The 1960's brought along a wave of Nationalization which swept the Arab World as country after country gained independence from British and French colonial rule. Branches in Egypt and Syria were nationalized in 1961, Iraq in 1964, Aden in 1969, and finally Sudan and Libya in 1970. Within a period of ten years, Arab Bank lost a total of 25 branches. When Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, more branches were closed.
Undaunted, the Bank carried on its expansion. In 1961, the Bank opened its first international location, becoming the first Arab financial institution to establish a presence in Switzerland. A sister institution, Arab Bank Switzerland was established in Zurich 1962 with another branch in Geneva opening in 1964.
Even in turbulent times, the Arab Bank never defaulted on a single payment to any of its customers or partners, honoring all of its commitments regardless of the political and economical environment.