30 December 2013 — DFSA Signs Agreements With Italian Regulators
Rome, Italy, 30 December 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into two important agreements, last week, with the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (Italian Securities and Exchange Commission) or CONSOB and Bank d'Italia (Bank of Italy), in Rome.
CONSOB is the public authority responsible for regulating the Italian securities market and protecting the investing public. It also conducts investigations with respect to potential infringements of insider dealing and market manipulation law.
The Bank of Italy is the central bank of the Republic of Italy and is responsible, among other issues, for the stability and efficiency of the financial system, regulating, coordinating, and controlling the provision of credit.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA is very pleased to have settled these protocols with each of Italy's financial supervisors. In doing so, our Italian counterparts have expressed their confidence in the DFSA's equivalence with international standards and our willingness and ability to share information and assist. This is especially important as two of Italy's largest financial institutions have branches in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). These just completed arrangements will give confidence to investors that both home and host supervisors are working closely together in Dubai and in Rome to ensure sound supervision of these institutions."
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For further information please contact:
Ms Angharad Irving-Jones
Head of Corporate Communications
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial freezone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.
In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.
Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.
Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.
In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.
Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).
Giuseppe Vegas was appointed Chairman of Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) in January, 2011 and has served as a councillor for the Italian Senate, and has also been a journalist, a publicist, and has served as a visiting professor.
He was nominated Undersecretary of the State for the first time under the Dini Government (1995), first for Finances and then for the Treasury, and then later under the Berlusconi Government. He was nominated Undersecretary of the State for Economy and Finance in 2001 and 2008.
He served as the Vice-Minister for the Economy and Finance from 2005 – 2006 and from 2009–2010. From 1996 to 2010 he served in the Parliament, first as a Senator, and then from 2008, as a Member of Parliament. He has always been involved with public finance, in particular in terms of financial manoeuvring and the national budget, including the recent legal reform of public accounting, which he played an active role in developing.
Mr Vegas is the author of a number of publications on legal and economic matters, both scientific and didactic, which include: "Spesa pubblica e confessioni religiose"(1990); "Il bilancio dello Stato" (with D. Da Empoli and P. De Ioanna, 1988, 1995, 2000 and 2005); "Cittadino, economia e Stato" (with A. Pescosolido, 2000, 2001 and 2003); "Il nuovo bilancio pubblico" (2010).
21 November 2013 — DFSA Clarifies DIFC Courts Action
Dubai, UAE, 21 November 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, this week, that it had commenced proceedings in the DIFC Courts in respect of a DIFC Authorised Firm.
The announcement stated that the DFSA had brought the proceedings for the purpose of enforcing compliance with two investigative Notices.
The DFSA's Particulars of Claim filed in the DIFC Courts makes reference to Mr Munir Kaloti, who was a customer of the Firm.
The DFSA confirms that neither Mr Munir Kaloti nor the Kaloti Group of companies are or were the subjects of the DFSA's investigation.
18 November 2013 — DFSA Fines Unregistered Auditor
Dubai, UAE, 18 November 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that it had fined a Dubai-based auditor, Middle East Auditing Office, AED 55,000 (USD $15,000) for conducting audits of the financial statements of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) company without being registered as an auditor.
Auditors who audit DIFC-based companies are required to be registered by the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC). An auditor not registered by the RoC is prohibited from auditing companies based in the DIFC.
An investigation found that Middle East Auditing Office, a licensed accounting firm in Dubai, consented to conduct an audit of three sets of financial statements of a DIFC-based company, but was not registered to do so.
The AED 55,000 fine was imposed on Middle East Auditing Office by the DFSA, acting under a delegation from the RoC to conduct investigations on its behalf. The fine is the first such fine imposed by the DFSA acting under such a delegation.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Auditors play an integral role in complying with governance, compliance and financial standards. They are the first line of defence against impropriety and systems and controls failures. The Registrar of Companies and the DFSA registers auditors so that they comply with our high audit standards. In so doing clients of DIFC companies are better protected."
17 November 2013 — DFSA Commences DIFC Courts Action
Dubai, UAE, 17 November 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has commenced proceedings in the DIFC Courts to enforce compliance by Deutsche Bank AG, Dubai (DIFC) Branch (DBDIFC), with a Notice requiring information.
The DFSA has brought the proceedings for the purpose of enforcing compliance with two investigative Notices served on DBDIFC, under Article 80 of the Regulatory Law 2004, requiring the production of information and documents.
The DFSA will make no further comment until the proceedings are resolved.
