As part of its ongoing efforts to clean up its financial services industry and project an image of responsibility to the global financial regulatory community, Qatar has moved to ban unregulated financial advisors.
The new rules dubbed ‘Law 13’ mean any firm wishing to work within Qatar servicing the expat community will have to be regulated by one of the three domestic regulatory bodies.
There is some reprieve for Independent Financial Advisors already working in Qatar as they will have until February 2014 to obtain qualification as a level four advisor in the Qualifications and Credit Framework.
This is in order to bring the expat financial advisory industry in Qatar up to the standards put in place by the British Financial Services Authority following the Retail Distribution Review.
As part of the diversification of the local economy from oil centric position currently Qatar is making these and other steps to position the country as a regional and global financial centre.
As a major expat destination many will be looking to Qatar to loosen its rules on QROPS but insiders do not consider this likely. Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes have been used by British expats around the world to gain control of their UK pensions by moving them offshore.
Expats wishing to contact a fully qualified and regulated IFA in Qatar can have one recommended by Which Offshore.