A strong, resilient banking partner
SABB continues to deliver growth by remaining at the forefront of international banking, fintech and sustainable financing
Saudi British Bank (SABB)—ONE of the kingdom’s largest and most trusted financial institutions—has emerged from the pandemic in a robust position and is well primed to push on with its growth agenda.
With total assets of about $80 billion, SABB provides a comprehensive range of banking services to over 1.3 million international and local corporate, institutional and retail customers, and it generated profits of over $850 million last year. “2021 was dedicated to consolidating our successful merger and integration with Alawwal Bank. We have the right platforms in place and the upward growth trajectory we’re seeing in our retail and corporate business is very strong,” says CEO Tony Cripps.
Saudi Arabia’s best bank for the last three years, according to Global Finance magazine, is now focused on three priorities of equal importance. The first is continuing to leverage the advantages that come from its close longterm partnership with HSBC Group, which have already helped to make it the bank of choice for over 80 percent of the multinationals that operate from or into the kingdom. “Being allied to HSBC means we have a global network of capabilities.
We’re the country’s leading international bank and can facilitate trade between the kingdom and just about anywhere else in the world, for example. The fact that we are global and, at the same time, universal within the country makes us unique,” he explains.
A second priority is for SABB to maintain its position as a Saudi pioneer in financial technology that delivers the best digital banking experience in the country. In line with this goal, the bank is currently implementing a $400-million investment program to modernize and transform its digital infrastructure, processes and in-house skillsets. It is also encouraging entrepreneurs in fintech by, for instance, developing its own open banking platform, creating a dedicated innovation hub for fintech and establishing a digital venture fund.
Named as Global Finance’s best bank for sustainable finance in Saudi Arabia for 2022, SABB’S third key concern is supporting the kingdom to meet its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. As a demonstration of its intent, the bank was the first Saudi institution to establish a Shariah-compliant Esg-focused green deposit facility, it launched the country’s first climate-change equity fund and it acted as the lead arranger for Saudi Arabia’s first green loan that is financing the Red Sea giga project. As Cripps asserts, “There are many other areas where we can and are helping to drive Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives, but helping Saudi Arabia to deliver ESG transition capability is critical.”