• Part 2: Part 2: The QFC Authority

    • Article 6 - Objectives of the QFC Authority

      (1) The QFC Authority was established by Article 3 of the QFC Law.
      (2) The objectives of the QFC Authority are, pursuant to Article 5 of the QFC Law:
      (A) to establish, develop and promote the QFC as a leading location for international finance and business designed to attract international banking, financial services, insurance businesses, corporate head office functions, as well as other business;
      (B) to participate, in consultation with the Regulatory Authority and the Appeals Body as may be appropriate, in the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate legal and regulatory regime to govern the QFC and activities lawfully conducted within it or conducted outside it by persons, companies or entities established within it;
      (C) to ensure the QFC, including the QFC Institutions, have adequate finance or are able to obtain adequate finance, so that they can finance their respective activities without undue difficulty and are financially stable;
      (D) to act in accordance with and promote international best practice and to eliminate bureaucracy to the maximum extent possible; and
      (E) all other things reasonably considered by it to be necessary, desirable or appropriate to achieve, further or assist in relation to any of the above objectives.

    • Article 7 - Powers of the QFC Authority

      (1) Pursuant to Article 6 of the QFC Law, the QFC Authority has the following powers:
      (A) to provide infrastructure, premises, administrative services and any other services required for realising the QFC's objectives;
      (B) to co-operate and enter into arrangements with states, international financial and business centres and other bodies, institutions and organisations;
      (C) to arrange for the proper administration and operation of the QFC and to delegate powers to the Director General in this regard as it thinks appropriate;
      (D) to submit Regulations to the Minister in accordance with Article 9 of the QFC Law;
      (E) to approve, authorise and license persons, companies and other entities which may be authorised pursuant to this Law that wish to conduct their business at the QFC (whether by establishing a branch or other business in the QFC or by incorporating or establishing a new company or Entity therein) provided that such persons, companies and other entities shall not be permitted to conduct any Regulated Activities unless they have received an appropriate approval, authorisation or licence from the Regulatory Authority;
      (F) to streamline business procedures between the various entities that operate within the QFC and any other bodies outside the QFC;
      (G) to charge and collect fees for services provided by the QFC Authority or any QFC Institutions;
      (H) to provide advice to the State on any appropriate double tax treaties;
      (I) to undertake any other tasks or duties relating to the QFC that may be entrusted to it by the Council of Ministers;
      (J) to enter into arrangements with such providers as the QFC Authority shall determine to provide information technology and communications services and equipment in the event that Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C. is unable or unwilling to provide such services and equipment to a standard or in a manner or on terms sufficient for the purposes of the QFC or of activities carried on within the QFC, in which case Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C. shall promptly provide and maintain all such interconnections and interfaces with its own networks and equipment as shall be necessary or desirable to facilitate the function or use of such services and equipment within the QFC;
      (K) to form companies and other entities for the purpose of carrying out any of its functions;
      (L) to appoint an Advisory Board to provide advice to the QFC Authority on a strategy for achieving its objectives and such Advisory Board shall comprise persons with international experience as to the operation of bodies similar to the QFC Authority;
      (M) to appoint employees, consultants and any other service providers as the QFC Authority deems necessary or desirable; and
      (N) all other powers provided for in this Law or otherwise reasonably considered by it to be necessary, desirable or appropriate to achieve, further or assist in relation to any of the above.
      (2) Pursuant to the QFC Law, the QFC Authority shall be free to exercise or delegate whatever will assist it to carry out its functions or powers under the QFC Law, save to the extent described therein, and any subsequent laws, rules or regulations applicable to it in such manner as it shall determine in its sole and unfettered discretion.
      (3) Where the QFC Authority delegates a function or power in accordance with the QFC Law, the Person to whom such function or power is delegated shall comply with any requirement, restriction or duty in respect of the exercise of that power to which the QFC Authority is subject in respect of that function or power.
      (4) The QFC Authority shall exercise its powers under the QFC Law and these Regulations in accordance with its objectives.
      (5) Notwithstanding any provision of these Regulations or any other Regulations to the contrary, in exercising its powers in these Regulations or Related Regulations to issue notices, directions, determinations, decisions and fines the QFC Authority or any Person to whom such function has been delegated shall have the power to obtain documents and information, to appoint investigators, to discipline and to otherwise enforce such Regulations, as further detailed in Rules issued pursuant to such Regulations, provided further that the QFC Authority or such other Person shall have regard to the provisions of Article 8 - Principles of Good Regulation.
      (6) Pursuant to the QFC Law, the QFC Authority shall have no power or take any action in respect of any objective, duty, functions or powers reserved to the Regulatory Authority as set forth in the Financial Services Regulations.