7 October 2013 — DIFC Financial Adviser Banned by the DFSA
Dubai, UAE, 7 October 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that it had restricted a former financial adviser of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firm, Mr Jaime Corona (Mr Corona), for unethical conduct when he was advising clients about the value of their investment portfolios.
The restriction imposed by the DFSA prevents Mr Corona from performing any functions in connection with the provision of Financial Services in the DIFC for a period of six years.
The DFSA took this action because Mr Corona engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, in relation to investments, by providing two Dubai-based clients falsified portfolio account statements which indicated that the value of their portfolios were significantly greater than their actual value. The conduct of Mr Corona came to the attention of the DFSA after he left the UAE. By engaging in this conduct the DFSA found that Mr Corona is not a person who is fit and proper to provide financial services in the DIFC.
During the course of the DFSA's investigation and decision making, Mr Corona failed to respond to any DFSA communications. Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "People who act unethically cannot avoid the DFSA's scrutiny by leaving the jurisdiction or failing to communicate with the regulator. The DFSA may impose sanctions on those who contravene its laws regardless of their location. Furthermore, the DFSA is taking an increasing interest in the conduct of financial advisers to improve the quality of advice provided to consumers."
Mr Johnston added, "financial advisers are required to make accurate disclosures to consumers and if a consumer is concerned about the validity of advice provided then they should inform their financial services regulator of their concerns."
A copy of the Notice of Restriction can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.
2 October 2013 — DFSA Signs MoU with Lebanese Counterpart
Dubai, UAE, 2 October 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) earlier this week entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Banque du Liban (BDL), the Central Bank of Lebanon.
The MoU was signed at the DFSA by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Usama R Mikdashi, Chairman of the Banking Control Commission of Lebanon (BCCL), on behalf of the Governor of the BDL.
The BCCL was established in 1967 to supervise banks, financial institutions, money dealers, brokerage firms and leasing companies in Lebanon. The BCCL exercises its supervisory functions independently but in close co-operation with the Governor of the BDL. The BCCL performs its duties through periodic on-site and off-site examinations and evaluates financial soundness of regulated entities.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Since its inception, the DFSA has been keen to engage with our counterparts in this region. This MoU confirms a growing relationship between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Central Bank of Lebanon and reflects the importance of links between neighbouring regulators."
Mr Johnson added: "This agreement will enhance information sharing and co-operation between us and assume increasing importance as both regulators rely on the quality of regulatory standards administered in the other's jurisdiction."
30 September 2013 — DFSA Disciplines Former Senior Executive of DIFC Firm
Dubai, UAE, 30 September 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that Mr Tareck Fouad Farah (Mr Farah), will pay a financial penalty of AED 27,525 (USD $7,500) for issuing a letter containing false information.
Mr Farah was a former Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firm. In April 2009, Mr Farah issued a bank reference letter on behalf of a client containing false information that was addressed to another financial institution. The bank reference letter stated that the client held a portfolio of securities valued at approximately AED 18,350,000 (USD $5,000,000). The actual value of the client's portfolio was only approximately AED 697,000 (USD $190,000).
By engaging in this conduct, the DFSA was concerned that Mr Farah had breached DFSA Principles requiring SEOs to perform their functions with integrity, skill, care and diligence.
Mr Farah acknowledged the DFSA's concerns and made a settlement offer in the form of an Enforceable Undertaking (EU), in which he agreed to pay the financial penalty. Mr Farah co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation and no person suffered any financial loss as a result of the conduct. The Authorised Firm brought the matter to the DFSA's attention in December 2012.
Mr Stephen Glynn, Head of Enforcement at the DFSA said: "The DFSA expects Senior Executive Officers to perform their functions to the high standards required of them and as set out in the DFSA's Laws and Rules. SEOs of Authorised Firms occupy positions of trust and their stakeholders are entitled to rely upon the integrity of their statements, whether they be written or oral. In this instance the written statement was prepared for use by another financial institution and the DFSA was concerned the letter may have been relied upon to extend credit or for some other purpose."
Mr Glynn added: "SEOs should expect the DFSA to take action when they fail to meet standards required of them under the Laws and Rules administered by the DFSA."
A copy of the EU can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.
23 September 2013 — DIFC Private Banker Sanctioned by the DFSA
Dubai, UAE, 23 September 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today, that Mr Nikhil Das (Mr Das), a former private banker, will pay a financial penalty of AED 73,400 (USD $20,000) and be restricted, for a period of six years, from performing any functions in, or in connection with, the provision of a financial service in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The announcement follows the conclusion of a DFSA investigation into the conduct of Mr Das when he was a former employee of a DFSA Authorised Firm.
Between July 2012 and January 2013 Mr Das executed two transactions, valued at AED 12,478,000 (USD $3.4 million) and AED 18,350,000 (USD $5 million) respectively, on behalf of a client without his consent.
Furthermore, Mr Das forged the client's signature on a number of documents and sent fraudulent letters and account statements, containing false and misleading information about his investments. The client did not suffer any financial loss as a consequence of Mr Das' fraudulent conduct and unauthorised investments.
Mr Das co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation and acknowledged forging the client's signature, executing unauthorised investments and providing the client with falsified documents.
Mr Das agreed to settle the DFSA's concerns by making a settlement offer, in the form of an Enforceable Undertaking (EU), to comply with the sanctions.
The EU requires Mr Das to comply with all of its conditions. Should Mr Das fail to comply with any condition of the EU then the DFSA may seek to enforce that condition in the DIFC Courts.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Consumers who rely on the advice and services of private bankers are entitled to expect high standards of conduct from them. The DFSA expects private bankers who provide services in or from the DIFC to act ethically and with integrity. Bankers who do not meet these minimum standards will have to answer to the DFSA."
Mr Johnston reinforced his message that, "the DFSA will continue to uphold high standards of probity and will not permit any individual, who does not meet its standards, to provide financial services in the DIFC."
A copy of the EU can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.
11 September 2013 — DFSA Sanctions United Investment Bank Limited
Dubai, UAE, 11 September 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that it had accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from United Investment Bank Limited (UIB), a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firm.
UIB agreed:• to pay a financial penalty of AED 183,500 (USD $50,000) to the DFSA; and• to not Provide Custody to any persons until it had implemented measures including remedying its systems and controls to the satisfaction of the DFSA.
The EU resulted from a DFSA investigation into the manner in which UIB was Providing Custody. During 2012, UIB was contracted to provide custodian services for six funds.
The investigation revealed that:• UIB did not maintain adequate systems and controls to comply with DFSA's safe custody requirements;• corporate governance deficiencies prevented UIB's management from acting in the best interest of the Firm; and• for one of its funds, UIB had failed to provide any custodian services even though it was contracted to do so and was identified as the fund's custodian in the fund's Offering Memorandum. Further, UIB knew this and failed to notify the DFSA until nine months later.
UIB co-operated with the DFSA's investigation.
A copy of the EU can be found in the public register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.
25 August 2013 — DFSA signs 26 Agreements with EU Regulators
Dubai, UAE, 25 August 2013: Continuous collaboration with international regulators has been at the forefront of the Dubai Financial Services Authority's (DFSA's) engagement objective this year, and as such, the DFSA has entered into 26 supervisory co-operation agreements with European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) securities regulators. Under these agreements, each regulator agrees to help each other supervise fund managers operating across borders, between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Europe.
The DFSA negotiated the agreements with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The DFSA's Chief Executive Mr Ian Johnston signed the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with 26 EU regulators last month. The EU signatories to these agreements are: France, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Malta, Lithuania, Greece, Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic and Romania.
The agreements under the MoUs allow fund managers in the DIFC to manage and market Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) to professional investors in the EEA under the rules of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). AIFs include hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds. Managing and marketing such funds into Europe will allow DIFC-based fund managers to access a greater pool of investors. It is hoped that with a strong distribution network and a sustainable distribution model, the MoUs will prove beneficial for the industry in the DIFC.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The DFSA's efforts to improve cross-border opportunities will further facilitate investment flows and will benefit investors and the funds industry. In addition, it reflects the DFSA's commitment to enhance the economy of the UAE and Dubai, furthering Dubai's position as a prominent financial centre.”
The DFSA already has in place bi-lateral agreements with 13 of its European counterparts and enjoys strong and close relationships with them ensuring that fund managers are well supervised in the DIFC and in Europe.
5 August 2013 — European Commission Recognises DFSA's Audit Oversight System
Dubai, UAE, 5 August 2013: The European Commission (Commission) announced its decision, recently, to grant the Dubai Financial Services Authority's (DFSA's) audit monitoring system 'equivalent status' with European Union (EU) member states.
Following an assessment of the supervisory regime for auditors in the Dubai International Financial centre (DIFC), the Commission considered the DFSA's audit oversight system equivalent with that of EU member states. On the basis of this decision, individual EU audit regulators may enter co-operative agreements with the DFSA with the view to relying on each other's work on the supervision of auditors and audit firms.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "This is further confirmation of the recognition of the DFSA as a regulator of international standing and of the DIFC as a reputable financial centre. Confidence in capital markets is absolutely fundamental to long-term growth. Instilling and maintaining that confidence is, in no small part, the obligation of auditors. The DFSA has already established a Memorandum of Understanding with the audit oversight regulator in the United States, and we look forward to similar fruitful collaboration with our counterparts in Europe."
The DFSA will now commence discussions with those individual EU regulators where DIFC debt and equity instruments are listed on their respective exchanges.
5 May 2013 — DFSA Releases Key Findings of Audit Inspections
Dubai, UAE, 5 May 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) released, today, an Audit Monitoring Report (Report) detailing key findings of audit inspections conducted by the DFSA from January 2008 to December 2012. This is the first public report issued by the DFSA on its monitoring programme of Auditors registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and able to conduct audits of financial firms and exchanges.
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The DFSA's audit monitoring programme aims to promote high-quality audits of the financial statements of financial institutions, domestic funds, DIFC exchanges and their publicly listed entities. Our regulation and supervision is risk-based and involves both desk-based surveillance and intensive on-site verification to assess whether Auditors meet our requirements and applicable international standards.”
During the period, covered by the Report the DFSA conducted thirty three (33) on-site assessments, assessed fifty six (56) Audit Principals and reviewed one hundred and six (106) audit engagement files.
Mr Johnson added: “Overall, we observed improvements in the conduct of audit work over the five (5) year period. Our on-site audit inspections commenced in 2008 with all registered and appointed Auditors being seen at least twice during that five year period. However, the Report identifies a number of areas where Auditors need to focus their attention and make further improvements to ensure audit quality.”
Issuing the DFSA's Report is consistent with principles of transparency and accountability of regulation, observed by Audit regulators internationally.
24 April 2013 — DFSA Hosts Event on Attracting UAE Nationals into the Financial Sector
Dubai, UAE, 24 April 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), today, held a breakfast briefing to discuss ways in which to attract and retain UAE Nationals into the finance industry. The event was held at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The speakers comprised industry experts who shared experiences and advice on ways to attract, retain, develop and provide industry specific qualifications to UAE Nationals wishing to pursue a career in financial services. Speakers included: Mr Khaled Al Zaabi, Manager, Supervision - DFSA; Ms Jeanette Vinke, Senior Lecturer Finance and Accounting - American University of Sharjah; Mr Anis Sadek, Managing Partner Deloitte & Touche (ME), Dubai office; Mr Ahmed Al Maqtari, Managing Partner - Al Maqtari Auditing; Mr Peter Beynon, Regional Director - ICAEW Middle East and Mr Mohammed Zamani, Associate - KPMG. The sessions were moderated by Mr Richard Dean from Dubai Eye.
The briefing was well attended by delegates from the accountancy and finance industry from across the region.
Mr Michael Ridgeway, General Counsel, DFSA, and Dean of the Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Programme said: "The TRL Programme is our UAE National recruitment, training and development programme, which is now in its seventh year. The goal of this programme is to equip and shape the next generation of financial services regulators. Today's event brought together several unique perspectives and creative ideas regarding ways to improve the development and retention of UAE National employees in all organisations, including our own."
Speaking at the event, Mr Anis Sadek said: "Today's event was very successful in that it shed light on many important issues related to Emiratisation goals in the financial sector. Deloitte Middle East is fully committed to invest in building local market capabilities, as well in attracting, retaining and developing UAE National talent to lead our various service lines and industries."
Mr Peter Beynon, Regional Director - ICAEW Middle East, said: "Although great progress is being made with Emiratisation, there are challenges. The financial sector is one of the areas where bright, hardworking UAE Nationals can find rewarding careers. The ICAEW was encouraged by the issues raised today in that delegates openly expressed views, offered advice and shared experiences."
23 April 2013 — DFSA Announces Appointment of Board Member
Dubai, UAE, 23 April 2013: The Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is pleased to announce that His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has appointed Mr Charles Flint QC to the DFSA Board of Directors. This follows the retirement of Mr Michael Blair QC from the DFSA Board. Mr Charles Flint QC succeeds him as a Member of the Board and Chairman of the Legislative Committee, with effect from 10 April 2013.
Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA stated: "In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the DIFC to have an internationally recognised regulator of the very highest calibre, I am pleased to welcome Mr Charles Flint QC to the DFSA Board. He is a leading figure in financial services and will solidify the DFSA's reputation as a strong and internationally respected regulator."
"We are grateful for Mr Blair's most valuable contribution over the last ten years. He was instrumental in contributing to the creation of the excellent regulatory and legal regime that exists in the DIFC today."
1 April 2013 — DFSA Consumer Alerts Having an Impact
Dubai, UAE, 1 April 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) was recently informed of a fraudulent alert that attempts to undermine the credibility of the DFSA's Consumer Alert system.
