Gulf Bank hailed the successful completion of its sponsorship of the 7th Euromoney Conference which took place on 15 September 2015 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuwait. The theme of this year’s conference was “Innovation in Uncertain Times” and included keynote addresses from H.E. Anas Al-Saleh, Minister of Finance, and H.E. Dr Mohammed Al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait.
Mr. Omar Kutayba Alghanim, Chairman of Gulf Bank, participated in an interview session in the morning where he offered his model for the ‘next generation bank’ and the future of the banking sector in Kuwait.
Mr. Alghanim discussed efforts the bank is making to build the ‘next generation bank.’ He said: “Building the next generation bank relies on three important pillars, these are: ease of use; transparency, and trust. Ease of use includes using technology and other methods to make the customer’s banking experience easier and more seamless. Transparency means being clear and open in the banking process. Trust is built by always putting the customer first. Naturally, trust will also grow from the higher levels of transparency and ease of use.”
This model for the next generation bank is essential to the growth of the banking sector in Kuwait and the economy in general. Mr. Alghanim said: “We are living in a period where oil prices are fluctuating with a downward decline in more recent months. We know that Kuwait needs a more diversified economy and the financial sector should lead the way. We must be competitive and modern.”
Mr. Alghanim believes Kuwait must capitalize on its strengths: “Kuwait is the birthplace of banking in the Gulf region, and has the capital and talent required. With this in mind and the pillars of the next generation bank, I don’t see why Kuwait’s financial sector can’t become our next great global export. Kuwait has the best banks in the region but we must look to a future where we sit at the heart of global markets.”
Mr. Alghanim also stressed the importance of human capital in building this future, saying: “In order to sustain a competitive advantage, we must have the right talent, and we have that here in Kuwait. We are proud that 64% of our workforce is Kuwaiti and we are committed to increasing that percentage and to increasing gender parity. We must continue to work with the next generation, building a cadre of Kuwaiti bankers for the benefit of the bank, Kuwait, and the future of banking”.
In closing, Mr. Alghanim expressed his appreciation and gratitude to: the Central Bank of Kuwait; Gulf Bank’s Board of Directors; the Bank’s loyal customers; and the Bank’s dedicated staff for the important roles they all play.
With regards to the Euromoney Conference, Mr. Alghanim said: “I am very proud that Gulf Bank is playing such a major role in this conference. It is an excellent platform for the industry to discuss future developments in Kuwait’s financial sector. New technology, products, and opportunity mean that there are exciting times ahead for the industry and conferences such as this are vital for the exchange of thoughts and ideas in these areas.”
Euromoney is the world’s leading organizer of conferences for cross-border investment and capital markets for portfolio and direct investors, financial intermediaries, corporations, governments, banks and financial institutions.