Bank Islam Racks up International Banker Awards for Best Commercial and Best Islamic Bank of the Year Malaysia

International Banker recently held its annual Banking Awards to acknowledge the top banking institutions and individuals in Asia and Australasia. Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad received awards in two categories: Best Commercial Bank of the Year and Best Islamic Bank of the Year Malaysia 2017.

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 2017 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 double awards (Best Commercial Bank of the Year Malaysia 2017 and Best Islamic Bank of the Year Malaysia 2017) to acknowledge and celebrate its innovation and leadership in the areas of commercial and Islamic banking in Malaysia, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad has achieved a prominent position on the International Banker 2017 Asia and Australasia Banking Awards list.

Bank Islam aims to focus on becoming more holistic and sustainable in nature in line with its Islamic finance values. For a start, it will be playing its important role as a value-based intermediary (VBI), as advocated by the Central Bank of Malaysia. Bank Islam is in the midst of strengthening its intermediation function, which is driven by practices and conduct that aim to generate positive and sustainable impacts to the economy, community and environment—beyond mere financial return to shareholders. The concept is similar in intended outcome to environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing but is very much tied to Shariah purposes. Driven by established Shariah principles, Bank Islam is the embodiment of the Islamic bank—always placing economic progress and community wellbeing as priorities, alongside its financial performance. It operates with a deeper sense of purpose, and that is that it is there to serve the broader society and the common good. It starts with the Value Based Proposition, which focuses on the triple bottom-line approach: profit, people and planet as well as operating within Shariah; viewing the bank’s role as a caliph (Islamic leader) to preserve stakeholders’ value and wealth, to prevent harm and corruption, to ensure product offerings and services are designed and offered to meet the needs of the community in which the bank operates and to safeguard the environment.

The core of the bank’s business model embraces the concept of shared prosperity with regard to generation, accumulation, preservation and distribution of wealth in a just and fair manner. To do this, it plans to: Gradually change its asset profile towards those that place importance on environmental, societal and governance matters; continue its efforts in serving the real economic sector—for instance, through greater participation in the SME sector that could potentially create greater multiplier effects to the economy through increased productivity and formation of sustainable business chains; focus on enhancing customers’ experiences through its digitalisation plan, realizing that it is imperative that it continue its efforts, enhanced by technology, in establishing strong relationships with clients by understanding their business environments and supply chains.

Another area of focus is digitalisation. It constantly looks at how it can do things better, add value to its stakeholders and give back to society—such as its initiative in promoting charities using technology.

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