The Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) announced the winners of the “2009 Bank Corporate Governance Award” at a gala ceremony held on 09 November 2009 - the first day of Hawkamah-OECD’s 4th Annual Gathering - in Dubai. The Hawkamah-UAB 2009 Bank Corporate Governance Award was presented with the support of MasterCard Worldwide.
The winners were:
1st Prize: Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait
2nd Prize: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
3rd Prize: Ahli United Bank
Hawkamah also awarded National Bank of Oman for its Distinguished Corporate Governance Practices for the second consecutive year.
The 2009 Bank Corporate Governance Award attracted 30 applications from banks in 11 MENA jurisdictions including UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia. . A prominent independent jury of international banking and governance experts that included Professor Andrew Chambers, Mr. Charles Freeland and Mr. Alan McIntyre reviewed all of the applications and conducted interviews with senior management to arrive at the 3 top-notch banks.
Launched in 2007 by Hawkamah and UAB, the Bank Corporate Governance Award seeks to identify and honour regional banks that show leadership and initiative in enhancing good corporate governance. The Award has become a prestigious, competitive and highly-coveted bank award that highlights the industry's strong commitment to good corporate governance.
Dr. Nasser Saidi, Executive Director, Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance commented, "The Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance congratulates xx and xx as winners of the Hawkamah - UAB Bank Corporate Governance Award 2009. Our region has weathered the international financial crisis well. However, corporate governance holds the key to the region's economic growth prospects and sustainability, it is crucial for banks in the Arab world to develop and implement good corporate governance policies and practices.”
He added, “We are pleased to foster better bank corporate governance with our partner the Union of Arab Banks and are thankful for the support of MasterCard.”
Dr. Fouad Shaker, Secretary General, Union of Arab Banks (UAB), commented, "UAB would like to congratulate both banks for winning this year’s Hawkamah-UAB Bank Corporate Governance Award and we would like to thank all the participating banks in the region for their interest and involvement in the award.”
Raghu Malhotra, Area Business Head, Middle East, Gulf Countries, MasterCard Worldwide, said, "MasterCard is pleased to see the strong interest and participation of banks across the region. As a proud sponsor of the Hawkamah Institute, MasterCard supports this Award that seeks to build open and transparent markets and drives efficiencies across their economies, corporate governance practices and within the payment system."
The winners of the 2009 Bank Corporate Governance Award were decided following a rigorous assessment by a distinguished independent jury panel comprised of international banking and governance experts including Andrew Chambers, who has extensive experience in corporate governance, risk management and internal auditing; Alan McIntyre, Financial Services Sector Leader for the Middle East Region for PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Charles Freeland, a well-respected international banking consultant and former Deputy Secretary General, Basel Committee on Banking.
The criteria for the Award included commitment to good corporate governance; structure and functioning of the Board of Directors (or equivalent Supervisory Board); control environment and processes; transparency and disclosure; and treatment of minority shareholders.
The Award has given regional banks an opportunity to be recognized for forward-thinking corporate governance practices. The Award also gave them a chance to benchmark their policies and structures against global best-practices and to obtain feedback from leading international experts.