We are pleased to present you a new quarterly report on the Saudi banking sector with industry insights, market analysis and the Q1’2020 financial performance.

The prevailing crisis could not have ben envisaged even with the best of foresight a few months ago – a novel virus transforming into a pandemic and yielding profound consequences well beyond the health space into the domains of commerce and business. Expectedly, these have been extremely testing times for the banking sector – as it continues to witness its biggest challenge since the global financial crisis of 2008. As a result, there has been a flurry of activities at the ends of both individual banks and regulators, as an endeavor to identify, quantity and rectify the emerging impacts of Covid-19.

With the dissemination of financial results for first quarter of 2020, the magnitude of the Covid-19 impact on the banking industry has unfolded, albeit, it currently captures the initial effects that started emerging towards the end of March 2020 and the fact that timely and decisive regulatory measures in various jurisdictions were able to halt the downward push to some extent. The Saudi banking sector has been no different, with an average increase of 93.3% in expected credit losses and a significant decrease in marked to market valuations.

We welcome you all to delve into further insights of the foregoing themes in our first edition of the Banking Pulse which is part of a series of our industry wide endeavor to share and seek insights in the banking space following the latest Banking Perspectives 2020. In this report, you will not only find industry’s financial performance for the most recent period, but also comments from key executives that reflects the pulse of the market. As always, we look forward to your feedback.