Tuesday 26, December 2017 by Jessica Combes

Bank of Palestine Group announces new structure


Bank of Palestine announced a new structure for the Bank's group of companies designed to enhance the bank's overall growth strategy.

The strategy will focus on utilising the group companies' strengths in order to maximise synergies, economies of scale and core competencies to grow the bank and its subsidiary companies into the future of modernised banking enabling sustained growth at home and in regional and international markets.

This strategic structuring of the bank's group of companies builds on the bank's milestones achieved to date in all operating indicators. The Bank was able to grow in the last ten years its asset base from $848 million to $4.75 billion in 2017. Deposits grew from $679 to $3.6 billion, while credit facilities increased from $243 million to $2.4 billion. These indicators have provided the bank with a market share of 30 per cent of total banking operations in Palestine in 2017, thus effectively becoming the largest banking entity in the country and the second largest private sector employer with 2200 employees.

Internationally the bank's growth strategy was manifested by the opening of the first representative office outside Palestine licenced by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in Dubai in 2015 providing access to a wide network of Palestinian diaspora business leaders in the GCC. The bank inaugurated its second representative office outside Palestine and its first in Latin America in the Chilean Capital, Santiago, connecting with the diaspora community in the Latin Continent and creating bridges of opportunities across continents with the GCC.

“With this restructuring we are continuing our consistent strategy of modernising our bank's operations through digitisation of banking channels and operations in line with new global trends. We are also enhancing core strengths of our group companies. We have raised the working capital of the Arab Islamic Bank (AIB) our Islamic Banking subsidiary to $75 million in line with the Palestinian Monetary Authority's instructions in order to enable the bank's growth to meet increasing demand for Islamic banking products in Palestine. Our attention is also afforded to grow the work and impact of the bank's Fintech Company PalPay, the country's leading electronic payment solutions provider in addition to Al Wasata Brokerage firm, with its growing investment portfolios at home and abroad," said Hashim Shawa, Bank of Palestine Group Chairman.

Shawa went further to unveil more details related to the Bank of Palestine's new group structure that comes in timely consistency with the bank's growth and diversification strategy; which is also in line with the Palestine Monetary Authority's vision for enhancing the resilience and governance of the banking sector. “In context of this restructuring strategy, I am happy to announce the appointment of Rushdi Ghalayini as General Manager for Bank of Palestine and Hani Nasser as General Manager of our Islamic Banking subsidiary, Arab Islamic Bank," added Shawa.

Ghalayini brings on board 30 years of banking experience, serving in different senior management positions at Bank of Palestine including Deputy General Manager of the Bank. Ghalayini has a BA Degree from the American University in Cairo, and he sits on the boards of several institutions including; Jordan Invest Bank, Arab Islamic Bank, Palestinian Banking Association, and the Palestinian Banking Institute.

Hani Nasser enjoys 23 years of banking experience, during which he assumed senior management positions at Bank of Palestine, including Assistant General Manager and Director for Business Operations in the West Bank for the Bank. Nasser has a Master’s Degree in Management and Law from Marie Curie University in Poland.

“As a bank classified as Systematically Important Bank by the regulators, it is important that we continue to systematically evolve in our growth strategy and governance strategy mitigating risks and optimising operations. As such, with this milestone announcement, I would like to commend the trust and confidence of our shareholders, the hard work of our management and staff and thank all the stakeholders that deal with Bank of Palestine Group and its companies. We thank you for the business and pledge to take the Bank of Palestine Group to higher grounds and metrics of achievement across all activities," concluded Shawa.

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