Part 2: Part 2: The QFC Authority
Article 6 - Objectives of the QFC Authority(1) The
QFC Authoritywas established by Article 3 of the QFC Law.(2) The objectives of the QFC Authorityare, pursuant to Article 5 of the QFC Law:(A) to establish, develop and promote the QFCas 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 Authorityand the Appeals Body as may be appropriate, in the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate legal and regulatory regime to govern the QFCand 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 Authorityhas the following powers:(A) to provide infrastructure, premises, administrative services and any other services required for realising the QFC'sobjectives;(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 QFCand to delegate powers to the Director Generalin this regard as it thinks appropriate;(D) to submit Regulationsto the Ministerin 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 QFCor by incorporating or establishing a new company or Entitytherein) provided that such persons, companies and other entities shall not be permitted to conduct any Regulated Activitiesunless 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 QFCand any other bodies outside the QFC;(G) to charge and collect fees for services provided by the QFC Authorityor any QFC Institutions;(H) to provide advice to the Stateon any appropriate double tax treaties;(I) to undertake any other tasks or duties relating to the QFCthat may be entrusted to it by the Council of Ministers;(J) to enter into arrangements with such providers as the QFC Authorityshall 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 Authorityon 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 Authoritydeems 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 Authorityshall 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 Authoritydelegates a function or power in accordance with the QFC Law, the Personto 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 Authorityis subject in respect of that function or power.(4) The QFC Authorityshall exercise its powers under the QFC Lawand these Regulationsin accordance with its objectives.(5) Notwithstanding any provision of these Regulationsor any other Regulationsto the contrary, in exercising its powers in these Regulationsor Related Regulationsto issue notices, directions, determinations, decisions and fines the QFC Authorityor any Personto 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 Rulesissued pursuant to such Regulations, provided further that the QFC Authorityor such other Personshall have regard to the provisions of Article 8 - Principles of Good Regulation.(6) Pursuant to the QFC Law, the QFC Authorityshall have no power or take any action in respect of any objective, duty, functions or powers reserved to the Regulatory Authorityas set forth in the Financial Services Regulations.
Article 8 – Principles of Good Regulation
In exercising its functions and powers under the
QFC Lawand these Regulationsor Related Regulations, the QFC Authorityshall 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 Authorityshould 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 Regulationsto which it is subject.
Article 9 - Performance of functions(1) Except as set out in the
QFC Lawor in these Regulations, the QFC Authorityshall 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 Lawand 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 Regulationsor Related Regulations, the QFC Authorityshall 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
QFC Authoritymust comply with the requirements as to its management and constitution set out in the QFC Law.
Article 11 - Conflicts
QFC Authorityshall 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 Personswill 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 Authoritymay make Rules to the extent set out in the QFC Law, these Regulationsor Related Regulationsas 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 Regulationsor Related Regulations.(2) In particular and without limiting the generality of Article 12(1), the QFC Authoritymay make Rules in respect of:(A) the process and requirements for Personsto become licensed to carry on Permitted Activitiesin 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 Personsin the QFC(including standards applicable when those Personsdeal 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 Personsin the QFC;(D) the fees payable by particular Personsin the QFCto the QFC Authority(on a periodic basis or in respect of particular circumstances or events);(E) the processes, requirements and standards applicable to Personsin the QFCwhen dealing with the QFC Authority; and(F) the conduct of the QFC Authorityand its officers, employees and agents in relation to the exercise of the QFC Authority’spowers and the performance of its functions.(3) The QFC Authoritymay 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 Authorityshall 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 Authorityand 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 Authoritydetermines 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 QFCor 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’swebsite no later than the day on which the relevant Rules come into force.(6) The QFC Authoritymay 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 Regulationsare binding on those to whom they are expressed to apply but such Rules shall not apply to Authorised Firmsunless the Regulatory Authorityhas consented in writing to such application.
