Gulf International Bank (GIB) announced further progress in the implementation of its expansion strategy to position itself as a pan GCC-universal bank. GIB is now in its final stages of completing the necessary steps to convert its branches into a locally incorporated bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), GIB’s largest market, offering the Bank potential for further growth.
In May 2017, GIB received approval from the Council of Ministers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convert its branches to a locally incorporated bank, Gulf International Bank – Saudi Arabia (GIB KSA). While GIB continues to take steps to receive the required regulatory approvals, it has begun an internal process to ensure that all requirements of a locally incorporated bank licence are met and that the business is effectively designed to meet customer demands.
During this period, GIB is allocating resources as required to support the establishment of the new entity and ensure a smooth transition from a branch to a locally incorporated bank. Critical to this process is putting in place an efficient operating structure that helps the organisation manage its cost efficiency through the centralisation and automation of various functions.
Plans to strengthen GIB’s presence in Saudi Arabia follow other notable expansion initiatives for the Bank in the region. In April 2018, GIB expanded its offering in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the Bank has been operating for more than four decades, with the launch of the Kingdom´s first ever digital retail banking operations, meem Bahrain. With strong uptake of meem to date, the Bank is further investing in the development of an even broader offering of meem products and services for the Bahrain market.
Commenting, Dr. Abdullah bin Hassan Alabdulgader, Chairman of GIB, said: “We are proud to have been granted an approval for the establishment of Gulf International Bank – Saudi Arabia, an important milestone for the Bank, thanks to the support of our partners, shareholders, management team and staff. As we progress the establishment of a new, locally incorporated entity in Saudi Arabia, we also reinforce our commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its vision 2030. This milestone sets the stage for GIB’s expansion plans across the region.”
Mr. Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Helaissi, Group Chief Executive Officer of GIB, added: “We continue to enjoy strong momentum in our plans to further diversify the business. This includes expanding our presence in key markets whilst investing in technology, people and platforms. In addition, we are rationalising our resources to ensure that we are optimally structured and fit for success across the Bank. Being registered as a locally incorporated institution in Saudi Arabia will add significant strength and flexibility to these efforts and allow us to serve our customers more effectively. We are proud of our recent achievements in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and look forward to further deepening our roots in these and other key strategic markets.”
Currently, GIB operates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as branches of GIB Bahrain. On the date of establishment of a subsidiary, following all necessary regulatory approvals, current GIB branches (Dhahran, Riyadh and Jeddah) would become branches of GIB KSA. The exact date of establishment of the entity is dependent on GIB’s fulfilment of all necessary regulatory procedures and the completion of the regulatory process.