HRH Prince Faisal Ibn Bandar Ibn Abdulaziz, governor of the Qassim region of Saudi Arabia, inaugurated, on Monday, November 28, 2011 Alinma Bank’s operations in the Qassim region of the Kingdom at the bank’s branch in the city of Buraidah.
The ceremony was attended by a number of princes, government officials and partners (clients) of the bank. The event began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and was followed by a short speech by Mr. Abdulmohsen Al-Fares, the CEO of the bank, in which he welcomed HRH Prince Faisal and thanked him for patronizing the launch activities.
Mr. Al-Fares went on to speak about the bank’s growth and progress noting that in its short period of existence, Alinma has tallied numerous accomplishments that bode well for the bank’s future. He pointed specifically to the bank’s technological infrastructure and human resources as two areas in which excellence has been abundantly apparent.
Al-Fares also detailed recent financial results that give further reason for optimism about the bank’s future. For the bank’s third financial quarter, partner (client) deposits reached SAR 15.8 billion, financing portfolios stood at SAR 24 billion, total assets reached SAR 34 billion and operating and net profits grew steadily throughout 2010. Likewise, he said, there was rapid growth in bank operations, including the number of products and services provided by the bank to its partners via its branch network. He noted that Alinma now has 65 branches for men and ladies, more than 370 ATMs, and a full array of electronic channels (Alinma Mobile, Alinma Internet, and Alinma Phone).
In closing, Al-Fares spoke of the role Alinma has played in supporting the national economy by funding several infrastructure projects in various business sectors including energy, water, industry, trade, and housing. Alinma has also made home ownership a reality for thousands of citizens through real estate financing.
At the close of Mr. Al-Fares’ speech, there was a screening of a short documentary film chronicling the bank’s development, which began in 2006 with the support of King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, who announced the formation of Alinma as a Shariah-compliant banking institution that would be established with share capital of SAR 15 billion. The film also explained the bank’s vision to become the preferred financial partner for all and its mission to provide partners with Shariah-compliant financial solutions in the best working environment that achieves sustainable growth and to contribute to community service. It was pointed out that the bank’s vision and mission were firmly rooted in values such as respect for all, dedication to partner service, interdependence among colleagues, striving to lead, community service, creativity and initiative.
The film also highlighted several of the bank’s achievements. In 2008, the Alinma IPO was praised by local media for being the most transparent in Saudi IPO history due to the publishing of the bank’s prospectus details in all local newspapers and major websites. The Banker magazine, a subsidiary of the Financial Times, also named the Alinma IPO the best IPO in 2008 for the Middle East region. In late 2009, Alinma received the PCI-DSS 1.2.1 certification for card data security and received ISO 27001 global certification for online banking information security services. The latter certification, issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is one of the most widely recognized certifications and signifies excellence in an organization’s efforts to maintain adherence to the high standard of information security set by the ISO. Few banks in Saudi Arabia are ISO 27001 certified. Additionally, in 2009, the bank was awarded the INSIGHTS award for best call center in the Middle East, and then in 2010, Alinma received Project Finance magazine’s “Deal of the Year” award for its role in the financing of the Rabigh Independent Power Plant project.
The film also touched on the bank’s information technology strategy, which focuses on maintaining a level of technical expertise commensurate with the latest industry standards. It also focuses on maintaining the highest level of internal technical coordination and performance. With such a focus, the bank has been able to deliver high-speed service without sacrificing transactional accuracy or security. In this way, operational risks have been minimized and the confidentiality and security of partner data have been ensured. Redundancy is also built into the bank’s systems. These systems are deployed across all points of contact with bank partners including Alinma Internet (www.alinma.com), Alinma Phone (8001208000), Alinma Mobile and the kingdom-wide network of Alinma ATMs and branches.
At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Al-Fares presented a memorial gift to HRH Prince Faisal in recognition of his service to the Kingdom, for his continued support of the work of the bank and for honoring Alinma with his presence at the official launch of the bank’s operations in the Qassim region.