Riyad Bank posts robust results in Q2 2019, says CEO
Riyad Bank posted robust financial results in Q2 2019, with a 78 percent profit surge year-on-year, chief executive officer Tariq Al Sadhan told Argaam in an exclusive on Tuesday.
“The bank achieved a qualitative shift in its asset base, backed by the outstanding financial results,” he said.
Al Sadhan attributed these positive results to a list of milestones which have strengthened the bank’s profile within the Saudi banking sector. He also attributed the reason to the Kingdom’s banking policy that comes in line with the economic reforms in all sectors, particularly the banking industry.
Here’s the full interview with Tariq Al Sadhan:
Q: How do you see the bank’s H1 2019 financial results? What do you expect until year-end?
A: Riyad Bank posted robust financial results. It recorded a 78 percent profit rise year-on-year in Q2 2019, which reflected positively on its asset base.
The robust performance was driven by the bank’s policy, which placed it at the forefront of the Saudi banking sector. The motivating work environment should be also praised as it stimulates employees innovation through flexible work flows, shared decision making and teamwork. This is being reflected by the bank’s 2022 strategy which was launched two years ago.
The results were also bolstered by external factors, mainly the government’s reforms that ensured a secure economic environment to keep pace with global economic policies and list Saudi Arabia among major economic powers.
Q: How did the key features of the strategy enhance Riyad Bank’s financial and banking performance?
A: Profit growth implies the improved financial performance of the bank on all levels, including digital transformation, investments, lending programs, corporate social responsibility (CSR) among others.
The strategy is based on three pillars; first developing a motivating work environment through encouraging innovation and creativity. It also focused on qualifying banking and investment cadres through offering various training courses in cooperation with renowned local and international entities.
Second, digital transformation and Fintech. To this end, the bank has aimed to accelerate its transformation to the latest technologies to enhance the quality of services and diversify its channels, through e-payment solutions, smart apps, digital branches and facilitation of lending procedures especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Riyad Bank has also launched an internal investment fund to support entrepreneurs investing in Fintech.
Finally, the bank aims to improve clients’ banking experience, so as to enhance customer confidence.
Q: What are the main outcomes of the 2022 strategy?
A:Riyad Bank has ranked among the most 50 valuable and strongest Saudi Arabia’s brands. It advanced to the 8th place in the Kingdom compared to 11th last year, and 26th in the Middle East compared to 29th last year, according to Brand Finance - the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
Q: What is the importance of this breakthrough?
A: It enhances Riyad Bank’s marketing policy, investment growth, client loyalty and employee satisfaction. It also bolsters the performance of all employees.
Q: What are the latest developments about Riyad Bank digital transformation?
A: Riyad Bank was among the first banks that developed a strategy for digital transformation. It was the Kingdom’s first bank that officially launched the tap-to-pay, smart wristband and mobile sticker services.
It also introduced the first banking robot. The bank is currently seeking to launch an integrated digital branch to serve as a one-stop-shop for all customers.
Riyad Bank offers a package of innovative digital services locally and regionally, including Apple Pay service, which allows users to load Riyad Bank cards “Mada”, MasterCard, Visa Credit Cards and Preload Cards on their Apple devices.
In addition, a special offer was launched with ZID to enable the bank customers to tap the e-commerce world with a full package of exclusive benefits and solutions.
Riyad Bank Data Center in Dammam awarded the Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility by the American Institute "Up Time", which is specialized in the evaluation of global database and data centers.
Q: Riyad Bank was recognized as the top supporter of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. How did the award reflect on the bank?
A: Riyad Bank won the "Best Bank in Saudi Arabia for 2018" during its participation in the first edition of SME Financing Conference 2019. Riyad Bank was recognized as the top supporter of Kafalah Program, the SMEs funding Guarantee Program. Riyad Bank’s loans accounted for almost 39 percent of total bank SMEs lending in Q1 and Q2 2019.
The award reflects the bank’s leading position in start-up lending, enhances its financial position and customer confidence.
Q: What are the latest developments about Riyad Bank’s CSR programs and the related outcomes in H1 2019?
A: Riyad Bank gives a top priority to corporate social responsibility. It developed a comprehensive, long-term CSR vision called “Today’s Investment, Tomorrow’s Hope”. The strategy aims to deliver valued corporate social responsibility practices in alignment with the bank’s strategy and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Q: Are you satisfied with the performance of the Saudi banking sector. What is your outlook for the industry this year?
A: Despite challenges, the outlook is positive not only for the banking sector, but the local economy given the Kingdom’s balanced monetary policy as the reforms initiated by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are gaining momentum.
The Saudi banking system is placed on the global map. It has competitive advantages, in light of the size of investments, type of banking products and contribution to sustainable development.