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Private Banking

Ithmaar Bank’s Private Banking Department serves high net worth individuals, family investment offices, corporate entities and Financial Institutions situated in those regions. The Department the provides personalised and private banking services, financial advice, and investment services for high net worth clients and institutions through a close understanding of clients’ needs and an ability to meet these needs proactively.
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Ithmaar Premier

A banking experience like no other. Celebrate your achievements with a banking experience suited to your level of success. Introducing Ithmaar Premier Banking. More than just a superior bank account, Ithmaar Premier delivers a full compliment of products and services to cover all your financial requirements, with enhanced features and privileges that match your status.
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Sharia board

The Bank shall always conduct its business in accordance with the Islamic Sharia rules.

In compliance with licensing requirements of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Bank’s Articles and Memorandum of Association and the general practice of Islamic Banking, the Bank, at all times, has a Sharia Supervisory Board (SSB) elected by the shareholders at General Meetings based on recommendations of the Board of Directors (through the Remuneration & Nomination Committee).

The SSB actively participates in developing and overseeing the Bank’s products and business activities. It is responsible for certifying every product to ensure strict adherence to the principles of Sharia.

The SSB has full access to the Board, management personnel of the Bank including access to the Bank’s Sharia Compliance Officer who is proactively involved in: (a) reviewing and advising on the Sharia compliance of all products and investment projects, (b) auditing the operations of the Bank from Sharia point of view, and (c) producing reports to the SSB in order to ensure that the Bank’s activities are under a strict and direct oversight of Sharia guidelines. Furthermore, the Sharia Compliance Officer monitors on a day to day basis in ensuring that all areas of the Bank adhere to SSB’s recommendations, advices and opinions.

The current Sharia Board members for Ithmaar Bank are as follows:

Sheikh Abdullah Sulaiman Al Manee’a

Chairman
Sheikh Al Manee’a is a prominent, highly respected Sharia scholar from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is the Vice Chairman of the Sharia Board of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and a member of the Senior Scholars Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Awqaf Supreme Council. He is also Chairman or a member of the Sharia Supervisory Boards of several other Islamic banks and financial institutions.
An expert at the Islamic Fiqh Academy, Sheikh Al Manee’a holds a Master’s degree from the Higher Institute for Judgment and has authored several books including ‘Paper Money: Truth, History and Reality’ and ‘Economic Research’.

Sheikh Dr. Nedham Yaqouby

Member
Sheikh Yaqouby is a prominent, highly-respected Sharia scholar and a successful businessman from the Kingdom of Bahrain. He is a member of the Sharia Board of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), and is also a member of the Sharia Supervisory Boards of several regional and international banks as well as many investment funds around the world.
In 2007, the King of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, awarded Sheikh Yaqouby the Order Merit in recognition of his services in Bahrain and abroad. Sheikh Yaqouby has also received the Euromoney award for Innovation in Sharia Supervision, as well as the Malaysian Islamic Banking award.
Sheikh Yaqouby holds a Master’s degree from McGill University, Canada, and a PhD from Lahaye University in the Netherlands. He has authored four books and delivered more than 500 lectures on Islamic Finance.

Sheikh Mohsin Al-Asfoor

Member
Sheikh Al-Asfoor is a well-known and highly respected Sharia scholar from the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition to his membership of the Ithmaar Bank Sharia Advisory Board, he serves on the Sharia Advisory Boards of six other companies. He has previously been a judge at the Supreme Sharia Court of Appeal (Jaafari).
Sheikh Al-Asfoor is a member of Curriculum Development at the Jaafari Religious Institute as well as the Sharia Board of the International Islamic Rating Agency of the Islamic Development Bank. He is a graduate of Islamic Hawza from Qom, Iran and has authored more than 60 books on Islamic Sharia.

Sheikh Dr. Osama Mohammed Saad Bahar

Member
Sheikh Bahar is a well-known, highly-respected Sharia scholar from Bahrain.
He is currently a Sharia member and Head of the Sharia Compliance and Advisory at First Energy Bank, following earlier senior positions at Islamic banks in Bahrain including Head of Sharia Compliance at Al Salam Bank and before that, Sharia Compliance Officer at ABC Islamic Bank.
Sheikh Bahar is also a chairman of the Sharia Supervisory Boards of several Banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain and a member of Sharia Supervisory Boards in many other Banks in Bahrain and abroad. Sheikh Bahar holds a Doctorate from Lahaye University in the Netherlands, a Master’s degree from Al Emam Al Awzae University in Lebanon, and a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Sharia from Prince Abdul Qader Al Jaazaeri University of Islamic Studies in Algeria.


SSB’s Functions and Responsibilities

The SSB’s responsibilities and functions fall within the scope of banking transactions, but not administrative affairs, and shall include the following:

  • Approval of Sharia`a aspects in the Memorandum and Articles of Association and in the regulations, forms and policies followed by the Bank.
  • Approval of the agreements and standard and non-standard contracts related to financial transactions conducted by the Bank with shareholders and investors, etc. after looking into them from Sharia`a aspects and taking part in amending and improving the said forms, if required, as well as examining contracts which the Bank intends to conclude and which do not have standard forms previously used, for the purpose of verifying that the said contracts, agreements and transactions are free of Sharia`a prohibitions.
  • The SSB shall give a Sharia`a opinion on the products which the Bank intends to offer and issue Fatwas on Sharia`a issues which the Bank follows in conducting transactions.
  • The SSB shall follow the Bank’s operations and examine its activities from a Sharia`a aspect within the periods specified in co-ordination between the SSB and the management and ensure that the transactions concluded are for products and contracts approved by the SSB, through regular reviews of the practical steps and audit of documents from a Sharia`a aspect to ensure that Sharia`a requirements are not violated. This review shall include rectification and correction of transactions or to settle obligations and rights in accordance with the principles of Sharia`a.
  • Examination of the activities of investment funds and subsidiary companies overall, failing which every fund and company should appoint its own SSB.
  • The SSB shall propose and submit the possible Sharia`a solutions to the problems of financial transactions which are not consistent with the rules and principles of Islamic Sharia`a and contribute, in co-operation with the Bank’s management, towards finding alternatives to the products which contravene Sharia`a rules.
  • It shall provide guidance and advice to the Bank’s management through the conduct of Islamic financial transactions to help it achieve compliance with Islamic Sharia`a rules and principles.
  • It shall give the Sharia`a opinion on the Bank’s financial statements within the periods specified in co-ordination between the SSB and the management.
  • The SSB shall ensure avoidance of gains made from sources or through methods that are repugnant to the rules and principles of Islamic Sharia`a and spend them in general charitable purposes.
  • The SSB shall examine sources of income, expenses, assets and liabilities in the financial statements in accordance with Sharia`a rules and principles.
  • It shall submit an annual report to be discussed during the Bank’s annual general meeting, in which the SSB shall give its opinion on the transactions conducted by the bank and the management’s compliance with the Fatwas and resolutions issued by it at the end of every financial year.
  • It shall give recommendations on the training courses required by the Sharia`a reviewer to carry out internal Sharia`a review duties, as well as the banking events which it deems necessary for the Sharia`a reviewer to participate in and attend.
  • The SSB shall be concerned, in exclusion of other bodies, with the resolution settlement of any difference of opinion that may arise between the Bank’s management and the Sharia`a reviewer in respect of the Sharia`a aspects of banking transactions.
  • It shall assist in developing the Bank’s products and devise and introduce new products, while upgrading the necessary contracts.
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