Barclays Bank PLC has been granted a banking licence by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority to operate from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
The licence takes effect on September 10 and Barclays says it is the first significant geographic expansion in the Middle East in 30 years.
“Barclays aims to be amongst the world’s leading banks and it is crucial that we gain customer confidence in our capabilities across the right segments, regions and products.
To do this we need to ensure that we have the right geographic footprint which leads us to growing markets such as Qatar,” said Cyrus Ardalan, head of Middle East and North Africa investment banking, Barclays Capital:
Barclays has stated its intention to increase the proportion of income it generates from outside the UK.
It sees Qatar as a major growth market.
The licence will initially cover products from the group’s investment banking arm Barclays Capital.
Barclays has also applied to operate its Global Retail and Commercial Banking, and Barclays Wealth arms.