Tkiyet Um Ali premises during Ramadan every year. The initiative this year came to provide the support to the needy families while complying with the government measures undertaken to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
Through this initiative, Arab Bank was able to provide families living in poverty pockets with 1,460 iftar meals, and donate a total of 147 food parcels to Tkiyet Um Ali’s underprivileged families.
Mr. Samer Balkar, Director General of Tkiyet Um Ali, thanked Arab Bank for its continuous support, stating: “We are grateful for Arab Bank’s long-term commitment and support over the years, especially during 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.”
It is worth noting that Tkiyet Um Ali provides sustainable food aid to 30,000 underprivileged families living in extreme poverty in all provinces and governorates across the Kingdom which constitute of 150,000 individuals. The families receive monthly parcels containing 24 food items that include all the basic nutritional elements which fulfill the needs of a family for an entire month. Moreover, Tkiyet Um Ali is also reaching those who are in urgent need for food aid in light of the current situation.
Since the launch of its social responsibility program “Together”, Arab Bank has continued to support initiatives aimed at community development. The bank also provides its customers various donation channels which are simple and easy to use. Customers can also donate directly to non-profit organizations participating in “Together” program. These donation channels include: ATM, Arabi Online (Internet banking service), in addition to Together Platinum credit card.
The Children’s Museum Jordan continued its online “Community Connections” program, sponsored by Arab Bank, despite closing off its doors in response to COVID-19. The “Community Connections” program encompasses several educational courses, designed and conducted exclusively by the Children’s Museum Jordan for children and their families to enjoy over the course of a year.
Considering that Ramadan educational activities were the most sought after by kids and parents and in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the museum launched a special online edition of it through its social media pages, allowing children and their families, in Amman and different governments, to engage with the program using their smartphones from the convenience of their homes.
The special Ramadan online program, hosted by the museum’s team and partners, entailed a wide range of visual and audio content on art, science, literature, activities that can be easily applied by children at home, video experiments, live sessions with parenting and childhood experts as well as story-telling activities and a Ramadan competition for families to enjoy.
Arab Bank’s sponsorship of the Children’s Museum Jordan comes as part of its corporate social responsibility program “Together” that focuses on Education as one its main pillars, particularly within the scope of developing educational content that enriches children’s learning experience in line with the latest trends in the field. Ramadan program offers an array of online educational courses that families can benefit from at home, to reinforce extracurricular, distant learning, while providing a unique opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children and assist them in utilizing their time productively during their stay at home.
Ramadan program is available online on the Children’s Museum Jordan’s social pages:
Arab Bank Group reported net income after tax for the first quarter of 2020 of $147.6 million as compared to $231.8 million for the prior period, recording a decrease of 36%.
Total loans amounted to $26.2 billion as of March 31, 2020 compared to $25.8 billion for the same period in the previous year, with a growth rate of 2%, while customer deposits grew by 5% to reach $35.2 billion compared to $ 33.7 billion for the same period in the previous year. The Group maintained its strong capital base with equity of $9.2 billion and a capital adequacy ratio of 16.5%.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors remarked that the performance of Arab Bank confirms the success of the diversified business model of the Group regionally and globally. He also pointed out that the next phase will be challenging for the global and regional economies and will witness a slowdown in growth and difficulties for various sectors as a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Masri added that he has great confidence in the Bank’s ability to deal with the challenges that lay ahead and noted that the Bank has in previous years demonstrated its effectiveness in operating in challenging economic environments.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, commented that the Group net operating income dropped by only 2%, but the Bank opted to build more provisions during the first quarter of 2020 as a precautionary measure against the financial implications of COVID-19, and this resulted in the decrease in the reported net income after tax.
Mr. Sabbagh added that Arab Bank Group enjoys high liquidity and strong and robust capitalization. The Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 74.4% while the capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with Basel III regulations is at 16.5%, and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%. Commenting on the negative economic repercussions resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19, Mr. Sabbagh stated that the global banking sector will experience challenges as a result of the economic slowdown, the higher cost of risk and lower interest rates.
Mr. Masri concluded by remarking that Arab Bank was careful to take the necessary measures to protect the wellbeing of its employees and customers. He further added that Arab Bank has donated JD 15 million as part of its social responsibility in support of Jordan’s national efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its health, economic and social repercussions on the Kingdom.
