First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), one of the biggest banks of UAE in terms of assets, challenged the allegations imposed by Qatari financial watchdog and called its claims ‘false’. Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) accused FAB of obstructing the probe conducted to find if the bank was manipulating Qatari riyal.
In a swift move, on Sunday, Qatari financial regulator imposed a fine of 200 million Qatari riyal ($55 million) on the UAE bank for not cooperating in the investigation, hence raising the authorities’ suspicion.
FAB spokesperson not only called QFCRA’s allegations untrue and baseless but also mentioned that the bank’s branch located in Qatar Financial Centre has been cooperating with the Qatari authorities in providing all ‘relevant and responsive information’.
The bank’s spokesperson said, “Although the QFCRA’s allegations are false, FAB made good faith efforts to engage with the QFCRA to resolve the matter, with FAB’s QFC branch providing all relevant and responsive information that it was required to disclose pursuant to QFC law. Any allegations that FAB’s QFC branch failed to provide appropriate disclosures are false.”
The bank vouched for its working style. It said, “FAB conducts its business in accordance with the highest professional standards and in full compliance with the laws and regulations of all the jurisdictions in which it operates.”
On June 19, FAB declared that it would be closing down its branch in Qatar and giving up its license, provided by QFCRA, for good, owing to the frequent harassment by the Qatari regulator.
The bank issued a statement citing Qatar’s strained relations with UAE as one of the key causes of the Gulf country’s biased attitude towards the bank.
The statement read, “As stated previously, the allegations by the QFCRA in the QFC Courts are entirely false, and First Abu Dhabi Bank unequivocally denies them. It is not coincidental that the actions of the QFCRA take place at the time that the UAE, along with several other countries, have ended their diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar.”