MUSCAT — Bank Nizwa has appointed an Omani national, Tariq al Farsi (pictured), as General Manager for Retail and Private Banking. He has a successful and distinguished track record of building and running Islamic banks and brings more than eleven years’ experience investment, retail and corporate banking in various multinational and regional financial institutions.
Al Farsi was a senior member of the pioneering teams behind the start-up of two Islamic banks: Noor Islamic Bank and Al Hilal. He has joined Bank Nizwa from Dubai Bank where he held various high level executive positions including Senior Vice-President — Head of Branches and Head of Business Development — Retail and Corporate Banking. Prior to this he was a General Manager in Noor Investment Group and was also a senior team member of Sharjah Islamic bank, RAK Bank and HSBC.
Al Farsi said: “Being an Omani, it gives me immense pleasure to be part of something this big; launching the first Islamic bank for the Sultanate of Oman. Our team will go down in history as being the pioneers of the first Islamic bank of Oman.
Until now, I’ve been pursuing my career in Islamic banking elsewhere in the region but with the establishment of Bank Nizwa, it’s a dream come true. I will be working in a country where my heart is.”
Ahmed Saif al Rawahi, Chairman of the Bank Nizwa Founding Committee, commented, “Hot on the heels of the announcement of our CEO last week it gives me great pleasure to bring Al Farsi on board. He brings a wealth of experience of retail, corporate and Islamic banking and has been a key member of the management teams behind the creation of two large-scale Islamic banks in the GCC region.”
Al Farsi holds a BA in Management from AAST University in Alexandria and various certifications in Islamic Banking, Finance and Audit.
He has completed a wide range of international professional development courses and is an active member of UAE Human Rights Organisation, an alumnus of the Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Leadership Programme (affiliated with Kennedy School of Government — Harvard University), an alumnus of INSEAD, and is a member of the panel on SMEs for Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Foundation.
“I intend to give my fullest to this new venture which will be a pride for all the stakeholders including customers, employees and the people of Oman. We are going to build a great bank that will be a shining example of an Islamic bank. It will be a bank that will serve all people living in Oman, whether they are Muslim or not because Islamic banking is for everyone. I intend to build a team of professionals working with me to fulfil this dream of making the first Islamic bank in Oman,” added Al Farsi.
Bank Nizwa is currently under formation.
The bank was established in 2011 following a Royal directive to allow establishment of Islamic banks within Oman. In May 2011 the Central Bank of Oman granted its initial approval for the establishment of Bank Nizwa to the bank’s founders.
Bank Nizwa will be Oman’s first dedicated Islamic bank and all products and services offered will be Sharia compliant. The bank is planning to begin operations in the third quarter of 2012.