NY bank regulator is appointed head of supervision by Qatar financial centre

The current head of bank supervision at the New York state banking department will join the new financial centre of Qatar as the managing director of supervision.

Michael Lesser is set to move to the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) in November, where he will be responsible for fostering a sound regulatory relationship with authorised firms.

Lesser’s background will complement the current and internationally diverse governing board at the QFCRA, which includes the former vice-president of the Bank Supervision Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Qatar is moving to strengthen its supervisory reputation to attract business and establish itself as a leading financial centre in the Middle East. To this end, Qatar Financial Centre has sought to “replicate the best laws and regulations found in the major financial jurisdictions and ensure they are managed by experienced regulators with international credibility”, according to QFCRA’s chairman and chief executive Phillip Thorpe.

QFCRA has already granted licences to AXA Investment Managers, Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

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