Middle East's best bank 2019: Arab Bank
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Middle East's best bank 2019: Arab Bank

Awards for Excellence 2019

This year’s best bank in the Middle East has come a long way to reclaim the title it last won a decade ago. In 2009, we praised Arab Bank for its unmatched ability to survive a crisis, having coped with, and even grown during, the financial crisis that overcame the world’s markets the year before.

Back then, Arab Bank was already engulfed in an arduous legal battle over alleged terrorist financing – a litigation that lasted 14 years, from 2004, and weighed down the bank’s balance sheet with the threat of big payouts. That difficulty clouded perceptions of the bank’s worth; its conclusion last year has lifted that cloud.

Now it is plain for all to see how much Arab Bank has grown and improved under the leadership of Nemeh Sabbagh, chief executive since 2010.

Even as the Gulf’s largest banks have seemed to bombastically dominate the Middle Eastern banking sector in recent years, Arab Bank, long Jordan’s best financial institution, was catching up to their successes. It cleaned up its loan portfolio, implemented a highly successful digitization programme, and took steps to mitigate the currency depreciation risk affecting its business in Turkey.

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