No part of the world has been spared the COVID-19 economic saber, but the MENA region is suffering from a double-edged sword: the pandemic and persistently low hydrocarbon prices. Despite the recession specter, many banks, both central and private, are doing what they can to minimize the damage for citizens and businesses. Confronting the challenges, they are finding new opportunities, primarily through digital means, to improve their operations and reach.
On the final Monday of 2019, protesters staged a sit-in at the Beirut offices of Bank Audi, Lebanon’s largest bank. Chants of “We want the money!” were heard as the furious protesters—many of them Audi’s clients—demanded that tellers give them their funds.
Interview with Ms. Nahla Khaddage Bou-Diab, Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of AM Bank
Ms. Juliet Morris of International Banker interviews Ms. Nahla Khaddage Bou-Diab, Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of AM Bank on the bank’s approach to customer service, the take-up of digital banking in Lebanon and the “opportunity gap” for women employed in the Middle East banking sector.
Lebanon’s AM Bank is guided by a simple but powerful modus operandi: CAN-DO. According to this innovative bank, Can-Do means that its staff can provide exactly what its customers require of them: “a positive outlook and a will to deliver products, services and solutions that really answer” their needs. COO Nahla Bou-Diab spoke with us about the bank’s guiding motto and how it has yielded satisfied customers and staff alike.
Ms. Juliet Morris of International Banker interviews Ms. Nahla Khaddage Boudiab, COO of AM Bank on Lebanon’s banking sector, AM Bank’s success and her role within the World Union of Arab Bankers.
Many analysts commend Lebanese banks on their superstar performance in an economy crippled by political and social instability. Yet, scrutiny of those banks’ loans portfolios reveals that they are not heavily focused on providing investment loans, which would spur long-term growth. I