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


02/06/16  Middle East banks in London urge more UK sovereign sukuk issuance

News Developing the UK’s Sovereign Sukuk Issuance: Suggestions from the banks Two years after the British government launched the first sovereign sukuk to be issued outside the Islamic world, the Arab Bankers Association asked London-based Middle Eastern banks that are active in the Shari’ah-compliant market to suggest how the British government could develop a programme of sukuk-issuance to capitalise on the success of that initial issue. Five banks responded to the questionnaire. Here is what they said.   Issue Size: individual transactions should be larger than £200...


Wed May 11 2016 - Wed May 11 2016
Responding to Sensitive Situations Involving Financial Crime

Events , ABA Events This latest technical seminar addressed issues such as fraud and data theft, either by external parties or internal employees; ways in which frausters can be traced through forensic technology, and practical steps for dealing with financial crime once it has been identified. Presentations were made by Mr. Masoud Zabeti, Head of Finance and Banking Disputes at Mishcon de Reya, and Mr. Mohammed Khamisa QC, a partner in Mishcon de Reya's Finance and Banking Disputes group; and by Mr, Phillip Beckett, a partner in the Forensic Technology Practice at Alvarez and Marsal. Photographs from the ev...


18/05/16  Trade Finance in the Maghreb: an interview with Nabil Frik

News Seizing Opportunities for Trade Finance in the Maghreb: an interview with Nabil Frik of British Arab Commercial Bank The countries of the Maghreb have historically been closely linked to France while British connections, both for trade and cultural exchanges, have focussed more on the GCC, Egypt and Jordan. But this is changing, as other European countries, as well some from Asia, recognise the business opportunities that exist in North Africa, and as North Africa itself becomes an increasingly important gateway to countries south of the Sahara. The Arab Bankers Association spoke to Nabil...

Tue May 31 2016 - Tue May 31 2016
FX & Commodity Seminar: "Growth Pains, Dollar Wanes, Gold Gains"

Events , ABA Events Under the sponsorship of HSBC, we will hold a seminar on recent developments on theglobal economy, currencies and commodities, and the outlook for the future. The seminar will be held at the Arab British Chamber of Commerce Building, 43 Upper Grosvenor Street, at 6pm on Tuesday 31 May. The seminar will be delivered by: Janet Henry, Global Chief Economist, HSBC, who will consider prospects for global growth and how it may affect financial markets. David Bloom, Global Head of FX Strategy at HSBC, who will consider the current weakness of the dollar and the current rally in emerging market...


16/05/16  UK Companies May Face More Liability for 'Failing to Prevent' Crime

News On 12 May, the British government announced that its Ministry of Justice would open a consultation on whether to extend the scope of the criminal offence under which a company (including banks) can be held liable for 'failing to prevent' an offence beyond its current scope of bribery and tax evasion. If the scope of the offence is extended to other economic crimes, it is likely that acts such as fraud, including offences related to Value Added Tax, cheating the public revenue, and customs and excise; and offences related to money laundering would be included. Historically, companies were ...