Qatar to crack down on unregulated financial advisers

Published:  16 Jan at 6 PM
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In a move seen as part of a plan to project an image of clean and responsible financial services to the international financial regulatory community, Qatar is banning unregulated FAs.

As a result, all financial advisory firms working with expats within the emirate will be forced to submit to regulation by one of the three Qatar domestic regulatory bodies. Existing IFAs within the country are being given until 2014 to up their qualifications to Level Four of the Qualifications and Credit Framework, and new arrivals must already have the qualifications.

The emirate is hoping to establish itself as a global and regional financial hub as part of its diversification from oil-centred revenue, with the hope that Qatar’s expat financial advice industry will be up to the standards set by the UK’s FSA after the Retail Distribution Review was analysed.

Expats working in the emirate will be looking to the regulatory bodies to loosen the present regulations on QROPS, although insiders in the sector consider their hopes unfounded in fact. The Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes are being used by UK expats in the Middle East to transfer their UK pensions to an offshore base in order to escape UK taxes on their returns.
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