The DFSA issues Consumer Alerts whenever it becomes aware of a scam that misuses the identity of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the DFSA or any of their staff. The Consumer Alerts warn the public of the scam and advise consumers not to deal with any of the persons or companies associated with the scam. The DFSA applies best global standards to reduce the phenomenon of any fraud affecting the Center or its clients.
Consumer Alerts have saved a number of people from being scammed. The DFSA's Consumer Alerts are easily accessible through a simple internet search and consumers can easily protect themselves by simply conducting an internet search and informing themselves of the most recent scams. The DFSA also publishes any documents that are used to defraud consumers on its web site. The DFSA has had a lot of success in diminishing the effectiveness of scams by posting the alerts and documents on its web site.
Recently the DFSA became aware of unusual and fraudulent information being posted on the internet about the DFSA's own Consumer Alert system. It appears the fraudulent information attempts to imitate the DFSA's Consumer Alerts with the intention of undermining the credibility of the DFSA Consumer Alert's system.
The DFSA's Head of Enforcement, Stephen Glynn said that: "I was surprised to see a fraudulent alert that mimics the DFSA's Consumer Alerts. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity of scammers to invent fraudulent practices that protect their own interests".
"It is not precisely clear why the fraudulent alert has been issued. One theory is that it is an attempt by scammers to undermine the credibility of the DFSA's Consumer Alert system, thus improving the prospects of their own illegal activities. Alternatively, it could be part of a broader scam for which we don't yet have full particulars."
Mr Glynn said: "Consumers need to be vigilant and careful when investing in products or services they do not understand, that offer returns well above the market rate or are too good to be true."
"Many scams are now reported on the internet or blog sites. Consumers can protect themselves by simply conducting an internet search. If in doubt, consumers should always first call their financial services regulator before parting with their hard earned cash."
The DFSA has issued a Consumer Alert in relation to the fraudulent alert which can be viewed here.
25 February 2013 — Market Regulators Meet in the DIFC
Dubai, UAE, 25 February 2013: In Dubai, last week, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted a meeting of the region's securities regulators, the Africa and Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC) of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
AMERC is one of the four regional committees of IOSCO, representing 21 securities regulators across the region. Thirty representatives from twelve of these members attended the 30th Meeting of AMERC, its first in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In addition to participants from the DFSA and the federal regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia were also represented. The new Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait also attended as an Observer.
In his welcome address, DFSA Chief Executive, Ian Johnston, observed, “IOSCO continues to shape the regulatory landscape, leading us to more equable, transparent markets in which investors can have confidence.” Mr Johnston commended IOSCO on leading the way for all standard-setters in establishing its multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU), which has strengthened co-operation and sharing of information among securities regulators. AMERC has further enhanced this process by introducing a regional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), recognising the need to exchange general and more specific information about matters of regulatory concern, including financial and other supervisory information, technical expertise, surveillance and investor education and the sharing of information related to systemic risks.
In her opening remarks on the second day of the meeting, the Chair of AMERC, Ms Arunma Oteh, thanked the DFSA for hosting the meeting and joined Mr Johnston in stressing the important role of risk-based supervision, which reflected the theme of the conference, “Risk-based Supervision as a Global Agenda”.
Members also heard from IOSCO's Secretary General, Mr David Wright, who spoke of the effects of the global financial crisis and prompted a discussion among all members on emerging risks, barriers to development and key regulatory priorities for emerging securities markets. It was agreed that the identification of risks would be a standing agenda item at future AMERC meetings.
10 February 2013 — DFSA Signs Agreement With European Securities and Markets Authority
Dubai, UAE, 10 February 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), last week, entered into an important agreement with Europe's Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The signing took place during a meeting between Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Dr Steven Maijoor, Chairman of ESMA. ESMA's Executive Director, Ms Verena Ross, was also present.
ESMA is an independent European Union (EU) Authority, established on 1 January 2011 to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the EU. One of its responsibilities is the supervision of Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs).
In 2011, the DFSA extended its regulatory reach to require CRAs in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to be licensed and supervised by the DFSA. Three of these CRAs are also supervised by ESMA, which prompted this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “I am particularly pleased to have signed this MoU with ESMA, which recognises the importance of on-going supervisory and enforcement-related co-operation in light of the cross-border activities of credit rating agencies and the global nature of ratings generally.”
“Since 2005, the DFSA has placed a high priority on building its information network, and reflecting the home jurisdiction of financial firms in the Centre, our links with Europe have been significant. The DFSA already has MoUs with many of our counterparts in Europe including France, Germany and the UK. Through these arrangements we demonstrate our commitment to the operation of internationally accepted practices within the DIFC,” Mr Johnston added.