AJK President lauds BankIslami, visits branch in Mirpur

MIRPUR, July 18, 2007. With the initiation of BankIslami’s services, people in this part of the country would be greatly facilitated owing to the Shariah compliant products being offered by the institution. This was stated by the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Zulqarnain Khan, here on Wednesday during a visit to the recently opened branch of BankIslami.

Lauding the services of the institution, he assured full assistance to the Bank on part of the AJK government.

Briefing the AJK president, BankIslami President & CEO Mr. Hasan Bilgrami said that the bank is aiming at taking Shariah compliance to a level extending it to marketing, human resources and general outlook.

He said that the bank offers a full range of Shariah compliant commercial banking products and services such as current accounts, saving accounts, foreign currency accounts and term deposits.

Highlighting the products offered in the field of corporate banking, he said that the bank is offering working capital finance, medium and long term finance, leasing, Islamic export refinance scheme and structured finance, letter of credit, letter of guarantee, forward cover, bill purchase, car and house financing.

Mr. Bilgrami said that the BankIslami has taken  lead in a number of products such as deployment of Biometric ATMs, introduction of new GBNA based Biometric Depository ATMs, use of voice recognition technology in phone banking and MUSKUN home financing product which is available for people earning as low as Rs. 15,000 per month.

He said that recently the BankIslami also signed an agreement with Path Solutions for the procurement of modern Shariah-compliant banking system software.

Besides, it became the first Islamic bank in the country to have introduced online Inter-Bank Fund Transfer (IBFT) facility for its customers through ATMs, he added.

The bank’s Shariah Adviser, Mufti Irshad Ahmed Aijaz, explained the overall concept of Islamic banking and the products offered by the bank in this respect.

He said that Islam strictly prohibited interest as the Islamic financial system advocated the concept of participation in the enterprise, utilizing the funds at risk on a profit and loss sharing basis.

This by no means implied that investments with financial institutions were necessarily speculative, he said adding that this could be excluded by careful investment policy, diversification of risk and prudent management by Islamic financial institutions.

Mufti Irshad said that it is possible, that investment in Islamic financial institutions could provide potential profit in proportion to the risk assumed to satisfy the differing demands of participants in the contemporary environment and within the guidelines of the Shariah.

Later, an open house was also organized to further inform the masses and the potential clients on the  concept of Islamic banking and the products being offered by the Bank.