The Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) has banned directors of an insurance brokerage company that is primarily involved in selling long-term savings plans in the State of Qatar to carry out their duties and fined them $400,000.
QFCRA has imposed a penalty of $200,000 each on David Howell and John Hasberry, who were the directors of Guardian Wealth Management Qatar (GWMQ), which is now in liquidation. The individuals are also prohibited from performing any function or being employed by any authorized firm in the QFC for three years, owing to "serious misconduct" as approved individuals. GWMQ was an insurance intermediary firm that sold mainly long-term savings plans in Qatar.
The Regulatory Authority settled the matter and imposed the financial penalty and prohibition following the completion of an investigation which identified that Howell's conduct fell substantially below the Principles of Conduct for an Approved Individual in the Executive Governance Function, contraventions included failing to act with due skill, care and diligence in relation to his oversight of the GWMQ's compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing Rules 2010, particularly the systemic deficiencies in GWMQ's AML/CFT policies, procedures, systems and controls. And also failing to act with due skill, care and diligence in relation to his oversight of GWMQ's compliance with the Governance and Controlled Functions Rules 2012 and General Rules 2005, the effect of which is that the Regulatory Authority has found that GWMQ failed to establish an appropriate corporate governance framework; review the GWMQ risk management and internal controls framework appropriately and with sufficient frequency, maintain effective systems and controls for record keeping, and ensure that GWMQs business was managed effectively by its senior management. The penalty also includes failing to give appropriate priority to his management responsibilities and failing to ensure that GWMQ's business was effectively supervised and controlled, and complied with Regulatory Authority Rules. The action taken by the Regulatory Authority emphasizes the standards required of directors of authorized firms to ensure effective governance standards and systems and controls to combat illicit finance.
On 22 April 2018, the QFC Regulatory Authority issued a financial penalty against GWMQ for contraventions relating to the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing Rules 2010 and general regulatory contraventions
The QFC Regulatory Authority is an independent regulatory body established in 2005 by Article 8 of the QFC Law. It regulates firms that conduct financial services in or from the QFC. It has a broad range of regulatory powers to authorize, supervise and, when necessary, discipline firms and individuals. The QFC Regulatory Authority regulates firms using principle-based legislation of international standard, modelled closely on that used in major financial centres.
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