Best CSR in Islamic Banking - Syria
Best Islamic Bank - Syria
Best Islamic Bank - Lebanon
Best Branding - Kuwait
It takes continuous effort to maintain high customer satisfaction levels; we believe that advanced technology will help us deliver the exceptional service our customers expect from us. Through this recent iMAL modernization, we are better prepared to take advantage of the latest innovations, a full functional coverage that is constantly enriched, and an ever-evolving and scalable architecture. I proudly salute both teams who, despite a very tight project schedule with a huge scope, were able to deliver the benefit and value expected, i.e. meeting performance requirements and service levels, such as availability, reliability, and speed.
Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed
Vice-Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
At a time when Cihan Bank business volumes grow and its organization becomes more complex, we needed to protect our financial margins; Cihan Bank’s choice of the new iMAL Java version was a straightforward one. The outstanding level of efficiency, performance and scalability of this version allowed our IT development team to refocus its energy on revenue-generating initiatives while keeping operating costs in check. This upgrade was a key differentiator for our bank. Now that we are focusing on creating customer journeys that specifically translate to better customer experience, we will be initiating shortly our digital transformation by implementing a mix of digital technologies from Path Solutions to accelerate innovation as part of our new expansion plans.
Deputy General Manager
We continue to build on the existing relationship with Path Solutions with the past implementations and the ongoing upgrades. The platforms have proven to be a great success for Sohar Islamic, at the time of launch as well as with the consistent upgrades that we are adopting. All functionalities of the platform have been tested very systematically by both parties, and we have experienced intensive and extensive support throughout the various phases of the project from the iMAL team which has shown great professionalism and efficiency; all of which has contributed to the overall success of the project.
Mujahid Said Daud Al Zadjaly
Deputy General Manager - IT & Alternate Channels
Shariah is a set of laws based on Islamic principles. It governs the public and private aspects of people living in an Islamic system. The regulations of the Shariah are derived primarily from the Quran (Holy Book of Muslims) and Sunnah (Dealings and Teachings of Prophet Mohammad - Peace be upon him).
The very objective of the Shariah is to promote the welfare of the people, which lies in safeguarding their faith, their life, their intellect, their posterity and their wealth. It can be divided into two groups:
Product Manager - Shariah Compliance
We will restrict our focus to the matters related to financial management and in specific complying with Shariah regulations in terms of the Islamic financial transactions.
The very core of Islamic finance is to avoid Riba or interest. In layman terms, a loan that derives any kind of benefit is termed as Riba. The Islamic financial system is an alternate of conventional banking system based on transactions such as a sale, lease or partnership, having its own specific operational procedures and risks.
To ensure an Islamic bank is operating within the prescribed Shariah framework, almost every Islamic financial institution has an in-house Shariah scholar or a board comprising of two to three Shariah scholars who advise the management and guide them to ensure the operations remain within the parameters of Shariah. In certain countries, banks have a dedicated Shariah Audit and Compliance department which monitors the day-to-day operations of the bank.
One of the major risks an Islamic financial institution carries is reputational risk. Customers place their trust in the institution expecting the returns are being generated in a Shariah-compliant manner.
From an institution’s perspective, any noncompliance identified results in loss of profit since income generated from a transaction violating the core of Shariah once identified is given away as a charity, a minor mistake in execution of the contract can make the transaction completely impermissible.
Every geographical area has its own set of regulations which guide Islamic financial institutions, although some practices may differ in certain regions, but each practice has to be approved by the respective Shariah scholars.
In this regard, standardization of processes is already under development. AAOIFI has emerged as a global entity which has issued Shariah and accounting standards after a rigorous process of evaluation of each standard by multiple scholars.
Over the years, the Islamic product development has evolved to cater to the demand of new and advanced products for its expanding customer base. AAOIFI is keeping up with the pace of these new developments and has recently issued 12 new standards related to Shariah, Accounting, Governance and Code of Ethics. Apart from working on new standards, AAOIFI is also revising its existing standards which will give further clarity to the industry.
For example, the treatment of Ijarah which was originally issued in 1995 is now being revised to give clarity on the accounting treatment for lessee, while the previous version’s focus was towards the requirements of the lessor. Another important revision was made in the Murabaha accounting treatment to bring clarity on recording inventories, COGS (cost of goods sold) and the treatment of discounts.
