In 2016, the COO Area was primarily focused on the successful acquisition of Citibank’s retail business, which was based on the collective and comprehensive efforts exerted across Operations & IT to fulfil this complex integration process. CIB was the only bank among 11 Citibank acquisition deals worldwide to commit to a six-month Transitional Service Agreement (TSA) period, making CIB the only bank to succeed in completing the migration process in less than 12 months.
Over and above, energy was channelled in 2016 into addressing several initiatives within the IT Division, with continued efforts to build up our infrastructure capacity, enhance our production stability, improve our service-monitoring and technology refresh for underlying infrastructure to create a more agile IT organisation that can support our services and provide a more seamless and enhanced customer experience.
The COO Area has also focused on automation, increasing productivity and optimising/streamlining its processes. This included several re-engineering efforts to enhance turnaround times and encourage staff to innovate and bring up new ideas through a “Think Tank” initiative.
A number of key strategic projects were also launched during the year, including the inauguration of Customer Relationship Management Phase 1, improving internet banking with more secured authentication mechanisms and upgrades to our Core Banking Platform. CIB Smart Wallet was publicly launched in 2016 along with a kick-off to our mobile banking implementation, providing more convenient and easy-to-access platforms for a unique banking experience.
To further study customer behaviour and make more effective credit decisions, we initiated the Scoring and Decision Engine project for both credit cards and personal loan applications to ensure minimal risk to bank operations and track consumer risk behaviour, which will allow us to build a unique risk model for each customer.
Much effort was exerted in enhancing the organisation’s Cyber Security standing, with a clear strategy and comprehensive plan put in place to improve our security capability and continuously provide a safe banking environment for our customers.
Despite the challenges faced during the year in terms of foreign exchange rates and foreign currency regulations set by the CBE, the COO Area has put in every effort to ensure any extraordinary controls and regulations are seamlessly embedded in our processes without impacting our business expansion plans.
In line with CIB’s continuous efforts to expand its reach, 16 branches were added this year, in addition to the re-branding and renovation of ex-Citibank branches to match CIB’s brand image. CIB continued to expand its ATM network with an additional 150 ATMs added. The total ATM network is now made up of 759 ATMs across the country by the end of 2016. Our footprint in Smart Village was also further expanded this year with the inauguration of the third Head Office, an award-winning building certified with the Egyptian Green Pyramids Certificate of Sustainability, emphasising CIB’s commitment to sustainable development.
People are one of the Bank’s greatest assets. The COO Area’s dynamic performance is and will always be built on our high calibre staff and their expertise. This philosophy is carried out through our structured hiring plan, tailored training, leadership development and setting talent management plans. The aim is to build strong second lines with ideal qualifications for those tasked with our future development and leadership.
The focus as of the end of 2016 and going forward is embarking on our digitisation journey, which is the main player in shaping all future banking growth. The digital proposition will empower self-assisted sales and ongoing customer loyalty. Striving to support innovation led to a new partnership between the American University in Cairo (AUC) and CIB to launch AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator to introduce new innovative products and solutions and groom and assist FinTechs to break into the finance sector.
During 2016, the IT Department took some of the first steps toward becoming a more mature business enablement partner through launching key transformational technologies that support advanced customer centricity and better system-to-system interactions.
The IT infrastructure strategy sought to enhance system resiliency and create a robust infrastructure platform to build a strong, reliable and stable underlying infrastructure to enhance the banking systems’ performance and time to market. Transformational technologies and infrastructure resilience support operational efficiency, which is further reinforced and optimised through projects and initiatives that solidify production stability and upgrade end-to-end solutions built on it. In turn, all these efforts have the goal of improving the customer experience.
We laid the foundation for big data to support the business in performing transactional and behavioural analysis, which is considered the core of advanced customer base segmentation.
The role of IT as a business enabler was evident in the success of the Citibank’s acquisition project – a major milestone for CIB that required close work with Citibank’s global and local teams to ensure a successful integration process
Training and people development was also an important plank for the IT Department in 2016, concentrating on improving the team’s technical skills and filling existing gaps through external hiring and grooming existing staff.
Operations, Channels & Customer Experience
Customer centricity coupled with operational efficiency and diversified customer touch points are the key pillars of establishing customer loyalty. This has been an ongoing achievement for CIB that has been sustained by dynamic initiatives supported by the Bank’s strategy. In 2016, CRM Phase I was rolled out across our branch network to assist our customer-facing staff in streamlining the customer relationship management process and increase operational efficiency. We set the foundation of Enterprise Service Bus, a new architecture that allows the Bank to hasten the time to market for business solutions requiring data exchange between systems.
Different enterprise digital transformation projects are underway to create outstanding customer experience and consistent capabilities across all bank channels while supporting processes automation.
The initiation of an upgrade project for our Corporate Cash and Trade portals took place this year, aiming at providing a single platform to serve corporate customers, increasing customer satisfaction and providing a more streamlined and seamless online banking experience for corporates. Our Trade Service hubs increased to 61 from 53 to cover the Bank’s network and the average transactional increase of corporate customers for better service offerings.
