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This year’s awards celebrate increased product innovation, digital transformation and the widespread recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, together with the growing intersection between ESG and sharia-compliant financing.

The Banker’s Islamic Bank of the Year Awards for 2022 highlight an industry in strong recovery mode.

Having endured the full force of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the past year has brought respite for Islamic lenders around the world. Improved credit conditions and risk appetites, as well as lower provisions, have provided a boon for bottom lines, with many of this year’s award winners seeing key profitability and asset quality metrics return to, or even improve upon, pre-pandemic levels.

Institutions in Islamic banking’s heartland of the Gulf Co-operation Council are already reaping further windfalls in 2022, as record oil prices temporarily ease pressure on government balance sheets in many states, including Kuwait and Oman, paving the way for eased restrictions on government spending.

A similar phenomenon is likely to manifest in Malaysia, the world’s most developed Islamic finance market, as higher oil prices ease pressure on the country’s long-standing national debt. However, other key markets for sharia-compliant banking across the Asia-Pacific region face an uphill struggle. Sri Lanka, in particular, faces an uncertain economic and political future, following its unprecedented debt default in April. Pakistan — one of the fastest growing Islamic banking markets in Asia — faces similar, if less acute, challenges.

Impressively, the Islamic bond market thrived in 2021. After a slight dip during the first year of the pandemic, new sukuk issuances rose to a record $140bn last year, beating the $136bn raised in 2020, according to Refinitiv.

Sustainable Islamic finance is becoming an ever more noteworthy trend, as the intersection between sharia-compliant and mainstream environmental, social and governance-linked financing increases. March 2021 saw Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank issue a $2.5bn sustainability sukuk, the largest ever of its kind, with a total issuance of $5.2bn for the year.

Egypt, whose Islamic finance industry remains comparatively underdeveloped despite its large Muslim population, completed amendments to its sovereign sukuk law in February, making significant sovereign issuances likely going forward.

Yet, ironically, improving economic prospects in the Gulf may see a reduction in sukuk issuance in 2022, according to Moody’s Investor Service, as higher oil receipts lessen the need for financing. Nevertheless, Moody’s forecasts bright growth for the Islamic finance sector overall for the year, particularly in the Gulf, with bank assets’ growth to continue to outperform their conventional peers.

Despite of the increasing maturity of Islamic banking in leading markets such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the UAE, sharia-compliant banking assets in large majority-Muslim countries such as Egypt and Pakistan — which recorded 30.6% growth in 2021 — continue to number significantly less than the conventional asset bases, suggesting further growth to come.

Beyond financial performance, this year’s awards recognise a wide variety of digital innovation among the world’s Islamic lenders, who, like their conventional peers, have capitalised on an explosion in the popularity of digital financial services during the global coronavirus pandemic. Innovations recognised in this awards cycle include the application of straight-through processing to significantly streamline the existing delivery of existing product lines, general improvements of banking apps for both retail and corporate customers, the use of decentralised networks to offer improved foreign exchange services, and the launch of standalone mobile banking services designed for children and teenagers.

Among the new products rolled out by this year’s award winners are online microloan products for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); ever more enhanced remittance and trading platforms; sophisticated sharia-compliant investment vehicles; ‘buy now, pay later’-type facilities; and retirement products.

And while the main impact of the coronavirus pandemic has eased across large swathes of the world, the 2022 awards continue to recognise the efforts made by Islamic banks to support customers and businesses — especially SMEs — still struggling from the adverse effects of 2020’s economic shocks.

World, Asia-Pacific, Malaysia

Winner: Maybank Islamic

Maybank Islamic has been crowned The Banker’s Global Islamic Bank of the Year for the third year in a row, also scooping prizes for both Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region. Despite high-calibre competition from within both its domestic market and internationally, Malaysia’s largest Islamic lender — a subsidiary of the country’s largest lender Maybank — was the judges’ unanimous choice for this year’s top prize, in recognition of its retail and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) product innovation, ongoing digital transformation, landmark green financing and improved financial performance.

On the retail side, Maybank Islamic expanded its Multi-Asset Investment Account (MAIA) — first launched in 2020 — with the launch of its second fund, the MAIA Global Healthcare Fund, in April 2021. The 18-month closed-end fund, which invests equally in the bank’s stable financing assets and global sharia healthcare equities, generated sales of RM385m ($88m) during its 40-day offer period.