Arab Bank held its Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assembly meetings on April 28th, 2020 online, becoming the first public shareholding company in the Kingdom to adopt a digital method of conducting general assembly meetings. The move comes in compliance with Defense Law (13) of 1992, Defense Order (5) of 2020 as well as the procedures issued by H.E. the Minister of Industry – Trade & Supply on April 9th, 2020 in line the with the defense orders listed above.
The meetings were held online amidst the preventative measured taken by the government to combat COVID-19, including prohibiting gatherings and public meetings that may result in spreading the virus, in order to protect citizens’ health and safety. To this effect, the Companies Control Department prepared a special procedure and instructions to regulate the organization of meetings of general assemblies, boards of directors and executives assemblies of public shareholding companies, private shareholding companies and limited liability companies in a manner that serves the national economy and enables such parties to hold their meetings during the Defense Law period.
In accordance with the government procedures stipulated in this regard, Arab Bank has enabled its shareholders to register for the meetings electronically in advance and to attend the meetings through an advanced digital platform in line with the latest international practices in this respect. The bank also allowed shareholders with less than 10% of shares to send any questions they might have in advance to be answered by the Board of Directors and executive management instantly and during the meeting. This is in addition to the platform’s electronic voting mechanism, which allowed shareholders to vote in advance or instantly on the agenda items of both the ordinary and extraordinary general assembly meetings.
Commenting on the online General Assembly, Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated: “Holding the General Assembly meeting is an annual necessity and requirement for the bank’s operations spanning five continents, thus despite the exceptional circumstances that the Kingdom and the world are facing, we ensured business continuity through deploying the latest digital solutions and practices.”
Mr. Masri added: “The Royal directives focusing on the economy’s protection and sustainability as well as the flexible procedures and instructions issued by the Ministry of Industry – Trade & Supply and the Companies Control Department, had the greatest impact on the success of this pioneering experience, which is considered an advanced step towards the transition to the digitized economy.”
For his part, Dr. Wael Armouti, the Companies’ General Controller, said: “We are pleased to see the success of Arab Bank’s experience in holding its general assembly meetings online. This initiative comes as a result of the Royal directives and the government’s vision and ongoing efforts to take decisions and set measures to provide advanced practical solutions and alternatives to enable companies continue their operations amidst the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.” He added: “This initiative embodies the active partnership between the public and private sectors, where advanced digital solutions are deployed to hold general assembly meetings in a manner convenient to both shareholders and companies thus expanding the participation base of such meetings. In the coming period, we look forward to reinforcing the adoption of this approach across various companies operating in the Kingdom.”
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank’s general assembly meeting had a shareholder participation rate of 78.13% of the Bank’s capital.
Arab Bank held its ordinary and extraordinary general assembly meeting online on April 28th, 2020, 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 78.13% 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 both the ordinary and extraordinary general assembly meetings were endorsed.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of Arab Bank’s Board of Directors, said: “Arab Bank’s general assembly meeting is held this year amid the unprecedented circumstances that the Kingdom and the entire world are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts are being exerted across various levels to deal with this global crisis and to alleviate its health, economic and social repercussions.”
Commenting on Arab Bank’s performance, Mr. Masri stated that Arab Bank Group achieved a solid performance during 2019 despite the challenging circumstances in the region. The Group reported net income after tax of $846.5 million as compared to $820.5 million in 2018, recording a growth of 3.2%. Net income before tax grew to reach $ 1.15 billion as compared to $ 1.12 billion in 2018.
Revenues grew by 4.6% to reach $ 2.2 billion, and these have been generated broadly from both the local and international network, with the latter comprising close to 70% of total revenues. Net operating income increased to $ 1.3 billion, driven by the growth in interest and commission of the bank’s major operations and total expenses recorded a decrease of 3% from 2018.
Credit facilities grew by 1.2 % to reach $ 26.1 billion compared to $ 25.8 billion as of December 31st, 2018, while customer deposits increased by 6% to reach $36.2 billion. The Group also managed to further grow its equity by 5% during the year to reach over $ 9 billion despite the exceptional distribution of 45% cash dividend for the year 2018, following the dismissal of the legal case. Group equity grew with a return on equity of 9.3%.
