Saudi Hollandi Bank cuts nominal ties to Netherlands

Rebranding2Saudi Hollandi Bank has changed its name to Alawwal Bank, meaning “the first” in Arabic, which highlights that it is the country’s oldest lender.

The new name removes the reference to Holland, a link dating to the bank’s establishment in 1926 as part of the Netherlands Trading Society, which served pilgrims from the Dutch East Indies who travelled to Mecca.

The Saudi regulator, the Capital Market Authority, confirmed that the bank’s securities arm, Saudi Hollandi Capital, will change its name to Alawwal Invest.

The bank says the new names will appear on its branches as of Sunday, with the full rebranding expected to take three months.

The name change follows the departure of former managing director Bernd van Linder, who left the bank in October to become chief executive of the Commercial Bank of Dubai. Soren Nikolajsen, formerly of Royal Bank of Scotland, will become the managing director of Alawwal Bank at the start of 2017.

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