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


15/04/15  Royal Bank of Scotland Sells UAE Commercial Loans to CBD

News Royal Bank of Scotland has sold a portfolio of about Dh3 billion ($817 billion) to Commercial Bank of Dubai, as part of its long term strategy to exit corporate debt and debt capital market business in the Middle East and Africa. The bank has also sold exposure that it had to Dubai World and Dubai Group. In 2010, the bank sold its retail busines in the UAE to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. Commercial Bank of Dubai had loans of DH 32,167 million at the end of December 2014. Last year, Standard Chartered Bank closed SME accounts in the UAE. That move was connected to the bank's settlement with...


02/04/15  Recent new appointments to Arab banks in London

News BLME Holdings announced on 30 March that its CEO Humphrey Percy would stand down on 11 June. No replacement was named at the time. Mr. Percy has been with the bank since its foundation in 2006 and the receipt of its banking license in 2007. Kuwait's Boubyan Bank held 19.94% of the bank at the end of 2014. ABC International Bank, the London-incorporated subsidiary of Bahrain's Arab Banking Corporation, announced in early March that Paul Jennings had been appointed Managing Director and CEO, replacing Bill Playle, who had retired. Gulf International Bank announced in February that it has ap...

Fri May 15 2015 - Fri May 15 2015
London Business School Middle East Conference "The Middle East in Transition"

Events , Partner Events The London Business School will be holding its annual Middle East conference on 15 May at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel. This year's conference is entitled, "The Middle East in Transition" and will focus on the changes impacting business, economies, governments and societies in the region. Keynote speeches will be given by Joe Saddi, the Chairman of Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) in the Middle East; Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Finance Company;  Mohamad Mourad, the Managing Director of Google MENA; and Peter Dorman, President of the American University in Beirut. A pa...


25/03/15  New Survey of Gulf HINWI Approaches to Investing and Banks

News To compile the Emirates Investment Bank report, IPSOS/Brunswick conducted face-to-face interviews with 103 "High Net Worth Individuals" (Hinwis)  from the six Gulf states. The definition of a Hinwi was someone with more than $2mn in investable assets. Among the findings of the survey were: 33% of the interviewees' wealth is invested in their own businesses, with 30% in real estate and 17% in cash/bank deposits. Asked how they would invest an additional $1mn in unexpected income, 35% said they would invest it in real estate, 30% would invest it in their own business and 13% would...


Fri March 6 2015 - Fri March 6 2015
Corporate Members Briefing: Dealing with FATCA and CRS

Events , ABA Events The ABA's second Corporate Members' Briefing of 2015 was held at the Association's offices on Friday 6 March.  Experts from Allen & Overy, E&Y and AxiomSL briefed ABA corporate members on how to ensure that their operations are able to efficiently comply with the requirements of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and what they should be doing to be ready for the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). Although the details of FATCA have been known for some time, many banks still face challenges related to some detailed aspects of implementation, such as the treatment...