The National Bank Inaugurates its 18th Branch in Tulkarem


Under the patronage of Governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) Azzam Shawwa, The National Bank (TNB) celebrated the inauguration of  its 18th branch. The opening of the new branch, which is located in the city of Tulkarem, also saw the attendance of Tulkarem Governor Major General Isam Abu Bakr, TulkaremMayor Engineer Muhammad Yacoub, Chairman of the Chamber of Trade Ibrahim Abu Hasib, the wife of Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah Rana Bustami, Chairman of The National Bank's Board of Directors Talal Naserddin, a number of the bank's board members, TNB General Manager Ahmad Hajhasan, members of the executive management team, businessmen, dignitaries as well as the press corps.

After officially declaring the branch open for business, Naserddin welcomed guests and expressed his joy to start  the new year with the opening of TNB’s 18th branch in one of Palestine’s most vital and dynamic cities. He affirmed that TNB’s presence in the city came as a result of the need to meet the pressing financial needs of the city’s and governorate's residents in a bid to provide them with more developed and advanced financial services, stimulating the economy, enhancing the region’s development process and creating new job opportunities for Palestinian youth.

Nasereddin  also spoke of TNB’s numerous achievements during 2017, which include the opening of the first banking branch in Jerusalem after over half a century of Palestinian banking absence in the area. Nasereddin  added that the bank has maintained its ranking as the fastest-growing bank in Palestine for the third consecutive year, a designation awarded by CPI Financial and its affiliated magazine The Banker Middle East in recognition of the bank’s solid foundations and clear strategy. Nasereddin  affirmed that TNB’s assets have exceeded $1 billion, and have ranked third among Palestinian banks in terms of the customer deposits that amounted to $791 million for the first nine months of 2017. According to Nasereddin , TNB also ranked third among Palestinian banks in terms of its credit facilities portfolio, which amounted to $614.18 million through the end of the third quarter of 2017.

He spoke of TNB’s regional recognition within the regional banking sector, having been named the best bank in women’s empowerment in the Middle East by CPI Financial and by the Arab Union of Banks, in recognition of its outstanding and innovative role in empowering women economically. TNB is also the only bank to provide comprehensive financial services for women as part of its Hayati program, renewing its commitment as a national partner to develop the national economy throughout Palestine.

Last year, Nasereddin explained, TNB inaugurated five new branches throughout Palestine, and this year plans to expand to new areas that are not serviced or underserviced by banks, bringing its number of branches and offices to 26 by the end of 2018.

Speaking at the ceremony, Major General Abu Bakr conveyed the congratulations of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to all those present in the opening of TNB's branch in Tulkarem. He added that the inauguration confirmsthe viability of investments in the governorate, and complements the directives of President Abbasto provide an environment that is conducive to investments through security, stability and the rule of law. He praised the efforts of Prime Minister Hamdallah and his continued support for citizens through the implementation of projects to improve infrastructure and services for the governorate.

AbuBakr added, "We hope that the launch of TNB in Tulkarem will support the local economy by providing financial facilities and attracting investors to implement projects in a healthy environment. The governorate is known for its agricultural orientation and agriculturally-based processing industries, in addition to the success of a number of investments and factories with access to Arab, regional, and international markets."

Abu Hasib conveyed the best wishes of Chairman of the Chambers of Trade UnionKhalil Rizk,confirming that TNB’s Tulkarem branch will have a positive effect on reviving the economic process for individuals and businesses. He also noted the importance of supporting the governorate's private sector, as well as implementing corporate social responsibility projects.

In his address, Governor Shawwa congratulated the management team and staff of TNB for the opening of the branch, affirming that the move is in line with the PMA’s strategy of delivering banking services to all Palestinian areas.

Shawwa said that TNB is one of the country’s most active banks with outstanding contributions, including its notable expansion into Jerusalem in service of the Palestinian people, as well as its new branch in Rawabi city, the country’s first plannedcommunity.

Shawwa went on to add that the Tulkarem governorate is an arena of focus for the PMA, and was part of a tour he undertook recently as the head of a delegation during which he met with various stakeholders including the governor, educators at the Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie as well asmembers of the Tulkarem Chamber of Trade and Industry. During the tour, Shawwa also met with traders, money exchangers and bankers in order to examine issues and difficulties related to the banking sector.

Shawwa explained that the PMA’s ongoing efforts are aimed at developing the banking sector’s infrastructure, reinforcing the financial security network and developing control procedures in accordance with best international practices and standards. He highlighted the significant progress achieved recently by the PMA in itscredit information system international ranking according to the Annual Business Climate Report 2018 issued by the World Bank.

Shawwa concluded his remarks by saying that the PMA’s recent achievements have been positively reflected in the Palestinian banking sector's performance, and its effective contribution to the developments witnessed by the Palestinian economy. The number of bank branches and offices rose to reach 337 by the end of 2017, and customer deposits amounted to approximately about $12 billion, with total direct credit facilities reaching $8 billion. The ability of the banking system to face risk by supporting capital paid to banks surpassed $1.15 billion, in addition to an increase in net profits, which contributed to strengthening equity rights, which amounted to $1.9 billion. Net assets of banks operating in Palestine equaled approximately $15.5 billion.Shawwa wished TNB continued success and progress.