MAIA is part of the bank’s ‘Islamic Finance 2.0’ agenda; while it intends to retain credit intermediation as its core engine of growth, it is also actively expanding into the investment intermediation role, growing its assets while maintaining capital efficiency and increasing its fee-based income.

The bank also launched its Maybank Islamic Gold Account-i (MIGA-i), the country’s first sharia-compliant gold-backed account that allows real-time market price gold trading, in May 2021, generating more than RM100m in transactions within the first eight months.

MIGA-i’s initial early success is attributable in no small part to the deployment of straight-through processing (STP), enabling account creation within two minutes and real-time pricing, all at a lower cost and with fewer errors. The bank also introduced STP for its Zest-i sharia-based investment account in July 2021, recording more than 8000 account openings with a 97% activation rate by the end of the year.

July also saw the rollout of Maybank Islamic’s ‘Islamic Wealth Management Total Solutions’ platform for affluent clients, offering access to investment products and Islamic estate planning solutions, including wasiat, hibah, waqf and estate administration structures. Customers are also entitled to privileges including an Islamic wealth dialogue series, sharia advisory services and exclusive umrah packages.

Aside from retail, Maybank Islamic continues to innovate on the SME front by supporting initiatives to boost the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through capacity building and product distribution programmes within the halal economy. The past year saw the bank introduce its ‘Halal Route to Market Programme’, which has enabled 10 Malaysian SMEs to export their halal products to Singapore.

It also empowered micro halal food and beverage entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses and obtaining halal certification as part of Maybank Islamic’s Cloud Kitchen Initiative, which enables homegrown SMEs to rent a well-equipped, commercial-grade kitchen space with state-of-the-art facilities at a reasonable price, and obtain guidance through the halal certification process via the programme’s partnership with Cookhouse Malaysia.

Maybank Islamic continues to be a significant trend setter in the convergence between environmental, social and governance-driven and Islamic financing. The past year saw the bank distribute the world’s first Islamic green financing for a hospitality asset to Royal Group Development Pte, in collaboration with Maybank Singapore. The S$250m ($180.5m) facility goes towards construction of the upcoming Raffles Sentosa Resort and Spa Singapore, and the renovation and upgrade of Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa. The bank was the leading Malaysian ringgit sukuk issuer for 2021, and the third-leading sukuk issuer globally.

The bank also continued to aid communities and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic via initiatives that leveraged Islamic social finance funds, such as zakat and sadaqah. These assistance initiatives included the distribution of RM1m in zakat funds for an estimated 4736 beneficiaries across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, with 70% receiving payments via the Maybank e-wallet app as part of the bank’s Covid-19 immediate assistance programme.

After enduring a difficult 2020 — during which Malaysia’s economy shrank by 5.6% — Maybank Islamic bounced back in 2021, recording faster profit growth than its parent thanks to a 24.8% growth in total income for the year. Return on equity rose to 24.9% from 14.2% the previous year, just behind pre-pandemic levels; non-performing loans increased slightly to 0.76%; and cost-to-income improved for a second consecutive year.

Middle East, Qatar

Winner: Qatar Islamic Bank

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has been one of the Middle East’s most dynamic sharia-compliant lenders since the launch of The Banker’s Islamic Bank of the Year Awards in 2013. The Doha-based bank, which has been the dominant force in Islamic lending in Qatar for several years, regains its crown of Islamic Bank of the Year 2022 for the Middle East from last year’s winner Kuwait Finance House. The award not only recognises QIB’s strong financial performance over the past three turbulent years, but also the bank’s dizzying innovation — in particular in its retail service offering — in the past year.

While the judges were impressed by the financial performance of all of the country’s Islamic lenders, QIB’s numbers stood out for 2021, with its sharia-compliant asset base increasing by 11% to $53.3bn. Return on equity, at 17.6%, has recovered to just below pre-pandemic levels. While non-performing loans continue to trend higher, cost-to-income continues to improve.

After becoming the first Islamic bank in the country to launch a standalone app for corporate customers in 2020, QIB’s primary focus in 2021 shifted to its retail customer base, with the launch of a refreshed app in June, with trading and brokerage services for local stocks added the following month.

