Qatar Islamic Bank & its CEO wins big at Asian Banker Awards

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Qatar Islamic Bank Branch
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The first Islamic bank in Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) earned two top awards at the Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Awards 2020. 

At a virtual award ceremony conducted on October 15, QIB Group’s CEO Mr. Bassel Gamal was honored with the ‘Best Bank CEO Response to COVID-19 in Qatar’ award while the bank was chosen as the ‘Best Managed Bank during COVID-19 in Qatar’.

The bank’s recognition at the prestigious award ceremony can be attributed to the QIB’s leadership which resulted in the institution’s outstanding response to the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering the safest, most trusted, and effective banking services to both retail and corporate customers since March 2020.

While speaking at the digital ceremony, the group CEO said, “I am honored to receive those awards today on behalf of QIB’s board of directors and all my colleagues. From the outbreak of the pandemic, the safety of both our employees and customers was and still is our absolute number one priority. Within the framework of our business continuity plans and thanks to our recent investments in digital transformation, we have succeeded to impeccably continue offering the fastest, safest and most convenient banking services to all our retail and corporate customers, allowing them to fulfill all their banking needs safely and remotely.”

“We have further accelerated the introduction of new digital products and services to our mobile and online platforms. We have added more features that allow retail and corporate customers to manage holistically their accounts and relationship with the bank. We have also introduced new functionality to allow previously ‘unbanked’ segments of the society, such as domestic workers to open a bank account digitally and fulfill all their banking needs, such as fast remittances and payments through the mobile app. We have also increased the capabilities of our call center to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our customers under any circumstances,” Mr. Gamal added.

“We have extended support to our corporate and individual customers in this time of financial uncertainty by deferring financial installments for the sectors most hit by the crisis, in line with the governmental and Qatar Central Bank’s directives. We are actively participating in the COVID-19 response programs initiated by the government and the Qatar Central Bank. These two awards are also a recognition of QIB’s contribution to the nation-wide efforts led by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, the Ministry of Public Health and other entities that continue to play a key role in keeping the community safe. We are sincerely thankful to all of them for their great efforts,” the QNB CEO remarked.

QIB’s Bank Safely from Home initiative 

Qatar Islamic Bank’s implementation of its comprehensive “Bank Safely from Home” campaign at the beginning of the pandemic resulted in an extraordinary adoption of the bank’s digital channels by existing and new customers.

With the backing of its highly reliable and advanced digital channels, the bank ensured business continuity served all its retail and corporate customers while only 20 percent of its branches remained open and less than 20 percent of its employees were working from their offices between April and June this year.

The bank proactively rolled out much-appreciated support to SMEs by immediately postponing their EMIs and then associating with COVID-19 National Response Guarantee