Hanaa Al Hinai, DGM – Private Banking and Retail Banking Products Development, Retail and Private Banking Division, Ahlibank shares her thoughts on the bank’s premium banking offering and differentiation. Mayank Singh reports.
Can you share details of Ahlibank premium banking? What kind of products and services are offered to customers?
Hanaa Al Hinai: Ahlibank has always been on the forefront of providing dedicated services to its Premium Banking customers. This year the bank enhanced its services by providing a range of exclusive benefits alongside its already existing premium benefits. The newly added services include the introduction of the signature debit and credit card for premium customers, a one per cent cashback on purchases made on our Signature credit cards, concierge service, free chauffeur service, exclusive merchant discounts. Ahlibank premium customers also get up to 4,000 peal point on their credit cards which enables them to redeem them for Oman Air Sinbad miles and Gulf Air Falconflyer miles.
These benefits now complement the existing benefits of dedicated relationship manager, worldwide airport lounge access, free travel insurance, purchase protection and access to experienced agents on-call to provide expert wealth management and general banking advice.
Premium customers also benefit from our exclusive centers located in our head office branch in Wattayah, Al Khuwair, Avenues Mall and in Seeb with plans to expand further.
What’s the eligibility criteria to be an Ahlibank premium banking customer?
Hanaa Al Hinai: Ahlibank premium banking services are offered to customers who maintain either a deposit of RO35,000 or transfer a monthly salary of RO3,500. In doing so, the customer benefits from a one to one service provided by his or her relationship manager. Customers can be serviced at any of our branches, dedicated centers or at the comfort of their own home if they wish. Our wealth managers along with the relationship manager introduce the client to the range of services, benefits and wealth advice available at Ahlibank. Our aim is to ensure our clients grow their investments, protect their wealth and truly enjoy their experience with Ahlibank.
Ahlibank launched its signature cards just over a month ago. How has the response been till date? Can you also share details of the bank’s private banking performance?
Hanaa Al Hinai: We are very proud to have offered such a segment of card to our premium customers. We have ensured that we are the best in the market in terms of offerings and benefits when it comes to premium banking services. Having said that, we have seen the success of our initiative in the level of response by our customers as they can now enjoy more benefits tailored to their lifestyle than ever before.
Ahlibank private banking (exclusiv) is a service offered to our highly affluent customers. In ‘exclusiv’ banking, apart from the benefits of premium banking, Ahlibank offers an even more personalised service by understanding our customer’s financial requirements. We provide our customers a world-class, tailor-made investment solution via a bespoke wealth and portfolio management service. Our wealth advisors effectively manage the customer’s investments by maximising their returns and minimising risks. Due to this exclusive service we have had a long relationship with many of our customers and have seen more customers approach us for the same.
Privilege and private banking are becoming an intensely competitive field. What differentiates Ahlibank’s offering in the market?
Hanaa Al Hinai: We at Ahlibank believe that the service we provide is our biggest differentiator. Most banks offer similar services for their customers and hence we try to stand apart by ensuring our customers satisfaction with our dedicated personalised service is high.
Ahlibank has enhanced its products and benefits along with deploying more resources, and customers have seen the difference in our approach. Our wealth advice services have hugely complemented our benefits in the most positive of ways as our customers understand that Ahlibank’s commitment is towards their own individual wealth growth.
The economy has gone through a challenging phase. What accounts for Ahlibank’s offer in private banking in such an economic climate?
Ahlibank offers a large range of savings accounts and wealth solution options for every client’s risk appetite. Those who are savvy investors and prefer to take high risk can find many solutions with us. Customers who prefer to have a better rate of return without the risk also find our savings products attractive.
What are your future plans for Ahlibank’s private banking division?
Ahlibank is constantly assessing different solutions that can be offered to our customers in order to grow their wealth comfortably and steadily. We aim to grow the private banking unit in order for us to accommodate more customers who are interested in such services. We are also looking at how we can benefit our customers more globally in the near future.
Can you share some details about your professional background?
I have been in banking for the last 12 years having started as a senior financial advisor in Australia for one of the leading banks. Returning back to Oman , I have worked for HSBC, NBO, OAB and now with Ahlibank since January 2017. I am also a graduate of the National CEO Programme.
We see a lot of young Omanis getting jobs and as the economy grows do you feel premium and private banking have a good scope to grow?
Ahlibank believes in the importance of all segments. Oman has a young growing population which allows banks to cater to all of the different segment needs from child accounts to private banking services. The customer’s life cycle is what we focus on at Ahlibank and we ensure that we are able to provide services and solutions for every segments needs and wants. The market looks at this as a growing segment. We emphasise on growing our customers wealth which helps us upgrade our customers to premium or private banking in the future. There is a large room for growth in both the premium and private banking sector due to incomes improving for young professional Omanis which gives them a good start in their savings for the future.
Overall, are you confident about the market’s economic prospects?
There has been a massive effort being made by all sectors of the government and private sector on the economy which brings great confidence to all on the future prospects.