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


Mon April 27 2015 - Mon April 27 2015
ABA Hosts Meeting of CEOs of Arab Banks in London

Events , ABA Events The meeting was convened by George Kanaan, the CEO of the Arab Bankers Association, at the suggestion of ABA members who have become concerned at the increased burden of regulation on senior management time and, in some cases, concerns over the proportionality and consistency of some regulatory initiatives. The 13 CEOs, who represent both branches and subsidiaries of Arab banks, agreed that there would be benefits to sharing their expertise, with the aim of helping each other respond efficiently and effectively to regulatory requests. It was agreed to hold further, quarterly meetings, but ...


21/04/15  Saudi Stock Market Will Open to Foreign Investors on 15 June

News The Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) will approve and publish on 4 May the final rules that will govern trading by qualified foreign investors on the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul). The rules will become effective on 1 June, and qualified foreign investors will be permitted to invest in listed shares from Monday 15 June. The CMA announced in September 2014 that it would prepare rules to enable qualified foreign investors to trade on the Tadawul by the end of the first half of 2015, and the Authority has kept to that timetable. The Tadawul is by far the biggest stock market in the Midd...

Mon May 11 2015 - Mon May 11 2015
Seminar on Recent Developments in the Oil Market

Events , ABA Events Our next evening seminar will be held on Monday 11 May and will address recent developments in oil markets. Speakers will include Paul Hornsell, Global Head of Commodities at Standard Chartered Bank; Lord Howell, the former British Secretary of State for Energy; and Carole Nakhle, the founder of Crystol Energy and an Associate Lecturer in Energy Economics at the University of Surrey.  The seminar will be held at the ABA offices, 43 Upper Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 2NJ. Doors will open at 5.30pm for a prompt 6pm start. The event is free for corporate members, £15 for individu...


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...