HSBC Qatar said yesterday it has converted its Islamic branches into conventional ones as directed by Qatar Central Bank (QCB) but declined to divulge details about customer accounts of the now-closed Islamic windows.
A senior bank official said here yesterday that since the matter was ‘sensitive at this stage’ he would not like to comment. Fadi Fattal, head of commercial banking of HSBC, said: “We would prefer not to comment on the issue as it’s a bit of a sensitive issue at this stage. But we gave options to our ‘Amanah’ (the bank’s Islamic banking operations) customers. Whoever wanted to convert their account into conventional one has done that and those who did not, have closed their accounts with us.”
Bank CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi said offhand that he could not give figures. “We had different types of customer groups, and frankly speaking, we really don’t have the figures with us. The bank just followed the directive of the QCB. Some people may say whether it (the QCB move) was right or wrong, well, I can’t comment on that but we have the legitimate thing to move forward.” The bank officials also turned deadpan when asked as to how much of their profitability was likely to be hit due to the closure of their Islamic windows.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar