Wednesday 6 December 2023

Abeer Al Saad

CBB introduces new category of investment firms

MANAMA, September 18, 2023

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has introduced a new category of investment firms under its Investment Business Regulations - Volume 4 of the CBB Rulebook. 
The new category is permitted to provide regulated investment and wealth management services to family offices that are subject to the CBB’s supervision.
The regulations were developed to suit the business models of family offices that provide services to multiple wealthy families while maintaining regulatory requirements related to governance and internal controls. 
Wealth management advice
This category of licence will be able to provide wealth management advice, investment management, custody services, trust services, fund management and insurance advice. 
Abeer Al Saad, Executive Director of Financial Institutions Supervision at the CBB, said: "The introduction of Family Office licence and related regulations will allow these licensees to provide services that cater to family office business models. This new licence allows the provision of multiple investment services by family offices that wish to provide specialised wealth management services to other parties while also meeting the governance and regulatory requirements in addition to customer financial needs and interests.” 
Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director for Business Development – Financial Services at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “This new category licence, is a step in the right direction, enhancing Bahrain’s value-proposition as an ideal investment destination by supporting the integration of prominent family offices into the kingdom. Being the most established sector, and the biggest contributor to GDP, Bahrain’s financial services sector is a testament to the kingdom’s agile, collaborative regulatory framework, offering a world-class innovation ecosystem right in the heart of the Gulf, backed by Bahrain’s talented, highly skilled pool of workforce.”
Comprehensive licence
Ebtisam Al Arrayed, Director of Financial Institutions Supervision Directorate at the CBB, said: "We are delighted to unveil the introduction of a comprehensive licence for family offices in Bahrain, offering them a one-stop solution for their wealth management needs. This initiative empowers family offices to provide a wide array of wealth management services, including trust services and insurance advisory, under a single licence. This step reinforces the CBB’s commitment to providing a robust and client-centric financial ecosystem." 
Director of Regulatory Policy Unit –Shireen Al Sayed, said: "The CBB strives to continuously enhance its regulations to cater to the needs of the kingdom’s economy and the developments in the financial sector. The new regulations follow similar initiatives taken by the CBB to revise all the CBB Rulebook Volumes reducing regulatory burden for evolving business models of financial institutions. The new regulations allow family offices to provide a wide range of services to better serve their clients and pave the way for the growth of the asset management industry.” 
These new regulations do not encompass existing family offices unless they expand the scope of their activities by providing investment services to other parties which requires obtaining a CBB licence under the new regime.-- TradeArabia News Service


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