Ithmaar Bank Wins International Banker Awards Best Innovation in Retail Banking and Best Islamic Bank of the Year

International Banker recently held its annual Banking Awards to acknowledge the top banking institutions in the Middle East and Africa. Ithmaar Bank received awards in two categories: Best Innovation in Retail Banking Bahrain 2017 and Best Islamic Bank of the Year Bahrain 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 the Middle East and Africa 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 Innovation in Retail Banking Bahrain 2017 and Best Islamic Bank of the Year Bahrain 2017) to acknowledge and celebrate its innovation and leadership in the areas of retail and Islamic banking in Bahrain, Ithmaar Bank has achieved a prominent position on the International Banker 2017 Asian, Middle Eastern and African Banking Awards list. Ithmaar Bank recently underwent reorganization that has resulted in three entities being established: Ithmaar Holding Company B.S.C. at the parent level, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c) focused on retail banking, and IB Capital B.S.C. (c) focused on investment banking. Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (c) is dedicated to retail banking, with great potential for growth and sustainability as the bank has been in the Bahrain market for several years and is considered one of the biggest Islamic retail banks. To have sustained profit levels, the bank seeks to continue to grow its quality assets within its overall risk appetite, and retain and nurture its valuable human resources. The strategic business plan of the bank is reviewed to ensure that business levels are commensurate with the business plan and is revised to complement the prevailing and envisaged economic conditions; related key performance indicators are stringently monitored. With these processes in place, the bank is confident it will experience sustained growth and profitability.

Ithmaar Bank’s business model is customer-centric with an ongoing objective to exceed customers’ expectations—with new, innovative banking products or speed of delivery. One of its brand values is Responsive Action: “We go about our business every day with an ongoing sense of urgency, always aiming to ensure that our actions and responses meet or exceed customer expectations”. Ongoing enhancement of processes and technology is undertaken to ensure that waiting periods at branches are reduced and the customer is provided with various delivery channels for services, such as an efficient 24 hours call centre, Internet banking, convenient payments solutions including EasyPay, Mobile banking and MobiCash. The turnaround time for approval of financing requests is ensured to be the shortest, albeit with comprehensive underwriting of risks. While addressing the customer’s expectations, the bank is also conscious of its responsibilities to maintain confidentiality of private information in view of the constant threat of cyberattacks—in response, the bank has implemented state-of-art information-security systems, which are compliant with international standards.

Ithmaar Bank’s customers are of all religions, faiths and nationalities, as Islamic banking also has appeal as ethical banking. As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar is committed to ensuring that all of its products and services are compliant with Islamic Sharia rules. Ithmaar Bank’s Sharia Supervisory Board actively participates in providing guidance and supervision on all products, services and business activities and is responsible for certifying every product and service to ensure strict adherence to the principles of Sharia.

About International Banker: International Banker is the flagship brand of Finance Publishing. Finance Publishing is one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative analysis on finance, international banking and world affairs. It delivers information with excellence through a wide range of accessible formats, from websites, newsletters and magazines, to conferences.

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