Prior to COVID19, banks were evolving at a rapid pace, driven by changing customer expectations, heightened competition, squeezed margins, tighter regulations and advancements in technology. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation to meet changes in customer behavior,making this imperative more urgent than ever before. Moreover, banks played an important social role in this time of crisis, thanks to the temporary support measures that were introduced by CBJ. The Jordanian banking system remains sound and stable.
For SGBJ, 2020 was one of the most challenging years in the history of the bank. Through it all, the bank demonstrated its capacity to adapt with speed in response to the global pandemic and associated high uncertainties. As a result of timely and proactive measures, SGBJ was able to deliver JD6.3 million in net income after tax. The balance sheet ended the year strong, with a capital adequacy ratio of 19.44% and a liquidity ratio of 116.7%, positioning the bank well for the future.
Since the onset of the crisis, SGBJ’s priority was to save the lives and livelihoods of its employees and customers. The bank mobilized in an exceptional manner to ensure business continuity, working onsite and remotely without compromising the level of services. SGBJ implemented health and safety precautions at every location across its footprint. Staff were split between Abdali headquarters and Shmeisani building. The bank also increased its remote operations capacity following the progressive rise in the number of local cases since mid- September 2020, with at least 30% of employees in each department working remotely from home in rotating shifts every 2 weeks.
Stemming from a deep faith in the importance of maintaining customers’ complete trust and loyalty, SGBJ provided them with extraordinary support and offered the right advice in terms of CBJ support programs and others. Moreover, debtors affected by the pandemic received a general payment holiday in line with CBJ instructions.
In the corporate social responsibility framework, and stemming from its deep faith in its role as an important partner in serving and developing the local community, SGBJ took several initiatives providing support, sponsorships and donations to a number of healthcare, educational, cultural, artistic and humanitarian entities/events; contributing 500,000 JOD to “Himmat Watan Fund’ to combat the impacts of COVID-19 on the Jordanian economy and the most vulnerable segments of the society.
Moving forward, SGBJ’s strategy shall be focused on the three central pillars of maintaining a client-centric approach by providing closely-managed support for clients and improving customer experience in each of the bank’s channels; readjusting operations by accelerating digital transformation to meet customers’ new emerging needs while improving operational efficiency; and enhancing profitability and risk management.