Wajdi Koubaa: Making BH Bank a local digital bank

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“BH Bank is now a universal commercial bank which, like other local banks, finances all economic sectors. Its specificity as a housing bank is now a thing of the past”, indicated Wajdi Koubaa, new general manager of BH Bank, in an interview granted to the TAP Agency.

He specified that BH Bank will offer customer support during all phases of their life, while providing them with a global and personalized offer.

Wajdi Koubaa was appointed head of BH Bank after the launch of a call for candidates, by the Ministry of Finance, at the end of August 2022, to fill this position.

Koubaa was chosen on January 5, 2023, to occupy the position of CEO of BH Bank for a period of three years, among 47 other candidates.

He holds an engineering degree from Arts et Métiers Paris Tech, and a doctorate in science. He aligns a long experience of 27 years in the banking sector, where he held several positions in French banks.

What is your vision of the development of BH Bank for the next period?

Wajdi Koubaa : My experience for 5 years at the head of the BTK allowed me to learn about the economic fabric in Tunisia and to detect the weak points and the axes of improvement of the economic and financial actors of the country that I consider over-banked.

My vision is the result of 27 years of professional experience in the four largest banking groups in France, during which I was able to immerse myself in the best practices of the profession.

In a competitive environment characterized by a large number of banks and microfinance institutions, it is necessary to create a local bank, which allows the customer to contact the account manager without having to travel, by exploiting the digital channels made available to him. (institutional site, mobile applications on smartphones, etc.).

A local bank means reconciling the quality of local services with competent and available managers and the best of digital.

In Europe, several bank branches have been closed since customers hardly travel and transactions such as transfers, consumer credit applications and other basic banking operations are now done online.

Unfortunately, there is still a significant gap between Tunisia and Europe, in terms of offers and practices, which could be explained in particular by regulatory and legislative constraints such as electronic signatures.

To guarantee quality services and get closer to customers, we must rely on three pillars: customers, human resources and IT.

In terms of sales promotion, in France, account managers receive daily statements summarizing their customers’ banking transactions. This allows them to know their behavior and anticipate their needs.

Indeed, thanks to artificial intelligence and the exploitation of DATA, we can offer the services most in line with customer needs. This is what will allow us to stand out from other banks.

What is your strategy to achieve this goal?

Wajdi Koubaa: We are also going to adopt a series of steps to be able to measure the degree of efficiency and the quality of our services and to keep our commitments vis-à-vis our customers, particularly in terms of deadlines.

We will listen to our customers and be in constant contact with them, to make BH a local bank. Customers will thus be able to reach their managers at any time (24/7 by telephone, email or SMS). A satisfied customer does not think about changing banks. For this, we will continue to improve our communication service and train our agents.

To do this, we are going to create a training school attached to the bank, both to train our account managers and our managers. This will allow them to grow in the Bank and not seek new opportunities elsewhere.

IT and technology are the beating heart of the bank. These are essential tools for improving our commercial and financial performance as well as the quality of our services.

We will make every effort to achieve these goals. I believe that with the human capital available to the Bank and the support of its shareholders and directors, we are able to stand out from the competition in terms of attractiveness and quality and to increase our profits, while continuing to finance the Tunisian economy and participate in the creation of jobs and wealth for the country.

We are currently in the process of switching to the new T24 solution which will allow us to offer new products to our customers, whether they are individuals, businesses or professionals.

The T24 platform is banking software that uses an open architecture, providing comprehensive and flexible enterprise functionality for banks. I think we are also ready to launch the certification of certain bank processes to ISO 9001-2018 international standards.

BH Bank, formerly Banque du Logement, was created in 1989 following the transformation of the Caisse Nationale d’Epargne Logement (CNEL) into a commercial bank specializing in the financing of housing and property developers. Does the bank plan to pursue this mission?

As I have already specified, the BH Bank has changed in size. Today, it is a universal commercial bank, whose services are not limited solely to loans for housing, since it offers a range of varied products and services to its customers.

Its new name, which replaced the former “Banque de l’habitat”, confirms this new strategic orientation, in addition to the launch of several services, including digital services.

The work related to the closing of the accounts is being finalized. For the 2022 financial year, the Bank’s results should once again be very encouraging, in the same trend as 2021.

The bank’s NBI for 2022 should increase by more than 9% and the results should be around 150 million dinars, against 134.7 MTD in 2021.

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