RAMALLAH, Palestine, September 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Bank of Palestine (BoP) announced that it has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact on September 15 adhering to global principles embedded in its operations and business practice.
As a signatory to the Global Compact's ten principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, as well as actively implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, Bank of Palestine will be implementing responsible management and continuing to enhance its contribution towards building a sustainable society and economy.
Bank of Palestine is the first bank in Palestine to join the Global Compact. This initiative will contribute to the enhancement of BoP's sustainability strategy. The bank has been revising its overall strategy to integrate Environmental and Social Sustainability into its core businesses. BoP conducted in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) a comprehensive risk management and corporate governance project. The bank also adopted IFC's Social and Environmental policies, which are applied when granting credit facilities at any of BoP's branches. Furthermore, the bank believes that true progress begins with social and economic development on a community level. This has been the bank's belief and commitment since its founding. BoP has been the leader in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Palestine dedicating around 5% of its net profit to CSR. In 2010 alone, BoP's CSR budget reached around $1.5 million, and covered several sectors, including: Youth and sports, education, health, arts, culture, tourism, and other humanitarian work.
Chairman and CEO of Bank of Palestine, Hashim Shawa stated: "Bank of Palestine views its commitment to the UN Global Compact as an opportunity to further promote the bank's philosophy integrating social, economic and environmental principles into our business operations while maintaining a value system that meets the interests and needs of the bank's stakeholders; our customers, employees, shareholders, investors, partners, and local communities.
Bank of Palestine will publish its first UN Global Compact 'Communication on Progress' as part of its annual report 2011.
About the United Nations Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact is a platform for business and non-business entities to proactively network and engage in areas of human rights, labour, environment, anti-corruption and contributing to UN goals in order to achieve the common objectives of building a sustainable and inclusive global economy. With more than 8,000 participants spread across 130 countries, the Global Compact is constantly expanding its reach and enhancing opportunities for engagement.
About Bank of Palestine
Established in 1960, BoP is the first and largest Palestinian bank with the most widespread branch network of 45 branches in the West Bank and Gaza, a paid up capital of $120 million, and assets of over $1.5 billion, with over 1,100 employees serving 500,000 customers. Operating as a universal bank, BoP is engaged in retail, corporate, SME and Micro banking operations, with the largest card processing operations in Palestine. In 2007 BoP established a brokerage subsidiary, Al Wasata Securities, providing customers with trading access to stocks listed on the Palestinian Stock Exchange and regional markets. And in 2011, the bank established PalPay, a subsidiary company that provides electronic payment solutions.
Bank of Palestine's stock (PEX: BOP) has been listed on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) since 2005. It is among the market's blue chip stocks, and represents around 13% of total PEX market capitalization. Bank of Palestine was awarded the Euromoney Award for Excellence for Best Bank in Palestine - 2011.
SOURCE Bank of Palestine (BoP)