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    • 2020 2020

      • 27 May 2020 — Dubai Financial Services Authority to Host RegTech Live Event

        Click here to view the PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 27 May 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) will be hosting a virtual event on the 2nd and 3rd of June. The event, RegTech Live: Driving Compliance Through Innovation, will be held in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA).

        The DFSA wishes to promote and foster innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in line with Dubai’s National Innovation Strategy of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

        The event will include keynote and panel discussions from industry experts from the DFSA and the DIFC Authority, CCL, Comply Advantage, Onfido, Roland Berger, Simmons & Simmons and Bank of Singapore, highlighting the latest RegTech trends and practical measures for the advancement of the financial services ecosystem.

        Attendees will also have the opportunity to observe innovation in regulatory compliance technology through demonstrations from providers of e-KYC, digital on-boarding and transaction monitoring solutions. These will include Alethia, Azakaw, Fenergo, Norbloc, Onfido, Quantexa, SAS and 3Mindz.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “Innovation is a key area of focus for the DFSA and the DIFC. We believe that innovation is very much the future of finance, therefore facilitating and encouraging the development of new technologies is a priority for the sector. Through this event, we hope that participants gain insights and knowledge from our expert industry panelists and have a wider understanding on how technology plays an important role in regulatory frameworks.”

        Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “We are pleased to collaborate on this important event with the DFSA which will explore how the financial sector can leverage technology to drive innovation, deliver solutions and help build a more robust regulatory environment. Being able to bring together members of the Centre’s ecosystem of RegTech practitioners, FinTech start-ups, industry experts and solution providers for this virtual environment is a powerful example of how they and DIFC are shaping the future of finance together.”

        To register for the event please click 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 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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 May 2020 — DFSA Action against Two Firms and Three Individuals Referred to Financial Markets Tribunal

        Click here to view the PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 11 May 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today published Decision Notices in respect of two firms (Al Masah Capital Limited and Al Masah Capital Management Limited) and three individuals (Shailesh Dash, Nrupaditya Singhdeo and Don Lim Jung Chiat).

        The firms and individuals dispute the DFSA’s findings and have referred the Decision Notices to the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT) where the parties will present their respective cases. The DFSA’s decisions are therefore provisional and reflect the DFSA’s belief as to what occurred and how it considers their conduct should be characterised. The FMT will determine what, if any, is the appropriate action for the DFSA to take, and will remit the matter to the DFSA with such directions as the FMT considers appropriate to give effect to its determination.

        On 25 September 2019, the DFSA decided to take enforcement action against Al Masah Capital, Al Masah Capital Management, Shailesh Dash, Nrupaditya Singhdeo and Don Lim Jung Chiat for breaches of DFSA legislation between August 2010 and June 2016. The Decision Notices outline the reasons for the DFSA’s decision to take the following action:

        Firm / Individual
         
        Sanction
         
        Al Masah Capital Limited
         
        USD 3,000,000 (AED 11,010,000) fine
         
        Al Masah Capital Management Limited
         
        USD 1,500,000 (AED 5,505,000) fine
         
        Shailesh Dash
         
        USD 225,000 (AED 825,750) fine and prohibition
         
        Nruapaditya Singhdeo
         
        USD 150,000 (AED 550,500) fine and prohibition
         
        Don Lim Jung Chiat
         
        USD 150,000 (AED 550,500) fine and prohibition
         

        In relation to Al Masah Capital Limited, a Cayman Islands registered company, which was not authorised to carry on any Financial Services in or from the DIFC, the DFSA found that it had breached DIFC legislation by:

        • carrying on unauthorised Financial Services in the DIFC, namely Managing a Collective Investment Fund and Arranging Deals in Investments;
        • making misleading or deceptive statements as to fees in documents relating to offers of units in funds managed by Al Masah Capital Limited;
        • making unauthorised financial promotions and offers of units of funds in or from the DIFC.

        In relation to Al Masah Capital Management Limited, a firm that was authorised by the DFSA to conduct financial services business in or from the DIFC, the DFSA found that it had:

        • made misleading or deceptive statements as to fees in documents relating to offers of units in funds managed by Al Masah Capital Limited;
        • failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the information about fees contained in marketing materials and subscription forms was clear, fair and not misleading.

        In relation to the three individuals, the DFSA found that they were knowingly concerned in the alleged contraventions by the two firms. Additionally, as Mr Dash and Mr Singhdeo were Authorised Individuals at the time the alleged misconduct occurred, the DFSA also found that they failed to act with the standard of integrity required of them in their roles.

        The DFSA further found that Mr Singhdeo and Mr Lim engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by being knowingly involved in the alteration of a bank statement to conceal the payment of fees into a bank account.

        The DFSA decided to take action against the two firms and three individuals, including prohibiting Mr Dash, Mr Singhdeo and Mr Lim from performing any function in connection with provision of Financial Services in or from the DIFC, in order to maintain the integrity and reputation of the DIFC, and to protect direct and indirect users of the financial services industry in the DIFC. The DFSA also imposed financial penalties on each of them.

        Copies of the DFSA’s Decision Notices can be found on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

        The DFSA does not intend to make any further public comment until the FMT’s review is complete, except as necessary to correct any inaccuracies. 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 -

        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, crowdfunding platforms, 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.

      • 23 April 2020 — DFSA Fines La Tresorerie for Serious Failings

        Click here to view the PDF.

        ➢ Serious and deliberate wrongdoing breached the prohibition against providing money services in or from the DIFC
        ➢ Firm’s activities increased risks of money laundering and endangered client money protections

        Dubai, UAE, 23 April 2020: Following a lengthy investigation process, which commenced in 2017, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it has fined La Tresorerie Limited (La Tresorerie) USD 612,790 (approximately AED 2,250,800), including USD 261,154 (approximately AED 960,000) disgorgement of the financial benefit La Tresorerie received, plus interest.

        The DFSA has taken this action against La Tresorerie (a DFSA Authorised Firm) due to multiple, serious breaches of DFSA legislation, mainly arising from conducting an illegal service that provided physical cash to its clients (Illegal Cash Service). The DFSA has taken this action to penalise La Tresorerie, deter others and protect clients.

        The Illegal Cash Service was in systematic operation for almost two years, between February 2015 and January 2017, and was carried on with the knowledge and involvement of La Tresorerie’s senior management at that time. The current senior management of La Tresorerie were not involved in the Illegal Cash Service and reported it to the DFSA upon discovering it.

