*The bank aims to take advantage of artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain in digital shift
Doha Bank is strengthening its technology platform to improve operational efficiency by 5% in the next two years as it takes advantage of artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain.
In the process, the bank is also reorganising its local network to 20 branches from the present 30 as part of scaling up customer convenience through electronic banking initiatives, said Doha Bank group chief executive Dr R Seetharaman.
“There is a huge transformation in the next two years. The bank is embarking more towards digital shift,” he said, adding the retail organisation is a bigger plan, which it is embarking on, to reduce the average cost of operations and at the same time empowering the customers through digital convergence.
With digital governance, customers’ preferences are to scale up online banking so the bank is introducing robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, Seetharaman said on the sidelines of the annual general assembly meeting, in which the shareholders approved cash dividend of QR1 per share.
Asked to what extend the operational efficiency could be enhanced, Seetharaman said, “Our cost-to-income ratio will be 30% (after the local network reorganisation strategy) and now it stands at 35%.”
As far as the branch network is concerned, there will be 20 branches compared with the present 30, Seetharaman said, adding this comes in the view of a progressive scaling of digital convergence (in the banking system) from the brick and mortar.
Earlier addressing the shareholders, Doha Bank chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohamad bin Jabor al-Thani said its five-year strategic plan incorporates certain amendments to its business strategy, especially regarding the activities of overseas branches and representative offices across the globe.
The future plan of the bank includes the implementation of an effective risk management strategy both at local and international fronts, recruiting Qatari nationals, enhancing the levels of staff performance by recruiting highly experienced and qualified human resources, improving the bank's service delivery channels, upgrading the level of corporate governance, diversifying the income sources and strengthening the financial position with a view to achieving the highest level of effective operational performance.
During the extraordinary general assembly, shareholders unanimously approved the proposed amendment enabling the stock split in the 1:10 ratio.
Doha Bank’s audited financial statements for 2018 showed that total assets reached QR96.1bn. Net loans and advances were QR59.8bn. The lender reported return a on average shareholders’ equity of 9% and return on average assets of 0.88% the previous year.
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