In line with the Bank’s growth strategy, Banif Bank (Malta) plc has opened a new branch in Rabat to cater for the needs of Rabat residents and those residing in the immediate vicinities. The new branch was inaugurated by the Hon. Prime Minister on the 2nd August 2011 in the presence of the Bank’s top officials, local dignitaries, Bank clients and employees.
Banif Bank’s Chairman, Mr. Joseph Sammut welcomed the guests and thanked the Hon. Prime Minister for accepting the Bank’s invitation for the official opening of the branch. Mr. Sammut highlighted that despite the difficult international economic environment, which has brought about new market realities, Banif Bank is still pursuing its policy of business growth, as well as investing in the local economy. This new branch increases the Bank’s retail network to 9 branches, complemented with a corporate and business banking unit, a private banking arm, electronic banking facilities and trade finance solutions.
“Today Banif is considered as one of the leading commercial banks in Malta. The awards for Best Banking Group awarded by World Finance for two consecutive years are clear proof that Banif is also highly regarding by fellow professionals in the financial services sector”, continued Mr. Sammut.
During his address, Banif Bank’s CEO, Mr. Joaquim F. Silva Pinto reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to keep moving forward. “Our retail network has now been extended to nine different localities and will keep growing until we, and the market we serve, feel that we have the right dimension to provide the best level of service possible. This is an unequivocal demonstration of the soundness of the project and the commitment of the Bank’s management and shareholders to reach their targets,” said Mr. Silva Pinto.
“As one of the largest foreign direct investments made in Malta over the last years, Banif Bank has been fully designed to serve this market and support the Maltese economic development and growth, through the commitment of the dedicated employees”, continued the CEO. “We are constantly working to find better options for the large customer portfolio that have already shown their trust in the Bank. We believe that we can make a difference and that this new branch in Rabat will be another important landmark that will remain imprinted in the rich history of this locality,” concluded Mr. Silva Pinto.
Speaking about the Government’s initiatives in this sector, the Hon. Prime Minister said, “Our policies have generated positive results. Malta’s growth rate stands at 2.3%, which is higher than both European and euro area averages. Assets to all credit institutions rose to €49.5 billion in 2010. And deposits of all credit institutions reached the €26 billion mark, an increase of €5 billion in three years.
The growth of the financial services sector has also translated into more and better jobs for Maltese graduates. Eurostat statistics released just yesterday show that at 6.2%, Malta has the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the EU. This puts it in line with the strongest economies in the euro area – Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Germany.
On a purely sectoral level, 9,599 jobs are supported by the financial services sector today, an increase of 1,072 jobs in three years. It is clear that in order to sustain this growth, more young students need to be attracted to this sector. In the last academic year, 2,000 full time students were enrolled in the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy within the University of Malta and 800 students read courses in the sector at MCAST.”
After the speeches, the Hon. Prime Minister unveiled a commemorative placard to mark the opening of the new branch, followed by the blessing of the premises by Can. Fr. Louis Suban, Archpriest of the Rabat Parish Church.
Banif Bank’s branch in Triq il-Karrijiet will be managed by Mr. Darren Mascena. It will be open for the public from Monday to Friday between 8.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. and on Saturdays between 8.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. excluding Bank and public holidays.