        In particular, the Illegal Cash Service:

        • involved the use of false invoices and transferring client money to unregulated companies outside of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC);
        • involved the transportation of large amounts of physical cash from the UAE to a foreign country, which is associated with a high risk of money laundering;
        • led to La Tresorerie misleading its custodian and a bank about the nature and purpose of certain transactions, when AML due diligence enquiries were made; and,
        • demonstrated a fundamental failure of La Tresorerie to conduct its business with integrity.

        The DFSA’s investigation found more than 100 transactions carried out as part of the Illegal Cash Service, ranging in value from € 2,560 (approximately AED 10,000) to € 500,000 (AED 2,000,000). The total amount of physical cash provided by La Tresorerie was calculated to be the equivalent of over USD 7.3 million (AED 27,000,000) and the fees the firm received were the equivalent of almost USD 220,000 (AED 800,000). An amount equivalent to these fees, plus interest of over USD 41,000 (AED 150,000), is included in the financial penalty imposed on La Tresorerie as disgorgement.

        The DFSA was able to reach a settlement with La Tresorerie in respect of the findings of its investigation and the amount of penalty. This settlement was, however, reached after the period that the DFSA had set for a settlement discount to be available. If settlement had been achieved during that period, La Tresorerie would have been able to obtain a 30% discount to the fine imposed. Before taking any action to enforce payment of the fine, the DFSA will consider the firm’s circumstances at that time and the corresponding implications of enforcing the fines for the firm’s clients.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The illegal cash service provided by La Tresorerie was a serious breach of DFSA rules, further compounded by the senior management’s attempts to disguise this business activity. This activity demonstrated a clear lack of integrity, and opened the firm up to a high risk of money laundering, as well as placing client money at undue risk. We will take strong action against any firm or individual who demonstrates such a risk to the DIFC. ”

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices 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 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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.

      • 22 April 2020 — DFSA welcomes Regulatory Sandbox applications for its 2020 Summer Cohort

        Click here to view the PDF.

        ➢ DFSA supports the future of finance through innovation and Dubai’s SMART Initiatives

        Dubai, UAE, 22 April 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) invites applications from local and international companies to apply to join its 2020 Summer Cohort. Successful cohort applicants will be invited to apply to enter the DFSA’s version of the regulatory sandbox, known as the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL).

        The DFSA welcomes innovative technology-driven companies to apply through its website between 1 and 31 May. Firms must provide a clear explanation of their planned business model and the proposed innovative product or service. We will announce applicants accepted into the Summer Cohort on 16 June, after which we will invite them to submit an ITL application by 26 July.

        Since the inception of the ITL in 2017, the DFSA has accepted 25 companies into the cohort process, representing diverse business models from across the world. These have included digital sukuk issuances using smart contracts, tokenised securities and debt offerings, tokenised crowdfunding, SME lending platforms, and the use of AI in credit analysis. The ITL enables companies to test innovative solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It provides companies with temporary relaxation of a limited set of regulatory requirements to test and develop concepts within the test environment.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “Since the ITL was inaugurated in 2017, it has successfully enabled companies to test innovative ideas in a controlled regulatory environment and deepened the DFSA’s understanding of the benefits and risks that arise from new technologies, while maintaining the safety of the financial system. The DFSA is very proud of its Innovation Programme, which aims to enable and support innovation in the DIFC and pave the way for the future of finance in the Centre. This feeds into our support of wider initiatives within the Centre, such as the DIFC Hive and Accelerator Programme, and also aligns with government-level initiatives including SMART Dubai, the Dubai 2021 Plan and the National Innovation Strategy.”

        We provide further details regarding the ITL and cohort applications in the FinTech section of the DFSA’s website. Firms are encouraged to apply at the earliest opportunity.

        For more information about the cohort application process or the ITL, 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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 April 2020 — DFSA Takes Measures to Support its Financial Community

        Click here to view the PDF.

        DFSA providing a series of significant regulatory relief measures
        ➢ Measures allow financial services firms to focus attention on protecting the wellbeing of staff and helping their customers

        Dubai, UAE, 7 April 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today a number of initiatives aimed to provide significant assistance and regulatory relief to the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) financial services community. These initiatives are designed to allow the DIFC community to focus on protecting the wellbeing of their staff and supporting their clients during this time of stress and uncertainty.

        The DFSA is closely monitoring the financial and operational impacts of the current environment and will take all necessary steps to maintain the integrity of financial services and markets in the DIFC. Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “We want to help all regulated firms and related businesses in the DIFC to manage their operations and protect their staff through the temporary challenges and uncertainties we are currently facing. We are committed to fulfilling our regulatory objectives as the independent financial services regulator of the DIFC, but we are also focusing our attention on the wellbeing of the Centre’s wider community and ecosystem. We are committed to supporting businesses and their customers in their efforts to safely navigate the current turbulence. The DFSA stands ready to consider any reasonable requests for regulatory relief and our staff are available to answer any questions. I encourage everyone to work together for the greater good of the DIFC community, Dubai and the UAE."

        Our regulatory relief measures include:

        New firms coming into the DIFC will: 

        • Be given more time to complete the application and authorisation processes and meet the set-up requirements to commence business;

        Receive a 50% reduction in Application Fees for the remainder of 2020 and flexibility in requirements for permanent premises; 

        In the case of Domestic Funds, receive a waiver of Registration Fees for the remainder of 2020.

        Existing Authorised Firms will be able to obtain:

        • An extension of time for filing a number of returns and reports, including both IRAP and ICAAP returns, the Controllers Report and the Annual Report of the Shari’a Supervisory Board, where applicable;

        • Additional time, where reasonable, for submitting Annual Accounts and Financial Statement Auditors Report, with the exception of Reporting Entities;

        • Flexibility in meeting Authorised Individual obligations, including extending the amount of time that temporary cover can be in place. 

        • A waiver of fees for applications relating to Authorised Individuals and flexibility in considering the workload that may be carried by those offering outsourced compliance services;

        • Temporary relief from Capital Requirements for those firms which do not hold or control Client Assets or hold Insurance Monies;

        • A waiver of our fees for applications for waivers and modifications for the remainder of 2020 and we will waive all automated late return fees for the remainder of 2020, and,

        • A waiver of the listing fees for new SME issuers in the DIFC for the remainder of 2020.

        In addition, where we believe we should proceed with a particular regulatory change, policy consultation periods will be extended, as will time for our firms to meet any new requirements.

