Case study: National Bank of Kuwait – All the data
under the sun
NBK was formed almost 60 years ago to meet the needs of the Kuwaiti business community. To ensure that it continues to be relevant, in recent years it has undergone a comprehensive IT facelift, a central part of which has been a total revamp of its BI system. Turning your back on customers can prove fatal. It’s hardly groundbreaking news, but sadly the world of commerce is littered with examples of those that ignored the blindingly obvious and paid the price. Legend has it that when the British Bank of the Middle East (BBME) in Kuwait rejected a prominent local merchant’s request to open a Letter of Guarantee for 10,000 Indian Rupees (which is equivalent today to about 750 KWD or $2600) it could hardly have expected what was to follow. The merchant was so infuriated by this apparently unreasonable refusal that he made sure the news spread far and wide. The response, following much discussion within the business community, was to form a national bank that would prioritise Kuwaiti needs and help the economic growth of the country. To this end, an Amiri decree was issued on 19th May 1952 to open the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). It commenced operations six months later and is now the largest private sector institution in Kuwait, having built up market share of almost 40 per cent. BBME, on the other hand, was bought out by HSBC in 1959; the name was consigned to the history books, its new owner having steered it to a better place under the auspices of its Saudi British Bank affiliate group.
In 2009, Global Finance magazine named NBK as one of the
world’s 50 safest banks. In pure financial terms, by year-end 2008, it was posting $10.27 billion of assets under management and claimed a market capitalisation of $11.2 billion.
Its banking activities have grown to cover all areas, including retail banking, corporate banking and international trade, as well as investment banking and private banking. Products and
services are managed through NBK’s homeland HQ and
branches and its network of subsidiaries in 14 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North America and South East Asia.
National Bank of Kuwait
NBK intends to keep hold of its credibility, mindful of what can happen, directly or indirectly, at the hands of poor customer service, and has gone out of its way to deliver an enterprise-wide
data system to keep it on track.
An important milestone – and the turning point for NBK’s IT strategy – revealed itself in 2003, recalls Hani Khalil, enterprise architect for NBK’s IT division. It started, he says, with the realisation that NBK needed to replace its core business and technology systems, the awareness of a systems shortfall at that time
fuelled by the possibilities being afforded to go-ahead banks by the economic boom and expansion of financial markets globally. ‘Our priorities, or shall I say our dependencies, were evolved from our core strategy and vision to revamp our core capabilities,’ explains Khalil.
‘Our priorities, or shall I say our dependencies, were evolved from our core strategy and vision to revamp our core capabilities.’ - Hani Khalil, National Bank of Kuwait
Hani Khalil, National Bank of
Indeed, given NBK group’s mission to establish a leadership position across the region, it initiated an enterprise transformation project – codenamed Shorouq (Arabic for sunrise) – to revamp its business processes and IT infrastructure. The IT transformation project would include a full revamp of its core systems and, pertinent to its customer focus, all associated decision support tools – with more than a passing nod to Business Intelligence (BI). ‘The Shorouq programme was envisaged as a long-term enterprise technology architecture and IT strategy,’ notes Khalil. NBK has a full project roadmap that started in 2004 and will run until 2012 for application and data related projects. ‘As part of the programme, we...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document