Pakistan-based JS Bank has officially opened its first branch office outside of its home country, in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, targeting the GCC, and eventually the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The announcement follows the awarding of a wholesale conventional banking license to JS Bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) last year. As the eighth licensed Pakistani wholesale bank in Bahrain, JS Bank will serve regional businesses with interests in Pakistan, non-resident Pakistani expatriates, other Pakistani banks without overseas branches, and Pakistani government entities. Its service offerings include trade finance, treasury, institutional banking, corporate banking, and private banking & wealth management.
CBB Director of Licensing and Policy, Ahmed Al Bassam welcomed JS Bank’s new level of presence in the GCC market.
“The growing number of Pakistani banks with branches in Bahrain is a positive reflection of the attractiveness of the Kingdom’s banking sector, and builds upon historic trade relations between the two countries. We welcome this positive trend and look forward to working closely with JS Bank in the years ahead,” he said.
JS Bank Chairman, Jahangir Siddiqui said that the Bank is pleased to be contributing further to strengthening business relations between the GCC and Pakistan. “The GCC was already an important market for us which we now seek to develop further through a physical presence here. In addition to having two banking hubs in Bahrain and Dubai, the region also has a sizeable Pakistani expatriate community, including many running their own businesses who have a strong need for our services. The ties between the GCC and Pakistan, both economic and diplomatic, date back decades, and we are committed to helping to further strengthen this relationship, while also serving the business community,”
JS Bank President, Khalid Imran said that the Bahrain branch would deliver the same high standard of services and products that the Bank is known for within its home market. The opening of the Bahrain branch is an important milestone for us as it gives us our first footprint outside of Pakistan, which we plan to use as a springboard for further expansion into MENA,” he added.
The Bank has appointed Waqar Ul Islam as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Bahrain branch. An accomplished international banker with more than 38 years of professional experience in London, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, the UAE and Bahrain, he has a strong track record in soliciting and developing new business from financial Institutions in Europe, MENA and South East Asia.
JS Bank is active within Retail and Consumer Banking, Treasury, Corporate & Commercial Banking and Investment Banking services. It has a large network of 278 branches across 138 cities with plans to expand its outreach with more branches nationwide serving a growing customer base across Pakistan. JS Bank is part of JS Group, one of Pakistan’s largest and most prominent business entities.