        As the DIFC is the region’s international financial centre, the DFSA is in close and regular contact with national and international supervisory bodies. Currently, the DFSA is working closely with the Central Bank of the UAE on a variety of measures to assist banks in supporting their customers, particularly those assisting small and medium-sized businesses. The DFSA continues to work with the DIFC Authority on a variety of other measures.

        Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, said: “The DFSA’s regulatory relief measures reinforce the robust set of initiatives we have implemented to provide relief to regulated firms and our entire community at the DIFC. Throughout this period of uncertainty, we have responded to the pressure companies and their people face as we are taking a rigid stance against the impact of this period of stress by putting the needs of our community first. It is through continued collaboration that we can provide businesses with the hope and financial strength needed to move beyond this challenging period.”

        The DFSA remains ready to facilitate to the best of its ability all appropriate measures to support the DIFC community at this time. Firms and Market Institutions in the Centre are aware that their primary focus should be on maintaining operational and financial resilience, in order to meet their obligations to clients. This includes looking after the wellbeing of their staff. 

        - 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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 April 2020 — CBUAE, ADGM & DIFC issues a joint guidance for banks and finance companies on the application of IFRS9 during COVID-19 pandemic

        Click here to view the PDF.

        Abu Dhabi (April 4th 2020): The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (“FSRA”) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) of Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”), collectively the “Authorities”, have today issued joint guidance for banks and finance companies in relation to the application of International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (“IFRS 9”) during the current circumstances caused by COVID-19. 

        The Authorities regulate and supervise banks and finance companies that may have clients experiencing financial stresses as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The CBUAE has already taken action to provide banks and finance companies a number of relief measures available under the Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS), given the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, effective from 15 March 2020. The Authorities are supporting both federal and local initiatives aimed at providing sustainable solutions to support borrowers who will be utilising government-sponsored debt relief programs at this time.

        In addition to these measures the CBUAE, FSRA of ADGM and DFSA believe that the flexibility embedded in the IFRS 9 framework should be employed to cope with the current crisis by banks and finance companies that are part of the TESS.  To assist these banks and finance companies, the Authorities will be publishing specific guidance with respect to the calculation of Expected Credit Loss (“ECL”) provisioning under IFRS 9. 

        The guidance, developed collectively by the Authorities, provides practical solutions for banks and finance companies in managing the impact of the current economic uncertainty on ECL, while remaining compliant with IFRS 9 and promoting consistency of approach. The overriding objective of the guidance is to ensure that financial reports are based on up to date estimations of the risks faced by banks and finance companies, while recognising the magnitude of support measures implemented by the Authorities, and acknowledging that the decision-making process related to IFRS 9 application will need to be adjusted in the current environment. The joint guidance has been released simultaneously by the Authorities to their regulated banks and finance companies, targeted at those that are participating in the TESS. The Authorities encourage those institutions to review the guidance and reach out to their respective supervisors for further clarification, if required.

        -Ends-

      • 24 March 2020 — DFSA Supports the UAE Government’s Measures to Address the Challenges of Covid-19

        Click here to view PDF.

        ➢ DFSA cooperating with local and international regulators
        ➢ DIFC firms and markets continue to show resilience  
        ➢ DFSA warns against heightened risks of cyber-attacks, phishing scams and fraud 

        Dubai, UAE, 24 March 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today that it continues to closely assess and address the implications of the evolving situation of Covid-19 pandemic. The DFSA will take all necessary proactive and precautionary measures to help Dubai and the UAE in their efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and will continue to work closely with all government agencies in that respect.

        The DFSA is actively engaged with the regulated community in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to assess the immediate and longer-term impact of this unprecedented global situation, and to intervene, as needed, to ensure financial stability and consumer protection. As the DIFC is a global hub for financial services, the DFSA is in close and regular contact with local and international supervisory bodies.

        International regulatory standards have strengthened the resilience of the financial system over the past decade. Banks have higher levels of capital and liquidity now than in previous times, including capital and liquidity buffers that were specifically designed to be used for situations such as this. The DFSA’s investments in regulatory technology and digitalisation have allowed better functionality as many firms moved to remote working arrangements. DIFC markets, including the equities and the bond platforms of Nasdaq Dubai (ND) and the commodity market of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), continue functioning ordinarily and efficiently. The DIFC markets’ structures have demonstrated operational strength and efficiency in this current environment, despite historic volatilities.

        The DFSA also wishes to highlight that the current circumstances can increase financial institutions’ vulnerability to cyberattacks, phishing attempts and fraud. The DFSA continues to encourage the DIFC regulated community to exercise vigilance in that respect. Firms in the DIFC firms are called to register to use the DFSA Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) and make use of the cyber threat information available on TIP to enhance their cybersecurity.

        The DFSA remains ready to consider all appropriate measures aimed at supporting the financial and operational resilience of financial institutions and markets in the DIFC. The DFSA will also back all actions by the UAE and the Dubai Governments to support the UAE economy, and actions by the Central Bank of the UAE to ensure financial stability in the UAE. The DFSA is working closely with the DIFC Authority on targeted, non-regulatory measures to support the DIFC community. As we have learned from our work in cyber resilience, public/private partnerships will provide the best path for solutions to this issue. The measures are vital to ensuring that the UAE and the DIFC, along with other markets around the globe, can recover when the current situation eventually passes.

        - 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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.

         

      • 22 March 2020 — DFSA takes action against a Senior Executive Officer

        Click here to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 22 March, 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it has fined Mr Ajay Arora USD87,500 (approximately AED321,000), prohibited him from holding office or being an employee of a regulated DIFC firm, and restricted him from performing any functions in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The DFSA has taken this action against Mr Arora due to his role in multiple serious breaches of DFSA legislation.  In particular, Mr Arora executed Client transactions without authorisation and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct towards those Clients and the DFSA.  Among other things, the DFSA found that Mr Arora contravened the DFSA’s Principles for Authorised Individuals by failing to observe high standards of integrity and fair dealing.

        Mr Arora has been the Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of Morgan Gatsby Limited (MGL) since March 2013, when the DFSA licenced MGL.  In that role, he had ultimate responsibility for the day-to-day management, supervision and control of MGL’s financial services business.  Mr Arora was directly involved in MGL’s financial services business, and engaged with its Clients.

        The DFSA found that Mr Arora and MGL continued to engage in misconduct, despite concerns about rule breaches being brought to his attention on numerous occasions from 2016 onward by both the DFSA and MGL’s compliance function.  Despite these repeated warnings, Mr Arora did not take sufficient action to stop the misconduct or to improve the firm’s systems and controls.

