HSBC’s presence in the UAE dates back to 1946 when the bank, initially called the British Bank of Iran and the Middle East, opened its doors to the merchants and citizens of the Emirates.
Following its withdrawal from Iran, the bank was renamed the British Bank of The Middle East (BBME).
In 1959 BBME was acquired by The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
The bank played a key role in the establishment of a banking sector across the MENA region.
The 1940s was a period of great change with the decline of operations in Iran (which closed in 1952) and expansion into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant.
The bank was a leader in financial services in the states that are now referred to as the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, opening branches in Kuwait (1942), Bahrain (1944), Dubai (1946), Oman (1948) and Saudi Arabia (1950).
Branches were also opened in the cities of the Fertile Crescent: Beirut (1946), Damascus (1947), Tripoli (1948), Amman (1949) and Aleppo (1951).
By 1959, when the bank was acquired by the Group, it had added more offices in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco and UAE.
During the 1960s and 1970s the bank left Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya after nationalisation of the banking sectors.
In 1978, the bank’s business in Saudi Arabia was transferred to a new bank, the Saudi British Bank, where the Group took a 40 per cent share. The Group also took a 40 per cent share in the Hong Kong Egyptian Bank S.A.E, which was established in 1982.
In 1994, the bank’s head office was transferred to Jersey and in 1999 it was renamed HSBC Bank Middle East. In 2001, the Group’s shareholding in Egypt increased to 94.5 per cent.
HSBC Bank Middle East Board of Directors
- David Eldon (Chairman)
- Mohammad Al Tuwaijri (Deputy Chairman and CEO, HSBC Middle East and North Africa)
- Alan Keir (Chief Executive, HSBC Bank)
- Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi (CEO, HSBC Qatar)
- Abdulfattah Sharaf (CEO, HSBC UAE)
- Raja Al Gurg
- Khalid Abdullah Abdulaziz Almolhem
- Christopher Keirle
- Sir William Patey
- Thomas Slattery
- Chris Spooner
- Nicholas Winsor