|Key figures Impact story|
Bank of Palestine (BOP) aspires to become a valued and distinguished financial and banking institution on both local and regional levels.
Bank of Palestine is endowed with a mission rooted in a value system that is humane and friendly, promoting real practice of inclusive banking and customer care. The bank strives to grow while remaining local at heart with global standards, but energised with agile innovation in finance and banking in order to positively impact human and economic development at home and across the globe.
Bank of Palestine has a long embedded presence and experience in Palestine dating back to 1960. Bank of Palestine is constantly growing to be financially inclusive, and socially responsible at the cutting edge of global financial practice and innovation. The bank has the most widespread branch network in Palestine, a paid-up capital of $195 million, and assets of over USD 2.78 billion, with 1,500 employees serving around 750,000 customers. BOP is engaged in retail, corporate, micro & SME, and Diaspora banking operations. BOP is the sole agent for issuing and acquiring Visa and MasterCard in Palestine with over 5,900 Point of Sale merchant terminals nationwide. BOP is involved in large project finance loan syndications. It adopts a holistic sustainability strategy; and has as such worked with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to develop a stringent risk management and governance structure. BOP has been the leader in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Palestine dedicating six percent of its net profit to community and human development.
Bank of Palestine’s stock (PEX: BOP) has been listed on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) since 2005. It is among the market’s blue chip stocks, and represents more than 15% of total PEX market capitalization.
The bank is governed by a 10 member Board of Directors and a 16 member Executive team. The Board is entrusted with overall accountability for the performance of Bank of Palestine. The Board is elected by shareholders to oversee and guide management with the ultimate goal of increasing long-term shareholder value for the bank, while taking into account the interest of its stakeholders. In addition to setting long term strategic and business objectives the board has a key role in assessing major risks facing the bank and setting the level of risk appetite. The Board is able to effectively oversee the operations through the following Board Committees:
- Audit Committee
- Risk Management Committee
- Credit Committee
- Human Resources & Corporate Governance Committee
- Investment Committee
- Hashim Shawa, Chair and General Manager
- Maher Jawad Farah, Member
- Hani Hassan Nigim, Member
- Mohammed Nafiz Mohammed Hirbawi, Member
- Faysal Ghazi Shawa, Member
- Tareq Taher Shaka, Member
- John Khoury, Member
- Tarek Al-Aggad, Member
- Lana Abu-Hijleh, Member
- Abdullah Al-Ghanim, Member
Market Focus, Products, Services, and Initiatives
- As part of the strategy to provide access to finance to all segments, BOP designed a programme for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) segment, as it makes up 90% of the Palestinian economy, yet suffers from lack of financing. The bank in 2015 launched a campaign dedicating USD 200 million to MSMEs in a thrust to raise the credit to this segment of the Palestinian society and Economy. This has raised the percentage of MSME lending to 19% from total loan portfolio.
- ‘Felestinya’ Women Program: As part of the bank’s strategy to provide access to finance to all segments of society, Bank of Palestine became a member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA), and a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). In 2015, Bank of Palestine pioneered a special program, Felestineya, focusing on economic and social empowerment for women both at the bank and in the market place with a target of reaching 1000 women. The program provided access to more women jobs at the bank including senior positions; raising the number of women employees to 32%. BOP also conducted several financial awareness sessions for a total of 900 female participants IN 2015. The program leverages innovative interventions such as, the Mini-MBA, in partnership with the IFC which enabled skills training in financial and non-financial know-how. The Felestinya program for women also features loans without collateral and accepts gold collateral from women. In recognition, the bank was awarded as Best Bank in the Middle East for Financial Inclusion by emeafinance in 2015.
- Mobile Banking: In partnership with its subsidiary PalPay®, the BOP launched the first mobile application, e-bank, allowing customers to pay their bills and transfer funds to a friend using a registered mobile number at the bank. This has helped the bank service more customers electronically.