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For immediate release
BLOM BANK s.a.l- Headquarters- January 30, 2014:
BLOM BANK, in collaboration with Capital Concept, held a signature ceremony for the Investors for Gpovernance & Integrity (IGI) declaration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut on January 30, 2014, whereby BLOM BANK, became the first bank in Lebanon to sign the IGI declaration.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Mr. Saad Azhari – Chairman and General Manager of BLOM BANK, Mr. Yasser Akkaoui- Chairman of Capital Concept and top executives of prominent Lebanese financial and commercial institutions as well as an audience of journalists.
By signing the IGI declaration, BLOM BANK commits to implementing solid corporate governance standards in its portfolio of regional investments to mitigate financial risks and protect its shareholders’ rights. Mr. Saad Azahri stated in his speech “at BLOM Bank, our culture has always been based on conducting our business in the most ethical manner. A major reason that we can be so focused on this is because our management and employees are not engaged in activities other than our core banking and financial business, avoiding any potential conflicts of interest with customers.
On the same note, he mentioned ”it is important to mention the vital role of the Central Bank here, which was probably the major reason for Lebanon avoiding most of the fall-out from the financial crisis, under the stewardship of the governor, Riad Salameh. This does not mean that the banking sector here in Lebanon was a pillar of exemplary corporate governance that did not require any improvement. We all know that improvements were needed and will always be ongoing as the business environment changes and banks’ operations develop. The Central Bnk has made it clear that development of corporate governance is a major part of developing the Lebanese banking sector and we as a bank are totally behind that”.
Mr. Azhari highlighted that “by signing this declaration BLOM Bank is making a clear statement that we are a Bank that has gone from one that is simply subject to a review of its corporate governance practices to one that now promotes good corporate governance practices and we hope sets an example for others to follow”.
IGI is a platform that brings together investors and corporates that recognize the importance of best in class corporate governance standards to mitigate financial risk and defend their rights. “By becoming the first bank to sign the IGI declaration, BLOM is committing to implement the GIR guidelines and recommendations into its own ownership policies and practices, and work to further the advancement of good corporate governance practices thus contributing to the safety of the financial environment in Lebanon” says Mr. Yasser Akkaoui.
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About BLOM BANK
As one of the oldest established banks in Lebanon, if not the region, BLOM BANK has always been at the center of the country’s banking system. BLOM BANK’s universal banking services include Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, Private and Investment Banking, Asset Management, Retail Banking, Islamic Banking, Brokerage Services and Insurance Products and Services. With its continuous search for excellence, BLOM BANK provides Peace of Mind to its customers in Lebanon and in all the countries of the BLOM Group’s presence all over the world.
What sets BLOM BANK apart is the striving to make positive investment decisions that maintain a sustainable balance between society and business with the mission to provide Peace of Mind to the society at large through the implementation of various programs that serve the community.
Moreover, BLOM BANK’s strategy is based on measured regional expansion to markets with strong fundamentals and on the diversification of its universal services so as to become a leading regional bank. As a result, BLOM BANK has the widest foreign presence among Lebanese Banks, and is currently present in 12 countries in the Middle East and Europe, namely Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, UAE, France, UK, Switzerland, Romania, Cyprus, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. It conducts its worldwide operations through a network of more than 208 banking and financial units, either directly or through its subsidiaries.
About Capital Concept
Since 2004, Capital Concept has been advising companies in the Middle East and North Africa region on corporate governance. Through its alliance with leading international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), as well as through close relationships with regional central banks and capital market regulators, Capital Concept assists clients in implementing best in class corporate governance standards. In April 2013, Capital Concept became the first corporate governance advisory firm recognized by Lebanon’s central bank, Banque du Liban (BDL), to review the banking sector in Lebanon and the MENA region.