The bank also enhanced its Direct Remit service — which began in late-2020 with remittances to India — enabling transfers to Jordan, the Philippines and Pakistan. In December, QIB launched its Visa Direct remittance scheme — the first of its kind in Qatar — in partnership with Visa. This enables customers to transfer funds to recipients in more than 25 countries in the Middle East, north Africa, Europe and Asia, requiring only the recipient’s Visa card details.

The year also saw QIB become the first bank in Qatar to offer chatbot banking via its ‘Zaki’ (the Arabic for ‘smart’) assistant, and the first to offer video banking services.

In addition to the bolstering of its products and services, 2021 was also notable for the bank’s first sustainability report, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and the country’s National Strategy for the Environment and Climate Change. As part of its sustainability efforts, the bank has digitalised 65% of retail services and 52% of retail products, as well as 51% of corporate services and 15% of corporate products, in an effort to enhance the consumer experience while reducing paper consumption and waste.


Winner: Banque Misr

Despite being home to the world’s sixth-largest Muslim population, Islamic banking remains a relatively niche offering in Egypt, accounting for roughly 5% of the country’s total banking market. Such a low figure suggests plenty of room for growth as the market continues to develop.

In one of the awards’ most contested categories, Banque Misr has been crowned Islamic Bank of the Year 2022 for Egypt, taking the prize for the first time since the country’s inclusion in the awards in 2019. Currently lying in third position in terms of sharia-compliant deposit growth, Banque Misr — the country’s second-largest lender by overall assets — has witnessed significant growth in its Islamic window, with sharia-compliant assets more than trebling since 2019. The bank has around 43 Islamic offices and branches across Egypt.

Banque Misr sits in second place in Egypt’s Islamic banking sector, according to the Egyptian Islamic Finance Association (EIFA), with a market share of 22% in overall business volume. The bank grew its sharia-compliant deposit base by E£9bn ($486.3m) in 2021, the largest by far of any Islamic window in the country and the third-largest increase in the Islamic market overall, according to EIFA data.

The bank recently launched its online microfinance Murabaha, the first product of its kind in Egypt that is under the supervision of a sharia supervisory authority. The service offers facilities of between E£100,000 and E£2m, with the loan decision obtained within five days of the submission of a request online.

The Murabaha product is one of the first fruits of Banque Misr’s digital transformation division, which seeks to overhaul and upgrade the bank’s digital operations across both its conventional and Islamic windows to better suit the evolving needs of its customers. The bank announced a contract with French IT consultancy firm Atos in February 2021 to develop the bank’s digital customer platforms and channels, support systems, enterprise integration and data handling, all underpinned by a robust cybersecurity solution.


Winner: Bank Pasargad

Iran’s banking sector is no stranger to difficult operating conditions. For decades, the country’s lenders have been largely cut off from the global financial system, hampered by various rounds of sanctions and a failure to meet international standards on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.

Bank Pasargad, which retains its title of Islamic Bank of the Year for Iran, is no exception, having been one of 18 banks hit with fresh sanctions in late 2020 by the US. Nevertheless, the bank, a key provider of mortgage and housing loans in the country, has continued to thrive, reporting significant profitability gains in 2022, with costs and non-performing loans falling sharply for the year.

On the product side, Bank Pasargad introduced a credit card using the murabaha structure last year, enabling customers to make repayments with either a one-time payment or 12–36 monthly instalments. The bank also enhanced its product offerings for children and students, with 81,000 new student accounts opened for the year, and launched its ‘Child Land Pasargad’ mobile app.

The bank continues to innovate in the digital space, centred around its ‘Project on Digital Banking Smart Land’ strategy. In 2021, the bank processed more than 1.5 billion digital transactions, with 97% of bank documents issued digitally.

In 2021, Bank Pasargad granted facilities to small and medium-sized enterprises in 31 provinces of the country, amounting to IR199.3bn ($4.7m).

The bank has continued to actively support individuals and businesses impacted by Covid-19, granting IR1.4bn worth of emergency facilities to more than 143,000 individual applicants and paying IR2.8bn to 3652 businesses during the year. As part of its low-income tenant support scheme, the bank paid out IR902bn to 2679 applicants.

