Arab Bank has launched its eighth sustainability report, titled “Responding to Sustainability Challenges”. The Bank’s 2017 Sustainability Report provides information on the Bank’s social, environmental and economic achievements and commitments during 2017.
The report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards, which was launched in 2016 and is considered to be the first international standards for sustainability reports, reflecting the highest levels of transparency and disclosure.
The report launch comes as part of the Bank’s ongoing commitment towards integrating sustainability into its daily operations, in a strategic manner that dovetails with the Bank’s constant efforts to support sustainable social, economic and environmental development.
With the launch of its eighth Sustainability Report, Arab Bank, once again, reiterates its leadership in sustainability development in the banking sector locally and regionally, as it is one of the few banks in the region to continuously report on sustainability based on international standards since 2010.
This report features the Bank’s achievements across its five main sustainability strategic focus areas; responsible financing, employees’ empowerment, transparent reporting, system optimization, and community cooperation. 2017 marked a year of major progress in realizing Arab Bank’s sustainability goals on the economic, social and environmental fronts.
On the environmental front, the Bank continued its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. The Bank also helped its customers to reduce their environmental footprint by offering them paperless banking solutions through digitalization.
This is in addition to the active role the Bank plays in financing environmentally-friendly infrastructure projects aimed at supporting environment conservation and expanding clean energy usage across Jordan.
On the social side, the year 2017 achieved record growth across the main indicators of the Bank’s employees volunteering program. This is manifested through the substantial increase in the number of volunteering hours, which has seen a 29% growth while volunteers’ participations have increased by 28% compared to previous year.
Arab Bank has recently launched a special promotional campaign for its credit card holders on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. The promotion includes valuable cash prizes and comes as part of a series of ongoing promotional campaigns offered by the bank to its customers.
The campaign which will run until June 17, 2018, offers Arab Bank credit card holders a chance to get JOD 10 cash back on each JOD 100 they spend using Arab Bank credit cards at any Hypermarkets or Supermarket across Jordan. This is in addition to a chance to enter a weekly draw to win one of 50 vouchers worth JOD 150 from Cosmo or Carrefour.
Commenting on the campaign, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk stated: "This campaign coincides with the holy month of Ramadan and is part of the special campaigns that Arab Bank continuously carries out to reward its valued customers and to offer them added benefits when using Arab Bank credit cards.” Matouk added: “We work diligently to provide our customers with comprehensive banking solutions and unique offers that meet their expectations and fit their lifestyle and needs throughout the year.”
Arab Bank credit cards provide its holders a wide range of benefits, including worldwide acceptance, Arab Bank Rewards Program and easy access to credit card accounts through “Arabi Mobile” and the Bank’s Internet banking service “Arabi Online”.
Arab Bank recently launched a special promotional campaign for its customers in Jordan, entitled “Your Bills Are on Us, with Our Digital Banking Services.” The campaign aims to encourage customers to use the Bank’s E-channels services: "Arabi Online", "Arabi Mobile" and ATM for bill payments, credit card payments and remittances.
The promotion, which is valid until December 31st, 2018, offers all qualified individuals using digital banking services provided by Arab Bank a chance to enter a monthly draw to win back the value of their transactions conducted during the same month up to JD 1,000. Each month, three winners who carry out at least one transaction (Outward or inward remittances/ credit card payment/ bill payment through e-fawateercom) using "Arabi Online", "Arabi Mobile" and ATM will be announced.
Commenting on the campaign launch, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank – Jordan, Mr. Yacoub Matouk stated, “Arab Bank seeks to continuously carry out special campaigns that reward our valued customers and offer them added benefits while using Arab Bank digital banking services within the highest levels of flexibility and security.” Matouk further added, “This campaign, which will continue throughout the year, is an ideal opportunity to encourage our customers to conduct many banking transactions easily and securely anywhere, anytime, and get a chance to win valuable cash prizes."
It is worth noting that Arab Bank offers its customers a comprehensive range of digital banking services free of charge and without any subscription fees. Using these E-channels, customers can carryout many banking transactions, such as accessing their balances and account details, making transfers between their accounts and other accounts, making credit card payments and linking or modifying their fixed deposits in addition to many other banking services.
Arab Bank Group announced its results for the first quarter of 2018 reporting a net profit after tax of $220.3 million as compared to $218.2 million in 2017, with net operating income before provisions and taxes reaching $335 million and recording a double digit growth of 15%. Loans and advances grew by 5% to reach $25.5 billion, whilst customer deposits stood at $33.4 billion.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated that the performance of Arab Bank confirms the success of the Group in generating strong results despite the backdrop of a challenging operating environment.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that the underlying performance of the Group continues on its growth path with first quarter results recording a solid 15% increase in net operating income. He added that the strong performance was driven by growth in core banking income with net interest income increasing by 12%.
