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The Banker Islamic Bank Award 2018




Boubyan Bank scooped the Kuwait country award for its impressive growth figures over the review period, coupled with its innovative approach to the provision of sharia-compliant products and services. In local currency terms the bank enjoyed an 18% increase to its net profits, while total sharia assets climbed by 13% and Tier 1 capital grew by 44%. Boubyan Bank’s return on equity remained stable at 11.8%, while its cost-to-income ratio was 42% and non-performing loans stood at 0.8%. 

In 2018, the bank introduced several improvements to its services. This included the introduction of near-field communication (contactless) technology to its ATMs, permitting customers to withdraw cash by simply tapping the reader and entering their pin code. As a result, customer interactions with Boubyan ATMs have become quicker while the potential for skimming fraud (whereby card data is captured) has been reduced.

In September 2018, Boubyan Bank launched a digital murabaha offering. Through the bank’s mobile application, customers can apply for personal finance and change the amount requested and the duration of the facility, among other options. Customers only need to upload an income document to receive the contract and repayment schedule to their mobile app, then choose when to visit a branch to sign the physical paperwork. This has cut the time it takes to secure a loan from two separate branch visits coupled and a 48-hour wait to just one branch visit and a 15-minute wait. 

Meanwhile, in May 2018, Boubyan Bank launched a service enabling customers to collect debit cards through its ATMs and interactive teller machines (ITMs). Under a self-service method, customers can request a new card via mobile app, internet banking platform or call center, and collect a new debit card and set up a pin at an ATM/ITM of their choice. This offering has been a big success: today, 65% of all new cards are issued outside its branch banking hours. 

After focusing on upper-tier Kuwaiti nationals in the retail segment, Boubyan Bank has launched a business banking business tailored towards Kuwaiti entrepreneurs. To this end, it is co-operating with the National Fund for SME Development.

Methodology of Choosing the Winner:

  • Boubyan Bank have been selected by our judges to win “Islamic Bank of the Year – Kuwait” for 2018.
  • The Banker only awards a couple of awards in any one year and for our Islamic Bank of the Year Award, we only present one winner per country across 11 countries.
  • These limited number of awards coupled with the Banker’s well regarded awards methodology means that these are very sought after industry awards.