Ahmed Abdul Rahim

Interview with Ahmed Abdul Rahim, Chief Executive Officer of Ithmaar Bank

In this interview, Ahmed Abdul Rahim talks about Ithmaar Bank’s recent performance, the global Islamic banking industry and the increasing use of technology in banking. Ithmaar Bank is now entirely focused on retail banking and is considered one of the biggest Islamic retail banks in Bahrain. The waiting period at the branches has been reduced and the customer is provided various delivery channels for services like call center, Internet banking, EasyPay and mobile banking. EasyPay is the first-of-its-kind mobile-payment service in Bahrain. The service enables customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at the checkout counters of participating merchants. As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar ensures that all its products and services are compliant with Islamic Sharia rules and that business is conducted accordingly.

Ithmaar Bank seeking $35m annual savings

The board of Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank has initiated several measures aimed at reducing costs this year. The initiatives include a combination of increased revenue, improved margins and cost reductions across Ithmaar Group which are expected to result in savings in the range of $25-$35 million annually. The bank now plans to leverage existing resources and share information technology systems and infrastructure between Ithmaar Bank in Bahrain and its subsidiaries, mainly Faysal Bank (FBL) in Pakistan. Moreover, the lender has identified areas to reduce costs, including staff and other overheads, and now wants to realise the full potential of these cost synergies through rationalisation of human resources and IT infrastructure.

Ithmaar Bank says chief executive to retire

Bahrain's Ithmaar Bank has announced its chief executive Mohammed Bucheerei is to retire at the end of August and be replaced by Ahmed Abdul Rahim, currently general manager, as acting head. Bucheerei led the bank's transition from an Islamic investment bank to a retail Islamic lender offering a range of Shari'ah-compliant products.

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