Financial Institutions You Can Bank On
Financial Institutions You Can Bank On
Middle East’s Top Retail Banks Honoured at Prestigious Awards Ceremony
The region appeared well placed to weather any impending financial storms last week as the leading players in retail banking gathered in Dubai to witness the crowning of the industry elite.
Contrary to the increasingly turbulent global economic backdrop, the sentiment at the region’s first Middle East Retail Banking Awards was decidedly buoyant - particularly, on the back of today’s welcome announcement from his Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan that, “the UAE economy and banking systems are strong and sound”.
“The banking industry has wrestled with both global uncertainties and a spate of ATM fraudulent activity in recent months, reinforcing the need to highlight best practice and to recognise and reward those who have made the greatest contributions,” said Conference Manager, Keith Parker.
“The caliber of nominations we have received has been outstanding, and we felt that it was essential to provide a platform from which to champion such a deserved success story”, he added.
Whilst banks across much of the world have been left reeling by the economic downturn, operators in the GCC appear confident that the region’s banking system could well represent a financial oasis in the desert of doom.
Dubai Islamic Bank picked up the esteemed Best In Islamic Banking. Executive Vice President, Dr Adnan Chilwan said he felt confident about the road ahead. “We have visionary leadership in this country and can celebrate an overwhelming support mechanism which enhances financial stability in the sector. I would like to see increased participation in awards events like this and look forward to seeing even more categories next year”.
Burgan Bank in Kuwait received the award for the highly coveted, Most Innovative Retail Bank. Group Head of Retail Banking, Simon Clements believes it’s essential to showcase and nurture good performance.
“It’s vital to benchmark excellence. It is good for banks to have recognition in front of their peers and to have something to aspire to. The biggest challenge for retail bankers in the Middle East is increased competition and it’s crucial to identify value opportunities and to achieve the right level of customer service”.
Emirates NBD celebrated a double victory, with Best Growth Strategy and the ultimate prize – Best Middle East Retail Bank. Asif Lakhany, Associate Vice President, Group Strategy was delighted. “It’s a great honour and achievement to pick up these awards. What makes it even more special is that we were voted for by other banks in the industry. Peer group awards are always particularly emphatic”.
According to Brett King, CEO of the International American Academy of Financial Management, education, innovation and progression are key to growth in retail banking. “Traditionally in the Gulf, there’s a reticence to talk to competitors within the financial sector. Conferences like this are good for providing a more open forum for debate. They’re an essential part of driving collaboration and ultimately market growth”.
The following banks were recipients of awards;
Best In Islamic Banking - Dubai Islamic Bank
Best E-Banking Offerings - Citibank
Most Innovative Retail Bank - Burgan Bank, Kuwait
Best Branding For A Retail Bank - Mashreq Bank
Best Growth Strategy - Emirates NBD
Best Customer Experience - Al Hilal Bank
Best Middle East Retail Bank - Emirates NBD
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