Saudi Arabia’s banking sector saw an average 11.3 percent growth in net profit in 2018 and a 2.1 percent growth in total assets.
The figures were revealed in the fourth edition of KPMG’s “GCC listed banks’ results: Embracing Digital” report.
Muhammad Tariq, head of financial services at KPMG Al Fozan & Partners, Saudi Arabia, said: “Overall 2018 was a positive year for listed banks in Saudi Arabia. Average net profitability improved, underpinned by higher average SAIBOR (Saudi Arabian Interbank Offered Rates), modest growth in assets and a slight decrease in costs.”
KPMG recently released its fourth edition of the “GCC listed banks’ results” report, which analyzes the published results of listed commercial banks across the region for the year ended 31 December 2018.
Of the 26 commercial banks operating in Saudi Arabia under the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulatory regime, 12 are national banks and 14 are branches of foreign banks.
The report read: “Home financing was a key driver in 2018, driven by government initiatives taken to develop affordable housing units and to facilitate the necessary legal and financing environment to encourage greater home ownership. Asset growth was higher amongst the Islamic banks, underscoring demand for Shariah compliant facilities.”
According to the report, loan impairment charges increased by 14.8 percent from the previous year, which in part reflects new expected credit loss (“ECL”) methodologies in accordance with IFRS 9.
Tariq added: “Accounting standards, Basel III requirements, and an increasing focus on Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements will not only maintain regulatory pressure, but will also require banks to reshape strategies to ensure compliance while retaining agility.”