Abu Dhabi’s FAB aids ADQ’s digital bank with legacy banking license transfer

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has obtained shareholder approval to transfer its legacy FGB (First Gulf Bank) banking license to ADQ, one of the largest holding companies in the area with a diverse portfolio of major companies covering key sectors of the diversified Abu Dhabi economy.

FGB was the third-largest asset bank in the United Arab Emirates until it merged in December 2016 with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi to establish First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), becoming the largest asset bank in the UAE.

This license will enable the development of a new digital bank for ADQ and the decision follows the conclusion of a public meeting held at the FAB headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Under the terms of the agreement, FAB will pass ownership of its legacy FGB banking license to ADQ in return for 10 percent of the new entity’s share capital and exclusive access to another 10 percent of the stock in the event of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). ADQ is preparing to establish a new digital bank with an initial capital of approximately $544 million (AED 2 billion).

The two organizations headquartered in Abu Dhabi have a common vision to allow the long-term digital aspirations of the UAE government.

FAB’s digital strategy for exploring new business models and promoting new opportunities to innovate and activate the disruptive potential of technology and data to provide the most reliable, easy and appropriate financial services is enabled by the transition of licenses.

André Sayegh
André Sayegh, CEO – FAB

“We thank our shareholders for approving the transfer of our legacy FGB banking license 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.”

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,” added Mr. Al Suwaidi.