Arab Bank Group achieved solid results for the period ending December 31, 2022, with net income after tax of $544.3 million as compared to $314.5 million in 2021. The Group’s performance was driven by robust growth in its core banking business across different markets, as net profit before provisions and tax increased by 23% to reach 1.35 billion US dollars.
Excluding the impact of devaluation of several currencies against the US dollar, loans and deposits grew by 5% to reach $35.4 billion and $ 47.7 billion, respectively, despite the volatile operating environment.
In view of these results, the Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders, the distribution of 25% cash dividends for the financial year 2022.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented that Arab Bank was able to achieve several key strategic objectives in 2022 despite the challenges that emerged during the year. He also added that the results reflect the bank’s unique footprint as well as its diversified franchise and rooted presence in several markets. Mr. Masri stated that the bank remains committed to its strategic sustainable growth direction centered on serving customers’ evolving needs, and continuing to invest in innovation and digital transformation.
Ms. Randa Sadik, Chief Executive Officer, stated that Arab Bank continued to deliver sustainable growth rates during 2022 despite the economic challenges stemming from high inflation, increased interest rates and the devaluation in exchange rates of several currencies against the US dollar. The bank’s net operating profit grew by 23% driven by the growth in revenues from its core banking business, its diversified sources of income, with focus on non-interest income, as well as controlling operating expenses in line with the bank's prudent strategy.
Ms. Sadik added that the Group’s liquidity and asset quality remains solid where loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 74.2% and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%. Arab Bank Group maintains a strong capital base that is predominantly composed of common equity with a capital adequacy ratio of 16.6%
Ms. Sadik also highlighted that as part of Arab Bank’s commitment towards Sustainability and its Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) priorities, the bank has launched its inaugural Sustainable Finance Framework, in line with international principles, guidelines and best practices. Arab Bank is the first bank in Jordan to adopt such a Framework and the bank has obtained a Second Party Opinion from S&P Global Ratings, which has affirmed the Framework’s alignment with the related international principles.
With regard to the bank's digital transformation efforts, Ms. Sadik stated that the bank continues to implement its ambitious strategy on this front, noting that during the year the bank launched several digital banking services and solutions across various markets to meet the evolving needs and expectations of the different customer segments, including youth, inline with the latest trends and developments.
Arab Bank was named “Best Bank in the Middle East 2022” for the seventh consecutive year by New York-based international publication “Global Finance”. The bank also received several awards in recognition of its corporate and consumer digital banking services in Jordan and across the MENA region.
The 2022 financial statements are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Jordan.
Arab Bank renewed its support for the Digitization and Cybersecurity program implemented by INJAZ at different universities for the fourth consecutive year.
The program, in light of the rapid developments that the technology sector is witnessing, aims to enable students to identify the techniques and methods related to digitization and cybersecurity to ensure the protection of data against theft or damage when transferred, saved, or shared. The program also aspires to educate the students on topics related to cybercrime, identity theft, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as smartphones and applications, through interactive sessions that employ e-learning tools.
Through its strategic collaboration with Arab Bank over the past three years, INJAZ has been implementing the Digitization and Cybersecurity program across different universities and colleges in the Kingdom to keep pace with the rapid developments in cybersecurity and contribute to reducing the knowledge gap among students in this field. To date, over 3000 participating students have 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 by 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.
Arab Bank recently concluded the second edition of its FinTech Bootcamp for entrepreneurs, which aims to drive emerging FinTech solutions in Jordan.
Through this initiative, Arab Bank offered an ideal opportunity for promising FinTech entrepreneurs to present their ideas for a chance to develop them into innovative FinTech solutions and products. The bootcamp received a total of 74 applicants, of which, 13 were selected based on eligibility. The selected participants were then enrolled in an intensive workshop at AB iHub located at the bank’s headquarters, where they received specialized training by leaders in FinTech and entrepreneurship as well as Arab Bank’s team of experts.
The bootcamp concluded with a demo day where startups pitched their solutions to a panel of judges comprised of Arab Bank senior management and independent investors. “DESAISIV” received the first-place prize while “askPepper” received the second-place prize and “IPass” came in third. All three winners received cash rewards to continue developing their ideas and building their solutions.
