November 30,2021

MENA FCCG Europe inaugural press release

Arab banks in Europe form new body to fight financial crime

The MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group (MENA FCCG) has created a European Chapter to lead and coordinate the efforts of Middle East banks to fight financial crime in Europe.


The European Chapter formally inaugurated on 29 November with nine founding members representing European subsidiaries or branches of Arab banks.


The London Arab Bankers Association acts as the Strategic Partner, and the Chapter has entered a Strategic Alliance with Themis Services, the financial crime specialist.


Dhar Solanki, newly appointed Chair of the European Chapter commented, “We are delighted that the branches and subsidiaries of Arab banks operating in Europe now have an organisation through which we can work together to fight financial crime. We look forward to building on the work already done by MENA FCCG to enhance financial crime literacy.”


MENA FCCG was created in 2016 as a force for Middle East and North African banks to take collective action against financial crime. The group comprises 13 leading financial institutions from nine MENA countries.


The meeting to create the European Chapter was hosted by Refinitiv at their offices in Canary Wharf, London. Refinitiv is one of MENA FCCG’s Strategic Partners.  Mr. Che Sidanius, Chair of the Europe Chapter, Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime, also joined the meeting and congratulated the Founding Members for this initiative.   He reiterated the importance to working together, including bringing senior policy makers with expertise and innovative solutions to enhance mutual objectives.


The nine founding members are Europe Arab  Bank plc (London), Arab National Bank (London), Bank Audi France sa (Paris), Banque Banorient France (London), Banque MISR (Paris), National Bank of Egypt (UK) (London), Riyad Bank (London), Mashreq Bank PSC (London) and Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.) (London).


Michael Matossian, Deputy Chair of MENA FCCG said, “Since its creation five years ago, MENA FCCG has built strong relationships with regional and global organisations that are fighting financial crime, while providing guidance and expertise to regional institutions that are committed to upgrading their own anti-financial crime capabilities. We look forward to extending our activities to Europe to make a collective impact.”


During the inaugural meeting, the founding members approved the European Chapter’s Charter, and agreed a work plan for 2022-2025 that includes building strong relationships with European authorities that are engaged in the fight against financial crime and reaching out to all Arab banks working in Europe to identify priorities for training and sharing of best practice compliance tools.



Either Dhar Solanki, Chairman, European Chapter,

MENA Financial Crime Compliance Group at: