Doha Bank announced yesterday that the bank is working on a huge transformation plan to improve efficiency, rationalise expenditure and operation costs through scaling down the number of branches and by introducing cutting-edge technology and automation.
The Bank as part of its three-year strategic plan also reviewing on its business strategy of the overseas branches and representative offices across the globe as well as the business strategy of local branches, and several of them are expected to be amalgamated, especially those branches that are located very close by.
“There is going to be a huge transformation over the next two years, which include digital shift. With that perspective in mind we won’t need 30 odd branches that we are currently operating in Qatar,” Dr R Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha Bank, told The Peninsula, yesterday.
Dr Seetharaman added: “With the digital governance more and more customers scale up to the online banking. We are introducing robotic process, automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and many other technology tools that are being implemented to improve services and customer experience.”
The Bank currently operates some 30 branches in Qatar, which include three dedicated electronic branches and pay offices. And if there are two branches with the radius of any of them, they are going to be consolidated. In addition, there are some branches that can be closed or relocated depending on the population of the region.
Retail reorganisation is a bigger plan of Doha Bank which is embarking to reduce the average cost of operations at the same time empowering the customers through digital convergence. The Bank aims at having some 20 branches after the implementation of the transformation plan. However, he said that the Group will continue to maintain its six overseas branches, which include three branches in India, two in the UAE and one in Kuwait.
“Once the scaling down of branches and digital transformation process is completed, the Bank’s operating expenditure and income ratio is going to improve to 30:100, which is currently 35 percent of the income,” said the Group CEO, speaking on the sidelines of the Bank’s Annual General Assembly Meeting.
The AGM, which was presided over by Sheikh Fahad bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doha Bank, approved all the items on the agenda of the meeting, including the Board’s recommendation for the distribution of cash dividends of QR1 per share to the shareholders.
The Bank reported a net profit of QR830m for the last financial year ended December 31, 2018, down by over 25 percent compared with QR1.11bn achieved for same period in 2017 after taking significant loan loss provision.
The Chairman of the Board also stated that the interest income of Doha Bank significantly grew by 8 percent as compared to last year to reach QR3.9bn. The net operating income stood at QR2.6bn.
Total assets amounted to QR96.1bn as on December 31, 2018. Net loans and advances reached QR59.8bn. The investment portfolio amounted to QR20.6bn, registering an increase of 17.4 percent. Customer deposits stood at QR55.5bn as on December 31, 2018.
Source from: The Peninsula