Ahlibank Islamic banking services will provide products and services built on the tenants of truth and transparency in banking and will be fully segregated from the conventional branches. The bank will launch six branches from the very start - in Bahla, Rustaq, Saham, Salalah, Samail and Muscat - and provide a full-fledged banking experience with a full suit of products for both retail and commercial customers.
Speaking to Muscat Daily in July last year, Abdullah al Jabri, DGM at Ahlibank, said the bank will look to open up to ten branches within a year of launch. The launch of more branches will depend on business opportunities and requirements, he said, adding Ahlibank will look to target a 15 to 20 per cent market share in the segment.
In a press release on Saturday, Jabri said, “Islamic finance, by its very nature, is a financial system that highlights the importance of aligning the objectives of businesses with the needs of the community to ensure that the overall well-being of society is not forgotten when pursuing investment opportunities. Our products are designed to highlight both the social and economic side of Islamic banking. We will be starting off with six branches from day one, and these branches will be ready to provide all of our products, for retail and commercial customers, from the very start.”
Jabri added, “We have been gearing up for the last year to insure a smooth start to our Islamic banking services. Our focus was to educate the market about Islamic banking and we conducted a number of seminars around the country to increase awareness about Islamic banking. As one of the leading banks in the country we wanted to be able to cater to the needs of all our customers, whether individuals or companies, from the very start of our operations.
“Our focus during the last year has been on training our staff and insuring that our products and services not only serve the requirements of our customers but also provide them with the comfort of banking within Islamic principles. We believe that a well-equipped, knowledgeable workforce is vital for successful operations, we always strive to provide the best possible service to our customers and it’s vital that the staff members dealing with them have substantial knowledge about Sharia principles, models and structures.
“We are proud to say that we had set a very high benchmark for the training needs of our staff,” Jabri added.