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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Qatari financial firm banned from conducting new business


Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) penalised a financial firm in Qatar and banned it from acquiring new customers, state media reported.

A wealth and financial management company in Qatar has been issued with a notice from the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) to prohibit it from conducting business or providing services to new customers, state-run Qatar News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The International Financial Services in Qatar (IFSQ) reportedly failed to satisfy authorities with respect to its “fitness and propriety”, state media reported, without disclosing further information amid an ongoing investigation.

The decision against the licensed firm – which also provides insurance mediation in Qatar – does not apply to the company’s current clients.

As an independent regulatory body, QFCRA acted based on Article 31 of the Financial Services Regulations. 

Read also: Qatar extends incentives for private sectors affected by COVID-19

But this is not the first time the company has been disciplined.

In 2014, IFSQ received a public censure for not complying with a set of laws and regulations, including failing to provide client record-keeping systems. 

More recently in 2019, QFC imposed a financial penalty of USD$100,000 on IFSQ after it failed to establish and maintain the required internal policies “to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing”.

The move against IFSQ came just months after another company was also fined by authorities in Qatar.

In August, the regulatory authority imposed a $50,000 fine on David Russell, former CEO of Guardian Wealth Management Qatar LLC (GWMQ) and prohibited him from carrying further business for three years.

However, in consideration of financial hardship encountered by the former CEO amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the the financial penalty was cut.

Qatar’s regulatory authority was established in 2005 by Article 8 of the QFC Law, to provide a broad range of regulatory powers including authorising, supervising and disciplining firms and individuals.

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