| Question : 01- Can an individual be authorised to provide regulated activities in his own right? (1)
The QFC regime does not provide for the concept of a sole trader. An individual cannot be Authorised in his own right to provide Regulated Activities, but may provide these services as an Approved Individual of an Authorised Firm.
| Question : 02- Who needs to be an approved individual? (1)
Before individuals can exercise one or more defined functions for an authorised firm, known as controlled functions, they must submit an application to the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (“the Regulatory Authority”).
The Governance and Controlled Functions Rules 2012 (“CTRL”) set out those controlled functions, these are:
• Executive Governance Function;
• Non-Executive Governance Function;
• Senior Executive Function;
• Senior Management Function;
• Finance Function;
• Risk Management Function;
• Compliance Oversight Function;
• MLRO Function;
• Internal Audit Function; and
• Actuarial Function.
| Question : 03- Which application form should be completed? (1)
Before completing this form, all firms should read both CTRL and the Individuals (Assessment, Training and Competency) Rules 2014 (“INDI”), which set out training and competence obligations and codify requirements established by the Qatar Financial Centre (“QFC”) Financial Services Regulations relating to the Principles of Conduct for Approved Individuals. These rulebooks are available to view on the website.
If an approved individual has already been approved by the Regulatory Authority to undertake a certain controlled function and they are now seeking approval to undertake an additional controlled function, they should also make an application using this form.
Form Q12 – Controlled function withdrawal
, is to be completed by an authorised firm in order to withdraw one or more of the controlled functions being undertaken by an approved individual, from the Regulatory Authority’s public register.
| Question : 04- What are the residency requirements for approved individuals? (1)
Generally, the Money Laundering Reporting Function must be carried out by an individual ordinarily resident in the State of Qatar.
For Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships incorporated in the QFC, the Senior Executive Function must also be carried out by an individual who is ordinarily resident in the State. For branches, the individual must spend an appropriate amount of his time in the State having regard to responsibilities that the Senior Executive Function entails.
| Question : 05- Can one individual carry out more than one controlled function? (1)
An individual may carry on more than one Controlled Function for an Authorised Firm provided that the Authorised Firm and the QFC Regulatory Authority are satisfied that the performance of such Controlled Functions does not give rise to any internal or external conflicts of interest and is appropriate having regard to the nature, scale and complexity of the business carried on by that Authorised Firm. The rules relating to multiple appointments are set out in Part 3.2.8 of CTRL, which is available here.
| Question : 06- Can one individual carry out a controlled function for more than one authorised firm? (1)
An individual may perform controlled functions for more than 1 authorised firm if the firms are part of the same group or are owned by the same shareholders.
| Question : 07- What are the fitness and propriety criteria for approved individuals? (1)
Before lodging an application an Authorised Firm must make reasonable enquiries as to an individual’s Fitness and Propriety to carry out a Controlled Function.
In considering individual’s Fitness and Propriety, the firm should have regard to that individual’s:
• honesty, Integrity and reputation;
• competence and capability; and
• financial soundness.
A firm’s obligations in this respect are set out in the individuals Rules which are available here.
Each application will be assessed on a case by case basis, and the criteria will be considered in light of the circumstances proposed in respect of each firm.
| Question : 08- Are there required levels of experience and qualifications? (1)
Specific functions require an understanding of specific rules – for example, the Compliance Oversight Function or the Finance Function. Applicants are expected to demonstrate their competence for these roles as they apply to the Authorised Firms activities.
The requirements are specified in the Individuals Rules, which is available on the current website.
Additionally, Authorised Firms must consider the individual to be able to competently apply his experience and knowledge, and must document and retain records of its assessment of the individual accordingly.
| Question : 09- Are there ongoing requirements for approved individuals? (1)
Approval must be gained from the QFC Regulatory Authority in order to carry out additional Controlled Functions, before they are conducted.
Similarly, an individual who ceases to perform a Controlled Function must formally withdraw from the role by completing the appropriate form and submitting it to the QFC Regulatory Authority.
Individuals must remain fit and proper at all times. The QFC Regulatory Authority must be notified of any changes to an individual’s circumstances where the rules require it, or where the QFC Regulatory Authority would otherwise reasonably expect to be informed. If in doubt, report it.
| Question : 10- Are details of approved individuals made public? (1)
Yes, the QFC Regulatory Authority is a transparent regulator and is required under Article 18 of the Financial Services Regulations to make public certain registers and other information.
The QFC Regulatory Authority makes public its register of Approved Individuals, which details all individuals approved by the QFC Regulatory Authority to carry out a Controlled Function at an Authorised Firm. The register details which Controlled Functions an individual is permitted to carry out in relation to each Authorised Firm.