The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) dismissed on Thursday the chairman and managing director of the Commercial International Bank (CIB) Hisham Ezz Al-Arab over what the CBE described as “serious violations of the Central Bank’s laws, decisions and norms.”
In a letter sent to the CIB’s CEO Hussein Abaza, the CBE said, “The field inspection conducted in your bank revealed serious violations… [as well as] very weak control and supervisory measures on the granting and pursuance of loans.”
The CBE added that it found deficiencies in the bank’s internal auditing, which resulted in “huge financial losses for the bank.”
“The CBE sees that there is a danger on the bank from these negative practices, which can be described as financial crimes,” the CBE said.
The CBE’s letter has gone viral online in Egypt on social media and news websites.
Neither the CBE nor Hisham Ezz Al-Arab have issued any public statement.
The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) has halted trading for CIB shares based upon a request from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), according to a statement on Thursday.
The bank reported net profits of EGP 4.997 billion during the first half of 2020.
The CIB, one of Egypt’s leading private sector banks, has assets worth $24.89 billion, according to CIB data in June.
In April 2020, the CIB acquired a 51 percent stake in Kenya’s Mayfair Bank.
Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, who served as chairman of the CIB since 2002, had been considered one of the top bankers in Egypt and in the Arab world. He was recognised in 2016 by Euromoney for his “Outstanding Contribution to Financial Services in the Middle East” and was EMEA Finance’s “Best CEO in Egypt and Africa” at the magazine’s 2014 Banking Awards.
In July 2017, the CIB was named the World's Best Bank in the Emerging Markets by Euromoney at the Global Awards for Excellence ceremony. It was the first time for a bank from Egypt, Africa or the Middle East to win this award.
Ezz Al-Arab is also the chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Banks, the chairman of Board of Trustees of the CIB Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo.
Ezz Al-Arab, who graduated from the faculty of Commerce at Cairo University, joined the CIB after a career at Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch in Manama, New York and Cairo.