The Bahrain headquartered Islamic Banking multinational, Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) today announced plans that will see the Group further advance its Digital Transformation journey, which has already seen ABG pioneer a number of strategic initiatives to enhance the banking journey for customers through digital innovation.
The announcement comes following the successful conclusion of a two-day Group wide Digital Banking Meeting held on 4-5 November 2020, virtually. The meeting, which was attended by over 80 Business, Marketing and IT professionals from Al Baraka Banking Units from across 12 countries, takes place on an annual basis to review progress on Group wide milestones on digital transformation - an initiative that was launched two years ago at the first Digital Transformation Strategy Workshop held in Istanbul, Turkey.
This year's meeting featured an expert panel of speakers from major international advisory firm, that along with the members from the Group, discussed and interacted on various topics related to further improving the digital onboarding of customers and customer experience perspectives. Other crucial topics discussed included setting strategic priorities for the Group concerning its digital transformation efforts, leveraging the various opportunities that exist throughout the group through digital channels and as well as trends and the future of banking and FinTech.
Delivering the opening remarks at the meeting, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President and Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, stated, 'This year has been a very unique for everyone including for us at Al Baraka. However, despite the challenges that have come along with the pandemic and lock downs, we have been able to continue to serve our customers and operate normally. Thanks to the digital transformation journey that started two years ago, we have built appropriate digital capabilities that helped us maintain business continuity and ensured we could meet the needs of our customers, uninterrupted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic'
For his part, Senior Vice President, Head of IT at ABG, Mr. Ahmed Albalooshi, said, 'The present challenges have helped us to accelerate the digital transformation journey and the Group's focus on digitalisation projects and initiatives aimed at better serving and meeting the Group's existing and future demands, not just from our customers' perspective but also from an internal perspective focusing on creating a working environment that also prioritizes the digitalisation of our operational processes and back office functions.'
Al Baraka Banking Group has to its credit several proud achievements. It has launched advanced mobile banking applications, open banking initiatives, and core banking modernization in several Units. It has also pioneered the much-acknowledged digital-only Islamic bank in Germany 'Insha', which is now on stream providing a broad range of services to the German market, and flooded with demands from locals and expatriates who are eager to partake in tits Digital Only Islamic banking services. Finally, the Group, through its Turkish subsidiary, has established several FinTechs companies including 'alneo' in Turkey that focuses on e-payments.
The meeting was attended by Al Baraka Units from Turkey, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain, Sudan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunis, and Jordan.
About Al Baraka
Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C. ('ABG') is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain and is listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totaling around one billion.
The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in 17 countries, which in turn provide their services through around 700 branches. Al Baraka Banking Group has operations in Jordan, Egypt, Tunis, Bahrain, Sudan, Turkey, South Africa, Algeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco and Germany, in addition to two branches in Iraq and representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.
ABG and its Units offer retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorized capital of ABG is US$ 2.5 billion.
S&P Global Ratings has updated the long-term rating on Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C. to 'BB-' with a 'Stable' Outlook, while affirming the 'B' short-term rating of the bank. ABG has also been rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) by Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA). IIRA has also rated ABG on the national scale at A+ (bh) / A2 (bh) with a fiduciary score of 81-85, the highest level amongst Islamic Financial Institutions in the region.