KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 – Malaysia’s largest Islamic cooperative bank, Bank Rakyat, was named the “Best Islamic Bank 2014” at the Global Islamic Finance Award (GIFA) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, tonight. The annoucement was made by the bank’s chairman, Datuk Mat Noor Nawi, earlier today at the inaugural Bank Rakyat International Islamic Banking Conference (IIBC) 2014 here.
GIFA, organised by London-based Edbiz Consulting since 2011, honours banks, financial institutions, consultancies, rating agencies, insurance brokers and technology companies for their contributions and positive influence to the global Islamic banking and finance industry. Dubai Islamic Bank won the award last year and CIMB Islamic bagged it in 2012.
Earlier in his speech, Mat Noor said the bank’s turning point of its six decades of operations had been the shift from conventional to Islamic banking in 1993 and transformed its operating system to a full-fledged syariah-based system in 2003. “The board and management at that time believed that the Islamic financial system and its fundamentals of justice, fairness and distribution of profit were the way forward for Bank Rakyat,” he said.
Presently, the bank is the country’s largest Islamic cooperative bank based on assets and Malaysia’s second largest Islamic financial institution with profit before tax and zakat (PBTZ) of RM2.13 billion last year. “We probably hit RM2.2 billion PBTZ for financial year 2014 despite the competitive environment. “Bank Rakyat will continue to strive and aim to be Malaysia’s top three banks, despite being a cooperative bank,” he said after officiating the IIBC.