The Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Bank in Kuwait

Our lives are filled with countless important financial decisions, many of which are made with the help of banks. 

However, choosing the best bank in Kuwait is no simple chore. Indeed, this part of the financial decision-making process may seem commonplace, but it is perhaps the most important. 

The reason is simple: Banks are not created equal. 

When we shop for bank offers, we are presented with numerous products and services that could potentially meet our specific needs. Yet, this diversity of options naturally makes banks harder to compare. 

Traditionally, shopping for the best bank offers requires personal visits to branch offices and a ton of research. None of it is quick; there are very tedious applications and plenty of stress. 

But not anymore. FinFirst is an online financial product marketplace that connects you with the best banks in Kuwait in one easy-to-use mobile application. By signing up to the FinFirst platform, you will be able to compare multiple bank offers for an entire catalog of financial products — from personal loans to auto insurance — and then apply for those products within minutes. 

Making the bank selection process as easy as choosing a hotel is a new norm that FinFirst is spearheading for the financial industry. 

But there are several important qualities to consider when shopping for banks on our platform.

In this article, we will introduce you to the best banks in Kuwait using a methodology based on several qualities, namely: 

  • Accessibility 
  • Hidden charges
  • Interest rates on credit
  • Interest rates on savings
  • Digital capabilities
  • Customer service
  • Growth in deposits, assets and net profit

Afterwards, we list which are the best banks in Kuwait, roughly following these specific factors.

Our Methodology: Factors that Define the Best Banks in Kuwait

Accessibility

Traditionally, the banks considered to have the best accessibility have been those that have had the largest branch networks and multiple ATMs in different locations. 

These days, however, great accessibility means providing customers an excellent online experience. 

Therefore, the best banks must constantly improve their online and mobile banking services and no longer rely on customers visiting a physical location. 

This means that online and mobile banking are now the modern definition of banking accessibility and convenience; the best banks must offer you the best digital banking experience. There is no way around it. 

Hidden Charges

There is nothing more disappointing that discovering your bank has charged you with a hidden fee. 

In truth, all banks have charges and fees. 

However, the best banks make a large effort to be transparent with their fees and charges. 

To do this, top banks allow customers to easily access a list of their fees and charges from online banking platforms. 

Moreover, a top bank will also aim to make their charges and fees customer-friendly, as compared to bad banks which charge unreasonably high fees. 

At this stage, you should also ask if there is a forgiveness policy. Often, banks will allow certain accounts to benefit from forgiveness for overdraft and other fees. 

Interest Rates on Credit

All banks charge interest on their credit facilities, including credit cards, car loans, personal loans, business loans, home-equity loans, etc. 

However, the best banks will offer you good interest rates, among other credit terms.  

It pays to shop for banks by comparing which offer the lowest interest rates for credit card and loan products. 

Interest Rates on Savings

The best banks will also offer you good interest rates on your savings and money market accounts. 

These banks want to help you grow your wealth and encourage your savings habit with higher interest rates. 

The main point: Research which banks offer the highest interest rates with savings accounts and other related money market products. 

Digital Capabilities

We live in a digital world where every industry is feeling the impact of technological disruption. The banking industry is no exception. 

Today, the best banks have learned to stay on top of fintech developments. They can offer you digitized financial products and capabilities that make the experience faster and easier.

Some of these capabilities include digital automation to reduce the cost of operations and the use of cybersecurity technologies to protect customers’ data. 

Customer Service

The importance of customer service in the banking industry cannot be understated. We shop for financial services, and great banks thus must be great service providers. 

The best banks treat you like a valued customer and have built channels to easily receive your questions and complaints. 

In modern banking, great customer service is invariably linked to digital solutions. Banks should provide various contact points to receive complaints, such as chatbots or live messaging services, as well as a team that quickly troubleshoots and resolves those complaints.

Growth in Deposits, Assets, and Net Profit

Banks are businesses. But the best banks don’t just make sure that they grow, but also their customers. 

As a bank increases its number of customers, it also increases its deposits and assets. With more resources, the bank is able to offer better terms, interest rates and service. 

In general, top banks are measured by their deposits, assets and net profit. However, we can also measure their employee numbers and other business metrics. 

Due to the rise of fintechs and neo banks, counting branch numbers is no longer as important as it once was; however, it still serves as a relevant measure for the size of a bank brand’s footprint. 

Instead, more qualitative measures are becoming important. 

If a bank is great, customers will tell their friends about it. Through word of mouth, more customers sign up for products and then there are growth statistics that physical location numbers can no longer compare with. 

The best banks in Kuwait

Now you know what you should be looking for in banks. You understand the importance of low charges, accessibility, digital capabilities, interest rates on savings and credit, customer service, and growth in deposits, assets, and net profit. 

So, which banks qualify as the best in Kuwait going by these factors? Here we list eight banks that qualify as the best banks in Kuwait. 

National Bank of Kuwait

The nation’s flagship bank, NBK is the first and largest bank in Kuwait, with branches in 13 other countries. They offer consumer and private banking, corporate banking, investment banking, asset management, and Islamic banking. The bank grew its assets by 7% in 2019 and declared a net profit of KD425 million.

