Letter to NBK.


Dear NBK,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for canceling all of my NBK credit cards without prior notification or warning. This was especially amusing to the retail stores to which I attempted to use my credit cards. Regrettably, I was in Kuwait while my cards were canceled, if I were traveling it would have been much more entertaining.

Secondly, I would like to show my appreciation for giving me the opportunity to evaluate the other banks in Kuwait. As I have had a NBK bank account for several years; I was not aware of the superior services at other Kuwaiti Banks; especially those who care about their end customers.

And finally, please refund the 100 KWD visa subscription charge to my new bank account at Al-Ahli Bank.


Kind Regards,

P.S.  Please inform your Hala Watani staff why the Credit Cards were canceled; as they are currently unaware of the cause (like myself).

62 Responses to “Letter to NBK.”

  1. dayum i though they were the best when it comes to customer service, in my opinion you should open an account in a bank where you have friends, so you don’t have to wait, and do everything with their help..whenever

  2. 2 k

    With the banking sector as aggressive as it is; I think the banks should treat every client like they are friends.

  3. Yabeela tkinsil 🙂

  4. 4 k

    Don Veto:
    Way ahead of you .. 😉

  5. Well that is something that happens to regularly, they don’t even bother getting a hold of somebody to tell them!

  6. 6 k

    And in the end they are going to have no clients to tell ..

  7. 7 Purgatory

    Talk to your account Manager at Gulf Bank, I am sure he can sort it out.

  8. Things always happen for a reason, have you checked with the credit card dept? or even with the branch manager?

  9. 9 k

    I don’t even know my account number ..

    Hala Watani says its because I am a partner in a Company (which has an account in NBK). The account manager said it has nothing to do with it .. and it might be because of the Central Bank. I have yet to get a firm answer on the cause .. my account is in good stand and I have sufficient funds.

    Either way .. the cancellation isn’t the real issue; Its the lack of notification. I rely on credit cards as a primary form of payment (easier to prevent fraud) and usually keep my knet cards at home. This ultimately left me stranded in the middle of a transaction.

  10. ” The account manager said it has nothing to do with it .. and it might be because of the Central Bank”

    oh my god ! you are one of the three Kuwaiti’s who were just added to the UN list !
    which one you are ?

  11. that is not the first time i hear of such a case!

  12. K, your not the only one, its happening all over Kuwait. They have enforced the rule of not having more than 50% of your monthly salary to go to your installments whatever they are. this rule is enforced on all banks by the CBK and the deadline is May. My visa at gulf bank was cancelled without prior notice last week. They dont want to realise that you have other sources of income not just the salary. And they dont take your credit rating into account which is STUPID!! God help us all.

  13. Hathi el Kuwaiiiit 9al 3ala el nebiii..

  14. 14 ali baba

    Take the case to a good lawyer and give him a high percentage fee from the compensation.
    In my opinion, it is a sold case of neglect, frustration,and miss use of service. I urge each one to contact a desperate lawyer,for immediate action.

  15. 15 k


    organic kuwait:
    Thats not very reassuring…

    Spicy Pepper:
    The thing is, I don’t have any loans .. and my company has an account with NBK.

    Thats always the case

    ali baba:
    Get me a lawyer and its done.

  16. 16 Said Salaf

    The story is very simple.

    Banks mainly, Gulf and NBK staff have instructions to give credit cards to each customer, regardless of credit history.. each sale person was doing his best to give credit cards, to get his bonus.

    Central Bank of Kuwait notice a large increase of credit cards default payments, and gave warning to the bank to cancel all credit cards from customers without stable monthly income, ie salary etc.

    NBK,and Gulf over used their power and cancelled credit cards without warning or informing the clients to fulfill the new requirements of Central banks,

    What ever they informed you in 7’hala Watani or Good bye Gulf is rubish, they don’t tell the truth.

    Frankly speaking, banks have lost their customers base. Lawyers should have a fiesta.

  17. 17 TweeZ

    9ij ba3areen!

  18. That happened to me once when my credit card reached 3 negative digits. It was canceled before I know it. Of course, that happened with a US bank not NBK. I heard Al-Ahli has an excellent customer service…why don’t you try them for a change?

  19. 19 NBK

    im an nbk staff
    1st of all ,your credit card is cancelled because regulations from CBK (central bank of kuwait) .This is a new procedure for all the people who use credit cards without having income. It used to be ok but not anymore ,and they ordered to cancel all credit cards in all kuwaiti banks which are without income (abviously NBK will not be able to call all their customers at once and tell them we are sorry we have to cancel your card).
    2nd ,alahli will not give you a better service and this problem will happen even with alahli bank. And of all the banks alahli is the last one you should turn to (im sure you will realize that after a few months of service and you will close your account with alahli.
    best regards,

  20. 20 k

    Said Salaf:
    What goes around comes around ..

    Lol .. 6ila3 il 9ij.

    This is the first time any of my credit cards has been canceled (US/Kuwaiti) .. I got an Al-Ahli bank account.

    1. How is that acceptable? NBK should call every customer and inform them. If that doesn’t work, a simple SMS or email would be better than nothing. If NBK can call me several times to offer a credit card, then send a driver to personally deliver it, then they are capable of much more when it comes to canceling.
    2. My family has been using Ahli (with other banks) for the past couple of years .. their service has been nothing but excellent. On the other hand, NBK has constantly misplaced my cards, epins and papers.

  21. I have to agree with K, the bank HAS to call the customer and tell them their card was canceled. If they don’t have enough staff to do this then its NBK’s issue not the customers.

    The problem with local banks is that they’ve started to slack off and not care about customer care.

  22. 22 TweeZ

    yabeela staff 7ag tikinsil 😉

  23. 23 moocherx

    I left NBK due to poor customer service too (open for about an hour per day during Ramadan, to be precise). No regrets moving to Gulf Bank, although I also dropped into Al-Ahli and found their staff the most helpful and accommodating people I’ve actually ever met in Kuwait (this was in Fahaheel).

    I can’t remember the reason I couldn’t use them in the end.

  24. i’ve switched banks 4 times within the past 3 years, and i honestly dont recommend gulf bank, the worse service ever, i got screwed over by them at least 6 times, and commercial is not good either, very strict rules, financing, etc.

    but i dont like nbk either, so when does HSBC open the retail department?

  25. 25 t man

    nbk did a recenty win a gold card for 5000kd….your so special and your our favorite client,, what the client didnt know that,,, they were chosen with the worst monetary basis and spending habit and nbk knew that would auto matically accpect the deal…. once issueded the card… the client would be in debt for the next 5 years… thanks nbk… way to go….

  26. 26 z.

    stay away from burgan their cards dont work outside of q8, unless u want cash .

  27. Mr.Salaf,

    I appreciate your comment,but would like to tell you that Gulf Bank before starting their process with canceling or reducing the limit of credit cards,letters and sms msgs were sent to all clients that were affected by CBK rule. And at the end its not the banks fault because CBK accepted that the I/I ratio to be 70% (instalment/income) and now they want it 50%. And you know due to the aggressive sales target that all banks have shit happens sometimes with the best banks in the world.

    Zed i guess switching to four banks is not good for you, i guess the problem is from your part dude…:)

    And K why didn’t u tell me or even approached me I could have helped you anyways..:)

  28. Dear K:
    We are happy to inform you that we are happy to serve you as you are one of our prime customers. Moreover , we might not be NBK but believe me we wouldnt cancel your card without informing you.
    Also, you account is active with us for the past few years in line with NBK and yet we didnt do NBK mistakes.

    we are happy to serve you.

  29. ya salam Mr.K …lucky you with your new account manager…:)

  30. *Cheers for Ahli for hitting NBK while they where down!:)

    K, I am willing to bet you that NBK did send you an SMS only to an older number that they have which you probably changed or something. Did you check your contact information with them?

    I’m not too fond of NBK, but it’s honestly the best bank in Kuwait when it comes to service.

  31. Thats Messed Up!

  32. 32 the11thmuse

    K, you’re such a trouble maker..

  33. 33 Abdullah

    I am a KFH client and all that happened to me was limit reduction and nothing to do with cancellation. PLUS i have been informed via mobile and SMS. They explained everything to me over the phone and they told me why they will reduce my limit due to (CBK rules).

    As a very liberal guy, I think im very satisfied with my fellow SALAFyeen, although i had alot of criticism over opening an account in KFH ,, how strange right ? ;P

    i hope other banks get their act together soon, i think we might hear some customer switching to other banks in the newspaper. I, on the other hand am staying with mine.

