“BAB” Launches a special commission on VAT in finical sector


The Bahrain Association of Banks Launches committee on value added tax, comprising 35 members representing 24 banks and financial Bahraini institutions, in preparation for applying the value added tax in Bahrain next year.

The committee will work under the supervision of BAB to bring together representatives from all banks in Bahrain with an aim to discuss the Bahrain VAT regulation, assess its impact on financial services sector (specifically banking), share experiences and challenges faced in its implementation, work together as one banking community to help each other progress through this key transition period and act as a single voice for its interactions and dealings with the local regulators on the subject.

The first meeting was held at HSBC Bank’s headoffice in Seef, chaired by its Chief Financial Officer, Nasir Maqsood.  More than thirty (30) representatives from local banks attended the meeting.  Mohamed El-Swefy, HSBC MENAT Head of Tax provided support and guidance to the group by sharing HSBC’s experiences and challenges faced during its recent VAT implementation in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

His presentation provided a strong base for discussion within the group and provided a clear direction on next steps for the group in establishing a set purpose, structure and way forward in its dealings with the local regulators.  Many representatives shared their respective views, experiences and challenges they have faced so far and looked upon the group to provide insights and guidance.

Going forward the group expects to meet regularly and share experiences through pre- and post-implementation and, as one group, work with the local regulators in understanding and refining the Bahrain VAT legislation for the local banking sector.