ADIB signs MOU with Israel’s Bank Leumi

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the biggest Sharia-compliant bank in the emirate, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Israel’s second-largest lender Bank Leumi as the UAE and Israel normalise relations, according to The National.

ADIB and Bank Leumi will explore areas for future cooperation in the UAE, Israel and other international markets, ADIB said in a statement on Wednesday.

The MoU, signed by Khamis Buharoon, ADIB’s vice chairman and Hanan Friedman, president and chief executive of Bank Leumi, will enable the banks to work together to serve entities in the UAE and Israel with services such as cash management, trade finance, corporate accounts and foreign exchange solutions.

As new business and trade opportunities open up, both banks will also look to support the banking needs of individuals travelling to Israel or businesses looking to benefit from access to new markets, according to the statement.

The agreement will “support our retail and corporate banking customers in their banking needs when travelling or opening businesses in Israel”, Mr Buharoon said.

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender, on Wednesday also announced separate agreements with Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi.

The announcements come after the UAE and Israel on Tuesday signed the Abraham Accord at the White House to normalise relations. The deal with Israel allows for bilateral investments and the growth of the tourism, aviation, security, telecoms, technology, financial services, energy and healthcare sectors in both countries.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE’s biggest bank by assets, is also in discussions with Israeli lenders. These talks are intended to establish relationships that focus on correspondent banking, bilateral trade, technology and innovation, it said in a September 1 tweet.

The chairman of Fatwa & Shari’a Supervisory Board of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is Mufti Taqi Usmani, who is an internationally-reknowned Islamic scholar assuming key Islamic positions in various organizations, for example vice president and Shaykh-ul-Hadees at Jamia Darululoom Karachi, chairman at International Shariah Standard Council, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, chairman at Centre for Islamic Economics Pakistan, chairman Shariah board at Meezan Bank etc.

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