Entire Section

  • 2019 2019

    • 29 December 2019 — DFSA to launch Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 29 December 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is launching a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (Platform) to help firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) implement appropriate safeguards to mitigate against cyber risks. The Platform is a result of ongoing cooperation and collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) and the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg (CIRCL). Leading international experts, including HelpAG, Kaspersky, Palo Alto Networks, Cofense, and Recorded Future are participating in this initiative and contributing to the Platform.

      The DFSA will host a launch event, where the platform is scheduled to go live, in January 2020. The Platform is the first regulator-led cyber threat intelligence platform in the region and will be operated and managed in coordination with Help AG. The Platform provides cyber threat intelligence, not only to the DFSA but to the entire DIFC, creating a cyberintelligence community and ecosystem accessible to all DIFC businesses regardless of size or ability with the potential to include the wider business community.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive Officer of DFSA, said, “The Platform is designed to strengthen the cyber security environment in the DIFC, with an overarching aim of facilitating businesses in their cyber defences, in a more efficient and coherent manner. It is reflective of the importance of public-private partnerships in combating non-traditional and non-financial risks like cyber security. Many non-financial and non-traditional risks will factor in our operating Business Plan for 2020 and beyond.”

      Waleed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer of the DFSA, said: “The DFSA takes cyber security seriously and is increasing its focus on cyber risk. This initiative is part of a broader DFSA strategy to increase cyber threat awareness and improve cyber resilience in the DIFC, and is aligned with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai's UAE National Cybersecurity Strategy and the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy, both of which aim to strengthen the position of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as a world leader in innovation, safety, and security. The DFSA also has a number of initiatives currently underway including the adoption of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.”

      The DFSA views cyber risk as an issue that impacts all businesses and requires an open dialogue and cooperation between industry participants. Cyber attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, and firms generally have a reactive approach to threats. The information shared on the Platform is intended to assist businesses in the DIFC in detecting and preventing cyberattacks.

      The Platform is a major milestone in mitigating cyber risk proactively and will benefit the broader DIFC community by creating an ecosystem for information sharing and enriched cyber threat intelligence to help detect and mitigate cyber risks.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The DFSA is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC.

      About Bryan Stirewalt:

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Over his time with the DFSA, Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. His responsibilities have included prudential and conductoriented oversight of financial service providers in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in addition to the DFSA's regulatory role with Registered Auditors and Credit Rating Agencies. He has also directed the DFSA's efforts in fighting methods of illicit finance, including the crucial regulatory relationships with Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions.Prior to joining the DFSA, Bryan developed his skills over a career that spans more than 30 years. He has held a number of senior positions in financial regulation, both in the public and in private sectors. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, specialising in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 until joining the DFSA in 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. In relation to international development, Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

      About Waleed Al Awadhi

      Mr Al Awadhi has over 18 years of international and local experience in leadership, strategy and innovation across financial services, Islamic banking, real estate, and media and telecommunications. He is responsible for operational excellence at the DFSA by driving the development and implementation of world-class, innovative solutions and smart initiatives. Mr Al Awadhi represents the DFSA on strategic initiatives with Government entities and with local and regional regulators and international standardsetters. He plays a leading role in building UAE National capabilities both at the DFSA and within broader society. He is a member of the United Arab Emirates National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations (NCCMLFTIO) and the Dubai International Communication Committee (DICC) - a Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) initiative. He also sits on the Board of CPI Financial. Previously, Mr Al Awadhi headed the Marketing and Communication division at Abu Dhabi Media, Priority Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank, and was Deputy Head of Retail Banking and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Dubai Bank, where he also managed Royal Banking and Wealth Management, Branding, Marketing and Communications. Prior to this, he was the Global Director of Marketing and Sales at Sama Dubai - a member company of Dubai Holding - where he was responsible for over 20 international markets. Mr Al Awadhi is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, where he completed the General Management Program. He has a Master of Law with a double major in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and Financial Crimes and Money Laundering, and a Bachelor degree in Applied Business Science. In 2016 Mr Al Awadhi published his first book entitled 'The Sustainability of Family Businesses in the United Arab Emirates – A Legal and Operational Perspective for Best Practice.'

    • 19 December 2019 — Former Compliance Officer fined and restricted from working in the DIFC

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      Dubai, UAE, 19 December 2019: The Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT), a specialist independent tribunal, has affirmed a decision by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to fine Ms Anna Waterhouse and restrict her from being involved in providing financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

      Ms Waterhouse was previously the Head of Compliance for the DIFC branch of Deutsche Bank AG (DBDIFC) covering the Middle East and North Africa. She was authorised by the DFSA as DBDIFC's Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

      Following a lengthy and comprehensive investigation, the DFSA found that, on several occasions from 1 January 2011 to 21 January 2014, Ms Waterhouse gave false or misleading information to the DFSA. This was confirmed by the FMT's decision of 12 August 2019. In particular, the FMT found that she repeatedly told the DFSA that DBDIFC's Private Wealth Management (PWM) team only referred prospective clients to other offices of Deutsche Bank AG and did not provide them with any financial services. Ms Waterhouse was reckless as to the truth of these statements and ignored signs that breaches were occurring. As a result she did not correct the position over an extended period of time, which meant that failures in DBDIFC's client take-on and anti-money laundering processes were concealed from early 2011.

      The FMT found that Ms Waterhouse knew of the true extent of PWM's activities by November 2011 at the latest and did nothing to communicate that to the DFSA until late 2013. The FMT found that Ms Waterhouse did not deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner or disclose, appropriately, information of which the DFSA would reasonably expect to be notified.

      The FMT concluded that Ms Waterhouse lacked integrity and was not a fit and proper person to perform functions in connection with financial services in or from the DIFC. The FMT said in its decision: "It is difficult to overstate the crucial importance to the well-being of financial markets that all those who accept positions as Authorised Individuals act with integrity and deal frankly and openly with the Regulator."

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "It is fundamental that all Authorised Persons are open and honest with the DFSA. The penalty in this case reflects the fact that Ms Waterhouse not only failed to be open and honest with the DFSA, but recklessly misled the DFSA over an extended period of time."

      The FMT's decision can be found on the FMT section of the DFSA website, and a copy of it can be accessed via this link.

      Ms Waterhouse subsequently applied to the DIFC Courts for permission to appeal against the FMT's decision. On 12 December 2019, Ms Waterhouse's application was refused and she was ordered to pay the DFSA's costs in relation to the application for permission to appeal. A copy of the order with reasons of Justice Sir Jeremy Cooke is available on the DIFC Courts' website and can be accessed via this link.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact: Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1500
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      In April 2015, the DFSA published its related action against DBDIFC for misleading the DFSA, and for failures in DBDIFC 's internal governance and systems and controls and in its client take-on and anti-money laundering processes.

      On 22 June 2017, the DFSA took enforcement action against Mr Chetan Parmar for providing false information to the DFSA. Mr Parmar was also a former employee of DBDIFC, and reported directly to Ms Waterhouse. The action against Mr Parmar resulted from the same facts and circumstances as the DFSA's action against both DBDIFC and Ms Waterhouse. Though the DFSA issued a media release concerning the action against Mr Parmar, it did not publish the Decision Notice given to him while Ms Waterhouse's reference to the FMT was still being heard. Now that Ms Waterhouse's reference to the FMT has concluded, a copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice detailing the reasons for its action against Mr Parmar can be found on the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website, and a copy of it can be accessed via this link

      The FMT is operationally independent of the DFSA and it has its own rules of procedure. The FMT conducts a full merits review of DFSA decisions that are referred to it and determines the appropriate action for the DFSA to take. The President of the FMT. His Honour David Mackie CBE QC, is a former Judge of the English High Court.

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering worldclass financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 28 November 2019 — DFSA and Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier sign Financial Innovation agreement

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      Luxembourg, 28 November 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) Luxembourg, entered into an agreement to cooperate in the development of FinTech. The cooperation framework reflects efforts by both authorities to foster innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), as well as in Luxembourg.

      The agreement was signed by Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, and Claude Marx, Director General of the CSSF in Luxembourg. Under the terms of the agreement, the authorities will, subject to applicable laws and regulations, share information about innovations in financial services in their respective markets, including emerging trends and developments as well as innovation-related regulatory issues.

      The agreement provides a framework for cooperation and referrals between each authority. It also sets out a mechanism, which will enable the authorities to refer innovator businesses between their respective Innovation Functions and provide them with regulatory support. The agreement builds on the DFSA's existing MoU with the CSSF signed in 2007.

      Mr Eigner, said: "We are proud to be strengthening our relationship with the CSSF. The DFSA and the CSSF are actively engaged in the development of FinTech giving the market confidence through fair and proportionate regulation. We firmly believe that cooperation with the CSSF is paramount to creating more stable and innovative financial services. This is testament to our commitment to foster effective agreements with peer regulators across the globe and engage on emerging FinTech sectors and issues. We look forward to working with the CSSF to develop our FinTech proposition and contribute to the efficiency and further enhancements of our respective financial markets."

