Arab Bank under attack

Arab Bank Helped Saudi Charity Pay Bomber Families, Suit Says

A Saudi charity that has collected more than $100 million for Palestinians made payments to the relatives of suicide bombers through Arab Bank Plc, which has a branch on New York’s Madison Avenue, according to a lawsuit.

The Saudi Committee in Support of the Intifada Al-Quds paid $5,316 to relatives of Izz Ad-Din al-Masri, who killed himself and 15 others at a Sbarro Inc. pizzeria in Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001, according to the complaint by the families of U.S. citizens slain by Palestinian terrorists. Payments to the families of five other bombers and gunmen are also on the group’s Web site, according to the Jan. 21 filing in federal court in Brooklyn.

Amman, Jordan-based Arab Bank knew the payments were designed to encourage terrorism, according to the civil complaint, which seeks $2 billion. The lawsuit follows a similar action filed in July and contains more details about the payments. The bank called the allegations in the first suit "unfair and untrue."’

Source: [Bloomberg]

I don’t know if these allegations have even a smidgen of truth to them, but regardless, I thought I’d vent a bit about what really annoyed me about Arab Bank during the three years I had an account there. I could not stand their run-down, dirty, smoking-friendly branches! They didn’t appear willing to invest even a little of those big dollars they’ve got in the branches. They didn’t seem to care at all about providing customers with a more comfortable environment. Unlike many banks in Jordan that are constantly refurbishing and improving their offices, Arab Bank branches always seemed to be at a standstill. Grrrrr!

16 thoughts on “Arab Bank under attack”

  1. 2 days ago, I was asked by the company I work for to open an Account there. I totally refused, asking them to have my salary transfered to my existing account in another bank, and I am willing to take any delay or comissions related to it. Last thing I ever want is to have to deal regularly with the Arab Bank. They have this “Take it or leave it” and “Take-your-money-and-go” toward thier clients which I really can’t stand.

  2. Should I expect the bank to go bankrupt soon after you two have closed your accounts. By the way, what does the Arab bank give as an interest on long term investments ! Maybe it does not have to go bankrupt anymore ! (just kidding folks ! )

  3. This topic really touched a nerve with me. I absolutely abhor the banks in Jordan. Simply put, the are very unorganized, unprofessional, have many workers who have no idea what they are doing, and are not customer friendly.
    I have read about how much these banks make from us depositing our money with them…it is outragious when you think of the service you get in return. Most of the workers are lazy, have no idea how to do things without the manager coming to help them, there is no organization, getting charged outragious amounts to cash traveller’s checks, and extremely poor service. Simple things as depositing and W/D take way too much time. Customers must sign this and then sign that….Bank Rep: “I’ll be right back, I have to check with the manager.”, “Sir, the signatures don’t match so this is not you”….”Yes, I can see that your ID identify’s you…but since your signatures don’t match we cannot help you.”, “Sir you opened your money at the Amman branch, and you have to go there to modify your account….Yes we are the same bank.”, “We don’t allow you to withdraw US dollars here even though you can deposit them here”
    I really dread going into any bank there. Cairo-Amman is the worst. The Housing Bank is better in some locations…but not by much. Wherever you do you banking, you bascially have to yell, bite, push, shove and fight your way to the teller window.

  4. This is not the point. We are not talking about their service performance. We were talking about whether the allegations are right or wrong.

  5. It is support for a cause in the US too, just a cause that the state frowns on supporting.
    It is interesting that they say the bank knew it was designed to encourage terrorism, because in general I don’t think you can expect a bank to research the recipient of every $5K wire. I wonder what their support for that is.
    Would it be different if they were donating money to the families of the 9-11 terrorists?

  6. Isam,
    I don’t think bombing a pizzeria and killing 15 people helps the Palestinian cause. As a result I won’t be thrilled if I know that my bank was supporting these acts. And of course, at the same time I would be furious if my US bank supported the IDF! Actually, I won’t be happy if my bank supports any political cause. I wish they would just stick to business!

  7. I disagree with you Natasha.
    I don’t think that the bank intendeed to “support these acts” as they said.
    I think that we must look at it from some other perspective and I don’t see why their service is the thing being discussed in this post 🙁

  8. Well Nader, I like the fact that you disagree with me. This is what makes the debate more interesting. I mentioned their customer service simply because I think this bank is bad news, regardless of the allegations mentioned in the article!

  9. Natasha,
    Sending money to the families of those who do suicide missions does not mean support for the act. Remember that those families have their houses destroyed over their belongings if one of their family members was involved in such mission. Providing them with financial support to help them stand-up after such actions (destruction of house) by the Israeli army would be a “Support-for-a-cause” as here we are talking about the injustice of punishing the family and destruction of their houses.

  10. Isam,
    I see your point, but of all the Palestinians whose houses were destroyed by the Israelis, choosing to send money to the bomber’s family is seen as a form of encouragement. Something like, bomb yourself, we will take care of your family after your death. There are tons and tons of ways to support the Palestinians, I don’t think sending money to the family of the bombers should be considered a support for the cause as I still don’t see how the suicide bombers helped the Palestinian strife. I don’t get it!

  11. Isam,
    I have to side with Natasha here. It looks like the banks are simply supporing the suicide bomber and their cause. If the banks really cared about the Palestinian causes why not spread the money around to all (unemployment is widespread and alot of people are poor)…not just those who family members of homicidal maniacs.
    Nader, I see critizing the customer service from this standpoint, Why don’t the banks take that money they send and use it for better wages, training, and facilities for their workers and customers. $5000 could do a lot to remodel the banks.

  12. Strangely enough, I think I am coming down on the side of the bank. I don’t know if you can fault a bank for allowing transfers (it wasn’t the banks money, it was just transferred through it I think) to people who themselves are not involved in committing any terrorist acts. I mean is no one allowed to transfer money to these people again? The bank is just delivering the funds.
    The charity may indeed be encouraging terrorism. If a suicide bomber’s residence is destroyed it is as a disincentive to other suicide bombers. Giving them money then takes away that disincentive and therefore encourages the act. I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but it definitely encourages terrorism.

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