Few regional lenders were as badly hit by the knock-on effects of the global crisis as Gulf Bank. The losses experienced in 2008 were the result of unwise investment decisions by clients and the bank’s weak control of the risks to which those clients’ activities exposed it. However, the crisis did not undermine the viability of the bank’s core business: domestic retail and corporate banking in the Kuwaiti market.
Gulf Bank has been able to rebuild its financial base by returning to these fundamentals. Recent results have been consistent rather than impressive, given the uncertain economic conditions that still prevail, but the management team is realistic in setting future strategy.