      This latest cooperation is the DFSA's eighth FinTech agreement and forms part of the DFSA's innovation strategy, which complements the National Innovation Strategy, as set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE a global hub for innovation. In May 2017, the DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence, a special class of financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the DIFC. In August 2017, the DFSA became the first regulator to launch a tailored regulatory regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. The DFSA also launched a property crowdfunding regime in July 2019, becoming the first regulator in the region to do so.

      - ENDS -

      Editor's notes:

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with nonmember, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Bank

    • 14 November 2019 — DFSA extends MoU with Chinese regulatory body CBIRC

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 14 November 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today signed an extension to their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC). The MoU was signed by ZHOU Liang, Vice Chairman of the CBIRC and Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, during a visit by a CBIRC delegation to the DIFC.

      The initial MoU, signed in Beijing on 24 September 2007, facilitated co-operation and information sharing between banking supervisors. The extended MoU reflects the CBIRC's supervisory mandate for insurance activities and provides a platform for both entities to share supervisory information and enhance co-operation in the field of banking and insurance regulation in order to ensure prudent operations of cross-border insurance organisations of mutual interest.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "We are proud to strengthen our relationship with CBIRC to enable an exchange of information, expertise, and resources across the banking and insurance sectors. The Chinese banks operating in the DIFC constitute a significant presence in the Centre's financial community. As such, the relationship between the CBIRC and the DFSA is critically important. The DFSA has enjoyed a strong, working relationship with the CBIRC for many years. Further, the UAE and China enjoy a fruitful bilateral relationship and we look forward to building on that relationship."

      ZHOU Liang , Vice Chairman of the CBIRC, said: "CBIRC is a ministerial institution authorised by the Chinese State Council to conduct administration, supervision, and regulation of the Chinese banking and insurance market. The new partnership will allow banking and insurance organisations under both parties to exercise adequate and effective control over the operations of their cross-border branches and subsidiaries."

      - ENDS -

      Editor's notes:

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with nonmember, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Bank

    • 13 November 2019 — DFSA issues Consultation Paper for SME listings

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, Wednesday 13 November: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has issued a consultation paper that outlines the DFSA's proposals for a regulatory regime that permits Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to list their shares on an Authorised Market Institution (AMI) in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

      SMEs play an important role in the economic development of any country. The UAE Ministry of Economy has stressed that SMEs are a key pillar in the country's economic vision. More than 94% of the companies operating in the UAE are SMEs, and the SME sector provides jobs for more than 86% of the private sector's workforce. Despite this, SMEs are known to experience difficulties accessing funding. Given the importance of SMEs to the economy, the DFSA wishes to facilitate financing solutions that might bridge the funding gap and ease cash flow issues.

      Through this proposal, the DFSA seeks to enable SMEs to access equity capital markets in or from the DIFC by providing appropriate and proportionate regulatory standards, while at the same time providing adequate levels of investor protection. The proposed regime is intended to simplify and streamline the approval process for SMEs to access equity markets.

      Eric Salomons, Head of Markets at the DFSA said: “The DFSA recognises that SMEs form a vital part of the UAE's economy. Protecting investors properly, while enabling easier access to equity financing for SMEs, is a way in which the DFSA can contribute to the further economic development of Dubai and the UAE. These proposals set out our plans to deliver this.”

      The DFSA's proposals align with government initiatives, including the Dubai Plan 2021 to support and grow the SME sector.

      The DFSA invites comments from potential SME applicants, operators of AMIs and those providing legal, accounting, audit, or compliance services to SMEs in the DIFC, as well as from potential investors in listed SMEs. Comments must be provided by 12 January 2020.

      The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link: /node/24396

      - ENDS -

      Editor's notes:

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with nonmember, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Bank

    • 11 November 2019 — DFSA participates in Singapore FinTech Festival

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Singapore, Singapore, 11 November 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is participating in the 2019 Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF). Hosted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and taking place from 11 – 15 November, the SFF is the largest FinTech event in the world. SFF features a FinTech Conference and Exhibition, FinTech Awards, Global FinTech Hackcelerator Demo Day, Global Investor Summit, and Innovation Lab Crawl.

      This year's edition of the SFF is centred on the themes of sustainability, finance and tech, the future of finance, investment and global markets opportunities and exponential technologies. The DFSA's Chairman, Mr Saeb Eigner, will be providing a developing market and regulatory perspective in a panel discussion titled “Policy Choices for a Digital Economy 2020" and the DFSA will also have an exhibitor presence alongside the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA).

      Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, said: "We are very pleased to be participating in the Singapore FinTech Festival again this year. SFF brings government organisations, regulatory bodies and the international FinTech community together for engaging discussions and events that will shape the future of the financial industry. The DFSA recognises the important role innovation and technology play in enabling a wide range of financial services products. We are committed to supporting the visionary leadership of Dubai in their efforts to facilitate innovation. We look forward to engaging with our international counterparts at SFF during the week."

      Attending the SFF accords with the DFSA's innovation strategy, which complements the National Innovation Strategy, as set out by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make the UAE a global hub for innovation.

      - ENDS -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

    • 5 November 2019 — Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority's first MoU in Riyadh signed with the DFSA

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 5 November 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) enhanced their relationship today when Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, met His Excellency Ahmed Al-Kholifey, Governor of SAMA, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen mutual cooperation in their supervision of banking and insurance.The MoU will facilitate the exchange of information and oversight of institutions supervised by the respective authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

      Under the MoU, both parties will be able to cooperate closely and strengthen their collaboration.

      Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, said: “We are very pleased to be the first regulator to sign an MoU with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority in Riyadh. This MoU will enhance our cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and help to promote transparent financial services business in our respective jurisdictions. It will also strengthen our relationship through mutual visits, and the formulation of effective strategies and action plans to improve the regulatory frameworks governing our respective financial markets, thus promoting a stable financial services sector in our region.”

      Apart from collaboration on technical assistance, consultation and dispute resolution, the MoU also allows for secondments between the Authorities, which will forge closer, stronger links between SAMA and the DFSA.

      - ENDS -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

    • 9 October 2019 — The DFSA invites applications for its 2020 Regulatory Sandbox 'Winter Cohort'

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 9 October 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) invites applications from local and international firms to apply to join the Winter 2020 Cohort. Successful cohort applicants will be invited to apply to enter the DFSA Regulatory Sandbox, known as the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme.

      The DFSA welcomes innovative technology-driven firms to apply through its website (www.dfsa.ae) between 1 and 30 November 2019. Firms must provide a clear explanation of their planned business model and the proposed innovative product or service. Firms accepted into the Winter Cohort will be announced on 16 December, after which they are required to submit an ITL application by 17 January 2020.

      Since the inception of the ITL Programme in 2017, the DFSA has accepted 20 companies into the cohort process, representing diverse business models from across the world. Such diverse business models have included digital Sukuk issuances using smart contracts, tokenised securities and debt offerings, tokenised crowdfunding, and the use of AI in credit analysis. The programme enables firms to test innovative solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It provides firms with temporary flexibility to test and develop concepts within the test environment without being subject to the full suite of regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The ITL Programme continues to provide the right balance between supporting financial innovation and maintaining the safety of the financial system and of the users of financial services. The ITL serves as a platform to safely test innovative financial technologies that have the potential to emerge as successful ventures and contribute to the financial services sector in Dubai and the UAE. The continued growth in the popularity of the programme is a testament to its success."

      Further details regarding the ITL and cohort applications are provided in the FinTech section of the DFSA's website. Firms are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in November.

      For more information about the cohort application process or the ITL programme, kindly email: Fintech@dfsa.ae

      - ENDS -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Bank

      The DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence programme, as part of its broader Innovation strategy, in May 2017. The DFSA improved the programme in 2018 by introducing the cohort approach. Currently, two cohorts of applicants are welcomed each year, with the DFSA setting out a clear timetable for applications and approvals, providing innovative firms with greater certainty about speed to market.

    • 3 October 2019 — DFSA Action Concerning Chairman and SEO Referred to Financial Markets Tribunal

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 3 October 2019: Dr Mubashir Sheikh, the former Chairman and Senior Executive Officer of MAS ClearSight Ltd (In Liquidation) (MAS), has referred a decision by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) concerning him to the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT) for review.

      On 18 July 2019, the DFSA decided to take enforcement action against Dr Sheikh for breaches of DFSA legislation. In its Decision Notice, the DFSA found that Dr Sheikh:

      •  demonstrated a lack of integrity by acting dishonestly and deceptively;
      •  provided false, misleading or deceptive information to the DFSA; and
      •  caused MAS to breach the DFSA's prudential rules.