        Certain of the contraventions relate to MGL’s dealings with two Clients.  Mr Arora (on behalf of MGL) effected transactions on behalf of these Clients without the Clients’ knowledge or authorisation.  Mr Arora also engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to these transactions by providing false or misleading information about the transactions to the Clients, or concealing the transactions from the Clients. One of the transactions was carried out despite the Client having given explicit instructions to the contrary.

        Mr Arora also failed to comply with a DFSA direction to keep the DFSA’s investigation confidential, and provided misleading and deceptive information to the DFSA regarding this failure.

        Furthermore, Mr Arora breached DFSA legislation through his involvement in MGL’s:

        • illegal promotion of an unregulated Foreign Fund;
        • failure to comply with certain restrictions on business and dealing with property imposed by the DFSA in May 2018;
        • failure to properly classify a Client and to conduct the necessary enquiries into the Client’s source of funds and rationale for entering into transactions; and
        • failure to ensure that MGL’s Board of Directors was provided with accurate information.

        The DFSA considered Mr Arora’s request for a reduction in the amount of the fine on the grounds of financial hardship, and agreed to reduce the fine imposed on him on these grounds. Mr Arora also agreed to settle the DFSA's action at an early stage of the DFSA investigation and, therefore, qualified for a reduction of the fine under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for the reductions for financial hardship and for early settlement, the DFSA would have imposed a fine of USD187,500 (approximately AED689,000) on Mr Arora.

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, the Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "We hold Authorised Individuals, particularly SEOs, to the highest standards of integrity in discharging their responsibilities for the management, supervision and control of an Authorised Firm. Mr Arora did not meet these standards, even after he was repeatedly notified of compliance concerns regarding MGL’s activities.  The DFSA will take strong action against individuals who breach the DFSA’s legislation, and will pursue stronger action yet where misconduct continues despite warnings”.

        The DFSA took action against MGL on 6 January 2020 for the above-mentioned contraventions.  The detailed reasons for the DFSA’s action against Mr Arora are set out in the DFSA’s Decision Notice dated 10 March 2020 which 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        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

      • 9 March 2020 — Dubai Financial Services Authority Publishes Innovation Programme Progress Report

        Click here to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 March 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has publishes its Innovation Programme Progress Report. The Report highlights the DFSA’s observations and lessons learnt since inception of the DFSA’s Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme.

        Launched in 2017, the ITL enables firms to test innovative solutions in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in a controlled regulatory environment, without being subject to the full suite of regulatory requirements that apply to Authorised Firms. To date, 41 companies have applied to the Programme, 20 companies have been accepted into the Programme, and two companies have graduated from the Programme. The ITL facilitates engagement and education with the innovative community, assisting firms to develop an understanding of the regulatory environment, and provides the DFSA with valuable insight into building appropriate and proportionate regulatory responses and frameworks.   
         
        Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Bryan Stirewalt remarked: “Technology and innovation has had a transformative effect on the financial services industry in recent years. The ITL Programme was created to encourage innovation in the DIFC while safeguarding consumers against risk. The Programme has been successful in enabling the DFSA to deepen its understanding of the risks and benefits of these new concepts and allowing firms to test their ideas within a regulatory framework. The Programme will continue to evolve to support the market and we look forward to continuing to support the development of innovation in the DIFC and Dubai.”     
         
        The ITL supports broader Dubai and UAE governmental initiatives such as the National Innovation Strategy in driving innovation, facilitating the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), and promoting Islamic Finance. The ITL contributes to the DIFC’s FinTech ecosystem, complementing initiatives such as the DIFC’s Startupbootcamp and FinTech Hive. 
         
        Applications for the next cohort will be accepted from 1-31 May 2020. For more information, please visit the DFSA website at http://www.dfsa.ae/FinTech.

        - 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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 February 2020 — DFSA Fines Company USD 105,000 for Unauthorised Activity

        Click here to view the PDF.

         
        Dubai, UAE, 25 February 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it has fined Enness Limited (Enness DIFC), a DIFC Representative Office. The DFSA fined Enness DIFC USD 105,000 (approximately AED 386,000) for engaging in unauthorised activity outside the scope of its Representative Office DFSA Licence.

        As a Representative Office, Enness DIFC is only permitted to carry out a narrow set of activities in the DIFC relating to the marketing of mortgage services offered by its head office based in the United Kingdom.

        The DFSA’s investigation found that between November 2017 and January 2019, Enness DIFC arranged mortgages for its clients, and provided mortgage advice for its clients. Enness DIFC was not authorised to engage in such activity, and in doing so acted outside the scope of its Representative Office Licence, in breach of the DFSA’s laws.

        Enness DIFC fully cooperated with the DFSA's investigation, and has sought to obtain an appropriate DFSA Licence authorising it to carry on the wider Financial Service of Arranging Credit and Advising on Credit.

        Furthermore, Enness DIFC also agreed to settle the DFSA's action at an early stage of the investigation and, therefore, qualified for a discount under the DFSA's policy for early settlement.  Were it not for the settlement discount, the DFSA would have imposed a fine of USD 150,000 (approximately AED 551,000) on Enness DIFC.

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “This action demonstrates that the DFSA takes the failure by Representative Offices to act within the scope of their Licences seriously. We expect that all Representative Offices in the DIFC understand what they are authorised to do, and have controls in place that ensure they only engage in authorised activities. ”

        The detailed reasons for the DFSA’s action against Enness DIFC are set out in the DFSA’s Decision Notice dated 24 February 2020, which 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 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 February 2020 — Dubai Financial Services Authority Hosts 11TH Annual Audit Outreach For Registered Auditors

        Click here to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 19 February 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted its 11th Annual Audit Outreach for Registered Auditors yesterday.

        In his opening address, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, highlighted the continued growth of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) over the last year and underlined the important role of the accounting and auditing community in the overall ecosystem of the DIFC.

        Mr Stirewalt noted: “Over the years, the Annual Audit Outreach has become a flagship event for the DIFC’s audit community. The large audience in attendance every year demonstrates the commitment of the accounting and auditing professionals in the Centre. The global audit regulatory landscape is changing and will require accountants and auditors to work in a challenging and complex regulatory environment. We will continue to strongly encourage professional scepticism in the audit industry and to facilitate learning opportunities for audit professionals in line with the evolving global audit regulatory landscape. This will contribute to maintaining the strong reputation of the DIFC as a global financial services hub and boost international investor confidence in Dubai and the UAE.”

        More than 115 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 DFSA.

