Adel El-Labban, CEO of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank, talks to Stephen Timewell about progress on his plans for a pan-Gulf retail network.

Most banks in the six states of the increasingly rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have tended to focus on their domestic markets and as a result remained relatively small compared with the region’s enormous wealth.

But now a few are breaking through traditional barriers, creating regional networks and realising some of the Gulf’s potential.

Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank (AUB) has been a pioneer of mergers and acquisitions in the Gulf and this remains central to the bank’s strategy.

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