      Given the seriousness of the findings and aggravating factors, the DFSA decided to take action against Dr Sheikh, including a direction that he should pay restitution to MAS. The DFSA also imposed a fine, and restricted and prohibited Dr Sheikh from performing certain functions in or from the DIFC. A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      https://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

      Dr Sheikh disputes the DFSA's findings and he has referred the action taken against him to the FMT for review. The DFSA's decision to take action against Dr Sheikh is therefore provisional, as it may be confirmed, varied or overturned as a result of the FMT's review. The DFSA does not intend to make any further public comment until the FMT's review is complete. Information about pending FMT matters, including details of any public hearings, can be found on the FMT section of the DFSA website: https://www.dfsa.ae/en/About-Us/Our-Structure#Financial-Market-Tribunal.

      - ENDS -

      Editor's notes:

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Bank

    • 2 October 2019 — The DFSA authorises its 500th financial firm

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 2 October 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) marks a significant moment in the 15-year history of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) this week by registering the 500th firm conducting financial services in or from the DIFC. The firm is Kotak Mahindra Bank of India, which will conduct a full suite of commercial banking activity.

      Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, said: “This is an important milestone in the development of the DIFC, now in its 15th year, which further solidifies its position as the leading international financial centre of the region and crowns the many previous achievements of the DIFC. It is fitting that the 500th authorised firm is a leading bank from India with a category 1 licence. One of the striking aspects of growth in the DIFC in recent years has been the rapidly growing volume of business originating from Asia, including China. Not only is the number of firms in the Centre continuing to grow steadily, but also the volume of business being conducted by them, adding progressively to the depth as well as breadth of activity in the DIFC. This is testament to the trust and confidence which international financial institutions place in the DIFC, including its regulatory framework. It is also testament to the vision of the leadership of Dubai and their commitment to supporting this important sector of Dubai's economy. Much credit is also due to the Governor of the DIFC and his team for their excellent work and consistent support.”

      Kotak Mahindra Bank's DIFC branch is its first overseas branch. Its entry to the DIFC brings the total number of India-domiciled banks operating in the Centre to ten, further strengthening economic and trade ties between India and the UAE.

      - ENDS -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1500
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

    • 30 September 2019 — DFSA participates in IOSCO's World Investor Week

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 30 September 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is participating in the International Organization of Securities Commissions' (IOSCO) third annual World Investor Week. The global campaign, beginning today, aims to promote investor education and investor protection as well as highlight global securities regulators' initiatives in these two critical areas. IOSCO is the international body that brings together the world's securities regulators and sets global standards for the financial securities sector. World Investor Week will be recognised internationally until 6 October.

      As a full member of IOSCO, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is proud to raise awareness of World Investor Week in the DIFC by focusing on different aspects of investor education and protection over the course of the week, as follows:

      •  Monday, 30 September: 'Before You Invest' highlighting the key things investors should consider before they invest in financial products.
      •  Tuesday 1 October: 'A Smart Investor' detailing key factors an investor should consider before making investment decisions.
      •  Wednesday, 2 October: 'Investing in a Digital World' where we try to demystify digital investments and share some of the basics with you.
      •  Thursday, 3 October: 'If it Sounds Too Good to be True it probably is!' Scams and How to Avoid Them.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, stated: "The DFSA is proud to participate in IOSCO's World Investor Week. As the financial regulator in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), we are keen to facilitate and promote investor education so that investors are better able to make appropriate financial decisions to understand the risks they take when investing, and to recognise when they need to seek professional advice."

      - ENDS -

      About the DFSA:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CTF) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 7 August 2019 — DFSA signs MoU with the Central Bank of Egypt

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 7 August 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to enhance the relationship and cooperation between both institutions and facilitate the performance of their respective supervisory tasks and promote the safety and soundness of banks in their respective jurisdictions. This includes, but is not limited to, combatting financial crime, conducting consolidated supervision of common firms and discussing crisis management.

      The MoU was signed by Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, in Dubai on 28 July 2019 and by H. E. Tarek Amer, Governor of the CBE, in Egypt.

      Bryan Stirewalt said: "We are honoured to be working hand in hand with the Central Bank of Egypt. This MoU will enhance the cooperation and relationship between the two parties by promoting stable and transparent financial services in our respective jurisdictions as well as contribute to strengthening investor confidence."

      Tarek Amer stated: "The MoU signed with the DFSA will help facilitate the exchange of information and performance of the supervisory tasks as well as promote the safety and soundness of banks in our respective jurisdictions, exchanging staff experience and training in the scope of banking supervision."

      The DFSA has enjoyed a close working relationship with its Egyptian counterparts for many years. In September 2006, the Capital Markets Authority of Egypt (the predecessor to the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority) was the first regulator outside the UAE to sign a MoU with the DFSA. In 2014, the DFSA signed a MoU with the then newly established Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, which has a broad regulatory remit for supervising and regulating non-banking financial markets and instruments, including capital markets, securities exchange, insurance services, mortgage finance, financial leasing, factoring and securitisations.

      This agreement is the seventh MoU signed by the DFSA with a regional central bank. Most recently, in March 2019, the DFSA signed a MoU with Bank Al Maghrib, in addition to MoUs with the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Central Bank of Oman in 2018. This builds upon MoUs signed with the Central Bank of the UAE in 2009, Banque Du Liban in 2013, and the Central Bank of Jordan in 2007.

      The DFSA has signed 110 bilateral MoUs with national, regional and global regulators and five multilateral MoUs as members of the key international financial standard-setters, demonstrating its commitment to enhanced regulatory cooperation and engagement in global financial markets.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact: Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1500
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CTF) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 30 July 2019 — DFSA fines two Abraaj group companies a total of USD 315 million for deceiving investors and the regulator

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      •   Serious wrongdoing by two Abraaj group companies included carrying out unauthorised activites in the DIFC and misusing investor's monies.
      •   These are the largest financial penalties ever imposed by the DFSA.

      Dubai, UAE, 30 July 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today imposed financial penalties of USD 299,300,000 (AED 1,098,431,000) and USD 15,275,925 (AED 56,062,645) on Abraaj Investment Management Limited (AIML) and Abraaj Capital Limited (ACLD), respectively.

      The DFSA investigation, which commenced in January 2018, was complex and spanned multiple jurisdictions, and found that AIML, a Cayman Islands company now in provisional liquidation:

      •   carried out the unauthorised financial services, including fund management, within and from the DIFC;
      •   actively misled and deceived investors in Abraaj funds over an extended period;
      •   misused investors' monies in various funds to meet its own operating and other expenses, which included payments to entities connected to some members of AIML staff, and to meet ever-increasing cash shortfalls; and
      •   concealed this by providing misleading financial information to investors and making false statesments about the use of money drawn down from investors and distributions.

      Among the many methods AIML used to deceieve investors were:

      1. borrowing money just prior to financial reporting dates to produce temporary bank balances at a level expected by the investors;
      2. changing the reporting period for a fund to disguise shortfalls;
      3. deflecting demands from various parties to provide updated financial information and bank statesments; and
      4. lying about delays in making distributions of exit proceeds to investors.

      At the time AIML entered into provisional liquidation, because of activities referred to above, two funds managed by AIML had a combined shortfall of at least USD 180 million.

      With regard to ACLD, a DIFC company also in provisional liquidation, the DFSA investigation found that it:

      •   failed to maintain adequare capital resources;
      •   deceived the DFSA about its compliance with various rules, including capital adequacy requirements; and
      •   was knowingly concerned in AIML's unauthorised financial services activities.

      As a result of this misconduct, ACLD also breached the Regulatory Law as it:

      •   failed to observe minimum standards of integrity and fair dealing;
      •   failed to ensure its affairs were managed effectively and responsibly; and
      •   failed to deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner.

      Internal correspondence showed that Abraaj group's compliance function raised concerns about the group carrying on unauthorised financial services within the DIFC as early as 2009, but ACLD's senior management ignored this.

      The DFSA has taken this action to penalise ACLD and AIML, deter others and protect investors. Before taking any further action to enforce payment of the fines, the DFSA will consider the firms' circumstances at that time and the corresponding implications of enforcing the fines for fund investors.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The size of these fines reflect the seriousness with which the DFSA views AIML's and ACLD's contraventions. Senior management rode roughshod over their compliance function and the misconduct and deceit were pervasive and persistent. We will pursue the persons or entities who perpetrated this activity, including those who allowed this to happen through major corporate governance breaches, to the full extent of our powers."

      The DFSA continues to investigate individuals and entities connected with this matter, in respect of their culpability, to the full extent of its powers and considering all sanctions available to it.

      A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices can be found in the Regulatory Actions [http://dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions] section of the DFSA website.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1500
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editors' notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free zone in Dubai. 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 commodites derivatices exchange. In addition to regulating financial and related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan is taking the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair as the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member global supervisors on bankking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 22 July 2019 — The DFSA joins Network for Greening the Financial System

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 22 July 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today that it is now a member of the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), becoming one of the first regulatory authorities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to join the NGFS.

