Gulf International Bank B.S.C. (GIB) was established in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 1975, and commenced operations in 1976.
GIB opened its first representative office in London in 1978, upgrading it to full branch status in 1979. In 1980, it opened a New York office – the first US branch of any Arab bank. During the 1980s, GIB increased its GCC focus, attracting capital to the region by financing major infrastructure deals in association with leading international institutions.
GIB opened representative offices in Abu Dhabi in 1990 (which became a full wholesale commercial branch in 2015) and another in Beirut in 1994 to support its regional activities, attracting business to its Bahrain hub from Middle Eastern markets in the Levant and lower Gulf, while at the same time servicing clients in Lebanon and the UAE.
In 1999, GIB acquired the London-based Saudi International Bank (SIB), which was subsequently renamed Gulf International Bank (UK) Limited, creating a larger, more versatile banking group. GIB (UK) is a fully owned subsidiary of GIB and currently forms the asset management function of GIB.
A Saudi branch was launched in Riyadh in 2000, when GIB became the first non-Saudi bank to be awarded a branch license in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, GIB opened a second Saudi branch in Jeddah, in the country’s western region, in 2005. GIB’s third Saudi branch, and Country Head Office, was opened in Al Dhahran in 2014.
In another historical first, in 2017, GIB became the first foreign domiciled bank to be granted a local commercial banking licence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. GIB completed the conversion of its existing branches in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a locally incorporated bank in April 2019. This new entity – GIB Saudi Arabia - is the first time a foreign bank in Saudi Arabia to become locally incorporated.
Having received approval for the move from the Saudi Council of Ministers in May 2017, the Bank will now operate as Gulf International Bank Saudi Arabia (GIB Saudi Arabia), a fully-fledged local bank offering comprehensive banking and financial services across the Kingdom.
GIB Saudi Arabia is owned equally by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and GIB with a paid-up capital of SR7.5 billion and a strategy to further strengthen and build the Bank’s presence and levels of service in the important Saudi market.
GIB's Saudi Arabian presence was further strengthened through the establishment, in 2008, of a wholly-owned subsidiary; GIB Capital LLC. Leveraging its parent’s investment banking capabilities and experience, GIB Capital offers a comprehensive range of innovative and customised solutions to corporates, family businesses, entrepreneurs, governments and quasi-governmental entities seeking debt and equity financing.
In 2010, GIB repositioned itself from wholesale banking to become a leading pan-GCC universal bank, and in 2015 launched retail banking services in Saudi Arabia through its retail banking arm, 'Meem by GIB.' Meem offers online and mobile banking services, using an innovative approach focused on technology.
Today, GIB employs 980 professionals across its offices around the globe, and provides wholesale, treasury, asset management, investment banking, retail banking, and Shariah-compliant banking services. GIB is owned by the governments of the six GCC countries and the bank's principal shareholder is the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, with a majority stake of 97.2%.