Alawwal Bank

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Saudi Hollandi Bank (Alawwal Bank)
Native name
البنك السعودي الهولندي
Traded as Tadawul1040
Industry Finance
Founded 1926 (1926)
Headquarters Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Key people
  • Mubarak Abdullah AlKhafrah (Chairman)
  • Lubna Suliman Olayan (Vice Chairman)
  • Soren Nikolajsen (Managing Director)
  • Kelvin Roy (Operations Head)
Products Corporate and institutional banking, SME banking, retail banking, investment banking, brokerage, asset management, insurance services
Number of employees

The Saudi Hollandi Bank (Alawwal Bank) (SHB) (Arabic: البنك السعودي الهولندي‎) is a bank based in Saudi Arabia. It was the first operating bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was founded in 1926 as a branch of the Netherlands Trading Society.


It began as a branch of the Netherlands Trading Society in 1926 to serve the Hajj pilgrims from the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, and operated out of one office in Jeddah. As it was the only bank in the Kingdom at the time, it acted as the central bank, keeping the Kingdom's gold reserves and receiving oil revenues on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government. In 1928 the Saudi Riyal, a new silver coin commissioned by Late King Abdulaziz, became the Kingdom's first independent currency. The Netherlands Trading Society office in Jeddah assisted the government with the launch of the local currency.

In 1954 the Netherlands Trading Society expanded its operations in the Kingdom by opening two additional branches, in Al Khobar and Ad Dammam, in the Eastern Province.

In 1969, ABN Bank, the successor of the Netherlands Trading Society, was one of the first foreign banks to implement the Saudization initiatives set forth by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and became the model for other foreign banks in the Kingdom. In 1977 the Saudi Hollandi Bank was established as a joint-venture company with a paid-up capital of SAR 35 million.

The branch network was expanded to include Riyadh, Jubail, Makkah, Hofuf, Madinah, Qatif and other regions.

In 2009, the bank opened its new operations center Al Waha, which houses the bank's centralised operations functions as well as the SHB Academy. Also in 2009, SHB was the first bank in the Kingdom to deploy the automated Teller Cash Recycling machines (TCR), which was introduced to enhance the Open Branch concept that allows direct contact between the bank's employees and its customers.[citation needed]

At the end of June 2010, the bank's paid-up capital amounted to SAR 3,307 million. Saudi Hollandi Bank employs 1,417 staff with a Saudization ratio of over 87.44% and operates 43 branches, 15 Ladies Sections, 30 Preferred Banking Centres and 246 ATMs providing banking services throughout the Kingdom.[citation needed]

In June 2011, Saudi Hollandi Bank Launched The First MasterCard World Credit Card With A Silver Mark in the Middle East.[1]

In November 2016, Saudi Hollandi Bank changed its name to Alawwal Bank as part of a new corporate identity that will be rolled out over the next three months, according to a statement. Alawwal, meaning “The First” in Arabic, which refers to the bank’s status as the first bank to launch in the country in 1926.


SHB is organized into three main business segments: Corporate Banking, Personal Banking and Treasury. In addition, the Bank provides brokerage, asset management and investment banking services through its subsidiary Saudi Hollandi Capital.

Principal divisions and subsidiaries[edit]

  • Saudi Hollandi Capital: engages as principle and agent in retail equity brokerage, asset management, corporate finance and investment advisory activity, debt arrangement and securities custody services
  • Wataniya Insurance Company: with 20% ownership for Saudi Hollandi Bank
  • Saudi Hollandi Insurance Agency Company: entirely owned as its bancassurance distribution arm with licensed in insurance activities.
  • Saudi Hollandi Real Estate Company: entirely owned in support of SHB’s Home Finance by being involved in the registration of real estate title deeds

Branches and ATMs[edit]

Saudi Hollandi Bank has over 265 ATMs, 6 Business Banking Centres, 30 Preferred Banking Centres and 45 branches across the kingdom, in which 16 are women-only sections. Amongst Saudi Hollandi’s ATMs are Teller Cash Recycling machines (TCR). Preferred Banking Centers are for Saudi Hollandi’s VIP clients.


External links[edit]