Kuwait now has 11 local banks, including 5 Islamic banks, all of which are overseen by the Kuwait Central Bank in order to guarantee the stability of the Kuwaiti Dinar. The Kuwait Central Bank also functions as the Kuwait government’s financial adviser and banker. MNCs such as HSBC, Citigroup, and others are also active in Kuwait’s banking sector.
Banking services in Kuwait
The Industrial Bank provides financing for agricultural and industrial initiatives. Two Kuwaiti government-owned specialist banks provide medium to long-term financing to their clients or customers, with a concentration on savings banks and credit facilities, ensuring a steady flow of money throughout the economy.
The Banks are divided into three main categories and they serve their own purpose:
- Commercial Banks
- Islamic Banks
- Specialized Banks
Commercial banks are further divided into domestic and international branches. National Bank of Kuwait, Gulf Bank, Bank of Kuwait, and the Middle East are examples of local branches, whereas Bank of BNP Paribas, Citibank, Qatar National Bank, Bank of HSBC, Doha Bank, Bank of Bahrain are examples of international branches.
Banks in Kuwait
Here are some of the best banks in Kuwait.
In terms of total assets, Kuwait’s National Bank (NBK) is the country’s largest bank. It was the first indigenous bank and the first shareholder corporation in the Arabian Gulf area, having been founded in 1952. According to Global Finance, NBK is now one of the top three safest banks in the Middle East. It employs over 7,000 employees and has a nationwide network of 70 locations and 310 ATMs. The Bank had total assets of US$98 billion as of December 2020.
With total assets of about US $60 billion, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is the second-largest bank in Kuwait. The first Islamic Bank in the country was founded in 1977. All actions are carried out according to Islamic Sharia law. The organization offers corporate and personal banking, private banking, investment and Immobiliare, commercial finance, automotive financing, internet banking, mobile banking apps, credit cards, and more. In Bahrain, the UAE, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia, KFH is active internationally.
Through its regional branch network of 167 locations, it provides banking and investing services. Corporate and investment banking, private banking, retail banking, and treasury are the Bank’s main business sectors. Gulf Bank Algeria, Tunis International Bank, Burgan Bank Turkey, and Bank of Baghdad are subsidiaries of Burgan Bank Group. The firm is Kuwait’s third-largest bank with 24 billion dollars in total assets, client deposits of 12.4 billion dollars, and 14 billion dollars in lending.
The Gulf Bank is Kuwait’s fourth-largest asset bank. It was built in 1960 and now has a network of over 60 branches and 200 ATMs. The corporation is classified as “A” by top rating companies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch). It offers current, savings and salary accounts, MasterCard and Visa, debit and prepaid cards, premiums, travel insurance, mobile and online banking, secure box and consumer loans, new or used car loans, mortgages, guaranteed cash loans, pensions, and investment funds. It also provides a wide range of services.
The Kuwaiti Commercial Bank is one of the 10 biggest assets, deposit, loan, income, and income banks in Kuwaiti. The Bank’s principal divisions are Retail Banking, Corporate Credit Division, IBS, Treasury & Investment Division, Risk Management Division, and the Operations Division. The Bank’s primary departments are: The firm is based in Kuwait, Kuwait, and has 1490 employees. CBK has Moody’s and Fitch’s long-term credit ratings of A3.
Apart from the banks’ details, the most important thing everyone wants to know is how you can open an account in these banks. Here is a brief description of how a foreign national can open a bank account in Kuwait.
How to open a Bank Account in Kuwait?
You must be a resident of Kuwait to open a Kuwait bank account. The bank will want your resident visa and your No Objection Certificate (no objection certificate, NOC) to be received by your employer or sponsor before your arrival when you are ready to create your local account. Some banks may also ask about your pictures, tenancy, and passport.
Most banks have current accounts, salaries, and savings. Many banks accept joint accounts. Some expats reported being denied a married couple’s joint account because of the high prevalence of divorce in Kuwait. You may open your solo account with approval as a sponsor if you can’t register a joint account and your spouse does not work in Kuwait.