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Here Are The Top Ten Largest Banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council Region

In the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are home to some of the largest banks in the entire Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The GCC, home to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is an intergovernmental organization made up of the six members. The region overall has a strong and very active banking sector. What are the top ten largest banks in the region? 

For those who have been or at somewhat familiar of the GCC region, a brief overview of  region helps understand the landscape of the territorial reach. The member states of the GCC make up over 1 million square miles with a population estimate of over 54 million people within the six nations. The total gross domestic product (GDP) of GCC nations is nearly $3.5 trillion.

The area, as part of its economic transformation to be some of the wealthiest nations in the world, has attracted people from across the world. In 2016 the entire population of the GCC was nearly half comprising of foreign nationals, or expatriates, coming from across all parts of the world. In terms of GDP per capital, out of the top ten countries in the world with the highest figure, three of them are actually in the GCC – Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar.

We at The FinTech Times compiled the top ten largest banks in the GCC region and ranked them (based on asset. Combined, our top ten list would be valued at over $1 trillion USD.

Here is the list of the Top 10 Largest Banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region from us:


Here are the top ten largest banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region SOURCE The FinTech Times August 2020


According to their various corporate websites in terms of company description, here are a brief synopsis of each of the top ten banks:

#10 – SAMBA FINANCIAL GROUP (Saudi Arabia) – Samba Financial Group’s first branch was established in 1955 in Jeddah and operates as a fully licensed bank since 1987. The bank operates over 70 branches offering personal finance, private banking and business banking. The total estimated value of assets is at $68.1 billion.

#9 – SABB (Saudi Arabia) – Known as SABB, the bank was originally the British Bank of the Middle East before being acquired by HSBC in 1978. The bank offers retail banking for Saudi nationals and expatriates, as well as services for business of any size and corporate banking. The total estimated value of assets is at $70.8 billion.

#8 – RIYAD BANK (Saudi Arabia) – Established in 1957, Riyad Bank has a strong corporate and retail franchise and is a leading financier and arranger of syndicated loans in most of the kingdoms notable infrastructure projects. With over 5,900 employees they provide a comprehensive range of products and services compliant with Islamic sharia. The total estimated value of assets is around $71.1 billion.

#7 – NBK BANK (Kuwait) –The National Bank of Kuwait was established in 1952 as the first national bank in the country. They then established a branch in London in 1983 as part of its initial strategy for investment security. The bank offers a wide range of services from counter services to private banking, as well as corporate banking and wealth planning. $96.5 billion is the estimated total value of assets.

#6 – AL RAJHIL BANK (Saudi Arabia) – Founded in 1957, Al Rajhil Bank is one of the largest Islamic banks in the world. With a network of over 570 branches, including 152 dedicated ladies’ branches, the bank serves a large customer base with a variety of personal, SME and corporate services. $102.3 billion is the estimated total value of assets for the bank.

#5 – ADCB BANK (UAE) – In 2019 Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) completed a landmark merge with Union National Bank and acquired Al Hilal Bank, setting records for the pace of integration. With a combined network of 72 branches and over 450 ATMs across the UAE, they offer a range of personal, business and private banking. $110.3 billion is the value of ADCB’s total estimated value of assets.

#4 – EMIRATES NBD BANK (UAE) – Emirates NBD was formed in 1963 by Dubai’s then ruler HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum, originally as National Bank of Dubai. It was the first national bank established in Dubai and merged with Emirates Bank International in 2007. The bank was named “UAE’s Best Bank” by Euromoney in 2020 for a fifth consecutive year. Emirates NBD has an estimated total value of assets at $121.5 billion.

#3 – NCB BANK (Saudi Arabia) – Founded in 1953, National Commercial Bank (NCB) was the first bank to be officially licensed and operate in Saudi Arabia and has grown to become one of the largest financial institutions in the Arab world. With 512 branches across the kingdom specialising in Islamic Banking, they also operate international branches and representative offices in London, Beirut and Singapore to name a few. Estimated assets is valued at $135.2 billion. Note, this does not factor in the announcement of the planned merger with Samba Financial Group, which combined would put both banks to be still in third place.

#2 – FAB BANK (UAE) – As the largest bank in the UAE, the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) offers a range of tailor made solutions, products and services for a customer focused experience. Founded in 2017, the bank was formed as a merger involving First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Their estimated value of assets is around $224 billion.

#1 – QNB BANK (UAE) – Qatar National Bank (QNB) was established in 1964 as the first commercial bank owned by the nation. With 42 branches in the region, 11 of which are dedicated to Islamic finance services, and 29,000 employees, the bank offers a range of financial services and has received several awards internationally. Nearly $260 billion is their estimated value of assets.


This was in support by the editorial team at The FinTech Times that consisted of Polly Jean Harrison and Mark Walker. 


  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

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