Hisham Ezz El-Arab has decided to step down from his role as chairman and managing director of Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB), effective immediately, the bank announced on Friday.
The bank’s board of directors said in a statement that it had convened in an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the contents of a letter received that morning from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) relaying a central bank board meeting’s decision to discharge Ezz El-Arab from his role due to “serious violations.”
The central bank’s board had issued the following resolution, the CIB statement said: “In accordance with article 144 (i) of the central bank and banking law no. 194 of 2020, the board of the CBE resolved at its meeting held on October 20, 2020, to discharge the chairman and managing director of Commercial International Bank.”
“In view of the above, Mr. Hisham Ezz El-Arab has decided to step down from his responsibilities as chairman and managing director, effective immediately,” read the statement.
The CIB statement said its board takes regulatory findings very seriously, and it will review and investigate, in coordination with the bank’s external auditors, all the issues identified by the central bank its latest review, when provided, and will ensure necessary enhancements are made as required, in line with sound banking practices and prevailing regulations.
The board extended its gratitude to Ezz El-Arab for his dedication and services rendered over the years, which saw the bank grow and become one of the best, most globally recognised and most profitable financial institutions in the region, and saw CIB be recognised multiple times as “the best bank in emerging markets.”
The board also announced it had unanimously decided to appoint Sherif Samir Samy, the current chairman of the governance and nomination committee, to assume the responsibilities of non-executive chairman of the board, subject to CBE approval.
The board also said that its non-executive board members were later invited to a meeting with CBE Governor Tarek Amer, during which he expressed his continued support for CIB and its board.
Ezz El-Arab posted a short statement on Facebook on Friday announcing his resignation from his position on his Facebook account.
“In view of the current situation with the Central Bank of Egypt, I have decided the time has come to end my journey with CIB,” he said.
Ezz El-Arab said that he was planning to step down from his position in 2019, but was asked by shareholders to continue for another 12 months, adding that a year has now nearly passed.
“In my 21 years of service to CIB, we have built an institution, growing its market capitalization to more than USD 6 billion from USD 150 million and being acknowledged in the process as the best bank in global emerging markets in three of the past four years,” he said.
“I view my role in helping create an icon of the financial industry and of the Egyptian Exchange as part of my service to our great nation, and I leave office today secure in the knowledge that I have always lived in accordance with my values, including honesty and decency,” he added.