On 5 June 1939, ten banks established in Luxembourg signed the articles of incorporation of the “Luxembourg Bankers’ Association” whose task was to be the “protection, furtherance of the professional interests and consideration of all issues of concern to its members”.
Activities were suspended during the Second World War and did not resume until December 1945. At that time, the ABBL had to devote its main attention to problems relating to dispossessions and the freezing and confiscation of assets during and after the war. However, towards the end of 1947, the association already began to organise the first training courses for bank personnel in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce.
In the 1950s, the activities of the ABBL became more intensive and the association was appointed as the official voice of the banking sector.
Relations between the ABBL and similar associations within the European Economic Community led to the creation of the European Banking Federation (EBF) in June 1960.
In October 1968, the ABBL negotiated a first collective employment agreement with the Federation of Private Employees (FEP) and has officially been an employers’ organisation since then.
The ABBL played an active part in drafting the law of 5 April 1993 on “access to the activity of credit institutions and the exercise thereof”, more widely known as the “banking law”, which transposed the first European Community Banking Directive into domestic legislation. This was followed by a great number of further statutory and regulatory provisions, many of which were the outcome of European directives or recommendations.
In the 1990s, the ABBL founded several important structures that have contributed significantly to the development of the financial centre, namely:
- 1990: The Institute for Training in Banking (IFBL)
- 1992: The Banking Academy
- 1994: The Association for Health and Safety at Work in the Financial Sector (ASTF)
- 1999: The Financial Technology Transfer Agency (ATTF), in cooperation with the Luxembourg government
In August 2000, the ABBL launched the Federation of Financial Sector Professionals Luxembourg, PROFIL, in cooperation with other representatives of the sector. The main aim of this body is the promotion of the financial centre and the coordination of activities of shared interest to professionals in the financial sector.
In 2001, the ABBL adapted its statutes in order to open up membership to financial professionals other than banks.
In January 2003, the Luxembourg School of Finance (LSF) was launched as the Finance Department of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg. The courses prepare students for the degree of “Master of Science in Banking and Finance”.
In April 2004, ABBL members agreed on a strategy for the promotion of the Luxembourg financial centre, entitled Luxembourg for Finance, in response to the increasing globalisation of international markets.
From 2005 onwards, the ABBL guided its members through a wave of regulations, ranging from the European Savings Directive in 2005 to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive in 2007, and, more recently, the Payment Services Directive.
In 2007, in its efforts to modernise its organisational structure, the ABBL launched its first business line cluster: the Private Banking Group, Luxembourg (PBGL).
2008 saw the official launch of the agency for the development of the financial centre, Luxembourg for Finance, a joint venture between the Luxembourg government and PROFIL.
In 2008, the ABBL also launched a second business line cluster, the Retail Banking Group.