Bank Profitability in Iraq to Increase

HSBC has said that it is “remarkably bullish on Iraq” and expects bank profitability in the country to increase by 100 times within 10 to 20 years, Bloomberg has reported.

“There is more lending activity as the economy gets stronger,” James Hogan, country manager of HSBC Holdings said. HSBC entered the Iraq’s post-war banking sector with its 2005 purchase of a 70% stake in the Dar Es Salaam Investment Bank. HSBC may soon put its own brand on the business, Hogan said

The banks comments are a further vote of confidence in the country’s economic future and HSCB has taken a strategic investment in the banking sector to position itself to benefit from the widening and deepening of the Iraqi economy over the long term.

Regarding the various banks now operating, we can conclude that many will attempt to position themselves as “providers of  choice”, offering a range of products outside of the core banking range, to include investments, wealth management services and insurance.

Insurances will be targeted at specific segments of the customer base, either corporate or private clients and we should expect to see insurance offerings to meet the needs of the discrete segments.

Traditional “bancassurance” products will include life, accident and sickness, and motor insurance whilst commercial products will be supplied to protect cargo shipments and physical assets and liability exposures of business customers.

In summary as the banking sector overall expands and matures we will see many allied insurance offerings, which is good for the government, the banks and the end customers.

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