Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad Takes Two International Banker Banking Awards; Managing Director Dato’ Sri Zukri Samat Also Wins an Award

Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad Is the Winner of Two Prestigious International Banker Awards: Best Innovation in Retail Banking Malaysia 2016 and Best Islamic Bank Malaysia 2016. Dato’ Sri Zukri Samat Is the Winner of the Banking CEO of the Year Asia 2016 award.

International Banker recently held its annual Banking Awards to acknowledge the top Asian and Australasian banking institutions and individuals. Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad received awards in two categories: Best Innovation in Retail Banking Malaysia 2016 and Best Islamic Bank Malaysia 2016. The bank’s managing director, Dato’ Sri Zukri Samat, received the coveted Banking CEO of the Year Asia 2016 award.

International Banker offers a global view of banking and finance. Each year through the Banking Awards, it recognises the leading banking institutions and individuals that have set the bar for industry excellence. The 2016 Banking Awards acknowledge the organisations and individuals within the banking and financial industries in Asia and Australasia that drive global economic commerce, create capital and opportunities for economic growth within their regions, set the benchmarks for technological advancement and customer service, while maintaining high levels of regulatory compliance and corporate governance. The standout institutions working within retail, commercial, investment and private banking are recognized with these awards. In addition, special awards are given to outstanding CEOs in each region.

Honoured with three awards to acknowledge and celebrate its innovation and leadership in the areas of retail and Islamic banking in Malaysia, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad and its managing director have achieved a prominent position on the 2016 International Banker Asia and Australasian Banking Awards list.

Bank Islam is recognized as the first Islamic bank in Malaysia. It has been on a steep upward climb during the past 10 years, recovering from a period of heavy losses—due principally to nonperforming loans—to profitable performance. After revamping its risk-management framework, it endeavoured to reach a broader customer base. Islamic banking was initially perceived to be only for Muslims and was not regarded by many potential customers to be on par with conventional counterparts in terms of service quality and pricing. When the bank’s current managing director, Dato’ Sri Zukri Samat, joined in 2006, he led the transformation strategy of the bank by restructuring and refocusing of the business. He strived to reinvent the bank’s brand perception by changing its logo and revamping the appearance of branches to give them a more modern look and feel. A concerted effort through marketing campaigns was made to stress that Islamic banking was not confined to Muslims but was for all Malaysians.

Bank Islam today is one of the leading Islamic banks in the country. It is predominantly a retail bank with more than 75 percent of its financing driven by consumer banking. It currently offers a comprehensive range of Shariah-compliant banking and financial solutions, with more than 70 innovative and sophisticated Islamic-banking products and services to its more than five million customers. Its innovative offerings have been one of its main contributions to the industry. For example, Bank Islam was the first to market the award-winning Transaction-at-Palm Mobile Banking-i (TAP-i) and the first to launch University Debit Card-i (UniDebit), a multipurpose debit card that provides university and library access. Recently Bank Islam, in a collaborative initiative with VISA, launched its e-donation terminal, a platform through which donations can be made through contactless electronic methods using any VISA debit/credit card with the payWave feature. Another example of improving customer convenience is its Visa cash-out service, a recent collaboration with PETRONAS in which Bank Islam Visa Debit Card-i holders can withdraw cash with zero fees at PETRONAS petrol station counters.The objective is to expand the accessibility for cash withdrawals to customers in rural areas. The bank was also one of the four founding Islamic banks to form a consortium that launched the Investment Account Platform (IAP), a centralized, multi-bank platform, which is envisaged to become a cross-border, multicurrency channel linking into regional and global economies. Similar to many financial-technology platforms, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, IAP facilitates direct investment by investors into viable ventures of their choice.

Although Bank Islam is regarded as a “true blue” Islamic bank, thus attracting customers who do not compromise on Shariah principles, it is continuously striving to attract new customers with its variety of products and value propositions. It is actively searching for opportunities to strengthen its position in the domestic market bystaying in touch with customers’ needs and market developments.

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Release ID: 132059