Banks in Qatar

Overview of Banks in Qatar

In terms of the volume of the market, Qatar’s banking system is quite small. But the best part is it has been growing at an incredibly fast pace. And that has been possible because of the two most important reasons –

  • Firstly, the economic system of Qatar has been quite impressive over the years.
  • Secondly, the GDP growth rate has been quite good over the years. The most notable is the expansion of around 20% in the year 2011.

Other than these two, there are also indirect factors that have been helping Qatari banking to reach its next level like a continuous investment of government in infrastructure, huge growth in gas production, etc.

Structure of Banks in Qatar

The whole banking system in Qatar is controlled by Qatar Central Bank. If we look at the data of January 2015, we would see that there are 18 top banks that are being licensed and regulated by Qatar Central Bank.

The only challenge for the banking sector in recent times is its ever-growing foreign exposure. In spite of that, Qatar’s local banks have maintained solid growth and stability over the years. Even Moody’s Investors Services have rated them highly, in the range of Aa3 to A2.

The banking sector of Qatar can be divided into basically two categories – local banks and foreign banks.

List of Top 10 Banks in Qatar

  1. Commercial Bank of Qatar
  2. Qatar National Bank
  3. Al Rayan
  4. Qatar Islamic Bank
  5. Al Khaliji Commercial Bank
  6. Doha Bank
  7. Qatar International Islamic Bank
  8. Barwa Bank
  9. Ahli Bank
  10. HSBC Bank Middle East

Let’s look at each of these bank in detail (source:gulfbusiness.com) –

Banks in Qatar

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#1. Commercial Bank of Qatar:

Commercial Bank of Qatar was founded in the year 1975, on 10th April, almost 42 years ago. It is the largest private bank in Qatar and also the first private bank. The head-quarter of this bank is based in Souq Najada. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $35.82 billion which is almost 5.64% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $137.74 million. The return on assetsReturn On AssetsReturn on assets (ROA) is the ratio between net income, representing the amount of financial and operational income a company has, and total average assets. The arithmetic average of total assets a company holds analyses how much returns a company is producing on the total investment made.read more in the same year has been reported as 0.38%.

#2. Qatar National Bank:

It was established on 6th June 1964, around 53 years ago. Its head-quarter is located in Doha. This is the largest commercial bank in Qatar. And it is also the largest financial corporation in the whole Middle East. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $197.72 billion which is whopping 33.62% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $3.4 billion. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 1.72%.

#3. Al Rayan:

It was established in the year 2006, just 11 years ago. But within this short stint, it has become the second-largest Islamic bank in Qatar. It has 12 branches all across Qatar and it is also listed on Qatar Stock Exchange. It provides three types of banking – wholesale banking, retail banking, and private banking. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $25.15 billion which is around 10.24% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $570.06 million. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 2.27%.

#4. Qatar Islamic Bank:

It was established in the year 1982 and its first branch was open in 1983. It is the largest Islamic bank in Qatar. Since it is an Islamic bank, it follows rules decided by a Sharia Board. As per the board, the bank cannot charge interest on loans. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $38.42 billion which is around 10.08% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $579.87 million. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 1.51%.

#5. Al Khaliji Commercial Bank:

Al Khaliji is one of the most prominent banks, not only in Qatar but also in the UAE. Its head-quarter is situated in Doha, but it has other branches in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaima, and Dubai. It provides central functions management, wholesale banking, treasury management, and retail bankingRetail BankingRetail banking or personal banking refers to the financial services offered by the financial institutions exclusively to the individual clients. The consumer banking provides personal loan, savings account, debit cards, credit cards, locker, etc.read more. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $16.65 billion which is around 7% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $117.19 million. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 0.7%.

#6. Doha Bank:

It was established in the year 1978, around 39 years ago. It started its operation in the next March 1979. Doha bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Qatar. It offers wholesale banking, investment, international banking, retail banking, and treasury. It has a prominent global presence, i.e. in India, China, Hong Kong, UK, etc. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $24.83 billion which is around 8.47% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $289.5 million. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 1.17%.

#7. Qatar International Islamic Bank:

It was established in the year 1991, around 26 years ago. It is one of the banks which is licensed and regulated by Qatar Central Bank. It is an Islamic bank, but it is privately owned. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $11.69 billion which is around 4.96% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $215.6 million. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 1.84%.

#8. Barwa Bank:

In terms of novelty, Barwa bank is the youngest bank among all Islamic banks in Qatar. Since it is an Islamic bank, it is Sharia-compliant. It offers services like commercial banking, asset managementAsset ManagementAsset management is a method of managing funds and investing in both traditional and specialized products in order to generate returns consistent with the investor's risk tolerance. read more, private banking, business banking, retail banking, real estate financing, etc. In the year 2016, the total assets of this bank were the US $12.65 billion which is around 1.88% more than the previous year. In the same year, the net profit was the US $202.97 million. The return on assets in the same year has been reported as 1.60%.

#9. Ahli Bank:

Ahli Bank was founded in the year 1983; what’s interesting is when it was commenced, it was part of Citigroup. When in 1987, Citigroup decided to close down, Ahli Bank got its own identity by purchasing all assets. Its head-quarter is located in Doha. It provides services like retail banking, brokerage services, international banking, private banking, corporate banking, etc. Around 405 people work here. It is the seventh-largest bank in Qatar.

#10. HSBC Bank Middle East:

This is one of the oldest foreign banks in Qatar. It was established in the year 1954, 63 years ago. It is the subsidiary bank of HSBC Holdings PLC. HSBC Bank Middle East is the largest and most recognized foreign banks in Qatar. It offers many services like retail banking, global banking, commercial bankingCommercial BankingA commercial bank refers to a financial institution that provides various financial solutions to the individual customers or small business clients. It facilitates bank deposits, locker service, loans, checking accounts, and different financial products like savings accounts, bank overdrafts, and certificates of deposits.read more, offshore banking, and wealth management. It has three branches in Qatar – 1 in Doha, another 2 in Salwa and in City Centre. It also has large networks of ATMs throughout Qatar (around 10 locations).

We hope you liked this guide to top banks in Qatar. If you are looking forward to making a career in Banking, then you can check out some of the awesome resources –