Press Releases
print

Bank of Palestine and IFC Launch New Corporate Governance Framework, Strengthen Financial Sector


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa

Phone: +202 24 61 42 30

E-mail:
RMustafa@ifc.org


Ramallah, West Bank, February 24, 2011—Bank of Palestine today introduced a new corporate governance framework, developed with assistance from IFC, that improves the bank’s oversight capacity and supports economic growth in West Bank and Gaza.

The bank’s new corporate governance framework includes policy and structural changes that will strengthen its capacity for private sector lending over the long term. Key changes include revised board committees, improved board working procedures, clarified board-management authorities, ongoing board performance evaluations, and improved disclosure practices.


“The goal was to build on our already sound foundation and find ways to improve the way we function from the board level down into the organization,” said Hashem Shawa, Chairman of the Bank of Palestine. “We feel strongly about the notion of continuous improvement, and always want to be sure we have world class practices in place to support our evolving business.”


Dr. Jihad Al Wazir, Governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, hailed the Bank of Palestine’s new corporate governance regulations as important examples for the entire Palestinian banking sector. The new regulations stem largely from corporate governance guidelines introduced by the PMA in 2009.


IFC Advisory Services helped Bank of Palestine, the largest private financial institution of Palestinian origin, introduce these changes, which are part of a broader effort to strengthen the Bank’s overall governance and risk management practices. The Bank’s board of directors recently approved other changes in key functions, such as credit risk, market risk and operational risk, which are now being implemented.    


“Sound corporate governance and risk management practices help ensure that financial institutions remain strong and are able to play a catalytic role in helping  the region’s economies grow,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe.


About IFC


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.