The Central Bank of Bahrain has created a new banking licence to make the country more attractive to private banks.
The Private Banking Licence is offered as a sub-category of the central bank's wholesale banking licence, and is aimed at wealth and asset management firms that target individuals with over $1 million to invest.
The move follows the introduction in 2006 of a trust law, which the central bank hopes will encourage wealthy individuals to use Bahrain-based firms to manage their wealth and the transfer of their assets through their families.
The Central Bank's director of licensing and policy, Ahmed Adbulaziz al-Bassam, says he hopes to attract international firms to Bahrain with the new law. 'The creation of a licence category is aimed at encouraging international and leading regional banks to offer sophisticated wealth management services from Bahrain.'