In the last few years, a wave of change has swept through the Middle East’s traditionally conservative banking sector.
Bumper oil revenues had kept the region’s economies afloat, and substantial public investment by governments brimful with cash had transformed nations like Saudi Arabia and the UAE into modern, wealthy economies. During the era of stable oil prices, the Middle Eastern banks were happy not to rock the boat. With this intransigence came a marked lack of disruption and change in the sector. The banks that were the largest two decades ago remain the main players today.