Swiss bank BSI Bank has chosen Bahrain as its regional headquarters in the Middle East, a move welcomed by Bahrain officials that may give a boost to the kingdom’s financial sector, reported Arabian Business on Friday.
The bank, which is one of the oldest in Switzerland, has assets amounting to $85 billion.
“We believe that Bahrain is the ideal place for BSI to locate its Middle East operations, and I am delighted to welcome our Group CEP, whose visit is a reflection of BSI Bank’s commitment to Bahrain and our business in the GCC,” said chief executive of BSI Bank Bahrain Edmondo Sarteur, as quoted by the news site.
The Swiss bank is the latest in a series of financial institutions that have opted to open headquarters in Bahrain last year which include Notz Stucki, Canara Bank and Pine Bridge Investments.
The Swiss company is targeting the growing demand for wealth management services in the GCC.
“We are delighted that BSI Bank has decided to establish their regional headquarters in Manama,” said acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Kamal bin Ahmed, as quoted by the news site, “their decision to expand their operations is a reflection of the enduring strength of Bahrain’s financial services sector and GCC economy which now exceeds 1 trillion dollars.”
The EDB initiated efforts that led to the settlement of a new full license to the BSI Bank Bahrain office which will allow the financial institution to provide the Gulf region with wealth planning services.
The country is now host to 400 financial institutions from all over the world.