      The NGFS is a group of Central Banks and Supervisors willing, on a voluntary basis, to exchange experiences, share best practices, contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, and to mobilise mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy. The network's purpose is to help in strengthening the global response required to meet the goals of the Paris agreement, and to enhance the role of the financial system to manage risks and to mobilise capital for green and low-carbon investments in the broader context of environmentally sustainable development.

      The NGFS was established in December 2017 by eight central banks and supervisors at the Paris One Planet Summit. Since then, the NGFS has grown to 42 members and eight observers, representing five continents.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "In August 2018, the DFSA issued its guidelines on green bonds that aim to facilitate the issuing and listing of environmentally friendly fixed income securities, including Green Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai, the largest listing exchange of issued Sukuk in the world. We are pleased to be a member of the NGFS alongside our regulatory peers around the world. We look forward to working with other members of the NGFS to further develop environment and climate risk management standards for the financial sector and to support global sustainable economic development goals. The DFSA welcomes NGFS's first comprehensive report published in April 2019 and supports the recommendations for central banks, supervisors, policymakers and financial institutions aiming to enhance their role in the greening of the financial system and the managing of environment and climate-related risks."

      Frank Elderson, Chairman of the NGFS, said: "We are glad to have the DFSA join the NGFS. In a relatively short timeframe, the NGFS has successfully become the international network for central banks and financial service supervisors in the green and sustainable finance field. The NGFS brings together authorities and international organisations from around the world, all working together to move forward the greening of the financial system. It is important for the NGFS to have member authorities from the GCC and the MENA regions to ensure that their environmental and climate challenges are well understood and considered by the international community and to benefit from their experience dealing with these risks."

      His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Green Economy for Sustainable Development in 2012. The long-term national initiative aims to build a green economy in the UAE; the DFSA is committed to working towards that objective. Sustainability has been one of the DFSA's four strategic themes since 2014 and remains a key priority; the DFSA's sustainable and green finance efforts support the Government of the UAE's sustainable economic development goals.

      -ENDS-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1500
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website [http://www.dfsa.ae/] for more information.

      The DFSA has four Strategic Themes, which are Delivery, Sustainability, Engagement and Innovation. Measures to achieve these goals are set out in the DFSA's Business Plan [http://www.dfsa.ae/en/Your-Resources/Publications-Reports#Business-Plan] and progress against these Themes is reported in the DFSA's Annual Report [http://www.dfsa.ae/en/Your-Resources/Publications-Reports#Annual-Report].

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

      The NGFS, launched at the Paris One Planet Summit on 12 December 2017, is a group of Central Banks and Supervisors willing, on a voluntary basis, to share best practices and contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector and to mobilize mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy. The NGFS is chaired by Frank Elderson, board member of De Nederlandsche Bank. The Secretariat is provided by Banque de France. The NGFS brings together 42 central banks and 8 supervisors - representing five continents, half of global greenhouse gas emissions and the supervision of two thirds of the global systemically important banks and insurers.

      As of June 11th 2019, the NGFS consists of the following members: Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory, Authority Banca d'Italia, Banco de España, Banco de México, Banco de Portugal, Bank Al Maghrib, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Finland, Bank of Greece, Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia), Bank of Thailand, Banque centrale du Luxembourg, Banque de France / Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), Central Bank of Hungary, Central Bank of Ireland, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (Luxembourg), Danmarks Nationalbank, De Nederlandsche Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Dubai Financial Services Authority, European Banking Authority, European Central Bank, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), Finansinspektionen (Swedish FSA), Finanstilsynet (Norwegian FSA), Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Japan FSA, Monetary Authority of Singapore, National Bank of Belgium, Norges Bank, Oesterreichische Nationalbank, People's Bank of China, Reserve Bank of Australia, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Superintendencia Financiera De Colombia, Sveriges Riksbank, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and Swiss National Bank.

      Several institutions have joined the NGFS as observers: the Bank for International Settlement, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Sustainable Insurance Forum, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

      For more details, visit the NGFS website [https://www.banque-france.fr/node/50628] or contact the NGFS Secretariat at Banque de France sec.ngfs@banque-france.fr

    • 2 July 2019 — DFSA accepts four FinTech firms into its 2019 regulatory sandbox Summer Cohort

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 2 July 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) accepted four FinTech firms into its 2019 Summer Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Cohort following the evaluation of a number of applications. These four firms can now apply for an ITL, with the first batch of licences expected to be granted by the DFSA in October of this year. Invitations to join the 2019 Summer Cohort were open to international firms, and the DFSA received expressions of interest from across the world, spanning a range of innovative, tech-driven products and solutions covering a range of business models. The successful firms intend to engage in equity crowdfunding with tokenisation of the equities, the operation of a blockchain-enabled property crowdfunding platform, and the facilitation of blockchain-enabled supply chain financing. The DFSA ITL Programme enables firms to test FinTech solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and provides them with temporary flexibility to test and develop concepts within a restricted regulatory environment.

      Invitations to join the 2019 Summer Cohort were open to international firms, and the DFSA received expressions of interest from across the world, spanning a range of innovative, tech-driven products and solutions covering a range of business models. The successful firms intend to engage in equity crowdfunding with tokenisation of the equities, the operation of a blockchain-enabled property crowdfunding platform, and the facilitation of blockchain-enabled supply chain financing.

      The DFSA ITL Programme enables firms to test FinTech solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and provides them with temporary flexibility to test and develop concepts within a restricted regulatory environment.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “FinTech is transforming the financial services industry globally. With the DFSA ITL programme, we are highlighting our commitment to supporting innovation in developing FinTech solutions that will add value to the industry. Through this programme, we are contributing to innovation in the financial sector, supported by Dubai and the UAE.”

      The DFSA offers two cohorts each year for firms to express interest in the ITL programme. The next opportunity to apply to participate in a cohort will be in November 2019. For more information about the DFSA's upcoming cohort and the ITL programme, visit the DFSA website at www.dfsa.ae/FinTech or email on Fintech@dfsa.ae.

      -ENDS-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 1 July 2019 — DFSA signs MoU with Smart Dubai on organisation-wise smart FINAL

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 30 June 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Smart Dubai to collaborate on organisation-wide smart transformation initiatives spearheaded by Smart Dubai.

      The MoU was digitally signed by Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer of the DFSA, and H.E Wesam Lootah, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Dubai Government Establishment making it one of the first digitally signed MoUs in the UAE.

      As per the MoU, the DFSA and Smart Dubai will work together to empower, deliver, and promote an efficient, seamless, safe, and impactful experience for residents by drawing on technology innovation. The two entities will cooperate on the Dubai Data Initiative as part of the Smart City vision by managing data based on clear guidelines, aligned with international best practices and achieving integration and harmony between the services provided by federal government agencies and local government bodies.

      The MoU complements the ongoing initiatives of the DFSA in driving organisation-wide digital transformation by promoting a culture of innovation and exploring the application of artificial intelligence and next-generation technologies. It also builds on the DFSA's commitment to be future-ready by incorporating best practices that are most suited to the digital world.

      The DFSA and Smart Dubai will also jointly promote transparency by forming governance rules and controls on the exchange of data while ensuring data confidentiality and privacy. The DFSA will also contribute to Smart Dubai's startup support initiative by establishing testing environments in the UAE for startups and entrepreneurs.

      Al Awadhi said: "Our agreement with Smart Dubai underlines our commitment in supporting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directions of H.H Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of Dubai International Financial Centre, to position the emirate as a hub for digital technology adoption and promote a culture of innovation, both of which are central to us in shaping the digital future of the DFSA. The MoU will further enhance the initiatives we have already rolled out and will position us as a thought leader in digital innovation for the financial services and regulatory sector."

      H.E Wesam Lootah commented: "The collaboration of public and private sector entities, specialised in all economic sectors, is central to achieving the smart city vision outlined by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The MoU with the DFSA will further accelerate the digital transformation by covering areas related to data science within the financial services sector."

      Through the MoU, the DFSA will also promote the Dubai Paperless initiative to support Dubai government's aim to become completely paper-free by 2021. Representatives of the two entities will meet regularly to discuss and outline plans to achieve these common objectives.

