U.K. Unit of Qatar Islamic Bank Fined for Capital Rule Breaches

  • Qatar bank ordered to pay $1.9 million by Bank of England
  • QIB (UK) says it has taken remedial action to fix problems

A U.K. unit of Qatar Islamic Bank was fined 1.4 million pounds ($1.9 million) by the Bank of England for violating capital requirements, leaving the firm exposed to high levels of risk.

The BOE’s Prudential Regulatory Authority said in a statement Friday that London-based QIB (UK) Plc had “significant failings” between June 2011 and December 2012 in its oversight of financial resources and capital levels. The bank’s large exposures amounted to more than 25 percent of its capital at one point during the period, breaching regulatory requirements and resulting in the lender being “temporarily significantly under-capitalized,” according to the BOE.

“In failing to assess, maintain and report on its financial resources for over a year, QIB failed to meet some of the most basic regulatory standards,” Andrew Bailey, a BOE deputy governor and CEO of the PRA, said in the statement. “QIB’s failures in this regard were serious, which is why we considered it appropriate in this case to impose a fine.”

Guy Priestley, interim CEO of QIB (UK), said after the fine was announced that the bank has taken “remedial action.”

“We believe that we have now got everything where it should be,” Priestley said in a phone interview. “And we’re now running a regular and high quality business.”

The BOE said QIB has since 2012 undergone significant restructuring, put in place a new board and committed resources to improving governance, capital monitoring and reporting systems to mitigate the risk of similar breaches in the future.

QIB says on its website that it is seeking to expand and diversify its funding base and is working to build its real estate and trade businesses. The bank is also working to expand its offerings to high-net worth clients in the Middle East.

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