Insight & Analysis

Press release: BACB results and CEO succession

Published: Apr 2023

6th April 2023 – British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB), the UK-regulated, specialist trade finance bank has announced that today the Board of BACB Plc approved the 2022 financial statements which confirm that the Bank has successfully navigated challenging market conditions and delivered exceptional overall results. This is testament to the extensive efforts over the past two years to reshape and reposition the Bank through its strategy of Safe, Sustainable, Growth under the leadership of our CEO, Eddie Norton.

Having led the business through a significant transformation and with the confidence of a strong start to 2023, Eddie had previously informed the Board of his intention to step down at the April Board meeting, which he has done today.

Commenting on the announcement, BACB Chairman Dr Yousef Al Awadi said: “I would like to extend appreciation and thanks on behalf of myself and the Board of BACB to Eddie for his effective leadership of the Bank over the last two years. He has been instrumental in the successful re-positioning of the Bank as well as leading the organisation to the exceptional results achieved in 2022. We have been fortunate to have Eddie with us on this part of BACB’s journey and from a personal perspective, it has been a pleasure to work with him. We wish Eddie every success in his future roles.”

Eddie Norton said: “I am proud that our strategy is delivering value for our shareholders, clients and employees. We have refocused our business on areas of core competence and improved the quality of our assets and earnings, and we continue to grow in markets where we have deep knowledge. I feel privileged to have led a team that has delivered a 37% increase in year-on-year operating income and a fivefold increase in adjusted Profit Before Tax. BACB now has a robust business model, and with the continued support of the Board, under the leadership of Dr Yousef Al Awadi, and our shareholders, especially Libyan Foreign Bank, is well positioned for further growth.”

Today, BACB has also announced the appointment of Paul Jennings as CEO, effective from 11 April. Paul has been part of BACB for the past two years, first in his capacity as an Independent Non-Executive Director prior to joining the Executive management of the Bank in November 2021 as Chief Banking Officer and Deputy CEO. Paul is an experienced global executive with an impressive 40-year track record in the financial services sector. He is a Board member of Banca UBAE SpA and previously served on the Boards of ABC Islamic Bank as Deputy Chairman, Banco ABC Brasil S.A., Libyan British Business Council (LBBC) and the Arab Bankers Association. Prior to joining BACB, Paul spent in excess of 20 years with ABC Group holding key positions including Group Head, Global Trade Finance and six years as Managing Director and CEO of ABC International Bank plc. The appointment is subject to Regulatory approval.

Dr Yousef Al Awadi commented: “Paul is a natural fit as Chief Executive Officer, he is a leader with a proven track record in banking. His wealth of knowledge not only in executive leadership of financial institutions, but also of our specialist markets and product offering, makes him the perfect choice for this role. His appointment comes at a very important time for BACB following a year of strong performance across our lines of business.”

Upon his appointment as CEO, Paul Jennings commented: “I consider it to be an honour and a privilege to be entrusted by BACB’s shareholders and Board members led by Dr Al Awadi with this responsibility. Since joining BACB I have developed a good understanding of the Bank’s heritage and footprint endorsed by its 50-year history in the City of London. During my time with BACB I have been extremely impressed by the knowledge, experience and commitment from my colleagues across the entire Bank and it is with their support that I look forward to leading BACB as we continue the journey of safe and sustainable growth.”

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