Ithmaar to make Swiss unit family office
Manama, November 1, 2012
Ithmaar Bank, a leading Bahrain-based Islamic retail institution, has announced that it will convert the banking licence of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Faisal Private Bank in Switzerland, to a family office.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank chief executive and board member Mohammed Bucheerei, follows a decision by the Ithmaar board to convert Faisal Private Bank into a family office and to focus on further developing Ithmaar Bank's core business of retail and commercial banking, according to a report in our sister publication the Gulf Daily News.
"Ithmaar Bank, the shareholder of Faisal Private Bank in Geneva, has decided to convert its banking operations in Switzerland to a family office in a way compatible with the clients' and stakeholders' interests," Bucheerei said.
"Ithmaar Bank is committed to maintaining a presence in Switzerland in a format to be approved in due course by the Swiss financial services regulator, Financial Market Supervisory Authority," he added.
"This will ensure that all the rights of Faisal Private Bank investors are protected as per Swiss laws.
"It will also ensure that Ithmaar can better focus on further developing its core banking operations while also rationalising costs and improving efficiencies in line with the board-approved strategy of becoming the region's premier Islamic retail and commercial bank," he said.
"The transformation of our wholly-owned subsidiary in Switzerland into a family office is another significant step towards creating powerful synergies and streamlining our group operations to better focus on our core retail and commercial banking operations," Bucheerei added.
Earlier this month, Ithmaar Bank shareholders approved, at an extraordinary meeting in Bahrain, plans to merge with one of the bank's Bahrain-based associates, the First Leasing Bank.
Ithmaar Bank had then said that the merger is in line with the bank's commitment to concentrating on further developing its core business and continuing its growth.
Since Ithmaar Bank's reorganisation in April 2010 with its then wholly-owned subsidiary, Shamil Bank, and its subsequent transformation from an investment bank into an Islamic retail bank, it has focused on developing its retail and commercial banking operations. – TradeArabia News Service