AAOIFI is currently discussing the Shariah Compliance and Fiduciary Ratings for Islamic financial institutions, Waqf Governance, Internal Shariah Audit, and Sukuk Governance standards with the major players in the industry.
At the current pace of growth the Islamic finance industry would not be able to cope up with Shariah compliance requirements keeping in view the shortage of qualified resources and the associated costs. The operational costs of running an Islamic financial institution are high due to the transactional nature where a contract has to be executed at the right event and the right sequence. With the growth of an institution the need for human resources also increases and it will become inevitable for a bank to automate its operations to reduce its dependency on human involvement and interventions.
The system should be capable enough to support the Islamic contracts from inception till payoff and profit distribution. A key challenge a Shariah team faces is validating the correct execution sequence of a contract. The standard conventional banking systems are designed to lend money and are unable to capture the transactional sequence of an Islamic contract, therefore the Compliance department has to rely solely on the supporting documents which being entirely manual can be manipulated. For example, to avoid making effort a staff can get both the offer and acceptance of a Murabaha contract signed off simultaneously by the customer and later on he can mention the dates. Such practices may not get detected by the Compliance department and they may need additional validations to ensure full compliance. However, if the same transaction is executed within the system with the proper sequence of events, it would become virtually impossible to manipulate the record. On the other hand, the Shariah Compliance department will also save its resources with online access to the executed transaction, thus reducing the overall costs and mainly the cost of travelling and branch visits.
iMAL has been designed specifically for the Islamic finance industry and is not built over a conventional banking system. Hence, the structure of the entire system is completely different. The transactions carried out in the system are based on a sequence of events which are designed keeping in view the Islamic modes of finance. This Islamic core banking platform gives the financial institution the flexibility to build new solutions, and scaling up without compromising on Shariah principles.
In December 2018, the Corporate Academy and the HR Department of Path Solutions jointly organized an orientation training to ensure organizational onboarding is done right for the benefit of new hires. The training covered topics such as brief Corporate Overview, HR Policies and Procedures, introduction to Islamic Finance, Banking and Investment, introduction of iMAL and iSHRAQ solutions, and basic training on SADS and iMAL Accounting modules.
A Patch Management technical training was conducted for Path Solutions’ Global Support, Product Engineering, and Global Professional Services’ teams on January 2nd, 2019.
The objective of the training is to impart to participants technical know-how to handle this tool effectively.
Detailed sessions on the business side of the CRM module were arranged for selected employees at Path Solutions, followed by an evaluation test on February 12.
Another training and test on the technical side of the solution took place on March 5 & 6, with special focus on how to customize and configure CRM solutions.
The Corporate Academy of Path Solutions conducted ‘iMAL Certified Associate’ level examinations for Path Solutions’ employees. This was part of the iMAL Certificate Examination Program launched more than a year ago with the objective of testing the knowledge and competence of the company’s employees as well as iMAL users and certify them accordingly.
Exams took place during the months of February/March 2019 in the different branch locations including Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, Sudan and India. Certifications covered the following six major modules:
The ‘iMAL Certified Associate’ certification is an essential milestone for iMAL professionals and a highly sought-after qualification offering a myriad of benefits to certified members in their ongoing professional development and skill-building.
Becoming an ‘iMAL Certified Associate’ extends beyond the act of earning a formal qualification; it provides a rewarding challenge that will help enhance the member’s knowledge base, and demonstrates his commitment to a high standard of professionalism.
