Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank relating to a personal matter relating to his divorce.
Eirvin Knox, a 59-year-old American, is wanted for "crimes against life and health," according to Interpol's website on Thursday.
The emirate's third-largest bank by market value said it supported Knox, who has headed ADCB since 2003.
"This is a personal matter linked to his personal divorce case and is not linked in any way to the bank's activities," the bank said in a statement.
The warrant was issued in the Philippines, where Knox once worked as the head of a major bank, and relates to "a violation of an early 2004 (Philippine) act pertaining to violence against women and their children," Interpol sources told Reuters.
The Interpol warrant is classified as a "red notice" which seeks the arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition, they said.
"He was married to a Filipina and she is a very well-connected person," a senior official at ADCB told Reuters, declining to be identified.
ADCB said Abu Dhabi courts had already ruled in favor of Knox and the "current matter is linked to the implementation of a sentence between him and his divorcee".
Knox did not respond immediately to calls for comment.
Knox joined ADCB having come from Ahli Bank of Kuwait, according to a biography on Global Real Estate website.
Knox was a country chief executive for 24 years with Standard Chartered Bank and Continental Bank of Chicago, having started his career in the United States with earlier assignments including Wells Fargo Bank and Continental Bank, the website said.
According to World Trade Markets country guide, which contains information provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Knox was previously the chief executive of Standard Chartered in the Philippines.
He graduated from the University of California.
Impact on bank
The Government of Abu Dhabi, through Abu Dhabi Investment Council, holds 65 percent of ADCB's capital while the rest is held by various UAE institutions and nationals, according to a company statement.
The UAE Interior Ministry and police officials declined comment.
"I don't know the extent of what the legal difficulties are but there certainly seems to be a possibility that it will require some management adjustment," said Raj Madha, director of equities research at EFG-Hermes.
"If so, that would be disappointing particularly as it follows the departure of the CFO in August 2007."
Since joining the bank in 2003, Knox has overseen a near 400 percent growth in net profit to 1.98 billion dirhams ($539 million) last year from 405 million in 2003, according to Reuters data.