British Bank of the Middle East


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British Bank of the Middle East

 

a British joint-stock bank founded as the Imperial Bank of Persia in 1889 under a concession granted by the shah of Iran for a period of 60 years.

Until 1930 the bank had the exclusive right to issue bank notes in Iran and functioned as a central bank. In 1935 its name was changed to the Imperial Bank of Iran. The bank’s concession expired in August 1949; since its operations had already expanded beyond the borders of Iran, the bank became the British Bank of Iran and the Middle East. It worked with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company until 1952, when it was no longer allowed to operate in Iran. In July 1952 it was reorganized as the British Bank of the Middle East.

In January 1960 the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquired 99.5 percent of the bank’s shares, but the bank continued to function under its old name. In July 1973 the entire capital of the bank was transferred to the parent corporation. The British Bank of the Middle East, whose main headquarters is in London, has 66 branches (primarily in countries of the Middle East and North Africa) and two subsidiary banks. At the end of 1976 the bank had total assets of £1,571 million, capital and reserves of £42 million, current accounts and deposits of £1,413 million, and loans and discounted bills of £1,112 million.

References in periodicals archive ?
The world's biggest bank robbery was executed by guerrillas who blasted the vaults of the British Bank of the Middle East in Bab Idriss in Beirut, Lebanon.
Had he done so, he might have broadened his perspective on the oil company, banking, and the birth of planning and avoided such errors as omitting the British Bank of the Middle East (which did not retire from Iran until 1952) from the list of banks in existence in Iran in 1950.
Its name is changed to the British Bank of the Middle East in 1971.
At that time, there were only three banks, ours, The British Bank of the Middle East and the Eastern Bank (now Standard Chartered).
In the increasingly sophisticated international atmosphere, particularly with services introduced by some of the larger banks such as Citibank, Barclays, ABN-AMRO and the British Bank of the Middle East, local methods and ways of doing business are changing fast.
The History of the British Bank of the Middle East. By Geoffrey Jones.

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