Arab Bank’s solid results were driven by sustainable growth in the underlying business and by well controlled expenses. The bank maintains a well funded balance sheet, strong liquidity and robust capital position and enjoys strong, prudent and healthy fundamental financial metrics. The Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 72.1 % while the capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with Basel III regulations is at 16.2 % in December 2019. Asset quality of the Group remains high and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to be above 100%.
Mr. Masri stated that the bank’s solid performance demonstrates its success in dealing with the challenging circumstances through its prudent operating policies, broad network across the region and well- diversified sources of income. Mr. Masri further stated that the bank is currently evaluating the financial and economic implications of COVID-19 crisis in order to combat and contain its repercussions.
It is worth mentioning that the distribution of dividends for the 2019 fiscal year was postponed in accordance with the circular no. 1/1/4693 issued on April 9th, 2020 by H.E. the Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan to all banks operating in the Kingdom.
Arab Bank was named “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2020” by Global Finance, New York for the fifth consecutive year. The Bank was also named “The Middle East’s Best Bank 2019” by Euromoney – London.
A group of Arab Bank board members donated a total of JOD 150,000 to “Himmat Watan” fund in support of Jordan’s national efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis and alleviate its health, economic and social repercussions on the Kingdom.
The board members praised the relentless national efforts, led by His Majesty King Abdullah II, in addressing the challenges resulted from this global pandemic and cushioning its implications in order to preserve the health and safety of citizens and protect the country’s resources and achievements.
Arab Bank’s employees donated JOD 1.25 million to “Himmat Watan” Coronavirus relief fund, in support of Jordan’s national efforts, led by His Majesty King Abdullah II, to combat the COVID-19 crisis and alleviate its economic and social repercussions on the Kingdom.
This donation reflects Arab Bank employees’ sense of responsibly and responsiveness. It embodies their spirit of solidarity and good citizenship as well as their sincere eagerness to fulfill the nation's call under various circumstances and challenges. The contribution comes to express the deep appreciation of Arab Bank’s employees towards the relentless efforts exerted by various government bodies to fight the Coronavirus and contain its ramifications, led by the Ministry of Health, the Jordanian Armed Forces (Arab Army), the Royal Medical Services and the security services.
The donation included JOD 1 million from Arab Bank’s employees across the Kingdom including the employees of Al Arabi Investment Group “AB Invest”, Arab National Leasing Company (Arab Bank’s subsidiaries) as well as Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation, Arab Bank’s Cultural and Social Responsibility arm. It also included a JOD 150,000 contribution from Arab Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, and JOD 100,000 from Arab Bank’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Randa Sadik
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank was at the forefront of supporters of Jordan’s national efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its economic and social repercussions. Arab Bank had donated earlier a total of JOD 15 million to “Himmat Watan” Fund and the Ministry of Health as part of its national duty and social responsibility towards protecting the Kingdom and preserve its resources.
Arab Bank Group raised its donation to JOD 15 million in support of the Kingdom's efforts to combat COVID—19 and alleviate its repercussions. Arab Bank had earlier donated JOD 3 million to the Ministry of Health. The additional donation amount is directed towards “Himmat Watan”, Coronavirus national relief Fund.
Arab Bank raised the value of its donation as part of its patriotic duty and social responsibility and in support of Jordan’s national efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its health, economic and social repercussions on the Kingdom.
Arab Bank expressed its sincere appreciation of all efforts exerted by the Kingdom, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, and the participation of the different government bodies at all levels to address these exceptional circumstances. The bank also stressed the importance of collaboration, responsible citizenship and active community participation during these challenging times in order to ensure the health and safety of citizens and to protect the nation and preserve its resources and achievements.
As part of its national duty and social responsibility, and in light of the exceptional circumstances the Kingdom is facing in its fight against COVID-19, Arab Bank Group donated JOD 3 million to support Jordan’s national efforts to combat the spread of this pandemic. The donation will support in providing the necessary health care for the infected as well as the tests needed for suspected cases in order to mitigate the effects of this pandemic on the Kingdom.
Arab Bank expressed its deep appreciation for the relentless efforts made by various government bodies at different levels across the Kingdom to address these exceptional circumstances. The bank also stressed the importance of collaboration, responsible citizenship and active community participation in order to ensure the safety and health of citizens and to protect the nation and preserve its resources and achievements during such challenging circumstances.
