Please give us some highlights of the bank's performance at close of year 2013?
"The close of 2013 saw us continue to strengthen our already strong relations with major corporates, as well as grow our increasing SME portfolio and develop what is one of the fastest growing retail banking activities in the country. I'm pleased to say that these successes were reflected in strong financial results recorded at the close of 2013. We witnessed growth in both balance sheet and profitability with net profit for 2013 up by 46 per cent at
What is the strategic plan for 2014? How well are you positioned to meet these targets?
"As I've already outlined, 2013 was a very strong year for the
What is your view on your new role as acting CEO? What makes for good leadership skills?
"I'm extremely excited to take up this new position and very humbled to have this trust placed in me. My predecessor, Mr.
Has it been an advantage working through the ranks at the bank to reach this position and why?
"It most certainly has. Having been part of the
What operational areas need immediate attention at the bank?
"This year, we will be looking at further centralisation, streamlining of operational processes and to leverage the significant investment we are making in technology. Customers should be able to manage most of their transactions from their mobile or laptop in real time without the inconvenience of having to visit a branch or wait for the bank to process a payment which has already been sent electronically. In order to deliver this we will be streamlining operations to deliver straight-through-processing of many payments during 2014."
Which segments are you planning to grow? What type of investment will be made into supporting this growth?
"We made early progress in corporate and business banking and these remain our core revenue generators. Our retail footprint is an area which is rapidly developing and one we will continue to invest here. Building our personal financial services business is another priority and although this always takes time, we are confident that we are doing the 'right' things, a view reinforced by regular customer feedback."
What new Islamic products and services are on offer?
"A highlight is the upcoming launch of our new mobile banking application as part of our commitment to investment in digital channels and services. This application allows customers to manage important account information anytime, anywhere. We believe the future of banking lies in mobile and online banking, and the launch of this new mobile banking application is part of our effort to provide our customers with a seamless banking experience through a number of channels. Ultimately this is part of our commitment towards improving the banking experience for customers in
Where is the demand coming from in Islamic products and how can the bank capitalise on this?
"We see potential in areas of corporate finance, Sukuk issuances, retail banking and private banking. Islamic banking traditionally enjoyed a niche market based on cultural preferences but that changed following the financial crisis when the industry proved to be more resilient and robust than traditional banking. This led to demand being generated from markets that have not been historically interested in Islamic banking. We see, for example, huge increasing demand on Sukuk from European and North American markets, and furthermore we have seen recently some corporate Sukuk issuances from these markets. I personally think that Islamic banking is set for more future growth and we can capitalise on this by being innovative and drive the development of modern Shari'ah compliant products, services and tools. We have launched the first Sukuk trading platform for example last year and it was very well received by a lot of investors who did not have access to such a tool before. We will continue this model of innovative thinking and progressive action while we maintain a robust risk management at the heart of our work. This is how we drive the industry's growth and benefit from it to create value for customers, shareholders and the markets we work in."
How important is reporting and compliance for the bank? What challenges are there and how can the
"Complying with regulations is among the top priorities of Barwa Bank Management; the Bank is applying QCB regulations in all related activities and promotes the culture of compliance throughout various departments. Since establishment, the bank invested heavily in its
"Anti-money laundering is one of the major challenges facing the Qatari financial sector due to the nature of the
What regional and international growth plans are there in the next two years? Where will this be and what are the needs of the market?
"We recently opened a representative office in
We will continue this model of innovative thinking and progressive action while we maintain a robust risk management at the heart of our work
We are dedicated to the philosophy of hiring people across our various operational departments who can develop into leaders and continue to grow with us
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