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Qatar imposes new set of restrictions on UAE banking

Qatar has placed further restrictions on First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, as it continues a probe into alleged currency manipulation begun after the UAE and other Arab states launched a boycott against Qatar in mid-2017.

The Regulatory Authority of Qatar Financial Center (QFC) said on Sunday it was prohibiting First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) from undertaking any new business for customers of its Doha branch.

It has barred FAB from providing services for new customers since March but had allowed the bank to continue working with existing customers. QFC said in March that FAB had failed to produce documents relevant to the currency manipulation investigation.

In a statement on Sunday, QFC said the new bar was “because FAB continues to fail to satisfy the Regulatory Authority of its fitness and propriety in respect of its conduct in the QFC”.

A FAB spokeswoman said the bank had no immediate comment.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt started a trade and diplomatic boycott of Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

Qatar keeps its currency, the riyal, pegged at a fixed rate to the U.S. dollar, but saw it trade several percent weaker than its usual rate in offshore markets just after the dispute began.

Last year Qatar asked U.S. regulators to investigate the U.S. unit of FAB, accusing it of “bogus” foreign exchange deals designed to harm Qatar’s economy. FAB denied the charge.

Source: Reuters

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