Al Rayan Bank appoints new Chief Risk Officer

14 March 2018

Al Rayan Bank, the UK’s largest* and oldest Islamic retail bank, today announced the appointment of Wahid Ali as Chief Risk Officer (CRO). Mr Ali will report directly to the Bank’s CEO, Sultan Choudhury OBE and will be based at Al Rayan Bank’s operational headquarters in Birmingham.

Mr Ali will lead the expansion of Al Rayan Bank’s risk function to ensure an appropriate risk environment for the Bank’s planned future growth. This growth is part of the Bank’s transformational business strategy, put in place following its acquisition by Masraf Al Rayan in 2014. Al Rayan is now one of the fastest growing banks in the UK and the appointment of Mr Ali as CRO will enable it to grow sustainably while enhancing its risk capability.

Mr Ali brings a unique experience and expertise to Al Rayan Bank, having worked in the Banking industry, the financial consulting industry and for the Regulator. He joins Al Rayan Bank from Future Williams and Glyn, RBS, where he was Deputy CRO and Director of Enterprise Wide Risk Management, Risk Strategy, Conduct and Regulatory Risk. Previously, he was a Senior Manager at the Bank of England for the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) Supervision Division, and prior Senior Manager Deloitte UK. Mr Ali has also completed the prestigious Harvard Business School Executive General Management Programme.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Ali said “I am delighted to be joining the team at Al Rayan Bank, which I believe is the leading bank in the UK for ethical finance. This chimes with my personal ethics, as does their approach of putting the customer at the centre of everything it does.

“I first became familiar with the Al Rayan Bank when working for the PRA, and my assessment was then, as it is now, that it has a bright future. There is a dynamic leadership team driving the Bank forward; it has a sound strategy and is starting to make its mark on the global map as a notable bank pioneering Islamic finance in the UK.”

Commenting on the appointment, Sultan Choudhury OBE, CEO, Al Rayan Bank said: “I welcome the addition of Wahid to the Executive team, as he brings an impressive range of experience and deep understanding to the Bank, together with a proven track record of business results. With his strong understanding of governance and risk he is the right person to join our team at this exciting time in the Bank’s development.”

Al Rayan Bank has pioneered Islamic banking in the UK since it was founded in 2004. As an Islamic bank, it was founded on faith-based, ethical principles that derive from trade, entrepreneurship and risk-sharing, in which the customer and bank work together as partners towards a mutually profitable end. These principles prohibit the Bank from investing savers’ deposits in unethical activities such as gambling, pornography, speculation, tobacco, arms and other activities not in keeping with the values of Islam. As such, Al Rayan Bank can be found in the top ten of ethical current and savings account providers, according to ratings compiled by Ethical Consumer magazine.

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 the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

* Al Rayan Bank is the UK’s largest Islamic bank by assets. Bank League Tables 2018 – a complete financial analysis of all the UK incorporated banks, Searchline Publishing.

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