      - ENDS –

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPS) in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Waleed Saeed Al Awadi: Chief Operating Officer joined the DFSA in March 2013. He has over 16 years of international and local experience in leadership and strategy in financial services, Islamic banking, real estate, media and telecommunications industries. He is responsible for strategic operational excellence at the DFSA by leading the development and implementation of world-class, innovative solutions and smart initiatives. Mr. Al Awadhi represents the DFSA on strategic initiatives with Government entities and with local and regional regulators and international standard-setters. He plays a leading role in building UAE National capabilities both at the DFSA and the broader society. Previously, Mr Al Awadhi led the Marketing and Communication division at the Abu Dhabi Media, Priority Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank, and was Deputy Head of Retail Banking and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Dubai Bank, where he led Royal Banking and Wealth Management, Branding, Marketing and Communications. He was also the Global Director of Marketing and Sales at Sama Dubai, a member of Dubai Holding, and was responsible for over 20 international markets. Mr Al Awadhi is an alumni of Harvard Business School where he completed the General Management Program. He has a Master of Law with a double major in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and Financial Crimes & Money Laundering, and a Bachelor degree in Applied Business Science. Mr Al Awadhi published his first book entitled 'The Sustainability of Family Businesses in the United Arab Emirates – A Legal and Operational Perspective For Best Practice.' An article based on his book was recently published in the International Company and Commercial Law Review.

    • 25 June 2019 — DFSA's role in supporting global FinTech innovation highlighted in the first GFiN Report

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE; 25 June, 2019: Today the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFiN) published a report highlighting the efforts of the international community of regulators, including the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), in driving global FinTech innovation and cross-border testing of innovative ideas.

      Titled "GFiN – One Year On", the report details the GFiN's many activities over the past year, the challenges it has faced, achievements, and its ambitions for the future.

      The GFiN is a network of international regulators and related organisations committed to supporting financial innovation, and to creating a framework for co-operation between regulators to share experiences and approaches to innovation. As of June 2019, the GFiN has 35 financial services regulators with full membership status and seven Observers, including the IMF and the World Bank, from a total of 21 jurisdictions. As a founding member, and a member of the GFiN Coordination Group, the DFSA supports the Network's mission of advancing financial integrity, consumer protection, financial inclusion, and financial stability, through innovation in the sector.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "As part of the GFiN, we have the opportunity to collaborate with many global regulators, and to help achieve the UAE's vision of establishing Dubai as a global FinTech hub, while also leveraging the advances in technology to enhance regulatory standards and compliance by firms, and to help build a more robust financial environment that welcomes and protects investors."

      At the beginning of February, the DFSA announced its participation in GFiN's cross-border test pilot programme [http://dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/DFSA-to-Participate-in-Cross-Border-Testing-as-par]. GFiN members received 44 applications, globally for the pilot, a significant number of which were from Regulatory Technology (RegTech) companies. Eight of the 44 applications passed the initial screening process. The DFSA received six of the 44 applications, with two RegTech applicants - Ascent RegTech and Starling Trust - being considered for the cross-border pilot.

      The GFiN - One Year On report is available on the DFSA website herehere.

      - ENDS –

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPS) in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 19 June 2019 — DFSA suspends licence of Rasan Capital Limited

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 19 June, 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announced that it has suspended the licence of Rasan Capital Limited (RCL) for a period of 12 months, consistent with its aim of protecting direct and indirect users of the financial services industry in the DIFC.

      RCL's licence was suspended due to serious concerns about the adequacy of its financial resources, its non-compliance with DFSA rulebook requirements, and its failure to keep the DFSA informed and notified of such integral matters.

      RCL notified the DFSA of a capital breach on 30 July 2018. Despite commitments made by RCL to rectify the breach in the intervening period, as of the date of the suspension notice, the firm remains in breach of the capital requirement. The DFSA's public register has been updated to reflect the license suspension, and a decision notice has been issued on its website.

      The DFSA is committed to protecting the reputation and integrity of the DIFC's financial services and will take action to ensure the interests of direct, indirect, and prospective users of financial services in the DIFC are protected. The DFSA is regularly reminding firms of their requirement to maintain adequate financial resources at all times, and of the importance of dealing with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner.

      - ENDS –

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

    • 21 May 2019 — Financial Markets Tribunal upholds the DFSA's withdrawal of Royal Shield Ltd's licence

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 21 May 2019: The Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT) has affirmed a decision by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to withdraw the licence of Royal Shield Ltd to carry on Financial Services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The DFSA withdrew the licence on the grounds that the firm is no longer fit and proper to hold the financial services licence. The firm disputed the DFSA's original decision and referred it to the FMT for review. In a decision dated 8 May 2019, the FMT dismissed the reference and affirmed the DFSA's decision.

      The DFSA decided on 30 September 2018 to withdraw Royal Shield Ltd's licence based on concerns relating to:

      •   the firm's failure to maintain adequate financial resources to conduct and manage its affairs properly;
      •   the lack of sufficient personnel, including not having a Finance Officer; a role which is required under the DFSA's Rules; and
      •   the firm not maintaining its required business premises in the DIFC for a considerable period.

      On 14 November 2018, the firm referred the DFSA's decision to withdraw its licence to the FMT for review. The FMT is operationally independent of the DFSA and has its own rules of procedure. The FMT conducts a full merits review of DFSA decisions that are referred to it and determines the appropriate action for the DFSA to take. The FMT may uphold, vary or cancel the DFSA's decision.

      On several occasions, the FMT directed the firm to highlight the aspects of the DFSA's decision with which it disagreed and the reasons why. Royal Shield Ltd failed to comply with this direction, resulting in the FMT dismissing the firm's reference and affirming the DFSA's original decision.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “The DFSA requires all Authorised Firms to remain fit and proper, and maintain adequate resources, at all times. When the DFSA has reason to believe a firm is failing in these obligations, it will take appropriate action, including, where necessary, withdrawing a firm's licence. The DFSA welcomes the FMT's decision on this matter."

      The FMT's order can be found on the FMT section of the DFSA website, and a copy of it can be accessed via this link. A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice detailing the reasons for its original decision can be found on the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website, and a copy of it can be accessed via this link.

      The withdrawn status of the firm was noted in the DFSA's public register, which can be accessed here.

      - Ends –

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPS) in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 9 May 2019 — DFSA to Participate in Cross Border Testing as part of the Global Financial Innovation Network

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 9 May 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) will participate in the first cross-border tests orchestrated by the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). Comprised of a group of 33 international financial regulators and related organisations, including the DFSA, GFIN seeks to provide efficient ways for FinTech firms to engage with regulators across multiple jurisdictions.

      Globally, GFIN members received 44 applications for the pilot, a significant number of which were from Regulatory Technology (RegTech) companies. Eight of the 44 applications have passed the initial screening process. The DFSA received six of the 44 applications, with two RegTech firms - Ascent RegTech and Starling Trust - being considered for the cross-border pilot. Ascent RegTech is an AI-driven RegTech solution that maps regulatory obligations and ongoing rule changes and enables end-to-end compliance management. Starling Trust is an applied behavioural sciences technology company that has developed a Predictive Behavioural Analytics platform using machine learning and electronic communications data.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "As a founding member of the GFIN, the DFSA is delighted to join a strong cadre of progressive regulators to support innovative firms working across jurisdictional boundaries. In particular, the strong interest from RegTech firms to participate in cross-border tests provides us with an opportunity to engage more formally with some of the best minds for the future of finance. The tests also reflect the DFSA's commitment to supporting innovation in Dubai, and the UAE as a whole, by employing international standards and global best practice."

      This announcement is an indication that the DFSA will engage further with each firm, and with each relevant financial services regulator, in the development of a proposed cross-border test regime. It is not a guarantee that any firm will proceed to undertake an actual test.

      An announcement of the firms formally selected for the cross-border pilot will be made late into the second quarter of 2019.

      At the end of April, as part of its ongoing initiatives to support financial technology innovation, the DFSA also invited applicants from local and international firms to apply to join its 2019 Summer Cohort. Successful Cohort applicants will then be able to apply to enter the DFSA regulatory sandbox, known as the Innovation Testing Licence Programme (ITL Programme).

      -ENDS-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 29 April 2019 — DFSA invites applications for its 2019 regulatory sandbox "Summer Cohort"

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 29 April 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) invites applications from local and international firms to apply to join the 2019 Summer Cohort. Successful Cohort applicants will then be able to apply to enter the DFSA regulatory sandbox, known as the Innovation Testing Licence Programme (ITL Programme).

      The DFSA welcomes innovative FinTech firms to make applications on the DFSA's website from 1 – 31 May 2019. Firms must provide a clear explanation of the business model and the proposed innovative product or service. Firms accepted into the 2019 Summer Cohort will be announced on 16 June, after which they may submit their ITL applications by 25 July 2019.

      The DFSA ITL Programme attracts a wide variety of firms, representing diverse business models, from across the world. FinTech firms from earlier cohorts included those testing the digitisation of Sukuk issuance using smart contracts and the tokenisation of equities and debt. The Programme enables firms to test FinTech solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It provides firms temporary flexibility to test and develop concepts within the test environment subject to various restrictions and modifications.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DFSA is committed to fostering and supporting a culture of innovation in the DIFC via the ITL programme. Now in its third year, interest in the programme has grown and has attracted a diverse range of business models from local and international applicants. The ITL serves as a platform to test new models that have the potential to emerge as successful ventures that contribute to the financial services sector in Dubai and the UAE. We welcome applications from FinTech firms that are ready to test their business models."