Continuous enhancement and sustaining service levels across channels is also of vital importance, with significant offloading achieved by migrating customers to phone banking. Automated Equal Payment Plan features have been enabled to allow credit card holders to transact directly at the merchant point of sale using Equal Payment Plan features, hence reducing processing turnaround time. Internet Banking Phase II was successfully launched with feasible registration for credit card customers/non-CIB customers. We approach customer centricity in a holistic way, conducting benchmarking exercises to assess the customer experience journey and services in seven main banks in the market against CIB’s. As an ongoing practice, we conduct customer satisfaction surveys across all segments to continue prioritising customer experience indicators and ensure we meet the regional benchmark.
The Bank’s operational progression was acknowledged internationally: CIB was selected by the Bank of New York Mellon to be its main sub-custodian in Egypt.
Business Continuity Management & Information Security
The significant evolution of cyber security and its associated risks has necessitated an emphasis on ensuring a proper Security Management Program is in place to effectively manage security risks and guarantee the right governance is in place. Major efforts were funnelled into the cyber security/information security domain to ensure the Bank is fortified with the ability and scope to handle cyber security threats.
As part of our 2016 roadmap, initiatives undertaken this year include the following:
- Establishing CIB’s Security Operations Centre, which will significantly boost its capability for monitoring and addressing a wide range of security threats in a proactive manner and build competent and capable Operational Security Services.
- A Fraud Management Solution was put in place to monitor monetary and non-monetary events on both the consumer and corporate internet banking platforms, utilising customer behaviour mapping to minimise operational risks.
- The One-Time Password Solution was implemented for critical internet banking services in accordance with the Bank’s strategy to ensure compliance with CBE internet banking regulations and improve security measures that protect customer transactions.
- A comprehensive security governance, risk and compliance framework was established along with the necessary policies that ensure adequate security governance across the Bank.
- Concrete steps were taken toward developing the requirements for Business Continuity Management (BCM) software to automate the full BCM life cycle. Effort went into guaranteeing the continuous testing of our recovery capabilities to ensure service availability for our customers. The Bank remains committed to investing in improving its BCM, bringing aboard a team of dedicated professionals in charge of the function.
In keeping with our efforts, CIB was awarded the Most Effective Recovery of the Year Award at the Business Continuity Institute Middle East Awards in 2016, marking the second Business Continuity Award for the Bank and our 10th nomination for similar awards regionally and globally. CIB was also named finalist this year for the International Award in Business Continuity by the UK’s CIR Magazine. The recognition emphasises CIB’s unique positioning in the BCM industry across the financial sector in Egypt.
CIB was awarded the Most Effective Recovery of the Year Award at the Business Continuity Institute Middle East Awards in 2016.
Real Estate & Corporate Services
After a full year of consolidating Real Estate & Corporate Services under one roof, the new division has benefited from streamlined workflow to provide a better working environment for our internal customers.
The department worked aggressively during 2016 in the areas of branch network expansion, head office premises enhancement, business development in addition to supporting CSR and sustainability development.
In keeping with the Branch Network Expansion plan, 16 new branches and 150 ATMs were added this year. Moreover, 56 ATMs were replaced during the year.
Plans to expand the Head Office premises were realised in 2016 with the completion and operation of the magnificent third building in Smart Village, accommodating 350 employees. Another comprehensive Head Office rearrangement plan – serving more than 1,300 employees across around eight buildings – was undertaken to streamline the workflow and accommodate ex-Citibank staff. This included outfitting and operating seven floors at the Merryland Head Office to accommodate 500 employees.
As for Real Estate Business Development, the Service Area Optimisation Strategy was put into action in 2016, aiming at reducing the service area at branches to 29% from 35% and providing more area for the business front line through various initiatives introduced at new branches. The Management Hub concept was also implemented to economise space at branches by moving all managerial posts located that do not have direct client contact to a consolidated area.
Fostering CIB’s role in CSR, the Real Estate Department in cooperation with the Sustainability Development Department are contributing to the mega national project to restore the Giza Zoo. Design of the first phase has been completed, and we are currently putting together the logistics for the construction phase, which is slated to begin in 2017.
In continuation with the Bank’s directives to facilitate services offered for customers with special needs, more branches throughout the country were outfitted during the year with special needs facilities.
Facility Management continued with efforts to implement sustainability initiatives through many projects, one of which included replacing lighting at CIB premises with environmental friendly LED lights and donating replaced lights to Abu El Reesh Hospital through the CIB Foundation.
We have continued to improve safety measures through the centralisation and upgrade of the surveillance camera systems, a project slated for delivery in 2017.
A new division named Occupational Safety & Health was established to ensure we provide and maintain a convenient and healthy working environment for our colleagues in compliance with the most up-to-date Egyptian laws and regulations for health and safety.