Monday 30 November 2020

ADQ wins FAB licence to launch new digital bank

ABU DHABI, October 21, 2020

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has received shareholder approval to transfer its legacy First Gulf Banking’s (FGB) banking licence to ADQ, one of the region's largest holding companies, empowering the creation of ADQ’s new digital bank.

This followed the conclusion of a General Assembly Meeting today at FAB’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, reported state-run news agency Wam.

Under the terms of the agreement, FAB will transfer ownership of its legacy FGB banking license to ADQ in exchange for 10 percent of the new entity’s share capital, and preferential access to another 10 percent of the shares in the event of an Initial Public Offering, IPO. ADQ is set to establish the new digital bank with an initial capital of approximately AED2 billion ($544 million).

The two Abu Dhabi-headquartered organisations have a shared vision to enable the UAE government’s long-term digital ambitions. The licence transfer supports FAB’s digital strategy to explore new business models and foster new opportunities to innovate and unlock the transformative power of technology and data to deliver the most secure, convenient and relevant financial services.

André Sayegh, Group Chief Executive Officer, FAB, said: "We thank our shareholders for approving the transfer of our legacy FGB banking licence to ADQ, and are fully confident that ADQ’s new digital bank presents a significant investment opportunity for FAB and our shareholders.”

“The UAE is at the forefront of innovation in the financial services space, underpinned by a vibrant mix of market dynamics, skilled talent and highly developed infrastructure. As ADQ moves forward with its plans, the addition of a digital bank will be an important development for the UAE that supports FAB’s vision to create value for our shareholders, as well as being a key enabler of Abu Dhabi’s digital agenda. It also represents an important milestone in FAB’s digital transformation strategy that is enabling us to unlock new high potential growth opportunities,” Sayegh added.

Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, CEO of ADQ, commented: "At ADQ, we have identified the opportunity to create a standalone digital bank to further enhance Abu Dhabi’s digital economy while strengthening our financial services portfolio. In a world that has seen a rapid digital transformation this year, it is no surprise that there is greater demand than ever for digital banking services.

“The success of a digital bank is predicated on developing strong governance to adhere to the proper regulations, a flexible technology architecture that allows for a customer-centric journey and solid leadership experience. We thank FAB’s shareholders for approving the transfer of the legacy banking license to put us on the path to begin developing this independent bank that we envision."


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