Islamic Banking

Arab Bank Head Dies

Paul Das, 13 July 2005

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Abdul-Majid Shoman, the chairman of Arab Bank, died last week. He was in his early 90s. His father, Abdul-Hamid Shoman, founded Arab Bank in...

Abdul-Majid Shoman, the chairman of Arab Bank, died last week. He was in his early 90s. His father, Abdul-Hamid Shoman, founded Arab Bank in Jerusalem in 1930. After Israel annexed the city in 1967, the family moved to Jordan, where Arab Bank is now the largest financial institution.

Mr Shoman was from a prominent Palestinian family from the West Bank town of Beit Hanina. The first branch of the Arab Bank was established in Jerusalem in 1930. The bank was a symbol of Palestinian aspirations, representing a drive to create financial institutions for a new nation.

The bank has a large private banking presence in Switzerland and has offices in Zurich and Geneva.

This year, the bank announced that it was closing its branch in New York, where it faces lawsuits contending that it supported terrorism by funneling donations to Palestinian suicide bombers and their families. The bank has denied the claims.

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