  34. 34 Boochi

    Gulf bank did the same to me, they cancelled without notifying me. They gave us the same excuse, CBK regulations, But the card is under my fathers account! so i don’t know how this falls under the CBK regulation!
    This is ridiculous

  35. i think the commenst from the banks says it all, NBK guy has to learn how to write english properly before talking on behaf of NBK, Mazen, we all know that you work for gulf bank, but it has the worst customer service out of all banks. As for Al Ahli, never tried them, but i will now since the guy that commented was very professional and helpful.

  36. I have an NBK account, it’s great! I even never called them or so. But my credit card is from Burgan bank, and it’s great too 🙂

  37. hehehe…
    thanks for giving me a good information,
    i won’t try nbk…

  38. I’m an NBK Staff with an account at Al Ahli 🙂 go figure!

  39. it is a big stupid mistake by nbk to do such thing.. i think my bro got the same problem but they didnt cancel his cards they just reduced the credit without notifying him which is the same case.. nbk has the best customer service in kuwait but at the same time they do some stupid actions..

    good luck with yr new banking quest

  40. 40 MeHRAJA

    SHIT! this crap happened to me as well :@

  41. 41 Husayn

    Love the sarcasm …
    BKME is equally messed up .. but i bet they wud call if they were to cancel my credit cards !!!

  42. Im an NBK staff with an account at BKME!! hahaha 😀

  43. 43 f7eee7eely

    I am pretty sure that NBK has been saddened and devastated after you closed your account with them!

  44. 44 visakar

    Check this link in NBK Site

    http://www.nbk.com/NBK/About NBK/Press Room/Latest Press Release/bankerme2007.htm

  45. 45 eyePatch

    One good think about NBK, they really know how to select freaking hot girls to work for em.. kudos to that

  46. I should read your blog more often. This is a second experience

    But is Al-Ahli really a good alternative? I know insiders who wouldn’t recommend it.

    visakar: Yeah well, that was 2007 🙂

  47. Said Salaf: To make it worse, NBK have once had a both in University and started giving away credit cards to students (like 7alaw!)

  48. I always thought NBK was known for its customer service

  49. 49 Hope

    Sidenote: did you take some photography classes?

  50. Yallah good luck with Ahli bank 😀

  51. K. did you send this letter? Did they answer?

    Btw, NBK who commented here did a HUGE mistake :S .. If he/she talked in a good language, the problem will be solved! He was defensive which is VERY dangerous when it comes to Customer Care…

    I do love NKB, hate KFH and Gulf bank… I only saw great service from NBK, and I was KFH client, I left them bcoz of their crazy customer care, I swear they know nothing about it..

    Alla y3eeench nshalla 3alla il mushkila!

  52. 52 jaja

    he is a guy..

  53. 53 ABK -- noo nooo

    Hiya, sorry but I had my account now for one yr with ABK and they were fine up until about three months ago when my cards ATM And Credit just stopped working for no reason. I’ve had the pin changed 3 times becus the system didn’t recognise my pin number, and il7umdillallah now it is all working but in the last few months something definately happened!!

  54. 54 Said Salaf

    NBK experience
    I passed by NBK branch to deposit a check, I went to the reception,
    SS: I have a check to deposit
    NBK take a number, wait for your turn
    After 15 minibus, went to the counter
    NBK; this is not an NBK Check, you have to go to the receptionist, she will deposit for you
    SS: to receptionist: why you didn’t take my check?
    NBK:You did’t inform me it is non NBK check
    SS: Well, your job is to ask, instead of wasting my time.
    After another 7 minutes, she was answering other inquiries; I asked to return my check.
    It was a waist of time, just to deposit a check in my account.

  55. 55 aziz

    “Central Bank of Kuwait notice a large increase of credit cards default payments, and gave warning to the bank to cancel all credit cards from customers without stable monthly income, ie salary etc.”

