Maher Masri: Palestine Islamic Bank (PIB) second most profitable bank With over $12 million

Maher Masri; Chairman of the Board to Palestine Islamic Bank (PIB) confirmed in a statement that the bank achieved excellent results during 2016 making it the second most profitable Palestinian bank in terms of profits and the most profitable Islamic bank in Palestine with the bank’s profits reaching $12,604,598 until 31/12/2016 which is an increase of 25% on last year’s profits. In light of this significant achievement, the board recommended distribution of 8.5% in cash profits and %5.6 in shares to shareholders. In an exclusive statement, Mr. Masri praised the harmony between both the bank’s board and its executive management. “This is in large part due to the application of best practices in corporate governance and the effectiveness of the various board committees,” he said. PIB customers can see this remarkable achievement in the financial performance of the bank; with financing exceeding $539 million by the end of 2016 up by 21% from 2015, deposits reaching more than $651 million; also up by 21% from 2015 and assets reaching $809 million up from $675 million (20% on LY).” Mr. Masri also touched on how the bank has from the beginning of 2016 focused on a number of matters, notably enhancing the skills of bank’s employees through tailored made educational and training programs, to prepare them for their future roles as leaders in their field. “More than 60 of our employees hold the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) certificate, which is issued by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments in London, UK, and more than 100 employees has passed the Leaders 3 program, which is a program created internally to prepare junior executives to lead in their industry in future.” He added. Mr. Masri also noted that the bank has given special attention to geographical expansion: “The total number of branches & offices in our networks at the end of 2016 reached 29 branches & offices in addition to 58 ATMs with a few of them doubling as cash deposit machines.” “We have an ambitious plan guiding us towards 2020. It is put aligned by Palestine Monetary Authority’s plans to achieve financial inclusion in Palestine.” “We aim to reach every populated area from South of Rafah to North of Jenin so that we can alleviate people’s needs and facilitate Islamic banking services to these communities; particularly the Palestinian countryside.” He noted. Mr. Masri also said that the bank seeks to undertake its responsibilities towards development & growth within the nation by doing what it can to reduce unemployment through the appointment of the young and qualified to carry out their role in serving the people with the bank's staff numbers reaching approximately 600 employees with one third of those employees being females. He also said that the geographical reach of the bank through its network contributes to providing to many Islamic banking services and finance with deposits reaching over 80% indicating that customers ' deposits are kept to invest at home. With regards to compliance with the laws and international requirements of risk and compliance, Mr. Masri commented that the Board of Directors and the executive management team had given special attention to imbibing a culture of understanding of risk at work in line with the Basel requirements and instructions of Palestine Monetary Authority, where the Bank has applied sophisticated programs and controls for risk management, governance, compliance and anti-laundering activities. He also reiterated that the Board of Directors and executive management endorsed an ambitious strategic plan for 2020 depending primarily on the development of the information technology infrastructure which will contribute to the pursuit of excellence in the bank’s target markets by offering excellent modern banking solutions in accordance with the provisions of Islamic law under the guidance of the Shariah Supervisory Board of the Bank, to meet the financial needs of all segments of the community in accordance with the principle of participation in earnings. “This can only be achieved through the provision and dissemination of excellent Islamic banking services and by providing qualified cadres, developing their performance, raising their efficiency, in addition to providing a risk free environment. These factors together contribute to achieving gains in customer confidence and thereby maximizing revenue and profits.” He stressed. Mr.Masri concluded his statement by pointing out the importance of strengthening the application of principle of participation and social contributions offered by the Bank, creating strong links with the local community, providing material and moral support and to be a positive social corporate citizen with sustainable & impactful contributions to the nation.