During the third quarter of 2017, Bank of Palestine achieved net profits in the amount of $38.54 million compared with $38.1 million achieved during the same period of the previous year. Profits before taxes reached $53.8 million compared with $49.5 million achieved during the same period in 2016, at a growth rate of 8.66%. Bank assets increased during the first nine months of 2017 by 15.48% to reach $4.75 billion after registering a rate of $4.11 billion at the end of 2016. It is important to mention that the aforementioned is consolidated financial data for the Bank of Palestine Group, which includes Bank of Palestine, the Islamic Arab Bank, Al Wasata Securities and PalPay company.

Mr. Hashim Al Shawa, the Chairman and General Manager of Bank of Palestine, stressed that the financial results achieved by the bank during the first nine months of the current year demonstrate good performance considering the difficult economic and political circumstances. He also assured the bank’s strategy to support the Palestinian economy through the provision of credit facilitations to all social and economic sectors, particularly small and medium size enterprise.

Al Shawa added that the results achieved coincide with the date of the official opening of the second representative office for Bank of Palestine outside Palestine and the Middle East, which will take place in the Chilean capital Santiago on 7 November. Following this event, Bank of Palestine will be the first Arab bank to open a branch in Latin America, and Al Shawa added that the Chilean office will contribute to the attraction of new investments to Palestine, as well as form a bridge form economic linkages between Palestinians living in the Diaspora community of Latin America (approximately half a million people) and their homeland to support and develop the Palestinian economy.

Al Shawa also revealed an increase in all other financial indicators achieved by the bank during the third quarter of the current year. These indicators revealed an increase in total income at a rate of 29.08%, taking into consideration that total income during the first nine months of 2017 reached $163.8 million, compared with $126.8 million achieved by the bank during the first nine months of the previous year. Customer deposits increase by 15.2% to reach $3.62 billion, compared with $3.14 billion by the end of December 2016.

According to Al Shawa, the size of credit facilitations increased during the third quarter of the current year to reach $2.48 billion, or an increase rate of approximately 12.35%, compared to the end of 2016. He assured that the bank strives to apply the best practices to constantly manage risks and develop performance.

Al Shawa assured that the bank will continue to promote shareholders’ equity at Bank of Palestine, which reached $431 million by the end of the third quarter of 2017, an increase from $403 million by the end of last year.  He also stated that the financial results at the fruits of the bank’s vision in terms of diversifying sources of income with an aim to promote efficiency and productivity and improve the quality of services provided. The bank launched a project to reengineer operations and establish departments specialized in providing customer service.

In addition, the bank launched several distinguished campaigns, among them the campaign to encourage customers to use plastic cards. It also designed a special program entitled ana ow shatarti, which encourages customers to save a monthly amount for rewarding dividends. Al Shawa pointed out to the importance of issuing the law for electronic transactions, which is in conformity with the financial inclusion strategy that was adopted by the bank with an aim to facilitate the implementation of e-banking services for Palestinian citizens and bank customers. This law will also be able to open new prospects in terms of benefiting from financial and banking services electronically without the need for people to personally go to bank branches and offices, which will in turn simplify transactions implemented across the entire financial sector.  

The bank continued to practice its commitment in the field of corporate social responsibility whereby it allocated approximately 6% of its annual profits towards various social activities in the fields of education, health, culture, sports and human endeavors, to name a few, and continued to contribute to developmental projects and human endeavors.

In conclusion, Al Shawa expressed his pride in the family of Bank of Palestine and its affiliated companies and work force for all their contribution, support and real commitment to the growth and development of the bank. He also expressed his gratitude towards the bank’s customers and the customers of affiliated companies for their continuous trust in the services provided, as well as the efforts conducted by the Palestinian Monetary Authority, which aim to apply the concept of comprehensive monitoring over banks and adopt monitoring procedures that ensure the safety and resilience of the banking system.