        The event featured detailed presentations on the recent release of the International Forum of Independent Regulators’ (IFIAR) Inspection Findings Survey, DFSA Audit Monitoring Findings from 2019 and findings from the DFSA’s anti-money laundering (AML) inspections. The event also featured an update on the upcoming changes to the International Ethics Board for Professional Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics by IESBA’s technical advisor. A detailed overview of Audit Monitoring Focus for 2020 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 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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 2020 — DFSA to become a Signatory to the IOSCO Enhanced Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding: A First for the GCC

        Click here to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 28 January 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it had been accepted as a signatory to the IOSCO Enhanced Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (Enhanced MMoU).

        The DFSA is the independent regulator of Financial Services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a financial free zone located within the city of Dubai. In that capacity, the DFSA became a signatory of the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) on 23 January 2006. The MMoU is a framework for consultation, co-operation and exchange of information between securities regulators throughout the world. The MMoU sets out specific requirements for the sharing of information, and the confidentiality and permitted use of the information shared. The MMoU has been used to exchange information relevant to investigations into insider dealing, market manipulation, the misrepresentation of material information and other fraudulent or manipulative practices relating to securities and derivatives.

        The Enhanced MMoU enhances information sharing and co-operation between IOSCO members. The need for the enhancement to the MMoU arose as a consequence of a significant increase in the globalisation and the interconnectedness of financial markets, as well as advancements in technology.

        Signatories to the Enhanced MMoU must be able to:

        • obtain and share audit working papers, communications and other information relating to the audit or review of financial statements;
        • compel physical attendance for testimony (by being able to apply a sanction in the event of non-compliance); and
        • freeze assets if possible, or, if not, advise and provide information on how to freeze assets.

        Chief Executive Mr Bryan Stirewalt, said: “I am delighted that the DFSA has been accepted as a signatory of the IOSCO Enhanced MMoU. In order for the DFSA to be accepted as a signatory, the DFSA’s legislative and regulatory regime had to undergo a rigorous assessment process conducted by the IOSCO Screening Group to satisfy IOSCO that the DFSA has the requisite powers and is willing and able to use them. In signing the Enhanced MMoU, the DFSA further affirms its commitment to international cooperation with its counterpart authorities and regulators regionally and across the globe.

        To date, the DFSA is the first regulator in Africa and the Middle East and only the third regulator from IOSCO’s 111 emerging market jurisdictions to be admitted as a signatory to the Enhanced MMoU. As the rigorous process continues, other regulators will join, boosting confidence in all our 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 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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 takes the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services 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.

      • 15 January 2020 — The DFSA signs Guiding Principles on Sustainable Finance together with Leading Authorities in the UAE

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 15 January 2020: The DFSA, together with a group of leading authorities in the UAE, has published the UAE’s first Guiding Principles on Sustainable Finance (the Guiding Principles), which will serve as a catalyst for the implementation of the UAE’s sustainability priorities.

        Based on the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Guiding Principles are the result of co-operative efforts among a number of authorities in the UAE, namely the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the Central Bank, the Insurance Authority, the Securities and Commodities Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, the Dubai Financial Market, Nasdaq Dubai, and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

        The Guiding Principles were officially signed in a ceremony today at the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF) during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The Guiding Principles are designed to encourage signatories to intensify their efforts to achieve increased implementation and integration of sustainable practices among the UAE’s financial entities and to secure a sustainable economic future for the UAE.

        The DFSA, together with other financial regulators, authorities and bodies, has undertaken to implement appropriate measures to encourage and support financial services firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in developing strategies to incorporate sustainable practices in their business activities, decision-making, risk management and in the context of exploring new businesses. The DFSA’s participation in other fora such as the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), which it joined in July 2019, and the IOSCO Growth and Emerging Markets Committee, where the DFSA is represented on the Steering Committee, will inform our future actions in this area.

        The DFSA’s CEO, Bryan Stirewalt, who participated in the Guiding Principles signing ceremony said: “The UAE is fortunate to have visionary leaders who are championing sustainability and economic development at a governmental level through initiatives such as the UAE Green Agenda 2030. The DFSA recognises the importance of sustainable finance and is committed to implementing standards and principles that foster the growth of sustainable practices in the DIFC. We look forward to working alongside our regulatory counterparts to continue developing the UAE into a global sustainable finance hub.”

        The DIFC, as a leading international financial centre, currently ranked eighth globally in the Global Financial Centres Index, contributes to the growth and development of the UAE’s economy, including through its industry-led Sustainable Finance Working Group initiative launched jointly with the Dubai Financial Market in July 2019.

        -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, crowdfunding platforms, 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 eight years as the DFSA's Managing Director of the Supervision Division. In his role as Chief Executive, Bryan steers the work of the DFSA, further developing its capability as a robust regulator delivering world-class financial services regulation in the DIFC. Bryan plays a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. Bryan also 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 UAE Green Agenda 2030 was implemented by the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates in January 2015. The Green Agenda resulted from concerted efforts of the federal and local authorities to concretize the UAE Green Growth Strategy. The Strategy was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in January 2012. The Strategy aims to bring into effect the UAE’s ambition to become a global hub and a successful model for the low-carbon green economy to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of its development and preserve its environment for future generations.

         

      • 8 January 2020 — DFSA takes action against Morgan Gatsby Limited for multiple serious breaches

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 8 January 2020: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it has fined Morgan Gatsby Limited (MGL), approximately USD 246,000 (approx. AED 900,000), for multiple serious breaches of DFSA legislation. The DFSA had previously suspended MGL’s licence on 8 November 2018 due to concerns regarding MGL’s non-compliance with DFSA legislation.

        The DFSA’s action follows an investigation that found that MGL, a DFSA Authorised Firm, had committed breaches of DFSA legislation by:

        • illegally promoting an unregulated Foreign Fund;
        • making unauthorised transactions on behalf of two clients and engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct in regard to those transactions;
        • failing to comply with certain restrictions on business and dealing with property imposed by the DFSA in May 2018;
        • failing to properly classify a client and conduct the requisite inquiries into a client’s source of funds and rationale for entering into transactions;
        • failing to comply with DFSA Rules relating to the safe custody of client assets; and,
        • failing to ensure that its Board of Directors was provided with accurate information.

        MGL agreed to settle the DFSA's action at an early stage of the DFSA investigation and, therefore, qualified for a discount under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for the settlement discount, the DFSA would have imposed a fine of approximately USD 352,000 (approx. AED 1,290,000) on MGL.

