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KARACHI: “BankIslami has overcome from the difficult period and now it is emerging as a stronger bank in the country supported by a significant transformation, leadership qualities, innovation, and organization restructuring in the past five years.”

Talking to Business Recorder Syed Amir Ali President and CEO BankIslami highlighted recent developments and last five year progress of the bank. Established in 2006, BankIslami has undergone a significant transformation in the past five years under the leadership of President and CEO Syed Amir Ali.

One of the biggest challenges that the bank faced was a cyber-attack in 2018, right when Syed Amir Ali took over charge as the CEO of the bank. However, Amir was determined to not only get the bank back on its feet but also to revamp its structure, security system, and overall brand image.

“After the five years of tireless work, now the BankIslami is emerging as a stronger organization and the bank’s performance is gradually improving with healthy financial results”, Amir said.

He said that the bank’s vision for the future is to become the most efficient and innovative bank in Pakistan, and to offer the best customer experience in the market. To achieve this vision,

BankIslami is focusing on several key areas. First, the bank plans to expand its branch network and introduce new products and services to meet the changing needs of its customers. Second, the bank will continue to invest in technology and innovation to improve its operations and enhance the customer experience, he informed.

“Actually, the bank’s foundations were strong that help to rise again. I came on-board with a vision to revamp the entire bank as the bank was going through a difficult time, and facing several repercussions. The first thing that was redesign was the bank’s structure. We started the project DWO (Designing a Winning Organization) and integrated the bank’s operations and consumers to make the organization more efficient”, he said.

As the bank faced a cyber-attack crisis in 2018, that was handled positively, the bank completely revamped their IT and security systems to avoid any incident in the future, he informed.

Now the BankIslami’s IT system is one of the best in the world and till the last few years BankIslami was the only Bank from Pakistan to score an A rating CTM360, a feat that only a few banks have reached, President BankIslami said.

“We hired the best people in the fields of IT and senior positions are filled by professionals, not bankers. We have invested heavily on technology and will continue to do so in the coming years as well. Even to understand how IT systems work, I enrolled myself in a software engineering course at NED and today I am a certified software engineer”, he informed.

He said that at BankIslami, we changed the mindset of the entire organization and it also improved deposit growth, the productivity of branches, and reaffirmed the team’s belief in the vision. In the past five years, BankIslami’s profits after tax rose from Rs 200 million in 2018 to Rs 4.4 billion in 2022.

BankIslami’s main focus then shifted to improving its customer service, deposits, and business development. Apart from expanding its network throughout the country, the bank picked up a handful of people from far-fetched and remote villages and gave it to them to teach and train their fellow villagers banking. He informed that BankIslami auto-financing process is very speedy and approval of auto-financing time is 24 hours and now BankIslami process around 24-25 percent of applications within 24 hours and the rest are processed within a week.

In addition to focusing on customer service, BankIslami also put a lot of emphasis on the welfare of its employees. “We also took under account the welfare of our employees, we introduced medical insurance for parents, we also introduced a pay continuation plan that if an employee passes away during their service to the bank the bank continues giving their salary for the next 2 years”, CEO BankIslami informed.

In addition, BankIslami is also sponsoring the education for the children of employees who score an admission to non-private universities and BankIslami pays 100 percent of their fee even when the employee retires, Amir informed.

Currently, he said, BankIslami is also investing on human resources to create new job opportunities. The bank sees two ways to address this issue.

The first is to physically send people out of the country, including the labour class and those with technical skills. To achieve this, BankIslami recently partnered with Indus Hospital to send five nurses to explore nursing opportunities in foreign countries where salaries are more lucrative. The second is to retain the intelligent workforce within the country.

Amir informed that BankIslami profit after tax posted a notable increase of 244 percent to Rs. 1.79 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2023 as compared to Rs. 0.52 billion during same period last year.

With rise in profitability and improved credit risk profile of the Bank, Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of the Bank recorded at 17.9 percent, well above the regulatory threshold of 11.50 percent.

President BankIslami informed that in order to reinforce its capital base and fortify its asset base, the Bank is in process of listing of its Additional Tier-1 Sukuk (Ehad Sukuk 2) to the tune of Rs. 1 billion, out of which Rs. 850 million worth of Pre-IPO phase has already been completed.

Going forward, in order to continue its growth trajectory, the Bank will focus on increasing its branch network, grow its deposit book and improving the overall customer experience through leveraging technology and expanding its digital footprint, he mentioned.

The bank not only contributed for the flood victims but also collaborated with Saylani Welfare Trust to offer free certification programs in various science fields. This program provides everything necessary, from stationary to laptops to books, helping individuals develop skills that they can use in the international market to earn in dollars, either by working remotely or by relocating.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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A.Hassan May 03, 2023 03:16pm
being a customer of Bank Islami i would like to say that the bank gives meagre profit on our investment if compared with the present day ever increasing inflation.
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