Tuesday 22, March 2016

Manama – MENA Herald: Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has joined the Pearl Initiative, the leading Gulf business-led organization promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as a key driver of competitiveness across the Region. As a partner of the Pearl Initiative, Bahrain Islamic Bank will encourage the implementation of corporate governance practices and gender diversity in leadership at workplaces throughout the region.
Bahrain Islamic Bank is the first Islamic bank to have been founded in Bahrain and the fourth in the Gulf region. BisB is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance, in accordance with the Central Bank of Bahrain’s High-Levels Control Module. The bank looks to balance entrepreneurship, compliance and industry best practices, while creating value for all stakeholders.
BisB’s partnership with the Pearl Initiative demonstrates its leadership and commitment to supporting and promoting specific ethical behavior and business practices, and creating an internal corporate culture with standards of transparency, accountability, social responsibility and corporate governance. Through its association, BisB will participate in dialogue forums and capability-building seminars, facilitate engagement with peers and work alongside Pearl Initiative to encourage social entrepreneurship across the Region.
Speaking on the importance of corporate governance in the Gulf Region, Hasan Jarar, CEO of Bahrain Islamic Bank, said: “In today’s regulatory environment, the adoption of appropriate corporate governance systems is imperative for the success of any business. As a bank, one of the key areas we look at when analyzing the credit-worthiness of a corporate borrower is its structure and corporate governance policies.”
He added: “We view the Pearl Initiative as a trailblazer in the Gulf as the region’s first independent, private-sector led organization promoting corporate governance and transparency in businesses. The select list of partners includes some of the most respected companies and organizations in the region. As the Pearl Initiative’s first partner in the banking sector in Bahrain, BisB considers it a privilege to be in the company of such distinguished names – all game changers in their respective domains”
Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative, said: “Companies in the GCC region have made major strides in improving corporate governance, accountability and transparency practices. There is, however, still some work to be done to ensure the implementation of best practices across businesses in the region. The Pearl Initiative believes that the best way to promote these practices is to work collaboratively with the private sector, encouraging it to proactively take the lead in raising standards of governance and integrity .This will lead to more successful businesses and healthier economies. We are proud to partner with Bahrain Islamic Bank and hope to encourage there major financial institutions and companies to pursue stronger corporate governance policies.”
The Pearl Initiative will continue its activities across all areas of corporate accountability, transparency and governance throughout 2016. As part of the first phase of its Diversity in Business Leadership programme, the Pearl Initiative released the ‘Women’s Careers in the GCC: The CEO Agenda’ report in early 2015. 2016 will witness the launch of its second phase and include a case study report on companies in the GCC region that have been successful in attracting, retaining and promoting female employees to senior roles.
In 2016, the Pearl Initiative will also launch its Corporate Reporting Best Practices programme through creating a ‘circle of practice’ – a GCC-based group of financial leaders -to drive further progress and implementation in integrated reporting. The programme will continue to educate, raise awareness and spread the business case for this important financial practice.
Since its establishment in 2010, the Pearl Initiative has developed a network of more than 40 partners across the GCC region. Through various engagement channels, the Initiative promotes the benefits of corporate accountability and transparency to inspire companies in the Gulf region to adopt best practices that help shape a sustainable economic and social environment.