Arab Bank has launched a special offer on its payment app “Arabi MobiCash” as 28 new merchants at City Mall recently joined a list of over 150 restaurants, shops and gas stations that accept payments through the app. The offer provides customers who use the app for their payments with the opportunity to win gift vouchers and guaranteed cashback rewards as well as doubled bonus points within “Arabi Points” program as part of the bank’s series of promotional offers and campaigns.
The offer, which will run until February 17th, 2020, allows current and new customers to enter a draw to win one out of ten JOD 200 gift vouchers from City Mall when using “Arabi MobiCash” app to conduct payments at select merchants. The offer also allows customers to benefit from a guaranteed JOD 10 cashback deposited in their accounts every month when using the app to pay for purchases exceeding JOD 50 in total throughout the month at three different points of sale that accept payments through “Arabi MobiCash”. They will also benefit from doubled reward points within “Arabi Points” program, noting that Arab Bank employees will be available throughout the campaign period at the bank’s “Arabi MobiCash” booth – City Mall to assist customers with all their inquiries and to help those who are interested in Arab Bank services to open new accounts digitally.
Commenting on this offer, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk stated: “We continue to introduce value-added promotions and offers aiming to reward our customers for using ‘Arabi MobiCash’, which provides them with seamless and flexible payment experience.” He added: “Arab Bank also offers individuals who wish to benefit from Arab Bank’s comprehensive services and exclusive offers the opportunity to open an Arab Bank account digitally in three simple and easy steps, using their smart phones and tablets via “Arabi Mobile” app.”
It is worth mentioning that “Arabi MobiCash” app - the first of its kind in the Kingdom - offers a host of comprehensive features including the ability to receive invoices using the QR Code or by entering the invoice number via the smartphone in order to pay it through the app. The app also offers the advantage of conducting payments without the need to be physically present at the merchant’s site, in addition to transferring bills easily and securely to other “Arabi MobiCash” users to pay it. The app also provides detailed reports and dashboards covering all transactions besides many other features.
“Arabi MobiCash” app is available through Apple Store and Google Play, providing users with the convenience to set up their account and password through the application directly, instead of contacting the bank.
Arab Bank Group closed 2019 with solid results reporting net income after tax of $846.5 million as compared to $820.5 million in 2018, recording a growth of 3.2%. Net income before tax grew to reach $ 1.15 billion as compared to $ 1.12 billion in 2018, while Group equity grew to reach $9.102 billion with a return on equity of 9.3%.
In view of the solid results, the Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders the distribution of 30% cash dividends for the financial year 2019, making a total dividend payout of over $ 270 million.
The Group’s net operating income grew by 5% driven by growth in interest and fee income. Credit facilities grew by 1.2 % to reach $ 26.1 billon while customer deposits increased by 6%, or by almost $ 2 billion, to reach $36.2 billion. Revenues grew by 4.6% to reach $ 2.23 billion, and these have been generated broadly from both the local and international network, with the latter comprising close to 70% of total revenues. Total expenses recorded a decrease of 3% from 2018.
The Group managed to further grow its equity by 5% during the year to reach over $ 9 billion despite the exceptional distribution of 45% cash dividend for the year 2018, following the dismissal of the legal case.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated that this strong performance confirms the success of the Group in dealing with the challenging and changing operating environment and reflects the Group’s prudent operating policies. Mr. Masri stated that the broad network of the Group across countries in the region and globally provides the benefit of diversified sources of income, and added that the Group has demonstrated that it has the right strategy and footprint to deliver value for its shareholders.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that Arab Bank continues to deliver consistent and sustained growth, while investing for the future through the prudent and efficient deployment of capital, and by building a resilient balance sheet through its disciplined and proactive approach to risk management.
Mr. Sabbagh further added that while the operating environment for most regional economies remains challenging, Arab Bank’s strength, its broad and loyal customer base, diversified business model and wide geographical diversification, and its ability to leverage its unique brand and global network ensured that the performance of the Group remained strong. Mr. Sabbagh added that the performance in 2019 reflects the continued success of the bank’s business model.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh also stated that the solid results of Arab Bank Group for 2019 were driven by sustainable growth in the underlying business and by well controlled expenses. He added that Arab Bank Group maintains a well funded balance sheet, strong liquidity and robust capital position. He further added that the Group enjoys strong, prudent and healthy fundamental financial metrics. The Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 72.1 % while the capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with Basel III regulations is at 16.2 %. Asset quality of the Group remains high and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to be above 100%.
