HDB continues to implement its ambitious strategy: Ghanem

Hossam Mounir
15 Min Read

Hassan Ghanem, the CEO and Managing Director of the Housing and Development Bank (HDB), said that the bank has achieved remarkable results in all its operations and activities in a short time, reaching new heights in its history. He attributed this to the bank’s comprehensive transformation and development plan for all its sectors and services, which it has been implementing for the past four years, aiming to achieve the highest quality standards.

The bank invested heavily in applying the latest developments and market requirements in the banking sector, under the principles of competition.

In his interview with Daily News Egypt, Ghanem added that the bank has increased its growth rate and customer base during this period, leading the list of the fastest-growing commercial banks listed on the Egyptian Exchange in many business sectors. He said that the bank’s goal is to maximize the value provided to all its stakeholders, including customers, shareholders, investors, and others. He stressed the bank’s constant commitment to financing various strategic economic projects, demonstrating its effective role in supporting the national economy and maintaining its sustainable growth path in various business fields, thus strengthening its position as one of the largest comprehensive commercial banks in the Egyptian banking sector.

Ambitious and Proactive Strategy

Ghanem said that 2023 was an exceptional year, during which the bank continued its journey over the past years, affirming its position as one of the largest commercial banks in the Egyptian banking sector.

He explained that despite the current circumstances, the bank achieved a significant breakthrough and exceptional growth rates in its financial indicators in 2023, doubling its performance and business volume across all sectors, in addition to improving its image and reputation as a comprehensive commercial bank that offers various banking services and products. He said that this reflects the bank’s ability to adapt and cope with various changing situations with professionalism, dynamism, and flexibility while adhering to the highest standards of operational efficiency.

Ghanem pointed out that the bank follows an ambitious and proactive strategy, putting customers and their needs at the forefront of its priorities, in addition to expanding its customer base in line with the banking market requirements and competition principles. He said that the bank adopts a distinctive and unique business model, through which it makes the most of all available opportunities, in addition to its continuous monitoring of the latest trends in the global and local banking markets to achieve this exceptional success.

He emphasized the bank’s keenness to continue developing and enhancing its banking activities and services, ensuring the quality of services provided to customers, and launching innovative banking products and solutions based on thorough studies and analysis of the banking market, to improve its competitive position and reach all segments of current and potential customers.

Ghanem clarified that the bank works on providing and developing all banking services and products, especially digital ones, to keep up with the rapid changes in financial technology, making it easier for customers to access digital banking services. He said that this also includes increasing its presence and geographical expansion by adding more branches and ATMs in all governorates to reach customers wherever they are and provide them with distinguished banking services.

He affirmed the bank’s commitment to providing support and training to employees at all levels to enhance their skills and develop their professional capabilities to provide the best service to customers with the highest levels of quality and efficiency.

Supporting People with Disabilities

Ghanem said that the bank continues to implement its plan for financial inclusion, reaching out to new segments of society that are “underbanked” and need to engage with the banking sector. The bank also continues to support people with disabilities, treating them as an essential part of society. The bank expands the banking services it offers to them, allowing them to access all banking services and products with ease and flexibility.

The bank also targets high-net-worth clients through its Royal HDB service, which provides them with distinctive services that meet their needs with high quality and professionalism. The bank helps them manage their finances optimally through financial and non-financial consultations.

Ghanem mentioned that the bank has an expansion plan that covers various governorates of the country, aiming to increase the number of branches to 100 and the number of ATMs to more than 440. The new branches are built and equipped according to the highest engineering and construction standards, with the latest banking technology to provide competitive banking services with the highest level of quality and efficiency.

Strong Business Results

Ghanem highlighted the bank’s ability to continue benefiting from its strong position in the banking sector and customers’ trust in its banking products and services. Deposits increased by 6.7% to reach EGP 95.5bn in September 2023, driven by a 65.7% increase in retail deposits. The bank encourages both existing and new customers to invest their savings through savings certificates and savings accounts, which increased by about EGP 1.27bn, with a growth rate of 12.3%, during the nine months ending in 2023. Total savings account deposits increased by about EGP 607m, with a growth rate of 8.1%, expanding the customer base and increasing the bank’s market share.

Ghanem said that the bank’s total assets reached EGP 118bn in September 2023, with a growth rate of 14% compared to 2022, driven by the growth of the bank’s loan portfolio in both retail and corporate sectors. Total loans amounted to EGP 42.858bn, with a growth rate of 12.3%, driven by the growth of corporate loans to EGP 18.815bn, with a growth rate of 11%. The bank’s retail banking loan portfolio reached EGP 11.831bn, with an increase of 17%. The mortgage financing loan portfolio reached EGP 12.212bn, with a growth rate of 10%. Net interest margin increased to 10.5% compared to 6% during the same period of the previous year.