    • Article 8 – Principles of Good Regulation

      In exercising its functions and powers under the QFC Law and these Regulations or Related Regulations, the QFC Authority shall have regard to:

      (1) the need to use its resources in the most efficient and economic way;
      (2) the desirability of facilitating innovation and fostering the international competitiveness of the QFC;
      (3) the desirability of fostering competition between those who are subject to regulation by the QFC Authority;
      (4) the principle that the QFC Authority should exercise its powers and functions in a fair and transparent manner;
      (5) the need to comply with such generally accepted principles of good governance as it is reasonable to regard as applicable to it;
      (6) the need to balance the burdens and restrictions on firms with the benefit of regulation; and
      (7) the need to act in accordance with all laws and Regulations to which it is subject.

    • Article 9 - Performance of functions

      (1) Except as set out in the QFC Law or in these Regulations, the QFC Authority shall perform its functions and discharge its duties and determine its own procedures and management in such manner as it shall decide, provided that it shall always:
      (A) operate in compliance with the requirements and provisions of the QFC Law and these Regulations
      (B) have regard to the need to comply with such generally accepted principles of good governance as is reasonable to regard as applicable to it.
      (2) In supervising, assessing, directing or issuing rules governing the activities of the Person(s) responsible for issuing notices, directions, determinations, decisions and fines issued under these Regulations or Related Regulations, the QFC Authority shall exercise its powers and duties in a fair and transparent manner, must permit such Person(s) to operate with the level of autonomy that is appropriate to satisfy accepted principles of good governance and otherwise have regard to Article 8 – Principles of Good Regulation.

    • Article 10 - Management and constitution

      The QFC Authority must comply with the requirements as to its management and constitution set out in the QFC Law.

    • Article 11 - Conflicts

      The QFC Authority shall put in place procedures to identify and manage conflicts of interest to which its directors, officers, employees and agents may be subject in the performance of their duties with a view to ensuring, amongst other things, that such Persons will not play any part in the making of decisions on matters in respect of which they are subject to a material conflict of interest.

    • Article 12 - Powers to issue Rules

      (1) Subject to Articles 12(4) and 12(7), the QFC Authority may make Rules to the extent set out in the QFC Law, these Regulations or Related Regulations as it deems necessary or appropriate to facilitate the pursuit, achievement and furtherance of its objectives or to aid it to implement, carry out or enforce its duties, functions and powers under the QFC Law, these Regulations or Related Regulations.
      (2) In particular and without limiting the generality of Article 12(1), the QFC Authority may make Rules in respect of:
      (A) the process and requirements for Persons to become licensed to carry on Permitted Activities in or from the QFC (including any terms, conditions and requirements applying to such licences and the process and requirements for varying or withdrawing such licences);
      (B) the standards of conduct applicable to particular Persons in the QFC (including standards applicable when those Persons deal with particular types of client or customer (or prospective client or customer) or when carrying on particular types of business);
      (C) the infrastructure, systems, controls and processes to be implemented and maintained by particular Persons in the QFC;
      (D) the fees payable by particular Persons in the QFC to the QFC Authority (on a periodic basis or in respect of particular circumstances or events);
      (E) the processes, requirements and standards applicable to Persons in the QFC when dealing with the QFC Authority; and
      (F) the conduct of the QFC Authority and its officers, employees and agents in relation to the exercise of the QFC Authority’s powers and the performance of its functions.
      (3) The QFC Authority may also issue standards, principles or codes of practice which, unless otherwise stated in such standards, principles or codes shall constitute Rules for the purpose of these Regulations.
      (4) Before making any Rules pursuant to Article 12(1), the QFC Authority shall publish the proposed Rules. The publication shall contain the following information:
      (A) the draft text of the proposed Rules;
      (B) the date on which the Rules will come into force; and
      (C) an invitation to make comments to the QFC Authority and the date by which comments must be received.
      (5) The procedures set out in Article 12(4) shall not apply to the making of Rules if the QFC Authority determines that the delay in bringing such Rules into force that would arise as a consequence of compliance with Article 12(4) would be contrary to the interests of the QFC or if such amendments are minor or inconsequential. In such circumstances the information that would otherwise be required to be published pursuant to Article 12(4) shall be published on the QFC Authority’s website no later than the day on which the relevant Rules come into force.
      (6) The QFC Authority may also issue such other consultative documents, open letters, policy statements, information notices, discussion documents and undertake such other forms of consultation and discussion as it thinks appropriate.
      (7) Rules issued under these Regulations are binding on those to whom they are expressed to apply but such Rules shall not apply to Authorised Firms unless the Regulatory Authority has consented in writing to such application.
      (8) References in this Article to “making Rules” shall be construed as including making amendments to existing Rules.

