65 Years of Service
On 14 July 1995, Arab Bank will celebrate its 65th anniversary.
The Bank has not only survived. It has succeeded and grown. These
simple words are the return on the investment of millions of hours
of hard work by the people of Arab Bank.
Arab Bank was a leader in the introduction of banking to many
Arab countries. It was ahead of its time in realizing the importance
of an Arab Bank and its vital role in the development of the economy
of the Arab World. The same pioneer spirit led Arab Bank to new
frontiers and further achievements as it later branched out into
important international financial centers, including London, New
York and Singapore.
Few financial institutions have flourished so well under the
same difficult circumstances and hardships as those faced by Arab
Bank. The Bank has survived throughout a turbulent periods of
history in the Middle East. Starting with the British Mandate
in Palestine and ending with the recent Oslo Agreement, Arab Bank
has been affected by almost all foreign campaigns and local national
crisis in the areas. The Bank has endured the tripartite invasion
in Egypt in 1956, as well as the recent highly regrettable civil
war in Yemen and the suffering in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Iraq. Several
Arab Bank branches have weathered extreme difficulties, and they
have operated under fire on the front lines in Aden, Beirut, and
Jerusalem. Whenever a branch was forced to close, due to war or
nationalisation, a new branch was opened nearby, reflecting Arab
Bank's will and desire to succeed.
Arab Bank has continued on the path envisioned for it with persistence
and tenacity. The Bank has not operated in a vacuum and the majority
of the Bank's management, staff, and clients are drawn from the
communities which it serves. Thus, Arab Bank's mission to serve
these communities and participate effectively in the development
of their welfare, has resulted in a strong mutually beneficial
relationship between the Bank and its clients. Whenever some other
banks have chosen the easy option of dropping out when difficulties
prevailed, Arab Bank has stood ferm and disregarded profit and
expense. Arab Bank has honored its obligations no matter what
the price of the difficulty. It has stood beside its people and
served them well, in return they have trusted the Bank and helped
it to succeed.
Arab Bank is one of the oldest Banks operating in the Arab world
as well as one if its most advanced and modernized financial institutions.
It is effectively managed, soundly capitalized, and profitable.
Arab Bank offers a wide range of services to an increasingly sophisticated
clientele. The ability of the Bank's management to employ state-of-the-art
modern technology, as well as to comprehend and adapt to the significant
factors which are continuously influencing and reshaping the Banking
industry, has become the cornerstone of the Bank's strength.
The dynamism of the Bank's clients has motivated the Bank to
outperform. Following the petro-dollar boom, Arab businesses had
direct access to the world's most advanced financial markets.
They became more sophisticated and experienced in dealing with
modern and complex financial services and products. To meet their
new needs and requirements, Arab Bank has been a pioneer in the
introduction of new financial services to the Arab World. The
innovation of the Bank have not been limited only to the promotion
of new products. It has modified some complicated and sophisticated
services, in order to better fit the local markets and improve
its services to customers. On some occasions the Bank has refrained
from offering certain product lines, because such products either
did not fit well with its clients' needs or were deemed to be
possibly detrimental instead of beneficial to their interests.
A major characteristic of Arab Bank is its concerted presence
in the Arab world and its spreading network in the most important
world financial centers, as reflected in the geographical distribution
of Arab Bank at the end of 1994.
Arab Bank entities located in Europe comprise the majority share
of total assets (34.3%) , loan portfolio (22.5%), deposits (39.5%)
and revenue (34.3%). The Arab countries, excluding Jordan, rank
second with total assets (27.3%), loan portfolio (37.3%), deposits
(29.0%) and revenue (30.2%). Jordan ranks third with total assets
(18.2%), loan portfolio (18.7%), deposits (20.9%) and revenue
(21.8%). The Far East and Australia gained over North America
with loan portfolio (16.3%) and revenue (8.2%), but North America
ranks fourth in terms of total assets (8.2%) and deposits (6.8%).
After 65 years of hard work, Arab Bank has now become a strong
financial institution with total balance sheet exceeding US$ 20
billion; shareholders' equity close to US$ 1,200 million; and
net income of some US$ 150 million. The results of Arab Bank in
1994 reflect the Bank's ability to succeed and the depth of its
financial power. We can only conclude from this that the Bank
is ready to enter a new era in the world of banking both at the
regional and international level.
Board of Directors