The Business Year

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Jaber Al Sabah Chairman, Kuwait Banking Association (KBA)

KUWAIT - Finance

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Jaber Al Sabah

Chairman, Kuwait Banking Association (KBA)

Bio

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Jaber Al Sabah has been Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait since 2018, after holding the position of vice chairman from 2015-2018 and board member from 2012-2015. He is also the Chairman of Kuwait Banking Association effective and became a member in World Union of Arab Bankers in 2022. Al Sabah has been a board member of Kuwait Institute of Banking Studies from 2018. He graduated with an MBA from the Maastricht School of Management after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in science with a major in finance from Bentley College in the US.

“KBA always looks forward to serving member banks, taking into consideration the development in Kuwait’s economy.”
KBA continues to drive the local banking sector forward so Kuwait can become a regional and global financial and commercial center and retain its leading position in the region.
What role does KBA play in contributing to the strength of the local financial sector?

The Kuwaiti banking sector remains profitable and resilient thanks to the Central Bank of Kuwait. The performance of Kuwaiti banks highlights their strength, sound financial position, and flexibility. KBA in coordination with the Central bank of Kuwait has several plans to improve Kuwaiti banking and financial system. For example, KBA strives to effectively serve the interests of banks by analyzing new legislations and raise recommendations to the regulators and other bodies to maximize the positive effects of such legislations. KBA also conducts several awareness campaigns to the public about the role of banks in the society. In line with its commitments towards social responsibility, KBA continues to raise contributions to help and provide the required support to protect the environment and other social related issues. KBA also plans to prepare economic and research studies in major areas of interest to the banking sector and the economy. KBA has prepared several studies in the past years addressing fiscal challenges facing Kuwait, potential risks of current public spending, and policies to improve the fiscal conditions of the country. From time to time, KBA arranges public forums where renowned experts are invited to discuss critical and important banking issues. KBA also represents the banking sector in public conferences and forums by submitting speeches and research papers.

How is KBA engaging with the digital theme and pioneering ideas that are driving the financial sector forward?

Kuwaiti banks are proactive in adopting digital solutions, launching several new initiatives that are improving interoperability, e-payment systems, digital customer service delivery, and doing transactions more efficiently, securely, and reliably. Banks compete daily to develop their electronic applications and provide best innovative and most secure banking services available around the clock to enhance customer experience. Among the advanced services launched by banks are opening accounts online without the need to visit branches, requesting personal finance, making money transfers locally and abroad, and many other services that characterize Kuwaiti banks. The Central Bank has opened the door for the establishment of digital banks which is a new milestone for digitization in Kuwait and helped in keeping abreast with the latest trends in global financial services. In 2019, KBA formed a specialized committee from all local banks to study developments in modern financial technologies, the risks and challenges associated with them, and provide proposals to reduce those risks and challenges. The committee conducts studies on all services and technologies that serve the business of banks, where experiences from other countries are being evaluated. In addition, KBA provides its observations on the legislative environment governing digitization processes. Moreover, KBA conducts workshops and seminars in cooperation with major regional and global institutions to keep the banking sector abreast with important developments and recent technologies adopted.

As Chairman of the Kuwait Banking Association, what is your vision for the association going forward?

KBA’s vision is renewed and developed periodically according to the developments of this vital and sensitive sector. KBA always looks forward to serving member banks, taking into consideration the development in Kuwait’s economy, especially with the five-year development plans and Kuwait Vision 2035 launched by the government, which includes hundreds of billions of investments. Our vision for the future is ambitious so that the banking sector will be one of the growth engines driving towards the realization of Kuwait as a regional and global financial and commercial Centre. In this context, KBA plays a pivotal role on more than one level to help Kuwaiti banking sector expand and retain its leading position in the region. KBA’s board of directors is keen to continue enhancing KBA role, and we work as a group to achieve our mission for KBA. In that context, we review KBA’s workflow from time to time to achieve our objectives and improve the overall performance and efficiency of different KBA committees.

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