Published: April 26, 2021
Last year was like no other we’ve experienced, and it was one that tested the banking industry’s resilience and preparedness for something that was akin, but not exactly the same as, a black swan event. In broad general terms, the region’s banking industry saw either declining or flat profits. For many of this year’s winning banks there was comfort to be found in raising customer loyalty with an increase in deposits and close cooperation with governments in support of their commercial and retail clients, and a few lucky asset managers, brokers and market makers did very well.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was felt across all the Middle East, fortunately most of the countries covered in this awards package are in strong financial positions with ample reserves and have affordable access to international capital markets, but not all are in such enviable positions. Hopefully, the vaccination programmes shaping up globally will return us to more normal times, and provide a means to more sanguine times.
The pandemic is changing and shaping the way we humans do everything, even down to our most basic day-to-day interactions and how we access and employ technology. Our reporting has included regular coverage of the digital revolution that is taking place in the banking sector, commercial marketplace and in daily life. Many of our winners have been investing and transforming their businesses for many years to adapt to this surge in technology, which often propels them to become first movers. As a result, our winners are well positioned to manage many of the challenges that the pandemic presents.
The Middle East Banking Awards 2020 editorial feature highlights the achievements, innovations and the assistance provided by our winners in a complex and challenging year across the region. These reports explore the performances of the winners. We also include exclusive insights from our winning firms’ executives who highlight actions taken in this challenging year, and their visions for the future.
We commend and laud our winners’ efforts across this exceptional year, and congratulate them on their ability to thrive in difficult times.