Photographer: Gabriela Maj/Bloomberg

UAE Central Bank Asks for Due Diligence on Qatar Bank Accounts

  • Lenders to do enhanced customer due diligence of Qatari banks
  • Saudi-led bloc issued terror list in dispute with Qatar

Banks and other financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates have been instructed to search for and freeze any accounts, deposits or investments held by individuals or entities designated as terrorists or terrorist organizations, state-run WAM news agency reported, citing a circular issued by the central bank.

The central bank also asked lenders to do enhanced customer due diligence for any accounts they hold belonging to six Qatari banks -- Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, Qatar International Islamic Bank QSC, Barwa Bank QSC, Masraf Al Rayan QSC, Qatar National Bank QPSC and Doha Bank QSC.

Saudi Arabia and allies last week cut diplomatic relations and transport links with Qatar, saying the country must distance itself from Iran and stop funding Islamist groups. Qatar denies such charges and says the Saudis are seeking to dominate smaller neighbors.

The Saudi-led bloc on Friday published a list of individuals and organizations they say are involved in terrorism and mostly linked to Qatar. The list, endorsed by the U.A.E, Egypt and Bahrain, includes 12 entities and 59 individuals, according to a joint statement. The list includes individuals from those countries as well as Qatar and Libya, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

Qatar Exposure

Saudi Arabia’s central bank ordered lenders in the country not to increase their exposure to any Qatari clients, people familiar with the matter said last week. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency also told banks licensed in the country that they should not process any payments denominated in Qatari riyals, the people said.

Central banks in the kingdom, the U.A.E., and Bahrain are also said to have asked lenders to provide details of their exposure to Qatari clients. Banks have also been requested to share information about exposure to Qatar through products including equities, bonds, and interbank funds, other people said.

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