The National Bank of Sharjah has announced that it will be converting itself into an Islamic bank, and thus will only offer services that conform to Shariah law. The decision was made at an extraordinary general meeting.
According to the bank's chairman, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the move is being made after a two-year study, undertaken by independent agencies. Quoted by Gulf News, he said that it is believed that by taking the Shariah route the bank’s profitability would be enhanced.
Although the entire changeover is expected to take two years, the bank’s first Islamic products will be introduced within six months. In the meantime, the organization’s customers will be consulted as to whether they want to make the move to the new system, or whether they prefer to move their accounts to other banks.
The bank also plans to open two new branches in Dhaid and Sharjah during 2001, raising the total number of branches to 11. Initially, the new branches will operate according to conventional banking procedures.
In accordance with its new identity, the bank will be known in Arabic as "Masrif Al Watani" instead of "Bank Al Watani." Its English name will remain the same. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)