Saudi British Bank: HSBC's Saudi Arabian Experience|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Saudi British Bank: HSBC's Saudi Arabian Experience

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR076
Case Length : 22 Pages
Period : 1959 - 2003
Organization : HSBC, Saudi British Bank
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Saudi Arabia
Industry : Banking

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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EXCERPTS

SABB: HSBC'S 'Arabian Nights' (And Days)

HSBC's decision to enter the Gulf region was a part of the group's thrust on globalization in the 1950s. In 1959, the company commenced its operations in the Middle East by purchasing the British Bank of the Middle East. Originally known as the Imperial Bank of Persia, the British Bank of Middle East had pioneered banking operations in several Gulf regions during the 1940s and 1950s.

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HSBC renamed the company HSBC Bank Middle East Limited. After this, HSBC began operating in places such as Aden, Libya, Sharjah, Qatar, Tunisia, Abu Dhabi, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. During the 1960s, the banking industry in the Middle East was going through a phase of nationalization. As a result of this, HSBC had to close operations in Aden, Libya, Syria and Iraq. However, the company reinforced its branch network in the oil rich countries and formed new alliances with local banks. In 1978, HSBC established the Saudi British Bank (SABB) as a joint stock company under Saudi Arabia's royal decree. SABB was formed to take over the British Bank of Middle East's branches in Saudi Arabia...

Towards Value-Added Islamic Banking

From 2000 onwards, SABB introduced several innovative products and services to compete with large-sized banks in the kingdom. The new Islamic banking products and services it offered were in line with the government's policy of 'Saudisation,' which was aimed at encouraging the Islamic way of doing business and creating more employment/business opportunities for Saudi nationals.

In July 2000, SABB introduced ATMs in Riyadh and Makkah for the convenience of visually impaired customers. The first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, these ATMs allowed visually impaired customers to conduct transactions independently with complete privacy and security. In November 2000, SABB launched financial planning services which were similar to insurance policies. The bank offered two plans, Al Amal and Al Manar, aimed at helping customers plan for their future financial security. Under Al Amal, customers could take a policy for a specific amount for a specific duration. They paid a specified premium to the bank, which was credited to an Education and Protection fund. The amount in this fund was withdrawn by the customer at the maturity of the policy or after death, whichever occurred earlier...

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