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "MGL has had a history of not complying with the legislation administered by the DFSA, even after the DFSA warned MGL of its concerns. The DFSA has no tolerance for recalcitrant firms that continue to breach the DFSA’s legislation, despite repeated warnings”.

        The detailed reasons for the DFSA’s action against MGL are set out in the DFSA’s Decision Notice dated 6 January 2020, which can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website: The earlier Decision Notice suspending MGL’s licence can also be found in that section.

        -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.

        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. 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.

    • 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

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        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

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        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.

    • 2018

      • 18 December 2018 — DFSA Enhances its Funds Regime

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 18 December 2018: Changes to the DFSA Collective Investment Funds regime, on which the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") consulted in October last year, will come into force today coinciding with the enactment of the DIFC Companies Law 2018 ("Companies Law"). The DFSA consultation included a wide-ranging set of proposals to support the continued development of the growing Funds industry in the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC"). The DIFC now has almost 70 Funds, most of which have been registered over the last two years.

        The new provisions strengthen the DFSA's commitment to meeting international standards, particularly those of the International Organization of Securities Commissions ("IOSCO") and the Financial Stability Board ("FSB"), through measures to enhance liquidity risk management in open-ended Funds. Open-ended Funds give their investors the right to have their Units redeemed at a price calculated based on the net asset value of the Fund's portfolio of assets.

        The new provisions:

        •   incorporate the Public Company and Private Company distinction, introduced by the Companies Law, into the Funds regime, so that all Investment Companies with retail investor participation would need to be Public Companies;
        •   remove the current limits on the number of investors which a DIFC Fund can have. Currently only a Public Fund is able to have more than 100 investors (including retail), with an Exempt Fund being limited to 100 or fewer investors and a Qualified Investor Fund ("QIF") being limited to 50 or fewer investors. These changes do not alter the current focus of regulation of these Funds, which is based on the type of investors (e.g. any Fund with retail investors will receive higher levels of scrutiny).
        •   introduce a new class of specialist Funds for Exchange-Traded Funds ("ETFs"). These are open-ended Funds, the Units of which are listed and traded on exchanges. ETFs have become increasingly popular among both retail and institutional investors over the past several years. Their introduction would give greater choice of Funds available to investors from the DIFC, with Fund Managers also having a greater choice of Funds they could offer; and
        •   enables a Fund established as an Investment Company to be managed by its sole Corporate Director licensed as a Fund Manager to manage only that Fund and no other. This is a model available in the European Union, and we have made some adjustments to suit the DIFC regime.

        The changes to the legislation can be viewed under the Notice of Amendments section on the DFSA website.

        Bryan Stirewalt, the Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DFSA continues to enhance its regulatory regime to facilitate the growth of the DIFC and the development of the financial sector in Dubai and the UAE. We have introduced a number of significant changes to the DFSA Funds regime to support and complement the continued development of the DIFC Funds sector, which has grown significantly during the past two years."

        - 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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        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 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.

        Statistics on DIFC funds industry

        Public Funds 14
        Exempt Funds 14
        Qualified Investor Funds 39
        Domestic Fund Managers 54
        External Fund Managers 2

      • 9 December 2018 — DFSA hosts Authorisation Outreach and Stakeholder Roundtable

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 December, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") held its Authorisation Roundtable to discuss key aspects of the authorisation process. The discussions also addressed the DFSA's 2019 priorities for new applicants seeking a licence to provide financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC"). Key regulatory priorities discussed at this event included combating financial crime and digitalisation, in line with the Dubai Government initiatives, whilst ensuring that the services remain outward focused, relevant and responsive to a changing market.

        In his opening remarks, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "Today's event reflects our commitment to engage with key stakeholders that contribute to building a broader and deeper international Financial Centre. The event is a fundamental part of the DFSA's mandate to ensure effective communication with its key stakeholders. We are also keen to discuss evolving trends and the impact they will have on the pipeline of new applicants to the regulated community of the DIFC."

        During the event the DFSA provided several updates including, developments to the DFSA Online Forms, a question and answer session to discuss statistical information, and a comprehensive update on the anti-money laundering ("AML") and the Financial Action Task Force ("FATF") Mutual Evaluation. In addition to providing these updates, the DFSA listened to a number of issues, concerns and ideas from the stakeholder community. Each of the concerns raised and the suggestions made will receive consideration in the DFSA's Business Plan for 2019.

        The event targeted Compliance consultancy firms, law firms, accountancy firms and others supporting new applicants seeking authorisation from the DFSA. Over seventy percent of the external advisors assisting applicants seeking authorisation in the Centre were represented at the event.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt's responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors, CRAs and DNFBPs. Within his primary areas of responsibilities, he also directs the DFSA's efforts in fighting methods of illicit finance. He has extensive experience in financial regulation in public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

      • 5 December 2018 — DFSA signs MoU with Bank Negara Malaysia

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, 5 December 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country's central bank, to cooperate in the authorisation and supervision of banks and insurers operating in both markets.

        The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive of the DFSA, Bryan Stirewalt, and the Deputy Governor of Bank Negara, Jessica Chew Cheng Lian. The official signing took place on the sidelines of the 2018 International Conference of Banking Supervisors, an event hosted in Abu Dhabi by the Central Bank of the UAE, and in which both Stirewalt and Chew participated.

        Stirewalt said: "The DFSA and Bank Negara Malaysia have long enjoyed a strong and close relationship, particularly in the area of Islamic Finance. In recognition of Malaysia's and Dubai's commitment and prominence in this field, the DFSA previously entered into an MoU with Bank Negara in March 2007, with the object of further developing the international Islamic Finance markets."

        Stirewalt added: "The signing of the MoU with Bank Negara Malaysia underscores our shared commitment to maintaining the highest standards of supervision and the joint promotion of a stable financial services sector in our respective jurisdictions. The MoU also builds upon our strategic goal of ensuring continued international engagement and strengthening our regulatory ties."

        The MoU anticipates the presence of Malaysian institutions, including those offering Islamic Finance, in the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC"), and formalises arrangements for regulatory cooperation and establishes a framework for exchange of information and regular dialogue between both regulators.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        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.

      • 27 November 2018 — SCA, the DFSA and the ADGM's FSRA reach agreement on the licensing and promotion of investment funds

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 27 November 2018: The Securities and Commodities Authority ("SCA"), the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") of the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC") and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority ("FSRA") of the Abu Dhabi Global Market ("ADGM") announced today that they had reached agreement on facilitating the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE.