      Further details regarding the ITL and the Cohort applications are provided on the FinTech section of the DFSA's website. Firms are urged to apply at the earliest opportunity.

      -ENDS-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 23 April 2019 — DFSA takes action to protect the integrity of Islamic Finance

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 23 April 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed restrictions on David Barnett and Christopher Steer following an investigation into their conduct while working on the Commodity Murabaha Broking Desk (the Desk) at a DFSA-authorised firm.

      The Desk facilitated the purchase and supply of title to metal commodities, sourced from a number of suppliers, for the use by the Desk's clients in Murabaha transactions. Based on the underlying metal commodities purchased and supplied by the Desk, the Desk's clients were able to undertake Shari'a compliant financing, retail deposits and derivatives transactions for their customers. Up until February 2016, Mr Barnett was the Head of the Desk. Mr Steer was a Senior Broker at the Desk and the firm's Senior Executive Officer (SEO).

      The DFSA investigation found that between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2015, the Desk stopped purchasing titles to metal commodities required by the Desk's clients because both Mr Barnett and Mr Steer did not source any from suppliers. However, instead of stopping the activities undertaken by the Desk, Mr Barnett continued to facilitate a large number of Murabaha transactions by reusing titles to metal commodities previously purchased by the Desk that were no longer valid.

      Furthermore, Mr Barnett misrepresented to clients that the Desk had legitimate title to the underlying commodities used to facilitate the Murabaha transactions when, in fact, it did not.

      While he was the SEO, Mr Steer was aware that the Desk's clients required title to the underlying commodity as part of the Murabaha transactions and that the Desk had no supply of titles. However, Mr Steer did not take steps to stop the facilitation of Murabaha transactions.

      As a result, the DFSA considers that Mr Barnett failed to act with integrity, and is not fit and proper to perform any functions in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the DIFC. The DFSA also considers that Mr Steer engaged in conduct that demonstrates a lack of competence to perform any Licensed Function, and therefore he is not fit and proper to perform a Licensed Function in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the DIFC.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "We expect all employees of authorised firms in the DIFC to meet standards of utmost professionalism and integrity in their duties. This action also underlines the importance the DFSA places on safeguarding the integrity of Islamic Finance transactions."

      The restrictions come into effect immediately. Mr Barnett and Mr Steer agreed to settle this matter and the actions taken against them are final. A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices for both can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website.

      The DFSA decided not to take any action against the firm that employed Mr Barnett and Mr Steer. The firm self-reported the misconduct to the DFSA after stopping the Desk's activities in February 2016, and further cooperated with the DFSA's investigation.

      - Ends –

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPS) in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 25 March 2019 — DFSA hosts Financial Crime Conference

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 25 March 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today hosted a Financial Crime Conference in the DIFC. The conference is part of the DFSA's ongoing effort to strengthen awareness among the financial services sector of the importance of fighting financial crime. The conference also highlighted the measures the DFSA is taking to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks. The event shared results of the UAE's National Risk Assessment, discussed changes to the UAE's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework and provided information on DFSA's financial crime prevention program for 2019.

      The conference builds on DFSA's previous Annual Supervision Outreach sessions, and focuses on the regulatory policies and frameworks put in place to fight financial crimes, including the changes made to the UAE and DFSA Anti-Money Laundering regime in 2018.

      Welcoming the delegates, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "This conference is specifically designed to stimulate dialogue among all stakeholders on the need to fight financial crime and, in turn, to enhance investor confidence. The UAE is firmly committed to fighting financial crimes of all natures through clearly structured guidelines. Establishing ongoing exchange of information and cooperation is a crucial component to ensuring the UAE's financial services industry remains safeguarded against illicit money flows, which damage the integrity, stability and reputation of the UAE, including the DIFC."

      In key highlights, the DFSA, on behalf of the UAE National Risk Assessment Sub-Committee, shared the results of the UAE's National Risk Assessment. The sharing of the findings will ensure a broader understanding of ML/TF risks associated with the UAE, including financial free zones, and assists in the implementation of a Risk-based Approach to addressing financial crime risks. Dr. Waleed Al Hosani, representative of the UAE Financial Action Task Force Project Management Office, discussed the country's new Law on Countering Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations and the implementing regulations under that Law.

      Conference speakers included representatives from the Financial Intelligence Department (FID) of the UAE Central Bank, who provided an update on the recent enhancements to the FID and provided the DIFC regulated community with feedback on Suspicious Activity Reports. In addition, representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provided insights and training on GoAML, a new suspicious activity reporting system developed by the UNODC that is used by Financial Intelligence Units worldwide. The implementation of GoAML, among other developments, is part of the FID's strategic plan for future AML/CFT infrastructure in the UAE.

      Following detailed presentations by the senior delegates, a Q&A session was held.

      The event was attended by officials of DFSA-regulated entities, including compliance officers and money-laundering-reporting officers from 490 Authorised Firms and 116 Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions as well as 16 Registered Auditors now operating in the DIFC. Fighting financial crime risks remains as a key regulatory priority for the DFSA and is an important area of focus for the UAE ahead of the upcoming FATF 4th Round Mutual Evaluation of the UAE.

      -END-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPS) in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 24 March 2019 — DFSA and Standard Chartered Bank focus on curbing illicit wildlife trade

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      •   The engagement highlights how financial institutions and regulators can contribute to the well-being of humanity and the natural environment
      •   It also reinforces how tackling financial crime and the flow of illegal funds can support such collaboration

      Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 March 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) recently hosted senior executives from Standard Chartered Bank to discuss how financial institutions and regulators can work together to help curb illegal wildlife trade and disrupt the flow of illegal funds arising from this predicate crime.

      David Fein, Group General Counsel at Standard Chartered and Vice-Chair of the Financial Taskforce of the UK Royal Foundation of 'United for Wildlife' campaign which is under The Duke of Cambridge's presidency along with Sunil Kaushal, Regional Chief Executive Officer for Africa and Middle East visited the DFSA with their teams to highlight the measures being taken by global entities, including Standard Chartered, to combat illegal wildlife trade as part of an overall financial crime prevention framework.

      The illegal trade in elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales, tiger bones, bear bile and rosewood are reported as leading to the extinction of some of the world's magnificent and sometimes lesser-known species. Illegal wildlife trade also impacts the financial services sector as the unwitting conduit for the movement of proceeds of illegal wildlife trade.

      In addition to being a major risk to endangered wildlife species, illegal wildlife trade impacts economies by destroying natural and human resources and eroding society's social capital. Illegal wildlife trade also creates a false economy of dependence based on illegal activities making it more difficult to combat in poverty stricken jurisdictions.

      As of 2017, the global value of illegal wildlife trade was quoted at $26 billion according to data published by the United Nations (UN). The UN considers wildlife crime as one of the largest transnational organised criminal activities alongside drug, arms and human trafficking. Illegal wildlife trafficking is now one of the world's top criminal activities, ranked alongside drugs, arms, and human trafficking.

      The DFSA's support of the worldwide campaign against illegal wildlife trade builds on Dubai's concerted efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade. Over the years, several Dubai Government entities have initiated programmes to raise awareness and counter the illegal practice.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, commented: "The discussion led by Mr. Fein was insightful and provided a well-rounded view on the global efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade. As a government entity committed to promoting sustainable practices and preserving our natural environment, we are keen to partner in campaigns against illegal wildlife trade. Since our inception, we have identified financial crime as a top risk and have continuously assigned resources and efforts to fight it. Through our support to programmes such as this, we want to raise awareness about the practice in financial circles and highlight that we have a zero-tolerance policy to any act that supports the illicit trade. We all have a role to play and no one's contribution to this fight is too small."

      Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, UAE, commented: "For too long, illegal wildlife trafficking has been viewed solely as a conservation issue. In reality, it's a transnational organised crime with links to the trades in narcotics and arms. The UAE is well positioned to play a leading role in fighting the illegal wildlife trade and we, as an international bank that is deeply routed in this country, are committed to supporting this fight By following the money, financial institutions can help map the criminal networks and provide law enforcement with vital intelligence to support their investigations and prosecutions. We are pleased to be in dialogue with the DFSA about what more can be done, as an industry, to tackle this crime." she added.

      The DFSA's dialogue with Standard Chartered also highlights the social responsibility of individuals and organisations to contribute to the well-being of humanity and the natural environment.

      - ENDS-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with nonmember, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

      Standard Chartered: A leading international banking group, with a presence in 60 of the world's most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good. Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

      For more stories and expert opinions please visit Insights at sc.com. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    • 13 March 2019 — DFSA signs MoU with Bank Al Maghrib

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE; March 13, 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Morocco's Bank Al Maghrib to cooperate in the authorisation and supervision of banks operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Kingdom of Morocco.