Ghanem said that the loan-to-deposit ratio reached 45% in September 2023 compared to 42.6% in 2022. An increase in loan returns and similar revenues by 70.6% and an increase in deposit costs and similar expenses by 30% led to an increase in net interest income to EGP 7.3 bn compared to EGP 3.4bn, with a growth rate of 114.2%.

Applications and Electronic Services

Ghanem said that the bank is eager to launch various applications and electronic services to enhance its competitive position. These offer a breakthrough in digital services, such as e-wallets, internet banking, and mobile banking. The bank has also joined the instant payment network through the “InstaPay” application. Ghanem said that the second phase has been launched, and the third phase of internet banking services, which will provide more than 60 services, is in progress.

These services include existing ones such as internal and external fund transfers, online account opening, buying new saving certificates, managing customer cards, and paying credit card debts. They also include instant transfers from within Internet and mobile banking, as well as cash-in and cash-out services. The bank is also increasing the number of ATMs, which has reached more than 440 ATMs in various governorates.

Ghanem reported an increase in the number of subscribers to the Internet and mobile banking application by 79% during the nine months ending in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The number of users of the Internet and mobile banking applications increased by 115%, and the percentage of activated customers for the “Flousi Phone” application increased by 41%.

Green Economy and Sustainable Finance

Ghanem stressed the bank’s belief in the need to incorporate sustainability standards in its various activities and operations, which are reflected in the bank’s strategy, as they are important for supporting financial and banking stability and achieving sustainable development goals. He said that the bank is committed to following all internationally accepted sustainable practices in the banking sector by promoting the transition to a green economy and constantly implementing environmentally friendly solutions. The bank participates actively in many initiatives aimed at achieving sustainability, emphasizing that creating sustainable value for all relevant stakeholders is both a strategic objective and an ethical obligation.

He mentioned the bank’s involvement in financing several strategic projects that support the state’s direction towards transitioning to a green economy and sustainable development, with investment costs exceeding EGP 40bn. This includes financing the construction of two water stations to reclaim 362,000 feddan in the Dabaa axis, contributing to the financing of the Canal Sugar project – the Minya factory, and contributing to the financing of the South Valley Development project in the Toshka area to reclaim 375,000 feddan.

The bank also contributed to financing the construction of Dahab Central Hospital to provide medical services to the residents of South Sinai governorate, as well as financing the construction of Abu Qurqas Hospital in Minya governorate, as part of the “Decent Life” flagship initiative, to provide comprehensive healthcare services.

Ghanem said that the total value of financing allocated to serve sustainable financing principles reached EGP 2.556bn across corporate finance, joint loans, and small and medium-sized projects, accounting for 12% of the total financing portfolio during the first nine months of 2023.

He said that the Housing and Development Bank was one of the first banks to participate in implementing the Central Bank’s initiative for vehicle replacement, with total financing reaching EGP 840m for 2,656 vehicles until September 2023.

Ghanem confirmed the bank’s leadership and pioneering role in mortgage financing and urban development, explaining that the volume of financing issued to low and middle-income clients within mortgage financing initiatives exceeded EGP 10bn until September 2023.

Sustainability within Work System

Ghanem said that HDB is proud to be among the first banks to adopt a sustainability policy that applies to all its sectors and branches, taking into account environmental, social, and governance sustainability standards, as well as managing climate risks under the sustainable development strategy and Egypt Vision 2030.

He also stressed the bank’s commitment to achieving comprehensive development and applying a sustainability approach in all aspects and fields through its strategic focus on corporate social responsibility. He said that the health and education sectors are the bank’s main priority in sustainable development activities, and the bank supports people with disabilities, marginalized groups, and those most in need, as well as empowering women.

Global Awards and Rankings

Ghanem said that HDB has won many prestigious awards and achieved advanced positions in leading global institutions. The bank was included in the Fortune 500 list of the largest Arab companies for 2023, as well as Forbes’ ranking of the top 50 companies in Egypt for 2023 and The Banker’s ranking of the top 100 Arab banks in 2023.

The bank also received several awards from the World Business Outlook news website, including the Fastest Growing Commercial Bank Award 2023, the Fastest Growing Card Issuance Bank Award 2023, and the Fastest Growing Joint Loan Commercial Bank Award 2023, as well as two awards from the Global Brand institution for the same categories.

Moreover, the bank received three awards from the International Business Magazine, namely the Fastest Growing Corporate Loan Bank 2023, the Fastest Growing Commercial Bank 2023, and the Fastest Growing Retail Banking Bank 2023, along with five awards from the Gazette International Magazine for the Most Efficient Bank in Internet Banking Service 2023, the Fastest Growing Card Issuance Bank 2023, the Fastest Growing Joint Loan Commercial Bank 2023, the Fastest Growing Commercial Bank 2023, and the Fastest Growing Corporate Loan Bank 2023, as well as the Fastest Growing Retail Banking Bank 2023 from the Global Banking and Finance magazine.

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