Ithmaar on track to become a premier Islamic bank

Manama: Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank is on track to realising its commitment to becoming one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks, according to bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim.

“The 2014 financial results show stable, consistent growth in our core Islamic retail banking operations and continue to reflect improving operational efficiencies and increasing profitability,” Abdul Rahim, while commenting on the nine months financials of the bank, said.

“Murabaha and other financing increased to $3.22 billion as at 30 September 2014, an increase of 2.8 percent from $3.13 billion as at 30 September 2013 and increase of 2 percent from $3.15 billion as at 31 December 2013,” he said.

“The above indicates growing customer commitments to Ithmaar Bank, and reflect both increase in confidence as well as demand for, the Bank’s products and services,” Abdul Rahim, said.

“This, in turn, is a result of Bank’s commitment to growing closer to its customer by listening closely to their requirements and working to continuously improve our offerings to help further enhance our customer’s Islamic banking experience,” he said.

“In line with that commitment, we enhanced and re-launched our popular prize-based savings account, Thimaar, to offer customers a chance to win both gold and cash,” Abdul Rahim, said.

“We also enhanced our home financing offering to allow customer greater flexibility and additional choices, as well as completive rates and an optional grace period,” he said.

“Earlier this month, we also added a new offsite Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to our retail banking network, already one of the largest in Bahrain,” Abdul Rahim, said.

“The new offsite ATM, which was installed in direct response to customer demands, brings the total number of ATMs in Ithmaar Bank’s retail banking network to 47, including 17 at full service branches, at strategic locations across Bahrain. Our large network of retail banking branches allows us to grow closer to our customers while we work on continuously enhancing our products and services,” he said

“Our key subsidiary, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), with its 269 branches, is amongst the top 10 banks in Pakistan. Ithmaar Bank currently holds about 67% of Faisal Bank Limited, Pakistan (FBL). During the year, Ithmaar increased its representation of the Board of FBL to five directors out of eight directors. The new Board of Directors of FBL introduced several major changes in the Bank including management structure, business transformation and major cost saving initiatives. Such developments will positively reflect on the Bank’s performance in the coming years starting from 2015,” Abdul Rahim, said.

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