Qatar banking perspectives 2020

The banking sector is facing unprecedented disruption in the face of developments as varied and far-reaching as the phase-out of LIBOR, increased scrutiny over AML, the rising prominence of Fintech and the emergence of unconventional competitors. 

The standing of Qatar’s banks in the international market remains firm, with the sector remaining in a strong position, regardless of potential geopolitical uncertainty. Despite the challenges, banks continue to demonstrate resilience, as evidenced by the positive first quarter results and encouraging statements from rating agencies. There are some headwinds; nevertheless managing NPLs, stabilizing liquidity, and maintaining costs at some of the lowest levels in the region amongst others, yet despite this, banks are investing heavily in technology and innovation, as explored further in this publication.

While there are wide-ranging views on how this situation will affect the financial markets, one point over which there is unanimous agreement is that we will be dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future, and the banking sector as a whole will most certainly evolve as a result of this.

Those banks that are agile, flexible and willing to transform their business models will be the ones that succeed and secure their financial strength for future growth, while those that rest on their laurels will be left behind.

Our subject matter experts shed light on major trends, challenges to overcome, and opportunities to harness. They examine issues falling under the umbrellas of four broad themes: market & business; technology & innovation; risk & regulation and governance & controls. These articles complement our GCC listed banks’ results report published in May 2020, a comprehensive analysis of key financial indicators and issues relating to banks in the region.

We were delighted with the heartening response to last year’s Banking Perspectives; thank you for your overwhelming interest and positive feedback. I hope you find the 2020 report equally stimulating, informative and engaging. I remain eager to hear your views, answer your queries, and discuss the contents of this publication with you.