At the start of 2016, Warba Bank promised its clients it would achieve positive results by the end of the year. Not only did the bank deliver on its promise, but expectations were significantly exceeded and with no sign of slowing down. The bank forecasts further accomplishments in 2017 as a result of robust strategic plans and solid investments.
Despite being a relatively young bank in the market, Warba Bank achieved distinguished financial results in 2016 with an increase in net profit of 158% totaling KD2.575m ($8.4m) compared to KD1m in the same period last year. Profits in 2016 was a product of growth in total revenues, resulting from the solid performance of all business units and reached KD37.5m as of 31 December 2016, up by 43% compared to the same period in 2015. Meanwhile, net financing revenues increased by 36% to reach KD16.4m as of 31 December 2016 compared to KD12m in the same period in 2015.
Due to its expansion strategy in local and regional markets, as well as investments in high-quality, low-risk assets, the bank’s total assets increased to KD1.1bn. Meanwhile, the financing portfolio saw notable growth reaching KD8.8m, up by 52% compared to the same period in 2015. This was the effect of the financing portfolio’s quality, with the percentage of default financing at 0.69%, one of the lowest percentages in the local banking sector, whereas the percentage of allocations’ coverage for the default financing reached 220% as of 31 December 2016.
In the past year, the bank helped finance a KD25m project to build a complex for Kuwait National Petroleum Company as part of the Clean Fuel Project. Other significant financing and investment operations in 2016 include a $155m co-financing deal for the Ziraat Katilim bank of Turkey; taking part in preparing a Shariah-compliant $174m co-financing deal to build a residential tower in New York; four co-financing deals (KD1.2bn for Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation; $145m for Etihad Airways; $230m for Ajman Bank; $155m co-financing, multi-currency deal for Ziraat Katilim). The crowning achievements of the bank’s performance in 2016 were the issuance of two sukuks: Kuwait Finance House – Turkey ($500m), and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector ($300m).
The financial performance achieved in 2016 is a direct result of the successful medium-term strategy (2015-2017), which was based on a number of targets, factoring in accelerating economic and legislative changes in the global economy and in the GCC in particular, in light of the sharp decline in oil prices. The strategy has positioned Warba Bank as a competitive Islamic bank with a rock-solid foundation in the local market.
Based on the success of this strategy, Warba Bank has put in place, in cooperation with McKinsey & Company, a five year (2017-2021) strategic plan focusing on increasing profits and positioning the bank as an institute that secures leading services to the business sector, all while continuing its success in the retail sector. The strategy includes continuing focus on outstanding customer service and developing unique digital capabilities, while continuing to grow prudently in a capital efficient manner.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the market, the bank is shaping a new era in Islamic banking through the offering of interactive yet authentic banking and services that take into account the need for effective banking while providing customers with practical solutions to meet their short and long-term financial objectives. The bank seeks to enhance its online services to attract a wider segment of new customers, raise market share and maintain a competitive edge over other local banks.
In 2016, the bank launched several new accounts including the ‘Al Sunbula’ account, ‘Super Saving’ account and the ‘Call Account’ for companies. The bank also ran several successful promotional campaigns and released ‘Al Wafi Financing’.
The goal to make banking more efficient has led to the introduction of the ‘express’ services. Today, the majority of Warba Bank’s transactions are done via the bank’s online banking securely and efficiently. With accessibility, speed and security as the key drivers, they recently launched Express Finance and Express Account.
Express Finance is the result of an agreement between Warba Bank and the Public Authority for Civil Information to facilitate an e-signature function for the bank’s customers. It allows clients to authorise the bank to view their information on the credit network (Ci-net) without having to report personally to the bank’s branch. The bank has become the first bank in Kuwait to establish a service using this technology. The e-signature, also a first in Kuwait’s banking sector and an example of the bank’s capacity to break new ground, is an individual’s electronic identity – a digital certificate that allows them to confirm their identity and safely conduct online transactions, accelerating banking transactions.
The Express Account service is the first of its kind in Kuwait and allows clients to open an account online within minutes without the need to visit a branch at the first stage. Once the application is ready, the customer visits the branch to collect the card and sign the papers.
As a testament to its tremendous performance since its inception, Warba Bank has earned numerous high-profile awards and rankings.
In 2016 alone, the bank was presented Best Investment Bank in Kuwait, Best Corporate Financing Institution, Fastest Growing Bank in the Arabian Gulf, Middle East and North Africa in 2016 and Fastest Growing Bank in Kuwait for 2016 awards from Banker Middle East magazine. It was also awarded Best Company in the Arab World for 2016 by Forbes Middle East.
These awards come in appreciation to the bank’s excellence in the Islamic banking sector despite its young age and achieving distinguished results reflected by the financial data, key performance indicators, quick achievement at all levels and quality performance in terms of financing and innovative services it provides in this field.
The bank’s 2016 outstanding achievements pave the way for more accomplishments in the future. Warba is steadily heading towards leadership in Islamic banking and we are committed to even greater success in 2017. Clients can continue to expect innovative and contemporary products and services as well and new and exciting campaigns in the coming year.
About Warba Bank
Warba Bank was established pursuant to Emiri decree and officially registered as an Islamic bank by the Kuwaiti central bank on 5 April 2010. It offers a bundle of comprehensive integrated services and banking solutions that comply with the Islamic sharia jurisdiction, and such services are offered through three groups or services, namely, the Banking Group, the Company Financing Group and the Investment and Treasury Group. The bank has ten branches in strategic locations with over 400 employees working under its umbrella.