A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the Arab Bankers’ Association!

We are an association of bankers and finance professionals who work in Arab financial markets. Most of our members, both corporate and individual, are based in the U.K. but a significant proportion are based outside. Nearly all of us have spent much of our professional lives living and working in the Arab world.

Our aims are simple: to foster improved relations, information sharing and understanding between the private and public sectors in the Arab world and the U.K. We achieve this through our programme of evening seminars and social events, through tailored events for individual members and their clients, and through personal interaction and introductions that are based on decades of business experience.

You will find more information about our work on the various pages of this website. For example, elsewhere on this page you can download a copy of our Annual Magazine; on the “Events” page you can download presentations given at recent evening seminars; and soon we will be adding a new page to our website -- “Arab Banking News” – where you will see a brief round-up of recent events that are relevant to our membership.

The “Join” page also contains a full list of member benefits.

This is an exciting time for Arab banks and their subsidiaries and affiliates in London. Gulf banks are looking to expand their international operations, banks in Egypt and other north African countries are finding their footing after the uncertainties of the Arab Spring, and debt issuance across the region is increasing.

London hosts the largest and most important banking community in Europe, so its not surprising that it is in London that many of the innovative new financial structures that are shaping Arab finance are designed and sold.

The ABA has been serving and promoting Arab banking in London for more than 30 years and we are as enthusiastic and committed to our mission today as we were on the day we were founded. If you are a member, I look forward to working alongside you in the months ahead. If you are not a member, I hope you will consider joining us.

George E. Kanaan Chief Executive Officer

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25/11/14  New Study on GCC Bank Performance

News Darien Analytics, a London-based consulting firm, has compared the performance of active GCC commercial banks, based on six publicly available financial ratios. The rankings are based on end-2013 figures.  Investbank of Sharjah leads the rankings, followed by National Bank of Ras al-Khaimeh and Al-Rajhi. First Gulf Bank was ranked fourth and National Bank of Umm al-Qaiwan fifth. Seventy four active GCC commercial banks were ranked in the survey. The six financial ratios used in the ranking were, equity/assets; operating profit/loans and investments; net profit/average assets; net pro...

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24/11/14  ABA's Annual Gala Dinner Sparkles

Events , ABA Events The Association's 2014 Annual Gala Dinner, held on 19 November, has been acclaimed as one of the best ever. Two hundred and seventy guests converged on the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London's Knightsbridge to see Raymond Audi presented with the ABA's award for "Distinguished Services to Arab Banking", to hear speeches from Lady Olga Maitland and Baroness Warsi, and to be entertained by professional opera singers and a magician. The event also raised thousands of pounds for charity through the auction of two pictures donated by Rose Issa Gallery. The Gala Dinner is the Association's fl...

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17/11/14  ABA Website Begins Profiling "Featured Members"

News The purpose of the the "Featured Members" profiles on this website is to help members get to know each other and to recognise each other more easily when attending our events.  The first two members to be profiled are Nabil Frik, of British Arab Commercial Bank, and David Sambar, the Board Director and Investment Manager. Their profiles can be accessed through the "Members" tab on this website: look at the right hand column. As we move forward and feature more of our members, we will retain previous features in an archive that can be seen by members and non-members. 

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13/11/14  The Political Situation in the Gulf States and Iraq

News   Gerald Butt has been analyzing and reporting on Middle East politics for more than 30 years. He is an award-winning BBC Middle East correspondent, a former Editor of Middle East Economic Survey and the author of seven books on the region.  In the following interview, he explains how recent events in Iraq, such as the change of government and the gains made by the Islamic State, is affecting the domestic and foreign policies of Saudi Arabia and the other GCC States. He also comments on the prospects for oil prices.   Arab Bankers Association: What impact do you think the...

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10/11/14  Implications of the Arab Bank Verdict: Briefing by EdwinCoe LLP

News On September 22, a jury sitting in New York found Arab Bank liable for knowingly providing financial services that helped facilitate terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas.  The U.K. law firm EdwinCoe describes this as a landmark ruling and the first civil terrorist financing case to reach a trial in the U.S. EdwinCoe has published a two-page briefing on the case describing the crimes allegedly committed by Arab Bank, and outlining the implications that the verdict has for the financial services industry. Arab Bank is appealing the verdict, saying, inter alia, that it was unable to ...