        The three authorities signed the regulatory agreement in Dubai in the presence of H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and the SCA Board Chairman, and H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State to the UAE and Chairman of the ADGM. The agreement was signed by Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi, Chief Executive Officer of SCA, Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA and Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer of the FSRA.

        Following the signing, H.E. Sultan Al Mansoori Minister of Economy and Chairman of the SCA, said: "Signing this agreement and implementing its provisions will foster the relations between the three authorities. It will facilitate the licensing and promoting of investment funds to attract foreign investment. It will also pave the way for savings to be directed towards new financial instruments such as investment funds and activate a number of financial services and activities related to investment funds such as custodian, investment management, and promoting, as well as the management of investment funds."

        His Excellency added that the agreement implements passporting mutual recognition as a regulatory mechanism for the promotion and supervision of investment funds, and encourages foreign licensed firms in financial free zones based in other countries to move to the UAE market.

        The agreement contributes to the realisation of one of the main roles assigned to SCA, and that is to provide the appropriate environment for the investment of savings and funds in securities in line with the objectives of the country's economic development.

        H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State to the UAE and Chairman of ADGM said: "We welcome this partnership to strengthen UAE's position as an international financial and business hub. This collaboration will enable greater number of current and new market participants, investors and institutions to access growth opportunities in the UAE and wider region and support the growth of the capital markets. The passporting regime dovetails well with ADGM's ongoing efforts to maintain a robust and innovative financial services market to support the dynamic needs of our economy. ADGM will continue to uphold the highest international regulatory standards and practices, in the best interests of our investors and marketplace."

        Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA said: “This agreement between peer regulators reflects our joint efforts to encourage the development of the domestic funds market and create a stronger and more diversified financial market in the UAE. The DFSA remains committed to developing the financial services sector and fostering long-term economic growth for the UAE. This move supports the vision of the DIFC's Founder H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, implemented by DIFC's President H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a global and dynamic financial centre and an attractive hub for international investment business. Cooperating with our fellow regulators in the UAE and around the world is a cornerstone of our regulatory approach and has been a key factor in establishing and maintaining trust and confidence in our international financial centre."

        The SCA, DFSA, and FSRA agreed on a common legislative framework in their respective jurisdictions, enabling them, to facilitate regulatory coordination amongst them in licensing domestic funds upon the adoption of the legislation. The three bodies confirmed that funds, which are licensed in accordance with the provisions of this agreement and the licensing regulations, may be promoted in or from the financial free zones in the UAE, in line with the provisions of the agreement and the licensing regulations. Under the terms of the agreement, a notification and registration facility will be established by each regulator, facilitating the promotion and sale of domestic funds, set up within the UAE, outside the financial free zones, or in either of the DIFC or ADGM, to potential investors situated anywhere in the UAE, and under a single licence.

        The SCA, DFSA, and the FSRA have also agreed to establish common rules to implement the regulatory agreement.

        The regime is expected to stimulate the development of the domestic investment funds market by encouraging the establishment of new investment funds, in addition to facilitating the process of conducting business in the UAE.

        Based on this agreement, the regime will provide greater protection to investors, as a result of the enhanced exchange of regulatory information amongst the regulatory bodies in relation to the promotion and sale of local investment fund units in the UAE.

        The DFSA and FSRA will shortly commence consultation on the proposed regime.

        The SCA regulates the capital markets operating in the UAE, with the exception of financial free zones, and the DFSA is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the DIFC, whilst the FSRA is the independent regulator for financial services in or from the ADGM.

        - Ends -

      • 5 November 2018 — Robo-advisory Firm Sarwa, First to Graduate from DFSA's Regulatory Sandbox

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 05 November 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") is pleased to announce that robo-advisory firm, Sarwa, has become the first participant to graduate from its regulatory sandbox following nearly 12 months of testing. As the first firm within the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC") to be granted an Innovation Testing Licence ("ITL"), Sarwa promises to: "make investing easier, secure and more affordable by offering customers simpler way to invest their earnings for long-term financial growth."

        During the testing period, the DFSA closely observed Sarwa as the company fine-tuned its automated business, while simultaneously developing its internal capabilities. This included continuous monitoring, ongoing engagement and frequent feedback. The rigorous process allowed the DFSA to deepen its understanding of Sarwa's underlying operating model, while the firm tested its services within a safe and controlled environment.

        Sarwa's successful completion of its Regulatory Test Plan, and exiting the ITL, demonstrates the importance of regulatory sandboxes in fostering innovation and facilitating both established companies and start-ups as they create new and exciting solutions in financial services.

        The DFSA's support of FinTech development is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to form an innovation-friendly nation. Other initiatives that the DFSA supports in similar vein include the Dubai Plan 2021 and Smart Dubai.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said "When we first introduced the ITL programme our goal was to offer firms the flexibility to test their new business models and solutions, so they can develop innovative products and services to tackle the growing needs of the region's financial services industry. Sarwa's progress is the first tangible demonstration that this goal can be achieved. We look forward to more firms following suit."

        The DFSA continues to receive positive feedback around its regulatory sandbox and encourages firms with innovative ideas to apply for the 2018 winter cohort, which is currently accepting applications through the DFSA website. A list of the firms that have been accepted into the cohort will be finalised on 16 December, after which they may submit an ITL application by 17 January 2019. Online submission links will only be active during these dates; therefore, firms should put together their submission forms at the earliest opportunity.
        The DFSA's cohort process and ITL initiatives go hand in hand with FinTech Hive at DIFC, the region's first FinTech accelerator, which aims to bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry.

        For more information on the ITL programme and cohort application process please visit the following FAQ section or 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 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        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.

        Sarwa
        Sarwa is an automated investment advisory firm based in the Dubai International Financial Centre and the first company to be granted an Innovation Testing Licence by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. Sarwa combines innovative technology and human advice to make expert level investing available for everyone. With a low account minimum and a low advisory fee, Sarwa aims to make investing easy, secure and affordable by offering customers the simplest and most cost-effective way to invest their earnings for long-term financial growth. The platform provides rebalancing services, algorithms combined with personalised human advice, account opening in a few minutes via facial recognition, and more. The company was founded by a team of finance, technology, and user-experience experts and is backed by top regional and international Venture Capital firms.

      • 24 October 2018 — DFSA to Open Second Cohort for Innovation Testing Licence ("ITL") Applications

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 24 October 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") is pleased to announce that round two of the cohort process, which enables companies to apply for an Innovation Testing Licence ("ITL"), is set to open shortly. Interested firms, locally-based or international, are encouraged to apply online to be part of the cohort through the DFSA website between 1 and 30 November, 2018.

