Stock Manama Bahrain skyline
Bahrain wants to make its financial services sector a natural draw for specialised investment firms and family offices. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Bahrain’s Central Bank has issued new regulations that would expand the scope of family offices in the country.

A new category of investment firms has been introduced, to provide regulated investment and wealth management services to family offices coming under the Central Bank of Bahrain’s supervision.

These were developed to suit the business models of family offices that provide services to multiple wealthy families, while maintaining the ‘regulatory requirements related to governance and internal controls’.

Through the new category of licenses, these firms will be able to provide wealth management advice, investment management, custody services, trust services, fund management and insurance advice.

The aim is enhance ‘Bahrain’s value-proposition as an ideal investment destination by supporting the integration of prominent family offices into the Kingdom’, said Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director for Business Development – Financial Services at the Bahrain Economic Development Board

“Being the most established sector, and the biggest contributor to GDP, Bahrain’s financial services sector is a testament to the Kingdom’s agile, collaborative regulatory framework, offering a world-class innovation ecosystem right in the heart of the Gulf, backed by Bahrain’s talented, highly skilled pool of workforce.”

These new regulations do not extend to existing family offices - that is, unless they expand the scope of their activities by providing investment services to other parties. This would then require obtaining a CBB license under the new licensing regime.