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The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority has decided to forbid the setting up of QROPS in the Qatar Financial Centre.
While not a surprise, the decision will prove unpopular especially with the three financial services currently regulated by the QFCRA which would have shown an interest in handling QROPS products.
Ultimately it was the fear of provoking the ire of the UK’s HMRC that forced the hand of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.
However, it is important to note that the QROPS market is alive and well outside of the confines of the Qatar Financial Centre as the rest of the country's rules in the QROPS arena are governed by the Qatari Central Bank.
Shaun Swan, associate director in the policy enforcement division of the QFCRA recently told International Adviser, "Our sense was that the HMRC changes introduced last December, which saw hundreds of schemes in certain jurisdictions de-listed three months ago, introduced uncertainty about how the QROPS market in some financial centres may develop over the next couple of years.
"Moreover, in view of the potential volumes of business that would be involved in the QFC, relative to the amount of work involved for the industry and regulator in developing a QROPS pension regime, we took the strategic view that at this stage, considering our priorities, we are not going to amend the regulatory framework to bring QROPS business within our regulatory regime at this time."