The first Islamic private bank is launched in Switzerland

decision of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission

The first Islamic private bank is launched in Switzerland
By decision of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, Faisal Finance (Switzerland) SA is awarded a full banking license.

    * Switzerland: Wednesday, October 04 - 2006 at 09:17
    * PRESS RELEASE from (

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The company will now be known as Faisal Private Bank (Switzerland) S.A.

Switzerland's international recognition as the metropolis of private banking is not a recent phenomenon. Rather, this reputation was built over years. Swiss private bankers have earned a first-class name for efficient professionalism, prudent performance, clock-work precision and a culture of client confidentiality through banking secrecy. These strengths were supported by a seven hundred year history of comparative socio-political stability and neutrality.

The principal shareholder of Faisal Private Bank Switzerland is the Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank BSC, which is regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, formerly the BMA. Ithmaar Bank launched its IPO on the Bahrain stock exchange on 19 February 2006. The total issued and fully paid-up capital of Ithmaar is US$ 360,000,000. Faisal Private Bank Switzerland is part of the Group which pioneered the Islamic banking and finance industry.

The launch of Faisal Private Bank Switzerland is a landmark development towards building the bridge between two distinct yet complementary traditions: Swiss private banking excellence and financial solutions based on ethics derived from the Sharia.

In this respect Marco Rochat, Chief Executive Officer, Faisal Private Bank (Switzerland) SA, commented: 'Faisal Private Bank Switzerland is the synthesis of over 15 years of experience in the Swiss private banking arena with a distinctive ethical heritage. This will enable us to continue delivering an innovative platform for an international clientele which trusts our private bankers because they are also accountable for their values'.

Faisal Private Bank's commitment to cater for the long term financial well being of its clientele is secured by an international Management team which possess a collective know-how drawn from previous careers in companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, DMI, Leman Capital and SGS and within the Swiss Federal Banking Commission and the World Economic Forum. Complemented by a hands-on approach to working with best-in-class strategic partners, the Bank is well equipped to handle the wide array of constantly shifting variables which shape today's global financial scene.

The Bank's established track record in tailoring innovative wealth management portfolios - principally in global real estate - forms the backbone of a strategy focussed on engineering solutions that minimise the impact of corporate risk. In the future Faisal Private Bank Switzerland plans to diversify its services and products and to sustain a prudent attitude towards risks and market volatilities whilst delivering honest returns.

Commenting on the banking license, Khalid Abdulla Janahi, Chairman of Faisal Private Bank (Switzerland) SA adds:

    'Following three consecutive years of above-market performance as Faisal Finance, Faisal Private Bank certainly adds value by providing Ithmaar's group-wide clientele and potential partners with their own bank within the safety of Switzerland. A milestone in the history of private banking, Faisal Private Bank Switzerland also illustrates the appeal and competitiveness of a global business model guided by the ethics of the Sharia. My colleagues on the Board of Directors join me in expressing confidence in the success of our Swiss bank.'