They provide auto, personal, and mortgage loans as well as loans against cash. You can open a savings, checking, and term deposit account with them. NBK provides credit, debit, and prepaid cards to customers. A digital-thinking bank, they provide online and mobile banking as well as cardless transactions on their ATMs. 

For customer service inquiries, you can connect with them via the live chat on their website, phone, and social media. 

Al Ali Bank Kuwait

Al Ali Bank is one of the best banks in Kuwait, as well as one of the most profitable. Located in Kuwait City, the bank has 31 branches in Kuwait. The bank grew its assets in 2019 by 12%, earning a net profit of KD982 million. They offer retail and commercial banking services. 

Al Ali provides different types of Visa cards as well as saving, checking, salary, and term deposits accounts. They also have an online banking and mobile banking platform. 

In their consumer loan portfolio, they offer personal, auto, and housing loans.

Their customer service agents are available via online chat, call center, Whatsapp, and various social media platforms. 

Kuwait Finance House

A huge international banking brand, Kuwait Finance House has more than 500 branches all over the world. They grew their assets in 2019 by 9%, earning a net profit of KD 261 million. KFH offers retail, corporate, and investment banking services. They also provide capital market services. 

KFH offers savings, salary, and checking accounts, and their auto loan financing includes cars, motorcycles, and marine equipment. The bank also offers credit cards and other consumer finance loans. A truly local bank, different programs (banking tiers) are also provided for men, women, youth, and elite clients. 

Gulf Bank

Gulf Bank is one of the best banks in Kuwait with headquarters in Safat. They have 56 branches across the nation. Gulf Bank grew its assets by 5.35% in 2019 with net profit at KD 159 million. They provide banking services to individuals, corporations, and institutions. They have a commercial, treasury, and investment segment.

With Gulf Bank, you can access a wide variety of loans, including housing, car, consumer, and secured cash loans. They have debit and credit cards as well as savings, current, and salary accounts. Customers can also use their safety deposit boxes to keep their valuables. 

The bank offers a money market and real estate funds for investors. You can also invest in the stock market through their Gulf Bank Trader App. 

You can contact them via phone call, SMS, and social media platforms. 

Commercial Bank of Kuwait

Commercial Bank of Kuwait has 53 branches across the country. They grew their total assets by 9% in 2019 and their net profit was KD 108.5 million. The bank offers retail and corporate banking services, including treasury and investment. 

With CBK, you can get consumer, auto, medical, housing, expatriate, and other short and long term loans. 

They also provide savings, term deposit, base, salary, current, and on-demand deposit accounts. The bank offers online banking and financial brokerage services as well. 

They are particularly transparent, and you can access their comprehensive list of fees and charges here.

CBK provides customer service via phone, Whatsapp, web chat, and other social media platforms.  

Burgan Bank

Burgan Bank has 24 branches and more than 100 ATMs across the country. With its headquarters in Safat, it provides retail, private, corporate, treasury, and investment banking solutions. Burgan Bank experienced a slight decline in assets (3%) in 2019 and reported a net profit of KD 84 million. 

They provide different types of prepaid and debit cards as well as current, savings, salary, and daily investment accounts. 

You can get access to consumer and installment loans. Burgan Bank offers online and mobile banking as well as a payment gateway for businesses. You can also keep your valuables in their safety deposit boxes. The full list of their fees and charges is available on the website. 

Customer service channels include online chat, social media, and phone. 

Al Ahli United Bank

A major international bank, Al Ahli United Bank has 38 branches in Kuwait and 151 branches across the globe. The bank is one of the fastest growing in the country, boosting their total assets by 13.4% in 2019 and reporting a net profit of KD 242 million.

The bank provides prepaid, debit, and credit cards. You can open savings, demand, and deposit accounts and access. They also provide online banking, mobile banking, e-payment, e-school, and point of sale services. 

Al Ahli United Bank offers interest-free loans and free credit cards for those who open their salary account with them. 

You can contact them through their online chat, phone, and social media platforms. 

Boubyan Bank

Boubyan Bank has 30 branches in Kuwait. They grew their total assets by 22% in 2019, making them the fastest-growing bank in Kuwait that year, and reported a net profit of KD 62 million. They offer consumer, corporate, investment, and treasury banking services. They also have an arm dedicated to insurance products.

Boubyan Bank provides salary, savings, and fixed deposits accounts. You can keep your valuables in their safety boxes. They provide housing, auto, health, and short term loans. 

You can also invest in their mutual funds and with their brokerage platform. Boubyan Bank employs mobile, online, and Whatsapp banking. 

Customer service channels include phone, live chat, and social media.

FinFirst Loan Matching Application: One-Stop Access to the Best Banks in Kuwait

The FinFirst loan matching application is an easy and fast solution to shop for offers from the best banks in Kuwait. 

As we have learned above, the best banks in Kuwait are accessible, open, and flexible with their fees and charges, offer good interest rates on credit, savings, and investments, provide good customer service, and grow their deposits, assets, and net profit.

With FinFirst, you can gain access to different loans and other products without even leaving the comfort of your home.  

Evaluating the best bank for your unique personal needs is just a few clicks away.

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