Al Rayan Bank PLC, (www.alrayanbank.co.uk), formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), today announced the appointment of Robert Sharpe as Chairman. The appointment follows the Bank’s acquisition, in early 2014, by Masraf Al Rayan, QSC (MAR), and formal shareholder approval, in December 2014, for the Bank to change its name and brand in line with its new parent company.
As Chairman, Mr Sharpe will be responsible for the effective running of Al Rayan Bank’s Board of Directors and for promoting the highest standards of integrity, probity and corporate governance throughout the Bank.
Mr Sharpe brings to Al Rayan Bank over 35 years of Senior Executive and Board experience, primarily in retail banking. His expertise spans strategy and planning, corporate governance, risk management, audit and control, financial services regulation and M&A activity.
Mr Sharpe has recently returned from the Middle East where he held several Non-Executive Directorships and Board memberships at banks in UAE, Oman and Turkey. He was also Chief Executive Officer of Diners Club Credit Card Operations. Mr Sharpe has previously held Chief Executive Officer roles at West Bromwich Building Society, Portman Building Society and Bank of Ireland in the UK.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Sharpe said, “I am joining Al Rayan Bank at a very exciting time. The Bank is strongly committed to achieving ambitious growth targets and I look forward to steering the Bank along a path to even greater success.”
Sultan Choudhury, Chief Executive Officer, Al Rayan Bank, added, “Robert brings a wealth of Board experience and his expertise of the retail and commercial banking sector in the UK will play a significant role in helping the Bank to achieve the strong balance sheet growth it is aiming for.”
MAR invested £100m in Al Rayan Bank following the acquisition last year, which has enabled it to significantly boost its capabilities and resources. These include senior management appointments, investment in its IT infrastructure and strengthening of its product range, to encompass Sharia compliant real estate finance, commercial and development finance and a private banking offering for customers based in the GCC region. The Bank will soon be opening a new flagship branch in Knightsbridge to support its private banking operations.
Al Rayan Bank opened its doors in 2004 as the UK’s first wholly, Sharia compliant retail bank. The Bank currently has over 50,000 retail, business and premier customers and has earned a reputation for providing innovative products which appeal to people of all faiths.