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FAQ
 
 
Is Shamil Bank closing down?
No. Shamil will pool its resources with its parent company, Ithmaar Bank, to create a single, more efficient and significantly stronger retail-focused Islamic bank under the Ithmaar brand.

The Shamil brand will be replaced by the Ithmaar brand and emerge as one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks. In fact, with the reorganisation and Ithmaar’s recently announced capital raising initiatives completed, we will have become the single biggest retail bank in Bahrain in terms of financial strength, and one of the largest players in the region.

Although the Shamil brand name will cease to exist during the first quarter of next year, the Bank’s infrastructure, management and award-winning customer service operations will only be improved when we become a much bigger, stronger bank.

This will mean added security for you.

Is it going to remain Shairaa compliant?
Yes of course. Shamil will transfer all its assets, liabilities and business to Ithmaar which will relinquish its Investment Banking license and use the Shamil Islamic Retail Banking license instead.

When will this happen?
We can’t put a definitive date just yet because there are far too many variables, but we plan to have the reorganisation completed before the end of the first quarter of next year. 

What will actually change?
We will become a larger, stronger, more efficient bank operating under the Ithmaar brand.

Our products and services will stay exactly the same – although we will probably improve them or introduce new ones as part of our ongoing efforts to serve you better.

The only real change will be that you will be banking with Bahrain’s biggest retail bank in terms of financial strength.

What do you mean by “biggest retail bank in terms of financial strength”?
In October, a few days after the announcement of the reorganisation plans, Ithmaar also announced three capital raising initiatives that will add up to US$500 million to the Bank’s capital, thereby increasing shareholder equity to about US$1.4 billion.

When the reorganisation plans and the capital raising initiatives are completed, we will be the biggest retail bank in terms of our capital and shareholder equity.

This means we will be stronger, financially, than any other retail bank in Bahrain.

What will happen to my deposits?
They will be part of the new, bigger, more secure and more efficient Islamic Retail Bank that will operate under the Ithmaar brand.

What will happen to my savings account?
It will be part of the new, bigger, more secure and more efficient Islamic Retail Bank that will operate under the Ithmaar brand.

What will happen to my car/personal/mortgage loan?
They will be part of the new, bigger, more secure and more efficient Islamic Retail Bank that will operate under the Ithmaar brand.

What will happen to my credit card?
They will be part of the new, bigger, more secure and more efficient Islamic Retail Bank that will operate under the Ithmaar brand.

Why are you doing this?
To become bigger and more efficient.   In becoming a bigger bank, we are becoming a safer one. This is particularly important in these challenging times.

In pooling our resources with Ithmaar, we will be streamlining our structure and work processes. This will make us even more efficient, and in a better position to serve you.

Who will be in charge of the Bank?
We don’t know just yet – but a high-level Steering Committee, chaired by the Ithmaar CEO and Member of the Board (and the former Shamil CEO) Mohamed Hussain, and consisting of Shamil CEO Faisal Al Alwan, and Ithmaar Chief Operating Officer and Shamil Bank Deputy Chief Executive Ahmed Abdul Rahim, was appointed to prepare for the reorganisation.

What is, exactly, going to happen?
Shamil will transfer all its assets, liabilities and business to Ithmaar which will relinquish its Investment Banking license and use the Shamil Islamic Retail Banking license instead.

Ithmaar will then focus on the core businesses of retail and corporate banking as well as other commercial banking and treasury activities on the local, regional and international arenas.

In the next step of the process, the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Kingdom’s financial services regulator, will formally notify the public that Shamil intends to transfer all its business to Ithmaar, and invite anyone who may have an objection to bring it forward.

This notification, which appeared in the papers today (Wednesday) will mark the start of a three-month waiting period during which the management teams of both banks will finalise internal preparations ahead of the anticipated re-organisation during the first three months of 2010.

Additional questions?

Let me take your name and number down, and I’ll pass them to the Deputy Chief Executive and Member of the Steering Committee who has promised to make sure all questions are answered.
 
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