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


Thu October 1 2015 - Thu October 1 2015
ABA Members Receive Expert Briefing on Citizenship, Residency and Investment

Events , ABA Events Global citizenship and residency is big business, with many programmes now available to enable citizens from one country to earn citizenship or residency of another through investment. Several new programmes have been developed in recent years (for example, by Malta), and in late 2014, the British Government announced big changes to its own Investor Visa programme. The Arab Bankers Association organised a technical seminar during which experts from Henley & Parterns, London & Capital and CharlesRussell Speechlys explained the opportunities available to those seeking a second reside...


06/10/15  ABA to Honour Adel El-Labban at Annual Gala Dinner

News Announcing this year's award, George Kanaan, the ABA's CEO, said, "We are honouring Adel El-Labban not only for his achievements in transforming Commercial Inernational Bank into Egypt's premier bank, and in creating Ahli United Bank, which is now one of the Middle East's premier pan-regional banks, but we are also honouring him for the moral tone that he sets in his own bank and beyond. Adel El-Labban is a modern banker with traditional values, and it is our privilege to honour him." Adel El-Labban has led Ahli United Bank since its creation in 2000 from the merger of London-based United ...

Fri November 20 2015 - Fri November 20 2015
"Opportunities in Adversity": London Business School Middle East Conference

Events , Partner Events London Business School's annual Middle East conference will be held on 20 November, with the theme, "Opportunities in Adversity". It will be  held at the Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel. We will be posting more details here as they become available.


01/10/15  Saudi reserves, deficit and bond issues: some figures

News The Saudi government budget for 2015 projects a deficit of $38.6 billion, based on revenues of $190.7 billion and expenditures of $229.3 billion. That deficit figure is three times higher than the outcome reported for 2014 ($14.4 billion) and reflects an expectation of lower oil revenues duruing 2015. Remember that the decline in oil prices began in mid-2014, so the Kingdom was still enjoying strong oil revenues in the first half of the year. However, note that actual expenditure during 2014 was $293.3 billion, according to the Ministry of Finance – much higher than the $229.3 billion...


01/10/15  National Bank of Abu Dhabi Ranked 'Safest Arab Bank'

News National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is again ranked the safest bank in the Middle East by Global Finance magazine in its annual ranking of the World's Safest Banks. NBAD is the only Arab bank to have three ratings in the AA range: it has three AA- ratings.  Global Finance ranks Qatar National Bank (QNB) as the second safest Arab Bank and National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) as the third safest. QNB and NBK have the same ratings (AA- from Fitch and Moody's and A+ from S&P) but the magazine ranks QNB higher based on its larger asset size, reflecting the strong positive correlation between as...