Regional: Best Bank 2021
First Abu Dhabi Bank
As if the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been disorientating enough, First Abu Dhabi Bank also had to contend with change at the very top this year. André Sayegh retired in January after 21 years at the bank and was elevated to the FAB Board: he was replaced by industry veteran Hana Al Rostamani as group chief executive, the first woman to lead the bank.
The bank maintained a strong financial performance, as the Middle East’s only full-fledged financing platform and leader across sectors increased its market share further in several categories.
Total assets jumped 12% in 2020, while customer deposits grew 11%. That momentum continued into 2021 too: Total assets rose another 2.7% in the six months since the end of December, while first-half profits before tax increased nearly 14%, year on year. Total comprehensive income rose more than 200% across the same two periods.
Despite the strong numbers, it goes without saying that FAB’s fourth year wasn’t what the management had envisioned.
The large and innovative institution that FAB is today stems from the merger of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi in 2017.