BIAT: Best Bank Governance Tunisia 2021


BIAT (Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie / International Arab Bank of Tunisia) has grown through a series of strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions since its launch in 1976. The universal bank has diversified its offering and established subsidiaries to provide insurance, asset management, private equity, stock market intermediation and advisory services. BIAT deploys a workforce of 2000 employees to serve individual and corporate clients through 205 branches. The bank is led by an experienced board of directors and supported by strategic supervisory committees, including those for compliance, audit and risk. All employees understand that compliance — the adherence to legal and ethical mandates — is a daily priority. The compliance committee has an independent structure that affords the autonomy to manage risks and reports directly to the CEO and board. Another independent entity oversees anti-money laundering prevention, mainly via IT tools and personnel training. BIAT goes beyond mere compliance requirements to fulfil a deeper imperative as a force for good. It established the BIAT Youth Foundation in 2014 to consolidate its CSR efforts around education, culture and entrepreneurship. BIAT supported local communities during the pandemic by donating $6.6m to the Ministry of Health fund, organising relief initiatives through the foundation and implementing strict measures onsite to protect employees and clients. It extended a lifeline to businesses affected by Covid, giving them the necessary credit to survive the storm. The judging panel presents repeat programme winner BIAT with the 2021 award for Best Bank Governance (Tunisia).