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Thursday 08, June 2017 by Nabilah Annuar

An outstanding financial track record

Samer A.H. Itani, Vice Chairman—General Manager of LGB BANK sheds light on the bank’s history and stellar performance.

With over 50 years of banking tradition, trust and excellence in customer service, LGB BANK stands today as one of the Lebanese banking sector’s leading players with a strong position and a rich heritage. Established in 1963 under the name of Banque de Credit Agricole, LGB BANK adopted its current name and shareholders’ form in 1980, when a group of businessmen led by the current chairman acquired the shares majority.

The Bank currently operates from its head office located in Beirut Central District, backed by a powerful network of 18 branches spread across the country and a branch in Cyprus that has been operational since 1986, as well as a representative office in Dubai—UAE.

Today, being one of the most dynamic and vibrant institutions in Lebanon, the Bank is committed to a systematic expansion strategy which dictated a successful capital increase in 2014, followed by an enhancement of the Bank’s operational and information technology infrastructure, a substantial growth in profits and deposits, and most importantly a concentrated modernization and development process of its human capital.

LGB BANK expansion strategy runs in parallel in Lebanon and the Middle East, as the Bank taps into new potential markets. By early 2015, the Bank had embarked on a contemporary branding effort that promises to propel it to new heights, in line with its robust business strategy.

With its dedication and clear vision, LGB BANK continues to build strong relationships with its customers through a personalised approach coupled with sophisticated services and “out of the box products” that meet customers’ evolving financial needs.

Innovative products and e-services

LGB BANK’s dynamic strategy offers top quality services and a wide variety of financial products catering to its customers’ aspirations, objectives and financial needs. The bank’s unique offerings benefits customers from unprecedented banking services such as Banking By Night and LGB Loyalty programme with the competitive LGB Miles programme that enables the Bank’s customers to travel to more than 55 countries, in addition to other convenience products such as foreign currency cards in UAE Dirham, Turkish Lira, Saudi Riyal and Sterling Pound, and elite cards: the Black Card, the VISA Infinite Card and the VISA Signature Card.

In order to provide better travel solutions for its customers, LGB BANK offers exclusive currency credit cards in UAE Dirham, Saudi Riyal, Turkish Lira and Sterling Pound, enabling travellers to pay for their purchases without any additional currency fees. These credit cards are flexibly designed to deliver the ultimate travel experience with value-added benefits including payments in local currencies without the worrying about managing conversion fees; free access to more than 500 international airports and VIP lounges in Lebanon, UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Turkey, UK, and US; fraud insurance, travel insurance, and personal incidents insurance for the cardholders and their families; international concierge services; and LGB BANK’s Loyalty programme.

LGB BANK also offers elite cards including VISA Infinite Card and VISA Signature Card, where cardholders can enjoy the luxury lifestyle and benefit from LGB Loyalty and Miles programmes, and earn 1.5 miles or one point for every dollar spent, in addition to free access to more than 500 airport lounges in more than 300 cities around the world with no previous registration needed. Cardholders will also benefit from special travel offers to visit more than 55 touristic destinations on most of the international airlines. VISA Infinite and Visa Signature Cards encompass special offers and protection services including travel and medical insurance, as well as fraud protection services.

Additionally, with the aim to provide innovative and renewable banking products and services, LGB BANK also introduced its Euro Card which enables cardholders to live a unique European experience. The Euro Card fulfils European traveller needs and allow them to withdraw cash or pay in euro without any additional charges. Platinum Euro Card holders can also benefit from the Loyalty and Miles programme rewards, in addition to accessing airport VIP lounges using the Priority Pass card, enabling travellers to enter over 900 lounges, and free access to some airport VIP lounges in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait.

The Bank constantly introduces new services and cards to provide customers with the financial support needed, the best banking services, as well to enjoy a unique travelling experience of Lebanese people anytime, and anywhere.

LGB BANK also provide cardholders with high-level security services to curb piracy when using cards for online and POS purchases. The two introduced security services include the Pin On Chip service for POS purchases, where cardholders are asked to enter a PIN when purchasing at the point of sale; the 3D Secure service for online purchase, where cardholders will have to enter an OTP (one time pin), which is sent via SMS, for each online purchase; and the change of PIN code service which enable cardholders to change their PIN codes via ATM. These services falls under the Bank’s efforts to introduce security services, to ensure maximum safety for its customers so that online purchases are done safely.

External Relations

LGB BANK features a network of strong historic relations with individuals and corporations in neighbouring and GCC counties. This network is a vital platform for the business locally and abroad. The platform is correlated with the Bank’s structure and products offered, and supports in positioning us as a trusted banking and financial partner. The Bank puts all its effort and attention for its customers, and provide them with the best investment returns, wealth management, bond subscriptions, preferred stock, and competitive products.