As part of its environmental, social and governance efforts, Bank Pasargad has also rolled out a series of green technology measures to both save money and lessen its environmental footprint. Key measures recently introduced include replacing LED displays with LCDs to reduce energy consumption, upgrading to more energy-efficient servers and increasingly moving towards paperless processes.


Winner: Jordan Islamic Bank

Jordan Islamic Bank (JIB), one of the Middle East’s most prominent sharia-compliant lenders, retains its title of the country’s Islamic Bank of the Year for 2022.

The judges noted the lender’s launch of its Musawamah card product, in partnership with Mastercard in September 2021. This enables customers to pay for purchases at approved retailers in up to 36 instalments with no additional charges, apart from a mutual insurance fee. The Musawamah credit structure gives borrowers a revolving credit facility up to the amount of payments made, following the payment of the third instalment.

Other products introduced by JIB during the year include its Blind Card, aimed at improving financial inclusion for its visually impaired customers. The bank also launched its Islamic Rewards programme for customers using premium Visa and Mastercard banking cards, and its Pay Your Bills campaign offers the chance of cash prizes for customers using the bank’s mobile and online channels to pay bills.

In accordance with the government’s High Royal Initiative for military retirees, JIB signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s Military Credit Fund, offering sharia-compliant financing products and services with preferential rates for the country’s retired soldiers.

JIB’s branch network grew to 109 branches — consisting of 84 branches and 25 offices — by the end of 2021, with the launch of its Dahiyat Al Ameer Hassan branch in October. Its ATM network grew to 292 by year-end, including 56 that accept cash deposits, with most ATMs accepting contactless cards.

The past year saw JIB’s profits increase by 13.3% to $83.3m, following a 4.1% drop in profitability in 2021. Facilities granted to clients rose by 10.7% to $6.7bn, with deposits rising 10% for the year. While return on equity has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels, cost-to-income and non-performing loan ratios both saw improvements during 2021.


Winner: Kuwait Finance House

Kuwait’s Islamic Bank of the Year 2022 has been one of the most closely contested prizes in the awards’ 10-year history, with the country playing host to some of the most innovative Islamic lenders in the Middle East. This year, the title is awarded to Kuwait Finance House (KFH), which, despite being the country’s oldest Islamic lender, has continued to retain a competitive and innovative edge.

KFH’s commitment to innovation was highlighted in 2018 when it joined RippleNet, the blockchain-based cross-border payment network of Ripple. The bank launched a cross-border payment service to Turkey in January 2021, enabling customers to make instant transfers via mobile apps without incurring fees.

The bank also launched its ‘Live FX’ services, providing live dynamic foreign exchange rates with favourable margins for the Turkish lira and G7 currencies for its customers.

Another key innovation introduced in July 2021 was the ability to print new bank cards within three minutes at self-service terminals in bank branches and shopping malls, with customers required to present either their Civil ID or a QR code generated via the bank’s KFHOnline mobile app.

The bank also launched a service in November enabling customers to transact at ATMs via Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, and the banks’ proprietary system KFH Pay, using their smartphones or smartwatches.

Underpinning such innovations is the bank’s new Tier 3 data centre, the largest of its kind in Kuwait, providing 99.982% operational availability, with several control rooms to monitor unusual transactions and cyber-attacks.

Alongside its digital innovation, KFH has effectively weathered the storm of the initial phase of the coronavirus pandemic, which significantly impacted banks’ bottom lines in 2020. While the bank’s sharia-compliant asset base recorded little growth in 2021 (after growing 11% in 2020), profits increased by two-thirds, with return on equity recovering to just below pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. While costs increased slightly in 2021, non-performing loans dropped below 2019 levels.


Winner: Muzn Islamic Banking

After winning Oman’s Islamic Bank of the Year award for the first-time last year, Muzn Islamic Banking (Muzn), National Bank of Oman’s (NBO’s) Islamic banking window, has retained its title in 2022, thanks to an innovative array of new products and solid financial performance.

Demand for sharia-compliant financing services is surging in Oman after years of modest growth; Islamic banking financing grew by 11.6% in 2021, nearly four times as fast as conventional financing, according to data from Fitch Ratings.

