The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) is undertaking a major review of existing regulation related to private banking and wealth management services. The aim is to develop and implement regulations, which are on par with advanced wealth management centers of the world.
The new rules being developed focus on such issues as strengthening bank-customer confidentiality and the establishment of trusts. “Private banking is one of the most dynamic areas in international finance and, given the global trends and the increase in the number of wealthy individuals in the Middle East/North Africa region, BMA is focusing on the strategic development of wealth management business,” said Director, of Financial Institutions Supervision at the BMA, Abdul Rahman Al-Baker.
The assets of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) from the Mena region are estimated at about $1.3 trillion, of which 80 percent are held by GCC HNWIs. “Some of these HNWIs are increasingly looking at opportunities in the Middle East region, following the continuing volatility in the international financial markets,” said Al-Baker.
In Bahrain, private banking business has grown significantly in the past five years, he said. BMA recently undertook a detailed survey to determine the size of the private banking industry, as a first step towards the strategic development of this line of business. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )