Best Bank: Ahli United Bank
The clear winner is Ahli United Bank (AUB), which last year delivered a 25.8% increase in net profits to $207.5 million. The bank’s assets, loans and advances, and total deposits all rose by at least 50%. AUB’s continued strong performance demonstrates how well the bank, which was upgraded to A– by Fitch Ratings in 2006, has protected itself from the volatilities of regional stock markets.
Much of AUB’s success is attributable to its policy of building a regional strategy designed to give it a strong presence in each of the region’s major markets.
But it has also performed extremely well in its home market where its readiness to innovate has set it apart from the competition. It has introduced home loans with maturities of up to 25 years with Islamic hire-purchase loans.
AUB is the first and only bank in Bahrain to offer 0% on balance transfers for up to 90% of credit card limits. It is also the first and only bank to offer a credit card loyalty programme with multiple frequent-flyer tie-ups.