In the midst of such growth dynamics, the judges were impressed by Muzn’s personal financing product, launched in 2021, which helps customers convert existing conventional personal debts to sharia-compliant financing options. Based on the sharia concept of diminishing musharakah — whereby Muzn purchases the asset and leases it to the customer in return for rental payments — the product has seen a swift uptick in interest from customers.

In 2021, Muzn also became the first Islamic window in the country to enable cash deposits via cash and cheque deposit machines (CCDMs) As a result of this, customers wishing to deposit funds into Muzn accounts can use any of the 70 combined NBO and Muzn CCDMs across Oman to deposit cash.

The past year also saw the bank enhance investment in its corporate internet banking platform, which has been upgraded to offer an increasingly seamless experience for corporate customers. Accompanied by onsite training for corporate and government entities, corporate customer onboarding increased by 37% over a 12–14-month period, prompting a 5.7% growth in customer financing.

While Muzn’s sharia-compliant asset growth was slow in 2021, profits for the window increased by 39.2% for the year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, even as non-performing loan rates increased from 1.48% to 1.94% during the period.

As a group, NBO and Muzn contributed towards a relief fund for those impacted by Cyclone Shaheen, which struck the north-east of the country in October 2021. Muzn supported customers with discounts of up to 50% at leading retailers to help with the replacement of appliances, deferred repayments and provided support to those left out of work due to the damage.


Winner: Meezan Bank

Meezan Bank has been selected as Pakistan’s Islamic Bank of the Year for the second year in a row, in recognition of its strong performance in areas including green financing, digital transformation and financial inclusion, as well as its impressive financial performance during the review period.

The bank continues to be one of the leading exponents of the Roshan Digital Account (RDA) initiative, launched by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in late 2020 to encourage participation in the country’s banking system by Pakistanis living abroad. Meezan has so far attracted around $700m in RDA deposits, giving it a market share of around 23%. New products offered by the bank during the past year under the RDA umbrella include its Roshan Apni Car financing scheme and the Roshan Apna Ghar home financing initiative.

On the digital front, the judges noted Meezan’s Islamic process automation initiative, which the bank has introduced to further digitise transactions to boost productivity and optimise workflows, while at the same time enhancing sharia compliance visibility. The bank’s mobile app has seen a 62% increase in active users and an 85% growth in financial active customers, with more than 88 million digital financial transactions conducted by the bank during the year.

The bank has also sought to boost Islamic financial literacy in rural areas via its Kissan Baithak programme, offering 53 education sessions for 5100 farmers in 19 villages. The programme — designed to boost the bank’s base in farming communities — has seen it collaborate with organisations including Bayer Pakistan, Sindh Enterprise Development Fund and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, offering farmers expert information from qualified agriculture graduates serving as agriculture finance officers.

Meezan has also been active in supporting SBP’s Islamic Finance Facility for Renewable Energy, supporting 18 renewable energy projects worth Rs14.9bn ($78.8m). On the solar financing front, the bank has disbursed Rs1.1bn for small and medium-sized enterprise projects and Rs100m for consumers.

On the financial front, the bank recorded a 25% rise in sharia-compliant assets for 2021 and a 28% rise in net profits, with non-performing loans falling to just above 2019 levels.

Sri Lanka

Winner: Amana Bank

This year marks 25 years since the initial launch of Islamic banking services in Sri Lanka. It is fitting therefore that Amana Bank, the country’s first sharia-compliant lender, is The Banker’s choice for Sri Lanka’s Islamic Bank of the Year for 2022.

In the midst of a worsening financial and political crisis in the south-east Asian state — which has seen an unprecedented default on its foreign debts in mid-April and the resignation of the country’s prime minister — the Islamic lender has worked hard to bolster its finances, recording a 22% increase in sharia-compliant assets and a 78% rise in profits for 2021, while significantly reducing its non-performing loan ratio.

Even as the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact the country’s economy in 2021, Amana was able to record robust growth in its retail banking unit, thanks to a renewed focus on customer experience and new products geared towards the premium segment. The bank’s retail banking unit recorded a 7.1% rise in deposits in 2021 and a 26.4% growth in retail advance disbursements. The bank’s total deposit base increased to more than SLRs100bn ($277m) during the first quarter of 2022.

