Good corporate governance – in the sense of practices that promote continuity, consistency, and effectiveness – was of special importance in 2018 not only because of the challenging economic and business environment that prevailed in Lebanon during the year, and the growing spectrum of risks, but also in view of the increasingly complex and demanding domestic and international banking regulatory framework. This includes the entry into effect of IFRS 9 that requires the adoption and implementation of specific new policies, as well as special supervision by the Board of Directors and the Audit and Risk Committees.
As a bank with a historic tradition in Lebanon, which is also majority-owned by and responsible towards one of the largest banking groups in the Arab world, BML’s management philosophy is based on the careful application of modern best-practice policies and procedures in all areas of governance, compliance and risk management. Essentially, this means ensuring that the Bank’s business and operations are conducted with integrity and in compliance with the relevant laws and external and internal regulatory guidelines and directives, including primarily the regulatory directives and decisions of the Central Bank of Lebanon and evolving international banking regulations and standards on risk management, financial ratios, and transparency and disclosures requirements.
BML’s world-standard risk management policies and procedures are geared to help make better business decisions, identify potential problems and concerns at an early stage, and consequently ensure financial soundness. It is an ongoing process comprising a continuous identification and analysis of business and client risk, and then its management and control in line with the overall risk appetite, and sector and client limits set by the Executive Committee.
BML aims to be at the forefront of the banking industry in Lebanon in all that. Its governance philosophy also aims to ensure the strict observance of staff ethics and respect to clients, and correspondingly a “fairness to staff’ policy that is counterbalanced by staff accountability standards. The governance, risk management and compliance structure thus comprises BML’s Board of Directors supported by four Board Committees and seven Management Committees. Overall business strategy is set by the Board of Directors and executed by Senior Management which in turn is supported in its tasks by the Bank’s Management Committees.
Board of Directors
BML’s Board of Directors sets its overall strategic direction and objectives, and directs its realization through management supervision and control. The board ensures that the Bank’s business and all related activities and operations are carried out in compliance with the relevant prevailing domestic and international banking laws and regulations and best practice principles.
Headed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banque Misr, BML’s eleven-member Board of Directors, out of which there are four Independent Members, includes among its members the Bank’s Executive General Manager, a representative of Banque Misr and eight other members chosen from the banking and business community in Lebanon and Egypt. In carrying out its oversight and management responsibilities, the Board is directly supported by the Board Audit Committee, the Board Risk Management Committee, the Board Nomination & Remuneration Committee, and the Board Compliance Committee.