Palestine Islamic Bank opens the 30th Branch at the Al Quds Open University

Under the auspices of the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority; the Palestine Islamic Bank on Tuesday opened a new cash office at Al-Quds Open University Campus in Nablus to raise the number of its branches and offices throughout the country to 30 branches and offices. The opening was conducted in the presence of representatives of the Palestine Monetary Authority, the Nablus Governor Akram Al-Rajoub as well as representatives of the Al-Quds Open University, the Board of Trustees and senior management of the Bank in addition to a number of corporate personalities.

The ribbon cutting was carried by Mr. Bayan Qasem General Manager of Palestine Islamic Bank and Riyad Abu Shehadeh PMA Governor’s Assistant for Financial Stability, along with the University’s management and academia, representatives from Nablus Chamber of Commerce, Nablus Municipality andthe city’s main figures.

In his statement Mr. Qasem expressed the feeling of solidarity felt throughout the community and within the bank’s ranks with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, who have been fighting a noble battle demanding that their human rights be addressed and those of the entire nation stressing that the celebrations of this opening ceremony were planned to the minimum in respect and unity with the steadfastness of the prisoners and in support of the efforts to resist and persist outside and inside the walls.

Mr. Qasem also expressed in his speech during the ceremony that he was particularly proud of the opening of a new office and the ever expanding network of the Palestine Islamic Bank in all counties of the nation. “These expansion efforts come under the bank’s expansion strategy pursued by the Bank with the aim of improving customer service and increasing geographical reach in vital areas while achieving financial inclusion policy.” he stated.

“Furthermore, we believe that this office will facilitate financial transactions for students and academia in the campus in addition investing in these young energies by giving them a chance to learn about Islamic banking and thereby acquiring ambassadors and future clients.”

He pointed out that the opening of the Office within the University is to complement the efforts of the Bank to expand in geographical areas that need these services.

He also stressed the importance of considering further investment into youth and giving them adequate opportunities and options to upgrade their futures for their own betterment and for the nation pointing to the Bank's policy in recent years of real and effective steps that focus on youth employment & recruitment and giving them the necessary training and equipping them with the skills necessary to succeed and to that end he spoke of his pride in that the Palestine Islamic Bank has become one of the most successful employers to in educating and training workers in the Islamic banking sector.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the new office of the Palestine Islamic Bank at the Al-Quds Open University in Nablus; Dr. Riyadh Abu Shehadeh - Deputy Governor for Financial Stability at the Palestine Monetary Authority and representative of the Governor of the Monetary Authority to the event, he commended the Palestine Islamic Bank’s performance and efforts in its various banking services, and its policy of branch expansion ensuring its presence in all the Palestinian governorates, especially in remote areas, and the impact on growth rates achieved in net assets at the end of March 2017 by 24% compared with the same period in the previous year.

Dr. Shehadeh also clarified that there was considerable growth in the Islamic banking sector according to the industry indications and trends in the first three months of 2017, pointing to the growth of net assets of Islamic Banks and their funding portfolios as well as their deposits having increased by 25%, 22%, and 24% respectively, confirming that these indicators demonstrate the appeal of Islamic banking services to the Palestinian citizen.

Dr. Shehadeh also confirmed that the monetary authority will be moving forward with its plans to develop the Palestinian banking sector and to maintain its durability and stability, noting that the authority completed its move to its new headquarters which constitutes a positive step towards forming a Palestinian Central Bank after the adoption of the law for central banking in the coming period.

From his side, the Governor of Nablus General Akram Al-Rajoub welcomed the attendees and offered a tribute to the prisoners engaged in a hunger strike for the 37th day, and he then expressed his pride in being a graduate from Al-Quds Open University, noting that the university has succeeded in expanding to the Palestinian governorates reaching all segments of society. He also commended the efforts of the University’s leadership represented by Professor Dr. Yunis Amro in achieving equitable education for all Palestinians despite the conditions imposed by the Israeli occupation.

Al Rajoub also said that the opening of a branch of the Palestine Islamic Bank in Al-Quds Open University will provide students with easy access to banking services and this is complementary to the Bank's National position on supporting education. He also stressed that the increase in the number of the Palestine Islamic bank’s offices and branches in towns and cities is an indication that the Palestinian national economy remains healthy.

Additionally, Al Rajoub welcomed the branch office’s manager to Nablus and to the Al Quds Open University – Yousef Diab Awwad and he relayed to the attendees the regards sent along by the university’s board of trustees; Mr. Adnan Samara (University President), Dr. Yunis Amro, and he apologized for the absence.

Awad commented saying that these types of partnerships strengthen the ability of the Palestinian economy to face and confront the effect of occupation and its politics, telegraphing a strong and supportive greeting to the prisoners on strike.

Awwad also stressed that the university, which was born during difficult times is now one of the largest universities in Palestine with more than 35% of post-secondary students registered with the university, noting that one of the most important challenges that the university has faced and still faces is that University does not own its buildings however the University continues to fulfill its objective to erect its own buildings in all branches hopefully matching its counterparts.

Awwad thanked the Monetary Authority and the Palestine Islamic bank for their continued support of the University, noting that the opening of its 31st branch will serve approximately 8000 students in addition to faculty, administrative staff, which would in turn contribute to revitalizing the Palestinian economy. Meanwhile the head of the chamber of commerce and industry of Nablus Mr. Omar Hashem commented that the university is a national icon par excellence, expressing his pride and highlighting that its graduates are able to excel in the job market. He also praised the successes of the Palestine Islamic Bank which have enabled the bank to double its size and profits within just a few years.