    • Article 13 - Waiver or modification of Regulations and Rules

      (1) Except as provided in Articles 8 and 9 of the QFC Law and subject to Article 13(2) and (10) below, the QFC Authority may, on the Application of a Person in the QFC, or on its own initiative, by means of a written notice, provide that one or more provisions of these Regulations or other Regulations made by the Minister pursuant to Article 9 of the QFC Law or the Rules made pursuant to Article 12(1) either:
      (A) shall apply to such Person with such modifications as may be specified in the written notice; or
      (B) shall not apply in relation to such Person.
      (2) The QFC Authority shall consult with the Regulatory Authority in issuing any notice under Article 13(1) that may reasonably be expected to have a bearing on the duties, objectives and functions of the Regulatory Authority and may not issue a notice under Article 13(1) in respect of an Authorised Firm unless the Regulatory Authority has consented in writing to the issue of the notice.
      (3) The QFC Authority must be satisfied, when giving a notice under Article 13(1) in relation to a Person, that:
      (A) either:
      (i) the burden experienced by that Person in complying with the relevant Regulation or Rule would significantly outweigh the benefits that the Regulation or Rule was intended to achieve; or
      (ii) compliance with the Regulation or Rule would not achieve or further the purpose for which the relevant Regulation or Rule was made; and
      (B) the notice would not result in undue risk to Persons whose interests the Regulation or Rule is intended to protect.
      (4) A written notice under Article 13(1) may be given subject to conditions.
      (5) Where the QFC Authority is satisfied that it is in the interests of the QFC to do so, it may publish a written notice issued under Article 13 in such a way (including publication on its website) as it considers appropriate for bringing the notice to the attention of:
      (A) those likely to be affected by it; and
      (B) others who may be likely to become subject to a similar notice.
      (6) The QFC Authority may on the Application of the Person to whom it applies, or on its own initiative:
      (A) revoke a written notice; or
      (B) vary a written notice.
      (7) With respect to the publication of a revocation or variation, Article 13(5) applies analogously.
      (8) The QFC Authority may issue Rules, in particular with respect to the provision of a written notice and the procedures in relation thereto.
      (9) Any decision of the QFC Authority with respect to the granting or refusal of a waiver or modification of Regulations or Rules pursuant to Article 13 may be referred to the Tribunal by the Person to whom the waiver or modification relates (or would relate if granted).
      (10) Article 13(1) does not apply to any Regulations:
      (A) made with the consent of the Council of Ministers; or
      (B) in relation to which the Regulatory Authority has been conferred duties, functions and powers; or
      (C) which expressly do not permit any such waiver.

