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Press Release.

Manama, Bahrain: The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has won the Global Brand Awards 2021 in two categories. The bank received accolades for “Best Corporate Banking Brand – Bahrain” and “Best Retail Banking Brand – Bahrain”.

NBB was evaluated based on research that overlooked the bank’s offered services, global footprint, consistent financial performance, corporate strategy, brand promise and customer experience.

Due to the bank’s continuous growth over the past year, the awards also assessed its prominence in Bahrain and the ongoing strides NBB has made to contribute to the corporate sector and to better serve its customer base.

With its long-standing accomplishments, NBB has stood proud as the pillar of the Kingdom’s banking industry since its inception over 60 years ago as the country’s first locally-owned bank. In order to broaden the bank’s base, substantial investments have been made in three core verticals – people, business and brand – which has contributed to the immense progress and results achieved in a short span of time.

Amidst a challenging year, NBB achieved several strategic milestones on both a corporate and retail level. The bank launched its new digital mobile application to better serve its customers as part of its digital transformation journey. Furthermore, in conjunction with its loan deferment pledge, NBB extended its relief measures towards its Commercial and SME clientele to help minimise the impact on their businesses during the past year.

NBB’s ongoing progress is powered by its people and fuelled by a shared passion for business success. With an investment in its human capital, NBB launched various initiatives that served to strengthen its workforce and create future brand ambassadors and award winners that exemplify the core of the bank’s brand identity.

Commenting on the bank’s latest achievement Hisham Al Kurdi, Group Chief Executive – Corporate & Institutional Investment Banking at NBB, said: “On our transformational journey, we have adopted a ‘client first’ approach; we have developed our coverage model, products capabilities and digital channels all with our corporate clients’ requirements at the centre of our efforts.

Today, NBB lives by its motto and is closer than ever to its clients. We are the bank of choice for our corporate clients, possessing the necessary products, skills and resources to assist them with large strategic projects as well as the day to day operation of their businesses. Over the past few years, NBB has significantly improved its offering on all fronts, from large public mandates and strategic projects, to digital channels to working capital and treasury solutions. As a result, NBB is now viewed as a solid banking partner capable of adding value to regional corporates and GREs”

Arif Janahi, Head of Commercial and SMEs at NBB, added: “As a major component towards the structure of our organisation, NBB has remained dedicated to supporting and funding corporate and SMEs across the Kingdom. This year alone we welcomed hundreds of new  clients, and launched Tamweel Al Watani as a means to provide the necessary access for SMEs during these challenging times. We additionally worked hand in hand with local banks, the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Bahrain Chamber as part of the Kingdom’s Liquidity Support Fund, launched in 2019, facilitating the Corporates’ banking transactions and truly becoming closer to them. Being the national bank of choice, and as part of our responsibility towards realising Vision 2030, it is our duty to strengthen the local economy as we bring this vision to fruition.”

On his end, Subah Al Zayani, Chief Executive of Retail Banking at NBB, stated: “Since our establishment, NBB has built a strong brand. In line with keeping our brand promise of enriching the lives of generations, we have introduced a number of customer-centric products and services with a long-term positive effect, such as Alwatani Savings Scheme, Mazaya and Joint Housing real estate loans, Solar Financing, among others.

Furthermore, our state-of-the-art digital app provides accessibility to our numerous financial services while also enabling financial inclusion. We remain committed to our philosophy of keeping our customers at the forefront of our decisions, and this has resonated throughout the entire organisation and enhanced our performance as the national bank of choice.”

Jay Reddy, Head of Branding from Global Brand Awards Magazine said: “Despite being one of the banks indigenous to the region, The National Bank of Bahrain has continued to excel not only as a traditional consumer bank, but also as a modern pioneer, diversifying its focus to include its people, business and brand as it encompasses different aspects of the banking sector. We’re particularly impressed with NBB’s dynamic ability to evolve with both its retail and corporate customers, meeting both local and regional needs, and become one of the leading, most recognised banks in the region.”

NBB has a consistent drive to deliver against its brand promise, pushing the bank to make more investments in humanising its customer interactions and bringing the voice of its customers into the organisation. These investments have ensured the bank remains solid, agile and susceptible to adapting to changes in the market dynamics while also mitigating any risks.

Furthermore, NBB has embarked on a solid sustainability journey, gradually integrating material ESG considerations into its business transformation story, reflecting its core values as an institution.