Abdulwahab Al-Roshood, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer at Kuwait Finance House (KFH) said that the financial results for the year ended 2020 were positive despite the unfavorable economic conditions, adding that net finance income grew 15.8% to KD 614.2 million compared to the same period of 2019, while cost to income ratio improved to reach 37.2% for the year ended 2020, compared to 51.3% for 2014.
He indicated during TV interviews that total assets increased 10.9% to KD 21.5 billion, while depositors’ accounts reached KD 15.3 billion, an increase of 13.0% compared to the end of last year. In addition, financing portfolio reached KD 10. 8 billion, i.e., an increase of 13.4%, of which 19.7% and 6.6% growth from corporate and retail segments, respectively. Al-Roshood confirmed that the positive financial results reflect the solid financial position of KFH, high creditworthiness, and its efficient capability to handle the exceptional conditions.
He explained that the contribution of KFH subsidiaries in the 2020 net profit for KFH shareholder represented 43.6%, of which 40.6% contribution from KFH- Turkey.
Al-Roshood added that due to coronavirus pandemic and its negative economic impacts locally and globally, the exit of investments in 2020 declined to approximately KD 28.2 mn, achieving a net profit of KD 4.7 million compared to KD 40.7 mn last year.
He stressed that exiting non-core assets is part of the bank’s strategy in focusing on core banking business for achieving sustainable profits.
Al- Roshood said that due to the negative impacts of pandemic, KFH increased the provisions while the value charged on the group's income statement declined to 284.1 million, representing an increase of %44.3. This includes provisions of financing, investment and other precautionary provisions against finance and real estate portfolios.
He added that the non-performing financings ratio NPFs at KFH Group reached 2.20% as of end 2020 as per the CBK’s accounting principles. The coverage ratio of provisions for non-performing debts stood at 288.5% and 223% for KFH solo and the Group respectively.
Al-Roshood explained that the pandemic demonstrated KFH's highly efficient ability to deal with exceptional circumstances, noting that the bank has great expertise in risk management and thoughtful plans to ensure business continuity in various circumstances.
He added that during the pandemic KFH keeps successfully providing services despite full lockdown in Kuwait, indicating the developed IT infrastructure that paved the way to providing outstanding digital services that meet all banking needs of customers.
He added that KFH was a pioneer in adopting remote work solutions for employees in a safe and effective manner to ensure their health and safety, and thus to achieve the best customer service.
Al-Roshood said that KFH`s customers conducted nearly 140 million transactions through KFHOnline for the year 2020, This emphasizes the successful digital transformation strategy of KFH and the secure and easy digital services it offers to customers.
He indicated that KFH keeps implementing its ambitious digital plan launched by the bank under the theme “easy banking experience”, including digital services through mobiles and alternative channels such as digital self-banking station KFH Go. This e-branch is equipped with the latest financial technologies and digital platforms and XTM machines which enable communicating directly with the telephone service personnel in audio and video calls, with other comprehensive packages of banking services.
He added that KFH Go provides several services including conducting "Murabaha" financing transactions, updating data and phone numbers, activating bank cards, opening deposits and accounts, receiving gold bullion (10 grams), buy and sell gold, cash withdrawals without a card and a host of banking and financing services.
Meanwhile, Al-Roshood said that KFH leads the Kuwaiti banks and the private sector as a top recruiter of Kuwaitis where citizens made up 99% of new hires in 2020, reflecting KFH`s ongoing focus on building and developing local talent.
He confirmed that the bank implemented a comprehensive training and development strategy for talents, providing all the success elements and opportunities that enable them to build a successful career and assume leadership positions in the future given that they are among the most important elements in achieving sustainable development.
Looking forward, Al-Roshood expressed his optimism, wishing for the pandemic to recede and the world economies to recover as soon as possible given the acceleration of vaccination rollouts in Kuwait and around the world.