    • Article 14 - Guidance

      (1) The QFC Authority may give Guidance consisting of such information and advice as it considers appropriate:
      (A) with respect to the operation of the QFC Law, these Regulations, any Rules or any Related Regulations;
      (B) with respect to any matters relating to functions of the QFC Authority;
      (C) for the purpose of meeting its objectives; and
      (D) with respect to any other matters about which it appears to the QFC Authority to be desirable to give information or advice.
      (2) Guidance issued by the QFC Authority may be given generally, to a class of Person or a Person individually. Such Guidance may be issued either at the request of the Person seeking such Guidance or by the QFC Authority on its on initiative.
      (3) If the QFC Authority proposes to give Guidance to Persons generally, or to a class of Persons, in relation to Rules to which those persons are subject, Articles 12(4) and (5) (Publicity Requirements) apply to the proposed Guidance as it applies to proposed Rules.
      (4) Guidance issued by the QFC Authority is indicative of the view of the QFC Authority at the time and in the circumstances in which it was given and is non-binding.
      (5) The QFC Authority may make Rules prescribing the procedures pursuant to which Persons or particular types of Persons may apply to the QFC Authority for Guidance and any fees payable by such Persons in respect of such applications.
      (6) Unless the QFC Authority is satisfied that it is inappropriate or unnecessary to do so, it must publish Guidance which is given generally or to a class of Person in such a way (including on the QFC’s website) as it considers appropriate for bringing the Guidance to the attention of:
      (A) those likely to be affected by it; and
      (B) others who may be likely to become subject to similar Guidance.

    • Article 15 - Public records

      (1) The QFC Authority shall make the following information available to the public during normal working hours:
      (A) Rules issued by the QFC Authority and any proposed Rules to the extent required by Article 12(4);
      (B) waivers or modifications of Regulations or Rules to the extent required by Article 13(5);
      (C) Guidance to the extent required by Article 14(6) and proposed general Guidance to the extent required by Article 14(3);
      (D) consultative documents, open letters, information notices, policy statements and open discussion documents issued by the QFC Authority;
      (E) details of all Licensed Firms together with such other information relating to the Permitted Activities that such Licensed Firms are licensed to carry on as the QFC Authority considers appropriate;
      (F) if the QFC Authority considers it appropriate, information concerning conditions or requirements imposed on the Licensed Firms and the withdrawal of any Licenses whether as a result of the own initiative powers of the QFC Authority or otherwise;
      (G) if the QFC Authority considers it appropriate, notices, directions, determinations, decisions and fines issued under these Regulations or Related Regulations;
      (H) the QFC Authority's annual report; and
      (I) such other information consistent with its Objectives as the QFC Authority considers to be relevant in connection with its functions.
      (2) The information referred to in Article 15(1) may be kept and made available in such form and manner as the QFC Authority considers appropriate. The QFC Authority may publish such information with or without charge.
      (3) The QFC Authority shall not be obliged to make information available to the public or otherwise publish it if it believes that to do so would not be in the interests of the QFC or would be unfair to any Person or Persons (other than the QFC Authority itself) to whom such information relates (in whole or in part).

    • Article 16 - Confidentiality

      (1) Neither the QFC Authority, nor any of its officers, employees, agents or contractors, shall disclose any Confidential Information received by them in the exercise of their respective functions under the QFC Law or these Regulations (or any Related Regulations) otherwise than as permitted by Article 16(3):
      (2) The restriction on disclosure of Confidential Information referred to in Article 16(1) shall also apply to any Person (other than the Person to whom the duty of confidentiality is owed) coming into possession of such Confidential Information.
      (3) Confidential Information may be disclosed by the QFC Authority or the Persons referred to in Article 16(1) and (2) in the following circumstances:
      (A) with the consent of the Person to whom the duty of confidentiality is owed;
      (B) where such disclosure is permitted or required by or pursuant to the QFC Law, these Regulations or any other Regulation conferring powers, duties or functions on the QFC Authority;
      (C) in response to a legally enforceable demand;
      (D) where the disclosure is made in good faith for the purposes of the performance or exercise by the QFC Authority of any of its functions, duties and powers under the QFC Law, this Regulation or any Related Regulations;
      (E) (in the case of Persons other than the QFC Authority) to the QFC Authority;
      (F) to the Tribunal in connection with any matter falling within their jurisdiction;
      (G) to the Regulatory Authority where such disclosure is necessary or desirable in order for the Regulatory Authority to exercise its functions or powers or is otherwise in the interests of the QFC;
      (H) to any body, agency or authority performing functions relating to the detection or prevention of money laundering whether in the State or internationally; or
      (I) to any other civil or criminal enforcement agency or authority, whether in the State or internationally.