    I just opened an account at NBK today. I put 10 KD in my bank account, and they gave me 150 KD and two credit cards. Master and Visa! LOL.
    I’m going to use them as a prepaid card. where i fill it online prior to use. I dont need credit cards that much. plus i have daddy’s good AMEX card =p

  56. 56 unknown

    thank you for shedding light on this matter.
    I am currently interning at the National Bank of Kuwait.
    I want to explain somethings to all of you.
    first, NBK has pioneered customer services in the banking sector, and it’s one of the main reason they are the foremost bank in Kuwait.
    second, I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for not calling you because credit-cards are a target for Relationship Officers there (as most of you know), and your card renewal is a priority. You can check your contact information via 801801.
    Third, I don’t think one mistake (or a couple even) would damage their reputation as they have served you over the years. And you may file a formal complaint which will not go unnoticed by their Service Quality department. Because complaints like yours are the reason these problems won’t occur again.
    Also if more damage was caused by this problem, I am sure they would’ve compensated you for your trouble as your satisfaction is their number one concern.
    I think you know by default that switching to other banks that follow the same system they do, won’t solve the problem. This problem is unique. All banking systems relay on people to operate and people make mistakes. don’t you?

    In the other hand, I would strongly recommend all of you to close your mastercards and visas, because they charge interests on daily-basis.
    Believe me when I tell you, buying through credit-cards is addictive, and having a visa/mastercard, is like throwing wood on fire.
    If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. period.

    And from the discount part, all discounts are silly bullshit to trick you into getting in dept, the credit card people KNOW you won’t pay your mastercard/visa bill right after you bought the shit. Meaning you will pay interest on something with a discount.
    Which means the interest you pay is more than the amount of discount you got.

    And don’t forget the annual 30KD fees.

    thank you for reading

  57. A7! sucks to be you =s

  58. 58 x-nbk customer

    Ok, after I read your comments, I dunno what to do, they cancelled my cards and am cardless, i have an AMEX but thats it.. what is the solution for this??
    they say they decreased the limit to half of the salary, TODAY, an indian in the office who works as a clerk with KWD 400 for a salary, got a VISA and MASTER (each for kwd 400)..
    what do you say, loyal NBK employees? is that fair?
    btw, I get KWD 1000 and they cancelled, BOTH!!..

  59. 59 Burhan

    I’ll tell you a strange tale that happened to me with Burgan Bank. I have a credit card with them, that works fine most of the time — except when I need it the most.

    I was recently on a business trip, and I had reserved my hotel with the BB credit card.

    To my surprise, when I went to check in and they put a ‘hold’ on your card for your stay, the receptionist told me “Sir, you card is showing up as invalid.” “Invalid??” Yes, as in the card is a FAKE, doesn’t exist.

    So I gave her my ATM card, which to my surprise worked fine.

    NBK has given me decent bank service; it just depends on which branch you go to and what is the mood of the cashier. I’ve had good experience with the Shuwaikh branch, but man — the Hala Watani is crap. Half the times they CONTRADICT what is bank policy (case in point, issuing credit cards).

    Gulf Bank — I was about to open an account with them until I was informed that they cannot issue me a credit card unless my company transfers their corporate account to Gulf Bank — what kind of [bleep] regulation is that.

    So now I’m with Burgan Bank — let me see about Ahli, maybe they can do something decent; I’m also hearing good things about Bank Boubyan(sp?). A workmate of mine sent them an email via their website about a credit card problem, and he wrote “please call me at _________ because I would like to explain the problem.” Not 2 minutes after he sent the email, he got a phone call from the bank — amazing service; he was more shocked to learn that they called; he almost didn’t expect it.

    Problem with banking in the ME in general is that the banks don’t have any concept of customer service. I read an article in a regional magazine of a blind survey that they did on banking in the middle east, top complaints:

    1. CS Agents don’t know about the bank’s policies and procedures
    2. Customer has to go through too many hoops to finish moderately complex transactions (apply for credit card / transfer balance, etc.)
    3. No expectation of privacy. CS agents asking customers at a teller questions like “what is your salary?” and “your balance is ______ “, and openly sharing this information with other people.

    I’ll try to find the exact article, it was an eye opener.


  60. 60 No.1


  61. 61 Aziz

    I’ve just been yelled at and hung up on by a guy working at NBK’s call center, why? because when he was unable to answer my question I asked him to transfer me to someone else and he got offended! WTF? They claim they phone call was recorded.. and I’m demanding that they play the recording and fire that Egyptian asshole.
    To tell you the truth, I’ve called them twice in the past two months, first time a girl picked up, and she couldn’t answer my question either… however I always manage to get my question answered after calling several times.

  62. 62 jameson

    just another good word for ahli: i have not worked with them for long but so far i’ve been impressed with the attention and appreciation they show.

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