The First Shariah Compliant Bank In Southeast Europe: BBI

BBI's business is built on ethics, partnership and fairness

COUNTRY PANORAMA 16.06.2022, 11:49
The First Shariah Compliant Bank In Southeast Europe: BBI

Bosna Bank International (BBI) offers several types of financial services to retail and corporate clients. Its business is based on ethical principles, partnership and justice. The bank prides itself on reliability and top-quality service for clients. BBI is the first bank, both in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Southeast Europe, to operate in accordance with Islamic finance principles. It began operations on 19th October 2000 in its Sarajevo headquarters. It is focused on the development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and invests all profits in the country. Shari’ah Compliance is ensured by the

BBI Shari'ah Board. Members of this board are prestigious local and international experts.

Founders of BBI Bank are the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), with an ownership share of 45,46%; Dubai Islamic Bank, with the share of 27,27%; and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, with the share of 27,27%. IsDB is owned by 57 countries that comprise members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the bank has been AAA-rated by the world’s leading rating agencies for the last 13 years. A triple-A rating is given only to the best and safest financial institutions.

For the last ten years, BBI Bank has had average annual growth of 19,3 percent and is among the fastest growing banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its assets have grown from 144 million Konvertibl Mark (KM) in 2006 to 1 billion KM by the end of 2018. This growth has resulted in 37 branches in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 152 ATMs within BH ATM network, 60 belonging to BBI. The Bank is ranked third in BiH for its number of ATMs.

Since 2010, BBI and the BBI VIP Business Club have organized the Sarajevo Business Forum, an international investment conference that has gained a global reputation and prestige. This has helped position BiH and the region as an important investment destination


The Participation Banks Association of Türkiye (TKBB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bosna Bank International (BBI) to develop the participation banking sector. The cooperation to strengthen economic relations will allow the two countries to exchange information, and various events and activities will be mutually organized.

Bosna Bank International (BBI) and the Participation Banks Association of Türkiye (TKBB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement signed at the BBI premises in Bosnia and Herzegovina within the scope of the 11th Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF), held on 11-12 May, covers cooperation on issues such as participation in banking principles, mutual promotion of business relation and banking institutions, and organization of important events and activities in both countries. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between TKBB Acting Secretary- General İsmail Vural and BBI CEO Alek Bakalović aims to develop participation banking.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, İsmail Vural reminisced the first meeting with the BBI in Bosnia in 2019 and their meeting in Istanbul last month, stating: “We are at this Forum to support BBI and Bosnia. The signed protocol with BBI includes training, information elation, increasing employee experience, and development of participation banking. We met with BBI executives, determined how we can contribute to the Sarajevo Business Forum, and outlined what they need as they are the only participation bank in the country.”

Stating that they always place special importance on Bosnia due to strong historical relationships, Vural added: “We do not see our cooperation as just an economic contribution. We have always had a long-standing bond with this region. BBI's relations with our participation banks will further 

develop with the Forum, and substantial economic ties between the two countries will be strengthened.”

Alek Bakalović, BBI CEO, on the other hand, stated that they are the only participation bank operating in Bosnia and said:

“As a bank, we are the main organizer of SBF with the support of our shareholders. Bosna Bank International (BBI) has been established by Islamic Development Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. We aim to improve the cooperation of participation banks with the Forum. In this context, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TKBB to improve our cooperation and take it to the next level. We want to strengthen the liaison between the two countries. Noting that important meetings were held in the field of participation finance between the participants and stakeholders as part of the Sarajevo Business Forum,” Bakalović said, and concluded: “We are looking forward to new developments in the field of participation finance, trade and information exchange between participation banks from different parts of the world.” 

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