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Foundation of National Bank of Kuwait

In 1952 and for the first time the idea of having a Kuwaiti national bank saw the light with a mission to serve the national needs as its priority, help the economic growth of the country, and look after the savings of its clients.

Hence, the founders who are :

  • Khalid Zaid Al- Khalid
  • Ahmed Saud Al-Khaled
  • Khalifa Khalid Al-Ghunaim
  • Khaled Abdullatif Al-Hamad
  • Sayed Ali Sayed Sulieman Al-Rifai
  • Yousef Abdulziz Al-Fulaij
  • Yousef Ahmed Al-Ghanim
  • Mohamed Abdulmohsen Al-Khorafi
  • Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Sager

held a meeting with the late Amir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who congratulated them on the idea and promised them his complete support.

An Amiri decree was issued on May 19, 1952 to open the National Bank of Kuwait, and NBK started operations on November 15th 1952.

NBK was the first national bank in Kuwait and the entire Arabian Gulf region. All the board members and the founders of NBK were renowned merchants of Kuwaiti origin. NBK was established with a capital of 13,100 shares, each valued 1,000 Rupee equivalent to KD 75 today.

In November 1952, the new bank, housed in a small building on New Street in the heart of Kuwait’s commercial district, opened its doors. In the early days, its handful of employees relied on primitive banking tools. The new bank offered only the most basic banking services, such as extending credit to commercial customers, offering currency exchange and carrying out ordinary cash transactions as well as taking deposits and allowing withdrawals.

NBK quickly showed its professionalism and capability in its contribution to the economic prosperity of Kuwait, as well as expanding its range of services and financing infrastructure projects that began in the 1950s.

From its modest beginnings as the first local bank and the first shareholding company not only in Kuwait but in the entire Gulf region, NBK has grown to become a regional powerhouse. Today it is one of the largest, safest and most profitable banks in the region.