Qatar Financial Centre Authority

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In March 2005 the State of Qatar enacted new legislation to establish the Qatar Financial Centre. The QFC, formally opened on 1 May 2005, is designed to attract international financial institutions and multi-national corporates to establish business operations in a "best-in-class" international environment, and to participate in a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership with Qatar.

The Centre consists of the QFC Authority and the QFC Regulatory Authority respectively, which are independent of each other. The QFC Authority is responsible for commercial strategy and for developing relationships with the global financial community and other key institutions both within and outside Qatar. The Regulatory Authority supervises financial services firms who operate in or from the QFC. It has a broad range of powers to authorise, supervise and, where necessary, discipline regulated firms and individuals.

Both the QFC Authority and the Regulatory Authority can recommend appropriate legislation to achieve their objectives, and have certain rule-making powers. The QFC provides mechanisms for resolving disputes between QFC firms and their counter-parties and for arbitration or the formal resolution of civil disputes before a Tribunal, in effect a commercial court, operating to high judicial standards. It has also created an Appeals Body to allow firms affected by particular decisions of the Regulatory Authority to have those decisions reviewed.

The QFC Authority drives the commercial strategy of the QFC. It has as its primary role to establish, develop and promote the QFC as a leading location for international finance and business designed to attract international banking, financial services, insurance businesses, corporate head office functions, as well as other business. It is governed by the QFC Authority Board, which is chaired by the Minister of Economy and Commerce. Stuart Pearce is CEO and Director General of the QFC Authority. The principal objectives of the QFC Authority are:

• To develop and promote the Qatar Financial Centre as a leading location for international finance and business • to promote and act in accordance with international best practice and eliminate bureaucracy to the maximum extent • to ensure the financial stability of the QFC • to participate in consultation with the QFC Regulatory Authority and the QFC Appeals Body in the establishment and maintenance of the QFC legal and regulatory environment

One of the QFC Authority's most important roles is to approve and issue licenses to individuals, businesses and other entities that wish to incorporate or establish in the Centre. Businesses wishing to undertake financial services will also require authorisation from the Regulatory Authority.

Qatar Financial Centre Authority

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