34 years have passed on the Amiri decree that was issued on March 23rd 1977 concerning Law 72 for year 1977 regarding the setup of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) as a Kuwaiti shareholding company. The government acquires 49% of its shares, while 51% were offered for public subscription with a capital of KD 10 million. KFH has been keen to prioritize its clients, since they have exerted sterling efforts to set it up, and have continued to support it at a time when many people doubted that it will continue. On its first day, 170 accounts were opened at KFH, which motivated KFH to become one of the major Kuwaiti banks in terms of market share and services, where KFH offers 150 services, not to mention it local, regional, and global balanced expansion.
Moreover, KFH managed to introduced Shariah compliant banking services and products that are used by people daily, where they are now familiar with terms such as Ijarah, Murabaha, Istisnaa, and speculations. KFH’s leadership in that field and its success in its expansion plans made Islamic banking a pivotal and effective sector in the global economy.
KFH took the initiative to invest in new fields, where it established ITS Company in 1981, which is specialized in computer software; a company specialized in human investment and training; a real estate managing and development company called Al-Enmaa in 1994. However, KFH subsidiary companies have become 20 companies with total capital of KD 800 million, where 1500 Kuwaiti employees work.
KFH offers 150 Shariah compliant services while taking into consideration the requirements of its clients in the fields of commerce, investment, financing, and banking. KFH is also the first bank in the region that allocates separate branches for women, which encourages them to invest their money and take part in the national economy. KFH’s site kfh.com currently offers 150 free services for its clients in Kuwait and overseas, and uses modern channels in communicating with its clients, such as Twitter and Face book, in addition to smart cell phones.
Furthermore, KFH was the first bank to offer Shariah compliant electronic trading through ‘KFH Trading’ service, in addition to being the first bank that prepares a quarterly real estate report that is used as reference for specialists in that field. In addition, KFH was the first bank to offer smart credit cards that contain chips, which ensures security of transactions, not to mention installing ATM machines that provide three banking services in one device.
KFH reinforced its presence by having 220 branches and offices around the world, including Bahrain, Turkey, Malaysia, Europe, the United States, Canada, and other GCC and Middle East countries.
Regarding KFH’s social responsibi8lity role, it spent last year more than KD 8 million for social issues, and has also financed several major developmental projects in Kuwait and the world.
When KFH first emerged, it suffered the ignorance of the public regarding Islamic banking services and products, which resulted in their reluctance to interact efficiently with what the bank offered them. This prompted KFH to launch awareness campaigns regarding Shariah and Islamic banking, in order to explain to the public the difference between Islamic and traditional products and services. Such efforts paved the way for the emerging of other Islamic banks and institutions in Kuwait.
Concerning employees, KFH views them as its most important asset, and KFH managed to train consecutive generations of leaders in the field of Islamic banking in various fields and specialties, which granted KFH the name of Harvard of Islamic banks.
KFH’s first board consisted of Chairman and MD Ahmed Al-Yasseen, Mohammed Bu Hendi as Deputy Chairman, Khaled Al-Ateeqi, Abdul Hameed Al-Obaid, Abdul Mohsen Al-Toweiresh, Ali Al-Fozan, late Fahad Al-Dabbous who was substituted with Ali Al-Modaf, Mohammed Al-Roumi, Merikhan Saqr, and Hadi Al-Huweila.