Bank of Palestine culminated its achievements during the last month of this year (2015) by receiving the award of the “Best Bank in Palestine” from The Banker Magazine, which is owned by The Financial Times Ltd., for the third consecutive year.  The magazine studies the financial and banking institutions in the Middle East and the entire world, analyzes their data and the growth indicators of the products and services and measures the development levels in various systems used.

The awards were delivered during a grand ceremony hosted by the global institution in the British capital, London; Mr. Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of Bank of Palestine, received the award as the representative of the Bank. The ceremony was attended by a large group of leading figures in the banking sector, in addition to managers of banks, institutions and financial funds from the Middle East and the Gulf region. The institution accounted the analysis of financial data, growth indicators, and the rapid growth achieved by the Bank in a short period, in addition to the Bank’s success story, its expansion and financial performance.

This was indicated through the Bank’s high flexibility in facing challenges; during 2014, the Bank’s capital became the highest of the banking institutions working in Palestine, as it reached 175 million dollars in the first half of 2015; the total assets increased by 3.3% by the end of 2014. The net profit recorded a slight decrease of 0.5% after the Palestine Monetary Authority issued a law for deposits guarantees which added to the Bank and other banks in Palestine additional fees to guarantee the deposits of their customers.  

Mr. Shawa praised the efforts made by the Bank’s staff to reach high ranks both locally and internationally; he expressed his pride for this continuous achievement, in which the Bank is now responsible for additional efforts to continue developing its products and continue expanding, in addition to building strategic partnerships with the local community.

Shawa discussed the determinants adopted by the Magazine to provide Bank of Palestine this award, which includes the expansion of the Bank, as the Bank opened 6 new sub branches in various Palestinian cities, including one at the campus of Hebron University. In the field of enhancing the services, the Bank developed power generating stations for a group of ATMS to ensure the availability of power for urgent cases in Gaza Strip; in addition to developing electronic services, including payment of various bills and adding credit to cell phone balance through the Bank’s website. The Bank also worked on adding the e-Commerce service, which is a service that helps companies to sell their products through their websites and enables them enter the international market in an unprecedented way.

In regards to sustainability, Shawa confirmed that the Bank made essential steps towards the implementation of the sustainability strategy, due to its vision in building a strong economy and a financially educated society; the plan is based on several aspects, including social development through support of social responsibility programs in various sectors, in addition to the encouragement of sustainable financing principles and support to small enterprises, in which the Bank launched a campaign to encourage these enterprises and dedicated the amount of 200 US million dollars to finance them. He confirmed that the Bank aims to increase the volume of the facilitations portfolio to provide the needed financing to all social and economic segments and help their advancement under the difficult conditions and the declining economic indicators in the country.

Shawa explained that the Bank also developed a group of financial programs and tools that meet the needs of Palestinian women, in order to enhance their role in the society and the economy, by launching an exclusive program called “Felestinieyeh”, which includes the provision of banking producers dedicated for women, in addition to awareness workshops in various governorates of the country and an exclusive awareness Facebook page.

Shawa added that Bank of Palestine will proceed in developing financial services and tools that meet the customers’ needs and save them time, effort and money; as the Bank recently launched the mobile banking application for smart phones, which enables customers to view their accounts, conduct transactions, transfer balance, and pay bills for various companies through this application. In addition to a new services made available by the application: “Pay a Friend” service, which enables the customer to transfer a small amount of money to a friend or relative through the mobile number registered at the Bank.

Shawa also expressed his contentment for this award that confirms the interest of the international and global classification institutions and foundations in the Palestinian financial institutions, as this is a recognition from these intuitions to the high ranks reached by the Bank and the Palestinian banking sector, in terms of performance and the provided services. He confirms that by receiving this award, Bank of Palestine maintains its distinction in performance and its leading position to the Palestinian banking sector.