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 Authoritymay, on the Applicationof a Personin the QFC, or on its own initiative, by means of a written notice, provide that one or more provisions of these Regulationsor other Regulationsmade by the Ministerpursuant to Article 9 of the QFC Law or the Rulesmade pursuant to Article 12(1) either:(A) shall apply to such Personwith such modifications as may be specified in the written notice; or(B) shall not apply in relation to such Person.(2) The QFC Authorityshall consult with the Regulatory Authorityin 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 Authorityand may not issue a notice under Article 13(1) in respect of an Authorised Firmunless the Regulatory Authorityhas consented in writing to the issue of the notice.(3) The QFC Authoritymust be satisfied, when giving a notice under Article 13(1) in relation to a Person, that:(A) either:(i) the burden experienced by that Personin complying with the relevant Regulationor Rulewould significantly outweigh the benefits that the Regulationor Rulewas intended to achieve; or(ii) compliance with the Regulationor Rulewould not achieve or further the purpose for which the relevant Regulationor Rulewas made; and(B) the notice would not result in undue risk to Personswhose interests the Regulationor Ruleis intended to protect.(4) A written notice under Article 13(1) may be given subject to conditions.(5) Where the QFC Authorityis satisfied that it is in the interests of the QFCto 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 Authoritymay on the Applicationof the Personto 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 Authoritymay 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 Authoritywith respect to the granting or refusal of a waiver or modification of Regulationsor Rulespursuant to Article 13 may be referred to the Tribunalby the Personto 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 Authorityhas been conferred duties, functions and powers; or(C) which expressly do not permit any such waiver.
Article 14 - Guidance(1) The
QFC Authoritymay give Guidanceconsisting of such information and advice as it considers appropriate:(A) with respect to the operation of the QFC Law, these Regulations, any Rulesor 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 Authorityto be desirable to give information or advice.(2) Guidanceissued by the QFC Authoritymay be given generally, to a class of Personor a Personindividually. Such Guidancemay be issued either at the request of the Personseeking such Guidanceor by the QFC Authorityon its on initiative.(3) If the QFC Authorityproposes to give Guidanceto Personsgenerally, or to a class of Persons, in relation to Rulesto which those persons are subject, Articles 12(4) and (5) (Publicity Requirements) apply to the proposed Guidanceas it applies to proposed Rules.(4) Guidanceissued by the QFC Authorityis indicative of the view of the QFC Authorityat the time and in the circumstances in which it was given and is non-binding.(5) The QFC Authoritymay make Rulesprescribing the procedures pursuant to which Personsor particular types of Personsmay apply to the QFC Authorityfor Guidanceand any fees payable by such Personsin respect of such applications.(6) Unless the QFC Authorityis satisfied that it is inappropriate or unnecessary to do so, it must publish Guidancewhich is given generally or to a class of Personin such a way (including on the QFC’s website) as it considers appropriate for bringing the Guidanceto 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 Authorityshall make the following information available to the public during normal working hours:(A) Rulesissued by the QFC Authorityand any proposed Rulesto the extent required by Article 12(4);(B) waivers or modifications of Regulationsor Rulesto the extent required by Article 13(5);(C) Guidanceto the extent required by Article 14(6) and proposed general Guidanceto 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 Firmstogether with such other information relating to the Permitted Activitiesthat such Licensed Firmsare licensed to carry on as the QFC Authorityconsiders appropriate;(F) if the QFC Authorityconsiders it appropriate, information concerning conditions or requirements imposed on the Licensed Firmsand the withdrawal of any Licenseswhether as a result of the own initiative powers of the QFC Authorityor otherwise;(G) if the QFC Authorityconsiders it appropriate, notices, directions, determinations, decisions and fines issued under these Regulationsor Related Regulations;(H) the QFC Authority'sannual report; and(I) such other information consistent with its Objectives as the QFC Authorityconsiders 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 Authorityconsiders appropriate. The QFC Authoritymay publish such information with or without charge.(3) The QFC Authorityshall 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 QFCor would be unfair to any Personor Persons(other than the QFC Authorityitself) 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 Informationreceived by them in the exercise of their respective functions under the QFC Lawor these Regulations(or any Related Regulations) otherwise than as permitted by Article 16(3):(2) The restriction on disclosure of Confidential Informationreferred to in Article 16(1) shall also apply to any Person(other than the Personto whom the duty of confidentiality is owed) coming into possession of such Confidential Information.(3) Confidential Informationmay be disclosed by the QFC Authorityor the Personsreferred to in Article 16(1) and (2) in the following circumstances:(A) with the consent of the Personto whom the duty of confidentiality is owed;(B) where such disclosure is permitted or required by or pursuant to the QFC Law, these Regulationsor any other Regulationconferring 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 Authorityof any of its functions, duties and powers under the QFC Law, this Regulationor any Related Regulations;(E) (in the case of Personsother than the QFC Authority) to the QFC Authority;(F) to the Tribunalin connection with any matter falling within their jurisdiction;(G) to the Regulatory Authoritywhere such disclosure is necessary or desirable in order for the Regulatory Authorityto 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 Stateor internationally; or(I) to any other civil or criminal enforcement agency or authority, whether in the Stateor internationally.