The financial services sector plays a pivotal role in the quest of the GCC countries to diversify their economies. While the sector is dominated by commercial banks that provide traditional banking services, non-bank financial institutions, insurance and capital markets are still underdeveloped, albeit with significant differences between the individual countries. Despite efforts to revise the regulatory and supervisory frameworks in recent years, the GCC countries have not been able catch up with the more developed EU financial markets. This paper, written by the CEPS team for the Sharaka project, provides an overview of banking and insurance in the GCC countries in comparison with the EU27, assesses regulatory reforms and the degree of convergence, and provides recommendations to strengthen EU-GCC cooperation and integration in financial markets.
1. Banking Structure and Regulation in the EU and the GCC: What Degree of Convergence?
1.1. Structure of the banking sector in the GCC
1.2. An assessment of EU-GCC regulatory convergence in the banking sector
1.2.1. Area I: Scope restrictions
1.2.2. Area II: Entry obstacles
1.2.3. Area III: Capital requirement stringency
1.2.4. Area IV: Supervisory authorities
1.2.5. Area V: Deposit insurance
1.2.6. Area VI: Private monitoring
1.2.7. Area VII: Credit information and laws
2. Overview of the Structure and Regulation of the Insurance Sector in the GCC Countries
2.1. Development of the insurance industry in the GCC
2.2. What degree of convergence to international regulatory standards?