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ASAR hosts seminar on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

ASAR, Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms hosted a leading seminar on the implications of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) across Kuwait’s financial services industry and other sectors. The event was held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuwait City and was attended by representatives of various leading banks, investment companies and other corporates in Kuwait and the broader GCC region. Guest speakers at the seminar included leading and internationally recognized FATCA practitioners from Washington DC and London who, amongst others, shared their insights on the technical aspects of FATCA as well as the practical implications and potential solutions based on their experience around the world.

The seminar was specifically designed by ASAR to shed light on the issues that are faced by Kuwaiti, as well as GCC, based financial institutions, affected corporates, high net worth families and individuals, in an effort to gain a thorough understanding of different elements that aim at enabling them to make sound strategic decisions for their respective organizations.

Mr. Sam Habbas, Senior Partner at ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners said: “FATCA arrives at a time when financial institutions already face a number of regulatory compliance challenges, testing many organizations’ capability and capacity to manage change. The FATCA requirements introduce a series of business and systems requirements that appear simple in concept, but may be difficult and costly to operationalize. The aim for organizations (and other persons) affected by FATCA will be to meet the new compliance burden, while managing the associated compliance costs and risks. As long as any US dollar based transaction necessitates dealing with correspondent banks in the United States of America, Arab Banks are required to implement this law so as to avoid a 30% withholding of their deposits.”

Mr. John Cunha, Partner at ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners said: “It is particularly important to note the level of readiness of banks and other financial institutions across Kuwait (and indeed throughout the broader GCC region) to comply with FATCA, and especially so given the different effective dates by when compliance with various provisions under FATCA is to be achieved. Banks and other financial institutions in Kuwait (and throughout the GCC) must be fully prepared to start becoming FATCA compliant and must ensure that a robust FATCA compliance framework is put in place upon which an organization’s FATCA compliance systems and processes can run in an efficient manner.”

With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with comprehensive legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, across the GCC, and beyond.

ASAR has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by many of the world’s leading and reputable legal guides such as the Chambers Global Guide, International Financial Law Review, and the Legal 500. In 2012, ASAR was named as the “Best Law Firm in Kuwait 2012” by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), the market-leading guide for financial law firms worldwide. The firm also won the “Best Equity Deal in the Middle East” award by IFLR during the same year.