Trade finance specialist lender British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB) has announced that Paul Jennings will take up the role of chief executive, replacing Eddie Norton.

Jennings joined BACB in late 2021 as chief banking officer and deputy chief executive, responsible for leading business development and front office operations across trade finance and real estate.

He previously spent more than two decades at ABC Bank. Roles included managing director and chief executive, as well as head of its global trade finance business. Jennings has also previously served on the boards of the Libyan British Business Council and the Arab Bankers Association. 

His appointment is effective from April 11, subject to regulatory approval.

The bank’s chairman, Dr Yousef Al Awadi, praises Jennings’ knowledge of BACB’s “specialist markets and product offering”. The lender focuses on providing trade finance and related products, focused on flows to and from Africa and the Middle East.

“His appointment comes at a very important time for BACB following a year of strong performance across our lines of business,” Al Awadi says.

Jennings adds: “I look forward to leading BACB as we continue the journey of safe and sustainable growth.”

The appointment follows the decision of previous chief executive Norton to step down from the role, which he held since October 2020.

Norton says: “We have refocused our business on areas of core competence and improved the quality of our assets and earnings, and we continue to grow in markets where we have deep knowledge. 

“I feel privileged to have led a team that has delivered a 37% increase in year-on-year operating income and a fivefold increase in adjusted profit before tax.”