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ABK Commits to a More Sustainable Future with its “Banking on a Sustainable Journey” Report

30 December 2021

Left to right: Kareem Abu Eid (RSM), Ghandi Habballah (ABK), Shiamak Soonawalla (ABK-Group CFO), George Richani (ABK-Group CEO), Emiranda Winter (ABK), Said Zeineddine (Horizon FCB), Hamzeh Ayesh (ABK).

As part of its commitment to societal, economic and environmental sustainability, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK), launched its first Sustainability Report covering the year 2020, titled “Banking on a Sustainable Journey”. The report showcases ABK’s vision, policies, practices, and performance related to its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impacts, initiatives and performance. The report also addresses stakeholders’ social, environmental and economic concerns.

Developed in compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) practices, the report aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), New Kuwait 2035 Vision, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vision 2030, and Egypt's Vision 2030.

Environmental (E)

The Bank measured and reported on a number of indicators that included its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that totaled 10,853 MT CO2e and electricity consumption intensity, that measured on average of 7,435 kWh per employee. Broader measurements and calculations were also reported including paper waste, digital and automation positive achievements.

Social (S)

ABK highlighted the Bank’s contribution to the community and clients through COVID-19 relief support. This relief includes an amount of KD 878,000 contribution towards the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) COVID-19 relief funds. Furthermore, ABK provided retail clients with loan instalment deferrals. The total amount for loan and credit card grace periods over the 6 months for Retail Banking was over KD 500 million for ABK-Kuwait and around EGP 700 million for ABK-Egypt.

Additionally, ABK supported the community through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) across numerous initiatives and awareness campaigns with regards to financial literacy, COVID-19 protocol and safety measures, and more. In line with this, ABK invested in occupational health and safety and recorded zero (0) COVID-19 deaths or occupational injuries.

ABK tracked and earned a 94% Customer Satisfaction Rating. Furthering its efforts in supporting an inclusive community, the Bank supported special needs customers by having 7 fully equipped branches to provide a tailored, personalized and convenient customer experience. The Bank also reflected a total of 20 staff members fully versed in sign language.

Enabling the economy by supporting the development of SMEs and startups is considered a key responsibility at ABK. These contributions help expand the business and create a plethora of work opportunities across the Bank’s geographical operations.

Part of ABK’s social responsibility covers sustainable and fair management in the workplace. Highlights in this area include a balanced and diverse workforce across the hierarchy. In terms of nationalization, numbers today exceed the regulatory requirements, as ABK continuously makes a concerted effort to empower national talent as a key strategic element within the workforce.

To ensure a sustainable work environment, ABK invested significantly into training and development of employees, and provided 13,340 hours of training during a year that was extremely challenging due to the pandemic. Additionally, ABK reported having 166 fresh graduate interns for the year.

Governance (G)

The report highlighted ABK’s risk management and business resilience, specifically amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the Bank showcased the strategic direction by its executive management and quick decision-making right at the onset of the pandemic.

ABK is committed to operating with the highest ethical standards. As a result of such commitment, the Bank has witnessed zero (0) incidents of fraud, corruption, bribery, or money laundering.

To ensure transparent communication with stakeholders, ABK has publicly disclosed various governance-related indicators and attributes, such as ABK’s Board nomination process, shareholder rights, conflict of interest resolutions, operational and credit risk, due diligence and various others.

Way Forward

Mr. George Richani, Group CEO of ABK said: “ABK is delighted to share its first Sustainability Report with its valued stakeholders, which will set a sustainability baseline and pave the way for a more impactful future. We are keen to continue reporting our ESG performance and accomplishments with utmost transparency in order to accelerate human progress in the direction of ensuring community and environmental sustainability.”

The full 2020 ABK Sustainability Report can be found on ABK’s website eahli.com under Investor Relations.