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Middle East's Best Bank Awards

Palestine: Best Domestic Bank 2020

Bank of Palestine

A good financial institution doing worthy work in a troubled territory, Bank of Palestine has performed admirably over the last year.

Financially, it is in fine fettle. The lender reported gross income of $234 million in the final three months of 2019, a year-on-year increase of about 5%. Profit before tax fell over the period to $51.8 million, as the bank set aside higher provisioning to combat the effects of a weaker economy. Total assets rose 13.1% to $5.27 billion, and total outstanding loans rose 11% to $2.98 billion.

Customer deposits at the end of 2019 amounted to $4.12 billion, against $3.74 billion at the same time a year ago. At the end of last year, its consolidated non-performing loan ratio was 4.53%.

It can be easy for banks to make money when times are good. Bank of Palestine operates in a place that is constantly economically and societally torn, yet its customers not only stay loyal to it, but also double down year after year on a financial institution they trust.

Where Bank of Palestine also stands strong is in terms of all the good work it does. It has redirected its corporate and social responsibility budget to ensure that all of its customers have access to some semblance of digital banking.

The aim, it says, is “to provide electronic payment solutions to thousands of exposed families in a dignified and private manner”.

In 2019, it unveiled the State of Palestine’s first e-wallet service, created in alliance with PayPal.

Its Islamic banking unit, Arab Islamic Bank, which boasts 26 branches, delivers Sharia-compliant banking services to thousands of customers. Bank of Palestine also continues to invest in Al-Wasata Securities, one of the faster growing brokerages in the territory, with an estimated $500 million in assets under management.

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