On Sunday, 6/5/2012, BoP celebrated the inauguration of its 47th branch in Al Masyooun, Ramallah, in a ceremony attended by Chairman and General Manager of BoP Hashim Shawa, Hamdan Barghouti, Deputy Governer of Ramallah, and Palestinian Monetary Authority governor Dr. Jihad Alwazir, in addition to a number of other guests.
Speaking at the ceremony, which was held in Movenpick Hotel- Ramallah, Shawa welcomed the attendees and expressed his satisfaction with BoP's continuous achievements and expansion around Palestine, bringing the number of branches that serve clients in Ramallah and AL Bireh to 9 branches, more than 25 ATM's, and with ongoing preparations to open another branch in Beitunia, west of Ramallah. BoP continues to be the largest banking network in Palestine with 47 branches and offices, and more than 100 ATM's places all over the country.
Shawa further noted that in recognition of BoP's efforts and leading role in the Palestinian banking sector, BoP maintained its "Best Bank in Palestine" title from various international rankings, including Euromoney Award for Excellence 2011, EMEA Finance, Global Finance (as the Best Bank in Palestine for International Trade), New Economy (for sustainability), IFC (as Best Bank in the Middle East and North Africa for SME's despite difficult circumstances) and JP Morgan Award for the tenth year in a row. Moreover, BoP's financial statements doubled over the past give years, and the bank's capital increased by over 230% during the same period in spite of the difficulties and instability in Palestine. By the end of 2011, BoP's net profits equaled $34 million.
Dr. Alwazir pointed to the growth made by the Palestinian banking sector over the past year despite the political and economic hardships in the region. With distinct growth rates compared with other economic sectors, the banking sector's assets reached $9.15 billion in 2011, a growth of 4.9%, while property rights grew by 12.6% and profits a rate of 3.5%. Dr. Alwazir further noted that in light of the financial crises that are hitting world economies, the PMA issued instructions for the banking sector to deduct 15% of the net annual profits as a reserve which amounted to $45 million by the end of 2011 (5.1% of the total paid-up capital of the banking sector), noting that this deduction will continue until the reserve equals 20% f the capital.