Best CSR in Islamic Banking - Syria
Best Islamic Bank - Syria
Best Islamic Bank - Lebanon
Best Branding - Kuwait
Top 50 Safest Banks in Emerging Markets 2018
World’s 50 Safest Banks 2018
Middle East’s Top 50 Safest Banks 2018
Top 50 Safest Commercial Banks 2018
World’s Safest Banks 2018 - Middle East
Best Sharia-Compliant Bank - MENA 2018
Fastest Growing Islamic Bank - MENA 2018
Best Retail Bank Bahrain 2018
Best CSR Bank Group Bahrain 2018
Best Investor Relations Bank Bahrain 2018
Best Banking Leadership (Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif) Bahrain 2018
Best M&A Deal
(Zain & Americana)
Best Asset Manager Kuwait 2018
Best Investment Company Kuwait 2018
Best Banking CEO
(Mr. Mohamed El Kettani)
Fastest Growing Islamic Retail Bank Nigeria 2018
Best Customer Service Bank Oman 2018
Best Social Media Bank Oman 2018
Best Corporate Bank Oman 2018
Fastest Growing Islamic Retail Bank Oman 2018
Sheikh Mohammed Jarrah Al-Sabah
Best Islamic Bank in Customer Service - Kuwait
Best Retail Bank in Customer Service - Kuwait
With the Islamic debt capital market space going from strength to strength, as well as the global Sukuk issuance that is expected to reach US$90-100 billion by the end of 2019, the IFN World Leaders Summit 2019 took place on March 10th in Dubai – UAE to discuss the growth potential of the industry, where Mohammed Kateeb, the Group Chairman & CEO of Path Solutions intervened in the session entitled ‘Building Successful Fintech Ecosystems and Assessing the Evolving Role of Technology in Finance’.
Path Solutions is pleased to announce that it has recently completed the successful upgrade of iMAL Islamic core banking platform at Boubyan Bank.
The bank’s decision to upgrade to the new iMAL R14 version comes as an important part of a plan to transform the bank into an all-digital platform to deliver efficiency, enhanced customer experience and lower operational costs. This upgrade supports the bank’s ambition to continue being the undisputed leader in offering digital services to its customers. In addition, the new platform will enhance performance and reduce time-to-market for new products.
Dubai-based McKinsey & Co. was engaged as the trusted advisor and counselor to Boubyan Bank on this critical venture for decision-making and during the build-up and implementation phases, and was integral to the project success.
Path Solutions announced that its world-class core banking platform - iMAL has achieved Powered by Oracle Cloud status and is now available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace offering added value to Oracle Cloud customers. iMAL enables measurable business value and increased productivity, while providing the agility and economy of scale of the public cloud with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle Database Cloud Service, and Oracle Java Cloud Service.
Path Solutions announced the signing of a partnership agreement with Tahoor Technologies Pvt. Ltd. for its flagship ‘Tahoor Internal Shariah Audit Software’ developed specifically for Islamic financial institutions.
Tahoor Shariah Audit is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art, internal Shariah audit software system that increases the effectiveness and efficiency of internal Shariah audit processes of Islamic financial institutions, by providing automated auditing tools built on the risk-based audit methodology.
From 28 - 31 January, Cairo’s Cybersecurity Workshop was delivered by industry experts who shared their expertise and know-how with the aim of finding out the best solutions for the protection of ICT infrastructure.
Abdo Chalhoub, Executive Vice President - ICT Professional Services at Path Solutions took part as a speaker and delivered an interesting speech on cybersecurity governance, standards, and best practices.
The forum which was held in Beirut on Friday 18 January was organized by AUB in collaboration with CMS Experiment. It brought together over 300 international participants from the corporate, academic, IT and government sectors.
At the forum, Abdo Chalhoub, EVP ICT Professional Services, Path Solutions discussed the ‘Cyber Security Market Needs’. During his intervention, Chalhoub shared his experience and elaborated on the latest cyber security threats, challenges, trends, and state-of-the-art solutions.
Organized by the Union of Arab Banks in collaboration with the Central Bank of Iraq and the Iraqi Private Banks League, ‘Iraq Cybersecurity Workshop’ was held on 9 - 11 December in Baghdad, where Abdo Chalhoub, EVP - ICT Professional Services at Path Solutions has given presentations, with comprehensive coverage of standards and best practices and hands-on experience of the IT and business practitioners, to facilitate the adoption of security standards and frameworks.
Path Solutions had the opportunity to celebrate and honour moms in the workplace. As we know, many moms are busy with family obligations, careers and other commitments. Path Solutions wanted to show the working moms how much they are valued and appreciated.
At Path Solutions’ India office, the team celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8. All showed up in white and pink attire. Pink is a symbol of compassion and love, whereas white stands for purity and virtue.
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