Abdul-Aziz Al-Abdullah Al-Ohali
Chairman of the Saudi Investment Bank
An aggressive market seeker
The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) has not stopped to reinvent itself since its inception in the market in March 1977. It has established its own identity as a quality alternative to the larger institutions for sophisticated corporate and private banking customers.
It´s vision to improve its positioning in the market over-passing its competitors has been fine-tuned in a five-year strategic development plan that started implementation on December 2009. The new mission and vision statement that emerged from it enhances the quality of services.
“Our future plans were endorsed by the Board in 2010 as part of our 5 year strategic plan, and we established our vision for the bank as “the financial partner of choice for aspiring businesses and individuals”, explains Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Abdullah Al-Ohali, Chairman of SAIB. “We will achieve this by building lasting relationships with growing businesses, and with today and tomorrow’s affluent individuals”, he continues.
SAIB´s Chairman is clear about the Bank´s new focus. “We will focus on a core product set with clear offerings for each client segment that differentiates us through efficiency and service quality. We want to develop a culture that fosters ownership, collaboration, customer focus and operational excellence by strengthening staff loyalty through the introduction of a performance driven environment”
“The final objective of the strategy is to improve our market share” adds Musaed M. Al-Mineefi, General Manager of The Saudi Investment Bank. Al-Mineefi worked in the bank for 17 years as a financial controller but moved onto deputy manager and finally general manager nearly a year ago.
In January 2011 the Saudi Investment Bank Board of Directors approved a recommendation to increase it’s capital from 4,500 million Riyals to 5,500 million Riyals, an increase of 22.2% by issuing one bonus share for every 4.5 outstanding shares. This will increase the total number of shares from 450 million to 550 million improving the Bank’s capital base that will contribute to the growth and the expansion of the business.
A number of milestones that build up a brand
As a public listed company and with shareholders that include J. P. Morgan Chase, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Saudi public and private institutions as well as individuals, SAIB is a full fledge bank that offers traditional wholesale, retail and commercial banking products and services in addition to investment banking. In particular, it arranges financing of quasi-government and private industrial sectors and trade finance products for imports and exports.
Over the years, the Bank has been awarded the J.P. Morgan Chase award of excellence, speed and accuracy in the implementation of swift bank transfers in U.S. dollars and the transparency award. Following the growth tendency of Islamic banking, in 2006 the bank launched Al-Asalah Islamic banking offering its customers a full suite of sharia compliant products including Consumer financing, Current accounts, and Home finance.Furthermore, SAIB also acts on behalf of its private banking customers as an international brokerage intermediary including options, foreign exchange, precious metals and other Treasury products.
Since the introduction of the Capital Market Law that separated bank and investment activities that now have to be offered through an independent company, SAIB setup two independently managed and operated companies. “The first one is Al-Istithmar Capital. It is 100% owned by the Bank and it offers local and international brokerage to the customers of SAIB. And the second company, SAIB BNP Paribas is in partnership with BNP Paribas and offers asset management”, comments the Chairman.
Other milestones complete the long list of achievements of the bank. Last June Fitch Ratings affirmed The Saudi Investment Bank's (SAIB) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A-' with a stable Outlook. At the same time, Standard & Poors revised its outlook on SAIb to stable and affirmed the Bank´s Long-term credit rating at 'A-'. While the minimum capital adequacy for the banks stands at 8 per cent Saudi Investment Bank has increased the percentage to above 14 per cent (17 percent at year-end).
SAIB is wholly committed to the promotion of private industrial and commercial sectors and is actively supporting several major projects. “In the last few years the bank has evolved into a full retail bank with 45 branches and 7 ladies sections across the Kingdom covering major cities plus 3 branches under construction,” explains Dr. Al-Ohali, SAIB’s Chairman.
In fact, the focus of the Bank on growing its market share within the retail sector increasing its number of branches even in the remote areas of Tabuk, Taif and Hail and expanding its network of ATMs to 247 scattered over the Kingdom has paid back. SAIB´s market share of corporate retail clients has gone up to 4.9%. Today SAIB is the lead player in providing brokerage services in the Saudi equities market with attractive and efficient customer lounges in several branch locations dedicated to this investment activity.
Welcoming happy customers
But customer service remains the crown of the Bank and to keep its leading position it offers its customers several ways to bank through the branches, mobile phones and the Internet.
“The Bank is keen to provide the best banking services to suit the needs of all customers. This comes in line with our vision to meet growing demand to take advantage of banking services with high quality and excellent and competitive products to achieve the full satisfaction to which we aspire,” affirms Dr. Al-Ohali.
“We put our money where our mouth is” – he adds- “and we have implemented service level agreements across all business and service departments holding each department accountable for the timely delivery of the services to our customers. For example with our consumer loans we guarantee “money in the bank within 24 hours” or we will refund the customer’s application fees.”
A corporate citizen
Following the mission set by the bank since its opening over 35 years ago, SAIB continues to fulfil its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through contributions to the education sector. It offers training and internship programs for the students to adapt to the work environment and “in addition we organise visits for school students to tour the Bank´s branches and get first hand experience by doing role-play in our purposely-built mini branch”, explains the Chairman.
Active also in charity activities, the Bank supports several charitable organizations and activities in good causes. “The bank always aligns its business activities to be sustainable and responsible business and our staff is always encouraged to carry out voluntary activities such as the Killana donation”, underlines Dr. Al-Ohali.
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