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FAB closes operations in Qatar, relinquishes QFC branch licence

FAB closes operations in Qatar, relinquishes QFC branch licence
FAB conducts its business in accordance with the highest professional standards
FAB
NBAD
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Abu Dhabi – Mubasher: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) will shut down its operations in Qatar as it has notified the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) that it will relinquish its Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) branch licence and permanently close its branch.

The UAE bank’s decision to close its QFC branch comes after several months of baseless actions by the Qatari authority; these actions have made it impossible for FAB’s operations to continue in Qatar, FAB said in a press release on Wednesday.

“The QFCRA alleges FAB conducted transactions intended to manipulate the Qatari riyal,” FAB said.

The UAE’s biggest lender stated that these allegations are entirely false and FAB unequivocally denies them.

“FAB conducts its business in accordance with the highest professional standards and in full compliance with the laws and regulations of all the jurisdictions in which it operates,” the bank noted, adding that it made good faith efforts to engage with the QFCRA in order to resolve the matter, with FAB’s QFC branch providing all relevant and responsive information that it was required to disclose pursuant to QFC law.

FAB clarified that it has made several attempts to resolve matters with the Qatari authority, yet it is clear to the bank that no solution is attainable.

“Consequently, FAB has been left with no option but to make a business decision to close its QFC branch,” FAB concluded.

The UAE bank noted that it has already put in place appropriate measures “to protect all of its QFC branch employees and customers.”

It further said: “The QFCRA’s actions have no impact outside of FAB’s Qatar branch, which contributed less than 0.03% of FAB’s full year 2018 net profit, and relinquishing the QFC branch licence is not expected to have any material impact on future Group performance or strategy.”