Creation of a single financial regulator faces further delay

17 July 2008
Qatar’s Council of Ministers has delayed the creation of a single financial regulator until September at the earliest, after failing to pass the legislation that would establish the new regulator before the summer break.

“It is not this month nor next,” says a spokesman for the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), one of the existing regulators that will be folded into the single regulator. “Maybe it will happen during Ramadan, but maybe not.”

The latest delay is the second to affect the plans for a single regulator. In January, Phillip Thorpe, chief executive officer of the QFCRA, said the financial regulatory authority law would be authorised by the Council of Ministers in February (MEED 22:1:08).

This was later pushed back to mid-July. It is now unlikely to be passed until after the summer. The Council of Ministers has not given a reason for the delays.

Once the law is passed, the regulator will gradually take over the powers and responsibilities of Qatar’s three existing financial services regulators.

As well as the QFCRA, which regulates companies in the Qatar Financial Centre, it will replace the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, which oversees the Doha Securities Market, and the supervision division of Qatar Central Bank, which oversees retail banking.

“It is a managed transition,” says the QFCRA spokesman. “It will take a long time - up to two years maybe.”

The Council of Ministers has yet to decide on a name for the single regulator.

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