      The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive of the DFSA, Bryan Stirewalt, and Abdellatif Jouhari, Governor of Bank Al Maghrib, on 13 March 2019 in Rabat.

      Stirewalt said: "The MoU between the DFSA and Bank Al Maghrib will drive greater transparency in relation to the functioning and operations of banks of mutual interest. By promoting stable and transparent financial services in our respective jurisdictions, the MoU will contribute to strengthening investor confidence and promoting stronger bilateral financial services."

      The Governor of Bank Al Maghrib, said: "We confirm our commitment to upholding the highest corporate governance standards as regards activities of credit institutions in Morocco, and to supervising their international banking operations, including in key international financial hubs such as Dubai. The new MoU signed with the DFSA will help adopt the regulatory controls which are necessary to curb financial crimes and to facilitate sound and orderly cross-border banking transactions".

      The MoU also provides for coordination and cooperation in relation to applications to establish a branch in either jurisdiction. Additionally, information relating to the financial soundness of the financial or credit institutions, as well as concerns arising from supervisory visits and reports will be duly shared with the other party. Representatives of the two authorities will convene ad-hoc meetings to resolve any supervisory concerns relating to a cross-border establishment in either jurisdiction.

      The two authorities will also cooperate closely to identify any suspected financial crime activities in banks of mutual interest, including in relation to unauthorised banking services, money laundering or any violation of financial market laws. Any imminent crisis issues involving the financial or credit companies will also be duly notified.

      The agreement is the sixth MoU signed by the DFSA with a Central Bank in the region and reflects the level of trust and confidence each Authority has for the other. In 2018, DFSA signed MoUs with the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Central Bank of Oman to cooperate in the supervision and authorisation of firms operating in both jurisdictions. This builds upon a MoU signed with the Central Bank of the UAE in 2009, Banque Du Liban in 2013 and the Central Bank of Jordan in 2007.

      For the past few years, banking supervisors from both the DFSA and the Bank Al Maghrib have participated in another increasingly important platform for cooperation, a regional supervisory college of an international bank. Both authorities are also members of the global standard setter, the Islamic Financial Services Board. The bi-lateral MoU signed this week between the two authorities enhances this relationship, reflecting both authorities' commitment to cooperation and international standards.

      - ENDS-

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 11 March 2019 — ESCA, ADGM AND DFSA Launch Fund Passporting Legislation Enabling UAE-Wide Promotion of Investment Funds

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11 March 2019: The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today that, following the enactment of relevant legislation and rules, a new fund passporting facility is available. This passporting facility, which has been the subject of extensive public consultation since November 2018, will facilitate the promotion of the funds licensed by each authority across the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

      His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) stated that the ESCA has endeavoured to develop the Financial Services Sector and support the long-term economic growth of the UAE. The start of implementing the recently signed Passporting Agreement as a regulatory mechanism for the mutual promotion and oversight of investment funds established in the different jurisdictions within the UAE is an important step to inspire the development of the mutual funds' market so as to achieve the goal of having more diversified investment opportunities and products.

      His Excellency noted that the implementation of the Passporting Agreement will enhance the UAE's position as an international financial centre and a platform for entrepreneurship. This cooperation will allow new market leaders, investors and companies to expand and grow in the UAE markets, which supports the ESCA efforts and initiatives in providing the appropriate climate for the investment of savings and funds in securities in line with the objectives of the UAE economic development process.

      On his part, Dr. Obaid Saif Al Zaabi, Chief Executive Officer of the ESCA pointed out that the signing of the Agreement by the three regulators in November, last year, was clearly demonstrated in facilitating the promotion of investment funds in the UAE, which in turn helps in attracting more foreign investment and in providing more options for channeling savings to new financial instruments such as mutual funds. He mentioned that once the passporting agreement implementation phase completed, all parties will witness an increasing momentum on the group of financial services and activities related to investment funds such as Custodies, Investment Management, Promotion.

      H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM said: "There has been an accelerating demand and appetite for a greater variety of domestic funds in the UAE by the investment community. The new passporting regime enables investors to access growth opportunities with greater ease and efficiency. It will also bolster the UAE's economic diversification strategy and attract more foreign direct investments and new investors and institutions to participate and support the growth of our economy and the development of the region."

      Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA said: "We strive to maintain an environment that fosters collaboration with other UAE regulators. The DFSA remains committed to supporting the development of the financial services sector and fostering the UAE's economic growth by encouraging the development of the domestic funds market. We are keen to support the creation of a stronger and more diversified financial market through an adaptive and robust regulatory framework. This move enforces our alignment with the UAE leadership vision to transform the country into a global financial hub for international investment."

      Mr Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer, FSRA of ADGM said: "The UAE funds market is on the cusp of exponential growth and the new funds passporting regime will stimulate the development of the domestic investment funds industry with a broader variety of funds and enable funds to be supported across the UAE. With the closer cooperation with our regulatory partners, we are able to share pertinent regulatory information and supervisory updates to support licensing of domestic funds."

      Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "We are confident that agreeing this facilitative regime, and enacting its relevant legislation and rules, will not only complement our existing regime for domestic funds but will also support the growth of the UAE funds market in general. We have made amendments to the DFSA Rulebook to reflect our joint agreement with peer UAE regulators following the conclusion of the consultation period."

      The new funds passporting rules and regulations are publicly available and uploaded on the Authorities' respective websites.

      END

      About the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority
      The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) in the United Arab Emirates was established under Article 2 of the Federal Law No. 4 of 2000 concerning the Emirates Securities & Commodities and Market to regulate the securities and commodities markets in United Arab Emirates. Its primary role is to ensure the orderly development of a fair and efficient securities and commodities market in line with the economic and development objectives of the country. The main functions of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority include supervising and monitoring the activities of any exchange, clearing house and central depository, safeguarding the interests of the persons dealing in securities; promoting proper conduct amongst members of the exchanges and all registered persons; suggesting law reforms relating to securities or commodities contracts and encouraging the development of the securities in United Arab Emirates.
      For more information, Please, refer to the ESCA website, www.sca.gov.ae.

      About Abu Dhabi Global Market
      Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015. Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi's position as a global hub for business and finance and serves as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

      ADGM's strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi's key strengths including private banking, wealth management, asset management and financial innovation. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as an IFC governs Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone. It enables registered financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on Common Law.

      Since its inception, ADGM has been awarded the "Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)" for three consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.* For more details of ADGM, please visit www.adgm.com or follow us on Twitter : @adglobalmarket and Linkedin : ADGM
      * Source : The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards

      About Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. The DIFC is one of the world's most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA). With a 15-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

    • 6 March 2019 — DFSA Restricts Former Relationship Manager Arnab Mukherjee

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 6 March 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced that it has imposed a restriction on Arnab Mukherjee, a former relationship manager at a DFSA Authorised Firm.

      The DFSA found that Mr Mukherjee lacked integrity for producing inaccurate information regarding the amount of a client's total net assets and for making unauthorised investments for another client that he attempted to conceal.

      Accordingly, the DFSA concluded that Mr Mukherjee is not fit and proper and restricted him from being involved in providing financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

      Specifically, the DFSA found that Mr Mukherjee knowingly gave a client two 'balance confirmation' letters that contained incorrect total net asset amounts. Mr Mukherjee also did not follow the firm's procedures that required two signatures for such letters, and instead authorised them himself, even though he was not authorised to sign letters of this nature.

      The DFSA additionally found, that over two years, Mr Mukherjee made unauthorised investments for another client without disclosing them to the client. He also copied the client's signatures on certain investment documents without permission and falsified account statements to conceal the unauthorised investments.

      The firm did not know about Mr Mukherjee's misconduct at the time it occurred and took appropriate action after discovering it, including informing the DFSA.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DFSA expects employees of authorised firms in the DIFC to act with integrity when performing their duties, especially senior relationship managers like Mr Mukherjee. The DFSA will not tolerate such misleading conduct by persons working in the financial services industry in the DIFC."

      The restriction comes into effect immediately. The action taken against Mr Mukherjee is final as he has not referred the DFSA's decision to the Financial Markets Tribunal for review. A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website.

      - ENDS-

      For further information please contact:

      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 13 February 2019 — Dubai Financial Services Authority hosts 10th Annual Audit Outreach for Registered Auditors

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE; February 13, 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted yesterday the tenth Annual Audit Outreach for registered auditors. The DFSA provided an overview of the Audit Monitoring Findings from 2018, and a range of updates that are intended to strengthen audit quality.

