Economic Growth and Stability
As a pioneer of the banking industry in the Middle East, Arab Bank has a long history of promoting investment, stability and security throughout the region. Indeed, as the U.S. Solicitor General said, in a May 2014 brief, “[Arab Bank] is responsible for processing financial assistance through various United States foreign aid programs … [and] is a constructive partner with the United States in working to prevent terrorist financing.”
In April 2014, Arab Bank Chairman Sabih Masri joined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other business leaders for a discussion on the importance of increasing private-sector investment in the Palestinian economy.
[Arab Bank] is a leading participant in a number of regional forums on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. [The Bank] is also by market share the largest bank in the West Bank and Gaza, and plays an important role in financing public debt there… In addition, [Arab Bank] processes customs clearance revenues from Israel that represent the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Authority revenue.” – U.S. Solicitor General’s Amicus Brief in response to Arab Bank’s petition for writ of mandamus, May 2014
In the last year, Arab Bank has increased its lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SME) by approximately 10% to reach more than JOD 494 million. The Bank’s recent project financing activities include a collaboration with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in an initiative to provide banks with guarantees for loans extended to SMEs.
Arab Bank has also contributed to environmental projects that promote sustainability. In 2014, the Bank supported environmentally friendly and renewable energy infrastructure projects totaling approximately JOD 12.6 million in distributed loans and facilities. For example, the Bank has pursued several opportunities with companies involved in solar and wind power generation, including participation in financing part of a wind farm project in Tafileh/Southern Jordan. The project with the Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) will start delivering power in 2015, and will produce around 400 GWh of electricity annually and reduce 235,000 tones of CO2 emissions per year. With this and other expected investments, Arab Bank is helping Jordan reach its national energy goal of adding 600MW of solar power and 1,000MW of wind power to its energy grid by 2020.
For more than seventy years, the Arab Bank has been among the most respected, and even beloved, financial institutions in the region. Having weathered wars, political and economic unrest, closures, and nationalizations, the Bank has grown into a regional and global player in the banking sector, with a reputation as a transparent, competent, and trustworthy banker and lender.” – Report on the Bank to State Department Headquarters from U.S. Ambassador to Jordan, Edward Gnehm, Jr. November 2002
In late 2009, Arab Bank launched the Together Program, a community investment endeavor that links non-profit organizations (NGOs) dedicated to alleviating poverty, protecting the environment, supporting educational initiatives for students and orphans and fighting cancer. In 2014, the Together Program successfully implemented 39 initiatives with 302 employees volunteering and positively affecting more than 85,000 beneficiaries across the Kingdom. These initiatives were implemented in collaboration with NGOs participating in the Together Program as well as other local NGOs.
In the Palestinian Territories, Arab Bank maintains branches that provide some of the only safe, sophisticated, and transparent financial infrastructure — a measure of stability in a turbulent region.” – Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s Amicus Curiae in support of Arab Bank’s petition for writ of mandamus, November 5, 2010
As of 2014, Arab Bank continues to rank among the top five organizations on the S&P-Hawkamah Pan Arab ESG Index. The ranking selects the Middle East’s top 50 companies on the basis of environmental, social and corporate governance standards as chosen by Standard & Poor’s and Hawkamah.