Qatar’s new Central Bank Law: key developments in banking regulation

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The government of Qatar recently issued the new Central Bank Law, Law No. 13 of 2012 (the QCB Law), which came into force in January 2013. This new piece of legislation is a comprehensive overhaul of the legislation that existed previously, Law No. 33 of 2006. The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is the primary regulator of financial institutions operating in Qatar, and the QCB Law has now expanded its supervisory powers to cover the insurance sector and the Qatar Financial Centre. The QCB Law addresses many issues for the first time, including Islamic banking, mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions, credit-rating agencies, insurance, treating customers fairly and the resolution of failing banks. This article sets out some of the key changes and developments that have been introduced in the QCB Law.

The QCB Law sets out the types of activities that fall within its scope. In addition to conventional and Islamic banking, investment banking and the exchange house business that traditionally fell within the QCB’s mandate, insurance and reinsurance and credit bureaus also now fall within its scope. Most significantly, the QCB now has powers to regulate the activities of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and by extension the financial institutions that operate in the QFC…

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