Bahrain hangs on as banking hub despite political turmoil

Political tensions after the Arab Spring still weigh on Bahrain's banking industry which is deterring some investment and inflows of money, and making it harder for Bahrain to compete with other centers such as Dubai. However, a mass exodus of financial firms from Bahrain has not happened and local banks are proving resilient. Moreover, Bahraini authorities have mounted an active campaign to persuade financial institutions to stay in the country. The central bank of Bahrain has also been active in recent months in trying to strengthen financial institutions, asking them to increase capital, encouraging revenue diversification and, in some cases, merge. Nevertheless, the future health of Bahrain as a banking market will not be assured as long as the political unrest continues.