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


01/08/14  Prospects for the Iraqi banking system

News How has the Iraqi banking system been affected by the recent success of ISIS in gaining control over certain areas of Iraq?   All banks, both state-owned and private banks, that are operating in the areas that have fallen into the hands of ISIS have been looted, and this includes the Mosul branch of the Central Bank of Iraq, from which hundreds of millions of dollars have been taken. I’ve heard from a number of bank managers that it is difficult to work in the areas under ISIS control and that in many cases the banks have closed down for normal business.   How do you thi...


27/07/14  Eid Mubarak!

News The Arab Bankers Association wishes its members and friends "Eid Mubarak" (a blessed holiday) on the occassion of Eid el-Fitr, the festival that follows the end of the month of Ramadan.  The festival was due to begin on Monday 28 July and usually lasts for three days, though the precise dates may differ from country to country.       


17/07/14  Members and Friends Gather for ABA's Iftar

Events , ABA Events Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank (UK) sponsoed the ABA's Iftar, which was held on 14 July. Despite the late start -- Iftars begin at sunset when Muslims break their fast during the month of Ramadan -- the event attracted a large number of members and guests.  Carpo of Piccadilly produced souvenir packages of dates for each guest to take home. Photographs from the event can be seen below.


Tue December 2 2014 - Thu December 4 2014
Russian Banking Forum

Events , Partner Events Th Adam Smith Institute will hold its annual Russian Banking Forum on 2 - 4 December at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London. The conference will include speakers from Russian banks and European banks based in Russia and will address issues of banking strategy, regulation and risk management affecting Russian banks.  ABA members may receive a 15% discount on the attendance fee using the code AS2333ABA when registering through the website http://www.russian-banking.com/AS2333PRABAr The draft agenda is attached below. More details of the conference will be posted here when they a...


07/07/14  Two Lebanese Banks Announce Merger Plans

News Two Lebanese banks, Banque de l'Industrie et du Travail (BIT) and Near East Commercial Bank, have announced their intention to merge. A statement issued by the banks in early July noted that the agreement between the banks still requires approval from the Banque du Liban.  The most recent Annual Reports published on the banks' websites show that BIT had equity of $80mn at the end of 2012, assets of $693mn, and customers' deposits of $503mn.  NECB had equity of $25mn, assets of $381mn and customers' deposits of $323mn.  Both banks have grown since then and the merged ba...