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HomeMiddle EastSaudi Hollandi Bank to change name as part of corporate shake-up

Saudi Hollandi Bank to change name as part of corporate shake-up

Saudi Hollandi Bank on Thursday said it would change its name to Alawwal Bank as part of a new corporate identity that will be rolled out over the next three months.

Alawwal, meaning “The First” in Arabic, references the bank’s status as the first bank to launch in the country in 1926.

The name change coincides with Royal Bank of Scotland seeking a buyer for its 40 percent stake in the bank. RBS has appointed Credit Suisse to handle the sale, sources told Reuters earlier this month.

Saudi Hollandi said it would launch its new corporate identity on Sunday in its branches across the country and its electronic banking channels. The process will take three months to implement, it said.

The bank’s original name highlighted its ties to the Netherlands which date back to its origins as part of the Netherlands Trading Society, which served haj pilgrims from the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

RBS’s stake is the largest holding within RBS’s RBS NV division. This is ultimately 97.72 percent owned by RBS, while Banco Santander and the Dutch government have small holdings.

Separately, Saudi Hollandi said on Thursday that it had appointed former RBS banker Soren Nikolajsen as its managing director, starting Jan. 1, 2017. He takes over from Bernd van Linder. The bank had said in October Linde would leave the role on Dec. 31, when his contract expired.

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