      In his opening address, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, underlined the growth of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and expressed his satisfaction with the quality of audit results achieved by the registered auditors in 2018. "DFSA teams worked closely with registered auditors in the DIFC to help reduce any audit deficiencies. We have seen discrete instances where auditors have not exercised full professional skepticism in their work, but the overall results of Audit Monitoring Findings from 2018 are positive. We will continue to support registered auditors in achieving exceptional standards of auditing in line with global principles, which will help to safeguard the interests of investors," he said.

      "The success of our Annual Audit Outreach highlights the effectiveness of the strong working relationship we have developed with the accounting and auditing professionals in the DIFC. We will continue to focus on contributing to enhancing audit quality and overseeing regulatory compliance. This will add to the reputation of the DIFC as a global financial services hub and boost international investor confidence in Dubai and the UAE." he added.

      More than 100 professionals including managing partners, audit principals, money laundering reporting officers and the senior audit staff of registered auditors attended the event, which is held annually by the DSFA.

      The event featured high-level presentations on the Audit Monitoring Findings from 2018, updates on client assets audit rules and the progress achieved, a financial crime update that covered the preparation for the Financial Action Task Force and the results of a thematic review conducted on Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession.

      Other areas discussed at the Annual Audit Outreach included an update on the DFSA's Electronic Prudential Reporting System (EPRS) and the Forms Online Digitalisation projects. A detailed overview of Audit Monitoring Focus for 2019 was also discussed highlighting the priorities for this year's inspections.

      - ENDS -

      For further information please contact:

      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 4 February 2019 — DFSA suspends licence of Morgan Gatsby Limited

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 4 February 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announced the suspension of the licence of Morgan Gatsby Limited (MGL) for a period of 12 months, consistent with its aim to protect direct and indirect users of the financial services industry in the DIFC.

      MGL's licence was suspended due to serious concerns related to the adequacy of its human and financial resources, its non-compliance with DFSA rulebook requirements, and its failure to deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, commented: "The DFSA will take immediate action to ensure the interests of its clients and the DIFC are protected. We will not hesitate to suspend a firm that repeatedly fails to comply with our regulatory requirements and also fails to deal with us in an open and cooperative manner. The DFSA is committed to protecting the investors' interests as well as the reputation and integrity of the DIFC's financial services."

      The DFSA formally brought these concerns to MGL's attention in April 2018, and MGL failed to address the concerns to the DFSA's satisfaction. The DFSA's public register has been updated to reflect the license suspension, and a decision notice has been issued on its website.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:

      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervisions engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 31 January 2019 — DFSA joins launch of Global Financial Innovation Network

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 31 January 2019 The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") is pleased to announce the launch of the next phase of the Global Financial Innovation Network ("GFIN"). The GFIN – a group of 29 international organisations including the DFSA – is inviting applications from firms looking to take part in a testing pilot for innovative financial products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

      This pilot cross-border testing follows last year's consultation on the GFIN that garnered positive feedback for creating an environment that allows firms to simultaneously try and scale new technologies across multiple jurisdictions.

      This pilot is as much a trial for GFIN members as it will be for firms that stand to benefit from the opportunity to test and compete in the regulated space, thereby helping inform the future work of the network.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DFSA is proud to have been a founding member of the GFIN and have the opportunity to be a part of the GFIN Coordination Group, which sets the strategic direction for GFIN on a wider scale. The GFIN initiative is an excellent example of the importance, and success, of collaboration across different jurisdictions. This type of cross-border cooperation is particularly important in the field of financial innovation and reflects the DFSA's commitment to international standards, global best practice and support for innovation in the DIFC, in the UAE, and across the region."

      Firms interested in applying to take part in the pilot cross-border testing should review the list of participating regulators - available on the DFSA FinTech website - and submit an application to the DFSA before the 28 February 2019 deadline. Firms must meet the eligibility requirements of all the jurisdictions in which they would like to test. In the DIFC, firms would have to meet the eligibility requirements for the DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:

      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) emerged from efforts by an international group of financial regulators, and related organisations, to explore the feasibility of a global sandbox to foster Financial Technology ("FinTech") innovation and to increase regulatory collaboration internationally. The GFIN has since evolved to take on a remit that includes acting as a network enabling regulatory collaboration and experience sharing, being a forum for joint regulatory technology ("RegTech") work, as well as undertaking a pilot phase of cross-border testing. For more information about the GFIN, or to apply for cross-border testing through the network, please visit the DFSA website or please email: Fintech@dfsa.ae.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 28 January 2019 — DFSA Enforces Fine in the UK Against Sanctioned Individual

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 28 January 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the DIFC, has successfully enforced payment of a fine imposed on an individual. This enforcement action demonstrates the DFSA's commitment to take the necessary steps to enforce the regulatory actions it imposes.

      As set out in its two media releases dated 19 July 2017 and 28 May 2018 respectively, in May 2017 the DFSA took action against Mr Andrew John Grimes including imposing a fine of USD 52,500 (AED192, 675) and restricting him from performing any function in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the DIFC.

      While Mr Grimes did not challenge the DFSA's findings against him, he failed to pay the fine by the date it was due. Therefore, in 2018 the DFSA commenced proceedings in the DIFC Courts to enforce payment of the fine by Mr Grimes, and obtained judgment in its favour in May 2018. Accordingly, the DFSA required Mr Grimes to pay the debt owed pursuant to the judgment.

      Following Mr Grimes' continued failure to make the payment, the DFSA took formal legal steps to pursue him in the United Kingdom in the latter half of 2018. As a result, Mr Grimes eventually paid the debt in January 2019.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DFSA ensures that there are real and significant consequences for firms and individuals not complying with our rules while operating in or from the DIFC. We are committed to our statutory objectives and will take all available and appropriate steps to rigorously enforce any fine we have imposed on a person, regardless of the location of the person or the person's assets. By doing so, the DFSA seeks to protect direct or indirect users or prospective users of the financial services industry in the DIFC and deter similar breaches by other individuals or firms.”

      A copy of the DIFC Courts' judgment can be found on the DFSA's website: http://www.dfsa.ae/Documents/DIFC-Court-Order-2018/CFI-055-2017.pdf.

      The detailed reasons for the DFSA's action against Mr Grimes are set out in the DFSA's Decision Notice dated 3 May 2017 which can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website: http://www.dfsa.ae/getattachment/753e5509-fa14-4880-a2f7-819f0a6d650e/attachment.

      The DFSA remains committed to delivering a robust enforcement framework, conducting investigations and taking enforcement action in respect of contraventions of its laws and regulations to protect investors and the reputation and integrity of DIFC financial services.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:

      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    • 7 January 2019 — DFSA Regulatory Sandbox accepts seven new firms into its latest Cohort

      Click herehere to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 7 January 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") announced the acceptance of seven new firms into its cohort process, which permits companies to apply for an Innovation Testing Licence ("ITL"). The ITL forms part of the DFSA's commitment to support innovation and the development of financial technology by enabling successful applicants to test their FinTech solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC"). With the pace of technological development in the financial services sector, FinTech continues to have a significant impact on the financial services industry in the Middle East and beyond.

      A great variety of applications was received from firms wanting to be part of this latest cohort, launched in November 2018. These applications encompassed a range of innovative, technology-driven solutions and products including: green financing; the digitisation of bond and sukuk issuances using smart contracts; SME funding platforms; robo-advisors for Islamic finance; and the tokenisation of equities and debt issuances.

      Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "I am particularly pleased by the mix of international and local candidates that have been successful and the wide range of technology solutions and products on offer, including Ethereum and Corda blockchains, artificial intelligence and algorithms and smart contracts development. The cohort also had strong representation from companies that aim to support wider Dubai and UAE objectives and government initiatives, including environmental efficiency, support for SMEs across the UAE, and the promotion of Islamic Finance. We shall continue to support the Dubai Government and the DIFC in the development of the Dubai FinTech ecosystem and consolidate Dubai's role as the regional Fintech hub."

      After being accepted into the DFSA's latest cohort, successful firms are now invited to apply for an ITL. The DFSA expects to grant the first batch of licences in March 2019.

      The cohort system was originally developed by the DFSA in answer to the widely positive responses generated by the ITL programme. The DFSA will continue to offer two open cohorts each year, during which, applicants should provide a clear explanation of their business model and proposed innovation [in financial technology]. The next opportunity to apply to participate in a cohort will be in May 2019. For more information about the DFSA's upcoming Cohort and the ITL programme, please visit the DFSA website or please email: Fintech@dfsa.ae.

      One of the ITL programme's core benefits is to allow companies to apply for a restricted financial services licence that provides the flexibility to test and develop innovative concepts without being subject to the full regulatory requirements normally applicable to DFSA regulated firms.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:

      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. 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 administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

      Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 October, 2018, after nearly 8 years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan will take the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, Bryan also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

      DIFC Fintech Hive
      The DFSA's cohort process and Innovation Testing Licence ("ITL") initiatives go hand in hand with the FinTech Hive, which was launched at the beginning of 2017 at the DIFC, to bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions.