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    CBB Updates Address Digital Asset and Open Banking Rules

    March 30, 2023

    The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) proposed amendments to the existing open banking-related regulations and has amended the digital assets framework to include virtual token offerings. CBB also revised the high-level controls module (Module HC) under Volumes 1 (for conventional banks) and 2 (for Islamic banks) of CBB Rulebook, along with the related amendments in CBB Reporting Requirements (BR), Operational Risk Management (OM), and Public Disclosure Requirements (PD) Modules. The newly added requirements in Module HC will be effective from October 01, 2023; thus CBB has requested all banks to provide the gap analysis and an action plan for implementation before May 31, 2023.

    To further the CBB objective of continuing to widen the scope of customer-centric digital offerings in financial services, CBB proposed amendments to the existing regulations related to open banking regulations in the general requirements module (Module GR) under Volumes 1 and 2 of the CBB Rulebook for conventional and Islamic banks, respectively, and in the open banking module (Module OB) under Volume 5 of the CBB Rulebook for ancillary service providers. The feedback period for the consultation ends on April 02, 2023. Under the proposed amendments, banks need to provide access to information about their customers (who are legal persons, with their consent) to payment initiation service providers (PISPs) and account information service providers (AISPs). AISPs/PISPs are also required to develop and agree with banks the API specifications, customer onboarding, and related service and operational guidelines, which are also to be consistent with the security standards and guidelines in the Bahrain Open Banking Framework (BOBF).The amendments also address requirements on data required to be shared by banks and the nature of products and services that are subject to these requirements.


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    Keywords: Middle East and Africa, Bahrain, Banking, CBB Rulebook, Open Banking, Crypto Assets, Regtech, Digital Assets, Operational Risk, Basel, Islamic Banking, CBB

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