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


11/07/15  Judge Rejects Arab Bank Bid to Overturn Verdict

News In September 2014, a jury in New York found Arab Bank liable for knowingly providing financial services that helped facilitate 24 attacks by Hamas. Arab Bank challenged the verdict in several ways but a judge has rejected those challenges, although other avenues of appeal are still open to the bank. Law firm EdwinCoe has published a briefing document on the recent verdict. Arab Bank had argued that it maintained sound compliance practices to prevent money laundering and terrorism, but the judgement rejected the Bank's argument that it used appropriate 'watch lists' to screen potential cust...


07/07/15  Arab Banks Meet with UK Regulators

News In response to members' concerns about the increasing regulatory burden placed on foreign banks, and small banks, in the UK, the Arab Bankers Association organised a meeting between three officials from the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and representatives of Arab banks. The meeting was held at the ABA offices on 25 June and lasted an hour and a half. The representatives of Arab banks and the PRA officials said that the meeting had been useful and the PRA indicated its willingness to hold further meetings. The agenda for the meeting was as follows: CRD IV Senior Management Reg...


07/07/15  ABA CEO Participates in China Rating Forum in Beijing

News George Kanaan the ABA's CEO was invited to speak at an international conference on rating agencies, held in Beijing on 29 June. The conference was organised by the Chinese rating agency Dagong, and the Universal Credit Rating Group, a loose grouping of credit rating agencies that are trying to challenge to dominance of the big three international rating agencies, Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poors. George spoke on a panel led by Shaukat Aziz, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan (and former Citibanker), entitled "Choice of Model for the International Rating System Reform." Opening ...

Mon October 19 2015 - Wed October 21 2015
New Libya, Oil & Gas Forum

Events , Partner Events The Fourth New Libya Oil & Gas Forum will be held in London on 19-21 October.  The Forum has been endorsed by Libya's National Oil Corporation, whose Chairman, Mostafa Sanallah, will give the keynote speech, and several of whose senior executives will give presentations. Presentations will also be given by executives and security consultants with direct knowledge of Libyan oil and gas resources and the challenges that are faced in extracting them. There will be a gala dinner in the evening of the first day.  More details on the conference are given in the attached provision...

05/07/15  The Potential For Retail Islamic Banking in Germany

News After the licensing of Germany’s first Islamic Bank, Dr Oliver Recklies of the strategy experts “RMP” and Taoufik Bouhmidi, of the Frankfurt-based specialized broker “Zinsfrei.de”, consider the potential for retail Islamic finance in Germany. In March this year, Germany’s bank regulator (known as ‘Bafin’) issued a license for the country’s first Islamic bank: Kuwait Turk Bank. Known as ‘KT Bank’, the new institution is a subsidiary of Kuveyt Turk Katimim Bankasi,  the largest Islamic bank in Turkey, owned 62% by Kuwait...