Al Rayan Bank (UK) appoints Simon Walker as Head of Retail Sales

28 July 2016

Al Rayan Bank (UK) has announced the appointment of Simon Walker to lead its burgeoning retail sales operations throughout the UK. Based at the Bank’s operational headquarters in Birmingham, Mr Walker will be responsible for further developing the impressive retail banking performance of the Bank in the past two years, by increasing retail sales through the Bank’s various channels, such as its branch network; field based business development managers; intermediary partnerships; and direct liability sellers.

Mr Walker, who has a career which spans 26 years, returns to the Bank following a four year absence; he was previously Head of Business Development at Islamic Bank of Britain, the former name of Al Rayan Bank (UK), for three years. He has also held senior positions at Yorkshire Building Society, HFC Bank, Just Retirement, Wesleyan Bank and Croner Consulting.

Commenting upon his appointment, Simon Walker said: “I am delighted to be re-joining the Bank at such an exciting time. Al Rayan Bank is at the very forefront of innovation within the Sharia compliant finance market in the UK, has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, and is backed by Masraf Al Rayan QSC, the highly successful Qatar based Islamic bank. The past two years have been the most successful in its history, however, I believe that there is still enormous growth potential in the UK. I’m looking forward to leading the sales team to even greater successes in the future.”

Al Rayan Bank has had an impressive two years. Following its acquisition by Masraf Al Rayan in 2014, the Bank more than doubled its operating income and posted its first profit since its inception in 2004. In 2015 its post-tax profits rose by more than 700%, from £1.2million in 2014 to £10.3million.

Commenting on the appointment, Keith Leach, CCO, Al Rayan Bank, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Simon back to Al Rayan Bank at such an important point in its history. His comprehensive understanding of both the Islamic finance market and the UK retail banking market will prove invaluable as we expand our retail banking operations throughout the UK. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Al Rayan Bank has been a pioneer of British retail Islamic banking for 12 years. The first wholly Sharia compliant retail bank in the UK, it has earned a reputation for providing innovative products which appeal to people of any faith. The Bank estimates that in 2015, 86% of fixed term deposit (FTD) customers who joined the Bank were non-Muslim.

Earlier this month Al Rayan Bank was recognised by Moneyfacts, the UK's leading personal finance data provider, in three categories - including the highly prestigious ‘Best Bank Savings Provider - at its annual awards. The multiple honours follow recognition from Global Finance magazine, which named the Bank as one of the ‘best Islamic banks in the world’, in its annual list of the World’s Best Islamic Financial Institutions, and from Trade Finance Global as the Best Islamic Finance Services in Western Europe.

As an independent UK bank, Al Rayan Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is a member of Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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