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


05/02/15  ABA Golf Society Announces First Meeting

News The first meeting of the ABA Golf Society will take place at the Richmond Golf Club, Roehampton Gate, Richmond Park, London on Thursday 5 March. The meeting will start at 12pm with a bite to eat, and golfers will Tee off between 1pm and 1.30. There will be a meal after the golf. The cost for the event will be £90 all in. The event will be over 18 holes using Stableford rules. There will be prizes for the best score, nearest the pin, and longest drive.  For more details, including details of how to register, please look at the entry on the "Events" tab. We are grateful to our ...


Fri January 30 2015 - Fri January 30 2015
Smith & Williamson Brief ABA Corporate Members on Changes to UK Tax Regime

Events , ABA Events Tax and wealth management specialists from Smith & Williamson, hosted the ABA's first Corporate Members' lunch of 2015 with a briefing on changes to the UK's tax regime that will affect high net worth individuals and offshore corporations. Roy Baldwin, a Partner in the firm's Tax Investigations & Disputes department, told attendees that the tax authorities ("HMRC") had been levying tax surcharges on people who they believed had been trying to evade tax by moving assets through several tax jurisdictions. He also described the increased capacity of HMRC to locate taxable income and t...

15/01/15  Opportunities for Islamic Finance in Germany

News In March this year, Germany’s bank regulator issued a license for the country’s first Islamic bank: Kuwait Turk Bank. The new bank has said that it will target Germany’s large Turkish community, and that in time it hopes to extend its services beyond Germany. So what is the potential for Shari’a-compliant finance in Germany? Despite its large Muslim community, Shari’a-compliant finance is far less developed in Germany than in the United Kingdom. Dr. Oliver Recklies and Taoufik Bouhmidi advise clients on opportunities in the German banking market and they ha...


15/01/15  New Appointments in the Middle East

News National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has appointed Salah Al-Fulaij as CEO of its operations in Kuwait. Fulaij was previously CEO of NBK Capital, the group's investment banking arm. He joined NBK in 1985.  Faisal Abdullatif al-Hamad will replace Fulaij as CEO of NBK Capital. Hamad was previously Managing Director of Brokerage and Research. Nabil Nayef Maroof has been appointed Deputy CEO of NBK Capital. He was previously Senior Managing Director of Asset Management. NBK Capital has announced that it is putting all funds managed by its Alternative Investments Group into a new entity: NBK Capi...


13/01/15  Strong Showing by North Africa in The Banker's African Bank Rankings

News The Banker's ranking is based on available financial statements so it is perhaps not surprising that no Libyan banks appear in the list (even though Libya's banking system, before the overthrow of Colonel Qaddafi, was comparable in size to that of Tunisia). But the big Egyptian and Moroccan banks feature strongly: Morocco's Groupe Banque Populaires and Allijariwafa Bank are the fifth and sixth biggest banks in Africa, based on Tier 1 equity, according to the ranking. Banque Exterieure d'Algerie (BEA) is the ninth biggest and National Bank of Egypt eleventh.  All of the other five Alge...