Mr. Sabbagh remarked that Arab Bank Group enjoys high liquidity and strong and robust capitalization. Group’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.1% as of 31 March 2018. He added that the asset quality of the Group remains high and that credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%.
Mr. Masri concluded by expressing his confidence in the Group’s ability to continue on delivering strong results.
Arab Bank was named “Bank of the year in the Middle East” for 2017 by the Banker – Financial Times, London, and “Best Bank in the Middle East” for 2017 by Global Finance, New York.
Arab Bank released the following statement regarding a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Jesner et al. v. Arab Bank, plc.
The Court affirmed the May 2016 decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the District Court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), concluding that foreign corporations may not be defendants in suits brought under the ATS.
“Arab Bank is pleased with the Court’s decision, which ends this litigation and affirms the Bank’s belief that there is no basis to hold corporations liable under international law. The Bank looks forward to focusing its full attention on its business, its commitment to safe and sound banking and its dedication to the service of its customers across the globe.”
Arab Bank recently launched a promotional campaign for VISA cards that includes the exclusive release of a new VISA credit card with a special 2018 FIFA World Cup design.
The campaign which will run until 14/4/2018, provides customers who use their Arab Bank VISA credit for their daily purchases, as well as new customers who apply for any VISA credit card during the campaign, a chance to win one of eight fully paid trips for two to one of the following World Cup events in Russia: the opening ceremony and match, one of the group matches, the semi-final or the final matches. In addition to the chance to win one of 15 smart televisions with free subscription package to watch the tournaments.
Mr. Yacoub Matouk, Head of Consumer Banking at Arab Bank- Jordan, stated: “We are happy to partner with VISA, the official partner of 2018 FIFA World Cup, offering our football fans the opportunity to attend the biggest and most exciting sports tournament in the world.” He added: “We work diligently to provide unique offers and incentives to our customers and introduce exclusive experiences and rewards to Arab Bank credit cardholders.”
Commenting on the campaign, Visa Levant General Manager Nabil Tabbara said: “As the official payment service partner of the 2018 World Cup, VISA is celebrating the spirit of the game and looking forward to introducing innovative digital payment services to football supporters from Jordan and the rest of the world as they flock to Russia. VISA continues to improve our services; revealing our latest technologies and payment equipment, in addition to providing contactless cards and digital payment methods through smart phones and watches in official tournament match venues. We are very proud to partner with Arab Bank in this exciting promotion, which will enable winning Jordanian football enthusiasts to enjoy a once-in-a lifetime experience.”
Arab Bank credit cards provide its holders with a range of benefits, including worldwide acceptance, Arab Bank Rewards Program, Easy Payment Plan and easy access to credit card accounts through both Arabi Mobile and the Bank’s Internet Banking Service, Arabi Online.
Arab Bank Group closed 2017 with solid results, reporting a growth in net operating income of 8% as compared to prior year. Excluding the effect of foreign currency devaluations, net operating income achieved double digit growth of 12%. Net income after tax is at $533 million as compared to $532.7 million in 2016, whilst loans and advances grew by 6% to reach USD 25.1 billion.
In view of the results, the Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders the distribution of 30% cash dividends for the financial year 2017.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated that the strong performance of Arab Bank Group confirms the success of the Group in dealing with the challenging and changing operating environment and reflects the Group’s prudent operating policies.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that the solid results of Arab Bank Group for 2017 were driven by sustainable growth in the underlying business, spread improvements and well controlled expenses. Mr. Sabbagh remarked that Arab Bank Group enjoys strong liquidity and robust capitalization. As of 31 December 2017, the Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 74%, whilst the capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with Basel III regulations is at 15.3%. He added that the asset quality of the Group remains to be high, with NPL ratio at 5.2%, and credit provisions held against non-performing loans at 100%, excluding the value of collaterals.
Mr. Masri concluded by remarking that the encouraging results will continue to support the continuous improvement in the financial performance of the Group and its position in its markets.
Arab Bank was named “Bank of the Year in the Middle East for 2017” by The Banker – Financial Times, London and “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2017” by Global Finance, New York.
The 2017 financial statements are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Jordan.
Arab Bank recently held a training workshop for its SME customers under the title “Developing Management and Finance skills for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) customers”.
Held at the InterContinental Jordan Hotel, the workshop was the second in a series of sessions conducted by the Bank as part of its constant efforts to build the capacities of its SME customers through providing them with the needed business management expertise and financial knowledge to help develop and grow their businesses.
The workshop which was led by a specialized team of the Bank’s executives , focused on several key topics related to the SMEs sector, including the basics of project management, project financing, accounting records, cash flow management and other related topics.
Arab Bank is considered one of the leading banking institutions in supporting the SME sector locally and regionally. Through its corporate service centers across the Kingdom, the Bank provides a full range of banking solutions to develop and expand the business potential of its SME customers.