The bank’s business banking division meanwhile recorded a growth of 20% during 2021, compared with 9% the previous year. In all, income from business financing accounts for more than half of the bank’s total income.

In May 2021, Amana bolstered its online banking offering via a partnership with Sri Lanka’s Department of Registration of Persons to better facilitate its electronic know-your-customer process, enabling customers to open accounts without visiting a branch. It also introduced a revamped online portal for its vehicle and home financing products in the retail business, and established a paperless facility approval process.

One of the bank’s flagship corporate social responsibility ventures is its OrphanCare programme, established in 2019 as an independent trust to help equip orphans for when they are compelled to leave institutional care at the age of 18. By December 2021, OrphanCare had enrolled more than 3000 orphans from across 85 orphanages and carried out nine rounds of account disbursements.


Winner: QIB UK

Gulf banks continue to be the dominant force within the UK’s Islamic banking sector. Yet while such lenders’ customer bases have traditionally been dominated by UK-based expatriates from the Middle East, they have recently begun to offer sharia-compliant savings products with attractive rates in a bid to attract deposits from a wider range of both Muslim and non-Muslim depositors.

QIB UK, this year’s winner of The Banker’s Islamic Bank of the Year for the UK, is a case in point. In the past 12 months, the bank has launched three new savings products: a 95-day notice account and three- and five-year fixed savers, with the latter two products being instrumental in enabling the bank to comply with net stable funding ratio regulations introduced by the UK at the beginning of 2022. On the back of such products, the bank has grown its deposit base to £287m, held by 11,000 depositors.

On the digital front, the bank went live with the second phase of its mobile banking project in May 2021, offering international multi-currency payments, including foreign exchange services, to its clients. A third of the bank’s personal banking clients have registered with the app, with around half of all eligible payments conducted via the channel.

QIB UK has recently developed a climate change risk management framework. A key component is a tie-up with Landmark Information Group to enable a realistic assessment of its financing portfolio, enabling the bank to understand the impact of future climate risk on property security, and provide a projected loss calculation that can be included in the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process as a constituent of its required Pillar 2a capital buffer.

Finance-wise, QIB UK has recorded steady growth during the past three years. The bank’s sharia-compliant assets grew 22% in 2021 — more than in the previous two years combined. Return on equity increased from 6.6% in 2020 to 8.8% in 2021, comfortably ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Non-performing loans also fell from 1.8% to 1.1% over the same period.


Winner: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

After winning back its title of Islamic Bank of the Year last year, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has retained its title for 2022, on the back of its improved financial performance and the continued evolution of its service offering, particularly within the digital realm.

Perhaps the bank’s most significant innovation in 2021 was the launch of its Amwali app, a standalone digital bank offering sharia-compliant services aimed at youth between the ages of eight and 18. The app provides basic spending and saving functionality together with parental monitoring facilities, with financial planning and financial literacy education functionalities to be added in due course. Around two-thirds of its customer base is made up of UAE nationals between the ages of 12 and 16.

Another significant offering is the bank’s ‘Turbo’ platform. Launched in collaboration with UAE-based fintech Drive Ninja and several local car dealers, it brings together several auto-industry partners on one digital platform to facilitate and centralise consumers’ car-related needs, including buying and selling vehicles, Takaful car insurance, car finance, car maintenance and accessories, traffic fine payments and car registration.

The new platforms underscore the development of ADIB’s digital business over the past few years. Its number of digitally active customers increased by 11% in 2021; currently, 70.7% of its customer base is digitally active, with 50% of financing transactions conducted by the bank happening via digital channels.

ADIB has also experienced success with its Emirati chatbot, launched in late 2020, which has continued to be supported with significant upgrades over the past year. The chatbot is currently able to resolve 85% of customer queries. A new chatbot was launched in December 2021 to support ADIB’s new Amwali offering.

The bank also launched a new website chat service in August 2021 to engage with existing and prospective customers on general requests and queries, offering instant access to key information about the bank’s products and services.

On the financial front, the bank recorded a 4% increase in annual revenues thanks to a 9% rise in non-funded income, with profitability surging by 45% on lower impairment charges. While Emirati banks have struggled with higher non-performing loan (NPL) rates than their counterparts elsewhere in the Gulf, ADIB’s NPL ratio improved to 8.9% in 2021 from 19.4% in 2020.


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