Commenting on this initiative, Ms. Hala Zahran, Head of AB Accelerator at Arab Bank, Said: “We are proud of the remarkable success achieved by our FinTech Bootcamp every year, which is not only manifested through the number of ideas we have received, but also in the quality of these ideas and the engagement of the entrepreneurs across the different stages of the program, which provided them with a chance to develop their emerging ideas and solutions.” Zahran added: “This initiative provides young entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to grow their skills and innovate through transforming their ideas into actual FinTech products and solutions based on best practices and market strategies.”
It is worth noting that Arab Bank is considered one of the leading regional financial institutions in deploying advanced digital solutions for financial and banking services. Arab Bank also gives significant importance to supporting innovation in the financial technology sector towards evolving the banking services and solutions in a manner that dovetails with the latest trends and developments associated with the fourth industrial revolution and the constantly evolving needs and expectations of customers across the different segments and sectors. Arab Bank has adopted an integrated strategic approach in this respect, creating a center for innovation “AB iHub” and an accelerator hub. This strategic approach is in line with the bank's constant endeavor to support entrepreneurial startups and projects thus contributing to youth capacity building, innovation and sustainable economic development.
Arab Bank has recently opened Souq Bab Al Madinah branch in its new location in Al-Zarqa. The opening comes as part of the bank’s strategy to reinforce its branch network in the Kingdom and provide its customers across different segments with banking solutions that are in line with their needs and expectations.
The new branch offers alongside the usual banking services, a dedicated area for “Elite” program customers, a wide range of services to “Premium” program customers and SMEs through dedicated relationship managers, and an “ITM” for communicating in real-time with a bank representative via a video call to assist customers in conducting their banking transactions easily and instantly. The new branch also comprises an “ATM Plus”, which enables customers to withdraw double the daily limit amount in JOD and USD, instant and post-dated cheques deposit in JOD around the clock, and instant cash deposit in JOD and USD, in addition to the usual ATM services anytime.
Commenting on the branch opening, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, stated: “The opening of the new branch in Al-Zarqa comes as part of Arab Bank’s constant efforts to connect with its customers across the different areas in the Kingdom and meet their needs and expectations within the highest banking standards.” He added: “The new branch offers a host of comprehensive banking services and systems to ensure a seamless and secure customer experience.”
In addition to its branch network across the Kingdom, Arab Bank also offers a host of digital banking solutions and services through its “Arabi Mobile” app, and through its “Arabi Online” internet banking service. Additionally, customers who are interested in opening accounts with Arab Bank can download the "Arabi Mobile" app through App Store, Google Play or Huawei AppGallery then use the option "Open New Account" available through the application to enter the required information without the need to visit a branch. Through its “Arabi Next” app, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, Arab Bank also offers SMEs a host of banking privileges and digital services that meet the needs of this vital sector.
Arab Bank signed a cooperation agreement with HyperPay, the leading electronic payment gateway in the Middle East and North Africa region, to provide the bank’s merchants and customers with the latest e-payment solutions. The agreement comes as part of the bank’s constant efforts to provide its customers with seamless banking services in line with their needs and expectations.
Through the agreement, the bank’s merchant and service provider customers will have access to a comprehensive host of advanced e-payment services including payment acceptance, risk and fraud management.
Head of consumer banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk, said: “We continuously seek to provide the latest banking services and e-payment solutions to our merchant and service provider customers. This collaboration with HyperPay is an added value to our offering that provides advanced and secure solutions to our customers, as well as the ability to track results and to access data easily.”
For his part, Mr. Mohannad Abwini, CEO of HyperPay, said: “HyperPay is linked to a wide network of banks across the region and acts as a mediator between banks, merchants and users by providing merchants and service providers with comprehensive e-payment solutions within high levels of security and ease.”
Abwini added: “HyperPay aims to further expand across the region through its offices in KSA, UAE and Egypt, while also providing advanced technologies and e-payment solutions, as well as enhancing our smart e-payment processing solutions using the latest and most effective technology platforms to serve the different companies and financial institutions. Today, HyperPay is able to merge with any commerce platform and offer payment acceptance with utmost ease and speed.”
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank offers a host of digital banking solutions including the e-payment acceptance service for a wide range of merchants in Jordan through POS machines, the “Arabi E-Mart” online shopping platform, websites for merchants to increase their online sales, and the “Arabi MobiCash” app, which allows card payments using smartphones.
Arab Bank has recently received several international recognitions from prestigious organizations, most notably “Best Consumer Digital Bank in Jordan 2022” by New York-based Global Finance Magazine.