Bank of Palestine obtained three awards from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Finance global magazine for the year 2018, for its distinguished efforts and activities in the previous year. The bank was granted the award of best bank in the Middle East in the field of financial inclusion, the best bank in Palestine award, and the award for best bank in the Middle East in the field of corporate social responsibility. The said magazine also granted Al Wasata Securities company, a subsidiary of Bank of Palestine Group, the award of best brokerage company in Palestine. To celebrate the occasion, a large ceremony was held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where the awards were distributed. The ceremony was attended by representatives from Bank of Palestine and several businessmen, bankers and officials from financial institutions across the Gulf Region and the world.

 

Mr. Hashim Al Shawa, the Chairman of Bank of Palestine Group, expressed his enthusiasm about Bank of Palestine and Al Wasata Securities for receiving four awards in several fields at a time. The award for financial inclusion stresses the leading role played by Bank of Palestine Group on the regional and international levels towards building a society that promotes the role of women and their participation in the building and development processes. Al Shawa stated that the bank's receipt of these awards crowns its continuous contributions, activities and successes in all fields, in addition to making real achievements that contributed to supporting Palestinian society, promoting its economic growth and providing distinguished services to customers. As part of its activities in the field of financial inclusion, the bank designed a comprehensive program entitled "Felestineya"  to serve social and economic sectors in society, especially in the field of empowering Palestinian women, in order to contribute to economic growth and social development. Al Shawa added that Palestinian women managed to realize exceptional developmental, social and educational achievements that have become the pride of Palestine.

Al Shawa added that the bank was also worthy of the award for best bank in Palestine because it managed to apply an exceptional financial system to serve its clients, and magnify its work to include expansion and outreach operations in the local and international markets, whereby it succeeded in opening two representative offices, one in the Gulf Region and the other in Latin America. In addition to achieving continuous growth in the past few years, these advancements were also accompanied by wise policies that maintained stable growth in all fields and at all levels, including increased deposits, facilitations, investments, and the development of various services that respond to the needs of different economic and social sectors. The bank also adopted and applied measures and mechanisms for risk management, as well as the principles of good governance and relevant practices, and the application of social environment policies.

 

Al Shawa also addressed the policies of expansion and outreach adopted by the bank to deliver banking services to all Palestinian governorates, including rural areas, in order to maintain the largest banking network in Palestine that consists of 73 branches and offices, in addition to providing a total of 162 ATM machines to serve all citizens. These achievements enhanced the ability of the bank to attract new clients and assisted in promoting its financial portfolio and products. From another angle, Al Shawa stated that Bank of Palestine is the first banking institution to establish a network of Points of Sale (POS) to assist its clients and credit card holders from various local and international banks to purchase from shops and stores that form part of a network that includes 6,000 POS distributed across the Palestinian Territories, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  

 

On the level of corporate social responsibility, Al Shawa stressed that the continuous growth that is visible in bank indicators was parallel with the creation of developmental projects funded by the bank's corporate social responsibility budget that has been adopted years ago. Al Shawa added that the humanitarian, developmental and corporate social responsibility aspects form a major part of the bank message and mission to push forward the wheel of economic development, whereby the bank continues to allocate approximately 5% of its annual profits for social responsibility programs and activities, taking into consideration that this percentage is the highest contribution of its kind to society on both the local and international scales. In addition, the bank steers several social projects in partnership with civil society organizations, including the mobile clinic, which provides comprehensive health services, including the early detection of breast cancer, in all parts of the West Bank. Other relevant initiatives include the Mobile Library in the Gaza Strip, Al Zamalah Fellowship Program, and Al Bayyara Parks Project for Children, which involved the establishment of 30 parks thus far.

 

Finally, Bank of Palestine Group managed to record several achievements in the field of financial brokerage. Al Wasata Securities, which is a subsidiary of Bank of Palestine Group, was granted the award of best brokerage company in Palestine; an indicator of continuous development, and proof of investor confidence in the company's good performance. Al Shawa congratulated the company's management, employees and investors for receiving such an award, which is considered an important accomplishment to be added to the achievements realized by Bank of Palestine Group. All these awards bring along more responsibilities to provide more services on the national  and regional levels, and encourage the group to continue the good work and provide such services in a more exceptional and convenient manner to investors and shareholders in the Palestinian market and regional markets. Al Shawa stressed that the company's board of directors will continue to work alongside the executive branch in order to attract more capital and enable relevant individuals to purchase shares of companies listed in the Palestine Stock Exchange, to promote financial stability and expand market depth.