Catering to the customers’ needs across all categories, whether they are savings, investments, placements, or even financial falls, is the heart of the Bank’s business strategy in adding value across all processes done at LGB BANK.

LGB BANK also plans to offer new service and innovative financial solution packages, which enable it to address the challenges posed by the local market, through the leadership in offering distinctive products and services. Accordingly, the Bank’s team is working on ways to enhance its communication and relationship with the customers, through a series of high-standard initiatives and activities that aims to better understand the needs and requirements of its customers.

Awards and Accolades

In recognition of the efforts exerted by LGB BANK to establish a distinct position among the biggest Lebanese banks, the World Union of Arab Bankers granted the Bank the Banking Executive Award 2016 for Excellence in E-banking and Mobile Banking.

The Bank also received Best Financial Transformation at the Banker Middle East—CPI Financial Industry Awards 2016 and Best Credit Card and Best Co-branded Credit Card for the publication’s Product Awards 2016.

This proves that LGB BANK seeks to acquire various awards that showcase its success through its innovative and advanced banking products and services offered in its 18 various branches across Lebanon, in addition to a branch in Cyprus and a representative office in Dubai.

These awards are yet another testimony of the Bank’s insistence on innovation and singularity, and providing the best for its customers. LGB BANK also believe that the awards will serve yet as an additional incentive to push them to achieve more accomplishments and better services.

Outstanding financial track record

According to the 2016 unaudited financial results, the report which evaluates and identifies the rankings of the Lebanese Alpha Banks, for the year 2016, LGB BANK achieved great strides in terms of performance and growth indicators.

LGB BANK ranked third in asset growth rate of 14.9 per cent, with a value of LBP 6,193 billion while maintaining a high liquidity ratio, and ranked second in customer deposits growth of 14.6 per cent, with a value of LBP 5,367 billion. As for the equity growth, the bank ranked seventh reaching LBP 528 billion which accounts for 9.4 per cent growth rate, thus contributing in strengthening the Bank’s solvency and increasing its capacity to face risks. The Bank also amounted a rate of 15.6 per cent, ranking in sixth position in terms of net profit growth rate with a value of LBP 53 billion.

LGB BANK continues to prove that it is adapting the right strategy for developing its banking business, through offering new and innovative services and products that caters to the customers, and expanding into new markets that will further enhance the Bank’s leadership position. The Bank believes that the ongoing successes are the result of the team and Board of Directors’ unprecedented efforts, along with the innovative and unique banking experience offered to all customers.

Integrated corporate governance and management

LGB BANK’s Board of Directors and management are committed to complying with the best corporate governance practises, designing and approving all corporate governance policies and practises, including the Code of Corporate Governance and Board Charter, in order to ensure the Bank is meeting its responsibilities towards stakeholders, and creating long term shareholders’ value.

The designed and approved policies offer a robust foundation for management in making responsible and ethical decisions. Complying with the policy also safeguards integrity in financial reporting, offers timely and balanced disclosures, as well as risk identification and management.

LGB BANK believes that sound corporate governance is an integral part of its business culture and practises, as it constantly monitors all newly proposed regulations, and support in modifying the policies and practises. The Bank’s Corporate Governance Framework is tailored to serve as a guiding tool for the Board to follow in order to achieve the Bank’s objectives based on the highest ethical standards and interests of its stakeholders.

Developing and implementing sound corporate governance has always been a fundamental focus for LGB BANK, in addition to enhancing its succession plan which focuses on key managerial and functional positions for talent and leadership development.

Additionally, LGB BANK also enhanced its disclosure policy to ensure that all required regulatory disclosures are done effectively and efficiently, taking into account due disclosure of conflict of interests.

Compliance and transparency policies

LGB BANK’s Board of Directors manages the Bank’s compliance to the set rules and regulations, to ensure the safeguarding of the Bank and its reputation, which also contributes to enhancing of the ethical standards and transparency.

The Board of Directors and management team also monitors all financial transactions on a daily basis and ensures that they are in compliance with the instructions of the Central Bank of Lebanon and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Accordingly, LGB BANK has put in place an Anti-money Laundering scenario to combat money laundering along with a powerful data integrity module that filters suspicious names from major international checklists throughout all its network’s divisions and branches.

Furthermore, LGB BANK complies with one of the strongest global standards of transparency in financial reporting, namely the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as certified by the International Accounting Standards Board, to further strengthen its corporate governance standards and enhance transparency and disclosure in its financial reports.

The Board directs the disclosure and communications process, which includes the Bank’s profile, vision and mission statements, strategy and objectives, as well as its financial statements, with all stakeholders in a fair, transparent, comprehensive and timely manner. Financial and practical information are disclosed through the Bank’s main shareholders, annual report, website, brochures, newsletter and regular media announcements.

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