Mr. Masri concluded by remarking that the encouraging results will continue to support the strong financial performance of the Group and its position in its markets and that the bank will maintain its strong financial position and will aim to deliver to its shareholders healthy and sustainable dividends.
Arab Bank was named “The Middle East’s Best Bank 2019” by Euromoney - London and “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2019” by Global Finance, New York for the fourth year consecutively.
The 2019 financial statements are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Jordan.
Arab Bank has recently launched a special “Arabi MobiCash” offer for its “Shabab” program customers, providing them with an opportunity to receive guaranteed monthly cash rewards when conducting payments via “Arabi MobiCash” app. The offer comes as part of the bank’s continuous efforts to reward young customers by providing them with advanced payment services and value-added offers that meet their evolving needs and expectations.
The offer, which will run until March 31st, 2020, allows young customers to benefit from a guaranteed JOD 10 deposited in their account every month when using “Arabi MobiCash” app to pay for purchases exceeding JOD 50 in total throughout the month at three different points of sale that accept payments through “Arabi MobiCash”. They will also benefit from doubled reward points within “Arabi Points” program. It is worth mentioning that individuals who are interested in opening accounts with “Shabab” program can do so electronically and in three simple steps, easily and securely, using their smart phones and tablets via “Arabi Mobile” app.
Commenting on this offer, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, stated: “Shabab program was specially designed to meet the evolving banking needs of youth, whether they are university students or employees.” Matouk added: “Shabab customers will now be able to benefit from “Arabi MobiCash” app to conduct payments easily and conveniently through their debit and credit cards through their smartphones. This is in addition to the financial reward offered now to them as an incentive to use the application.”
It is worth mentioning that the “Arabi MobiCash” app - the first of its kind in the Kingdom - offers a host of comprehensive features including the ability to receive invoices using the QR Code or by entering the invoice number via the smartphone in order to pay it through the app. The application also offers the advantage of conducting payments without the need to be physically present at the merchant’s site, in addition to transferring bills easily and securely to other “Arabi MobiCash” users. The app also provides detailed reports and dashboards covering all transactions besides many other features.
“Arabi MobiCash” app is available through Apple Store and Google Play, providing users with the convenience to set up their account and password through the application directly, and using a secret number, instead of contacting the bank.
As part of its social responsibility and ongoing efforts to support the education sector, Arab Bank has recently sponsored the “Job Shadowing” program implemented by INJAZ in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
The educational program provided the opportunity for twenty students to visit and spend a full workday at six branches of Arab Bank with the aim to acquaint the students with a real life work place environment. The exercise focused on exploring the relationship between the academic (theoretical) knowledge acquired in school and the skills required in the working environment of the bank.
Commenting on this initiative, Mr. Tareq Haj Hasan - Senior Vice President, Head of Branding at Arab Bank said: “Our continued cooperation with INJAZ dovetails with our corporate social responsibility program “Together”, through which we attach great importance to supporting the education sector given its vital role in achieving sustainable community development.” Haj Hasan added: “The program is an effective initiative towards strengthening and enriching the learning process through deploying interactive activities that build the skills and abilities of our students and expand their understanding in line with the latest developments, which in turn prepares them to deal with future opportunities and challenges.”
Mr. Muhannad Al Jarrah, Executive Director at INJAZ, stated that the “Job Shadowing” program implemented in cooperation with Arab Bank and the Ministry of Education aims at encouraging students to learn about the different career paths through field trips that focus on building their practical knowledge and provide them with an insightful orientation in this respect.
He added that INJAZ’s cooperation with Arab Bank through this program covered different aspects, mainly familiarizing students with the real workplace environment in general and banks in specific. The students experienced the work environment firsthand through their direct interaction with Arab Bank volunteering staff, who took the students through the latest developments in the industry and encouraged them to set and pursue their own career goals and plans.
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 economic, social and environmental sustainable 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 the areas of health, poverty alleviation, environmental protection, education and orphan support.