        The cohort system was developed in response to the positive responses generated by the ITL programme and is a prerequisite for firms to be able to apply for an ITL. Going forward, there will be two open cohorts per year, in which applicants for the cohort should provide the DFSA with a clear understanding of their business model and proposed innovation.

        A list of the firms that have been accepted into the cohort will be finalised on December 16, after which they may submit an ITL application by 17 January 2019. Online submission links will only be active during these dates; therefore, firms are encouraged to put together their submission forms at the earliest. The DFSA will also be launching a FAQ section on their website setting out key information related to the ITL programme and cohort application.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said "The industry's response to the ITL programme has been overwhelmingly positive as demonstrated by the volume of applications received since its launch. Its value and the overall attractiveness of DIFC's FinTech environment is clear in the eyes of our stakeholders. Therefore, we will continue to evaluate the programme and improve it as we move forward, to ensure it remains useful and serves the purpose it is designed for efficiently. We look forward to welcoming applications from innovative FinTech firms."

        The ITL programme, which was first introduced in May 2017, works by enabling firms to test FinTech solutions in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC"). As part of the DFSA's strategy to foster an innovation-friendly ecosystem, the programme's core benefit lies in allowing companies to apply for a restricted financial services licence that provides the flexibility to test and develop their concepts without being subject to the full regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

        For more information about the cohort application process or ITL programme, please 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 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        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.

      • 3 October 2018 — Mohammed bin Rashid Enacts DIFC Regulatory Amendment Law

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 3 October 2018: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, has enacted the Regulatory Law Amendment Law, DIFC Law No. (6) of 2018. The Law, which amends the Regulatory Law 2004, will come into force on 29 October 2018 and, together with changes to DFSA Anti-Money Laundering Rules, will make a number of important changes to the regulatory regime in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The amendments follow a self-assessment of the DIFC framework in preparation for the upcoming UAE Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Mutual Evaluation in 2019. The amendments will enhance the anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing (AML/CTF) regime. This will support the ongoing alignment of the DIFC regime with the FATF recommendations.

        The changes include updating the DFSA's approach to registration and supervision of Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs). This includes a prohibition from conducting any DNFBP activities, in or from the DIFC, without registration by the DFSA. The changes also include enhancements to the supervisory regime, which will enable the DFSA to suspend or withdraw the registration of a DNFBP, if it is in breach of the Law or the Rules or other AML legislation.

        In order to ensure the orderly transition of DNFBPs already established in the Centre to the new regime, the DFSA clarified that the transitional arrangements would apply over a three-month period from effective date of the Law. These matters would include confirming the identity of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer, senior management and beneficial ownership information.

        The changes also strengthen the DFSA's regulatory approach to how firms carry out Customer Due Diligence to ensure alignment with FATF Recommendations. The DFSA has prepared a Question and Answer document, addressing the most commonly posed questions in response to Consultation Papers 118 and 120, which proposed the changes discussed above.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive Officer of the DFSA said: “The DFSA welcomes these changes and sees them as an important step towards enhancing the AML/CTF regime. I believe they will also improve the supervisory oversight of DNFBPs. We also see these as appropriate changes to support the growth of the DIFC, to continue to position it as the financial hub of choice for international firms in the region, and to contribute to the UAE's upcoming FATF Mutual Evaluation that is due in 2019.

        The DFSA's work on AML will continue, to ensure our approach is in line with best international practice. We expect that there will be further enhancements to our regime as the UAE completes its preparation for the Mutual Evaluation."

        The Amendments to DIFC laws, together with associated amendments to DFSA Rules, will come into force on 29 October, 2018 and are available on the DFSA website under: http://www.dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/Notice-of-Amendments-to-Legislation-(6)
        The Questions and Answers document prepared by the DFSA, can be found on the following link: https://www.dfsa.ae/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=f51814ed-f99e-4479-9190-7c9643b396e8

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

        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 standardsetting 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.

      • 27 September 2018 — DFSA signs FinTech Agreement with Japan's Financial Services Agency

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 27 September 2018: With its continued efforts to encourage the adoption of technological advancements in the market, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered yesterday into an Exchange Of Letters with the Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA) to cooperate in the development of financial technology (FinTech). The cooperation framework reflects efforts by both authorities to foster innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as well as in Japan.

        The agreement was signed by Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Toshihide Endo, Commissioner at Japan's FSA. Under the terms, and given the global nature of innovation in financial services, the authorities will share information on developments in FinTech and ensure the efficient entry of financial innovators into the respective markets.

        Ian Johnston said: "We are very pleased to strengthen our long-established collaboration with Japan's FSA and to enhance our cooperation on matters related to innovation in financial services. This is testament to our commitment to foster effective agreements with peer regulators across the globe, engaging on emerging FinTech topics. We look forward to working with Japan's FSA to develop our FinTech proposition and contribute to the efficiency and further enhancements of our respective financial markets. This step aligns seamlessly with the National Innovation Strategy to make the UAE a global hub for innovation, as set out by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum."

        The purpose of this cooperation is to provide a regulatory framework for discussion and a referral mechanism, which will enable the authorities to refer financial innovators between their respective innovation functions. It also sets out how the Authorities plan to share and use relevant information in their respective markets.

        A series of other initiatives took place in Japan during the same week to support FinTech developments. A delegation of senior DFSA executives, led by Peter Smith, Managing Director, Policy and Strategy, met with FSA counterparts in Tokyo to initiate collaboration between the DFSA and Japan's FSA on FinTech and crypto-asset developments. The visit also included participation in FIN/SUM, the largest FinTech summit in Japan, connecting the global financial and technology industries and promoting disruptive innovation across the globe. Mr Smith also spoke on international cooperation in the oversight of crypto-assets at a roundtable co-hosted by the FSA and by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

        The DFSA has consistently been advocating regulatory collaboration, as illustrated by the wide network of agreements so far put in place with other international financial regulators in relation to FinTech, namely: the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, the Malaysian Securities Commission among others.

        With its extensive efforts to support FinTech, the DFSA is changing the face of financial regulation and setting precedents in the region with an extensive innovation strategy, a key part of which was the earlier launch of DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence, which allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from the DIFC. In August last year, the DFSA became the first regulator to launch a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. The DFSA also participated this year in the issuance of a discussion paper for the establishment of a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) of leading global regulators, which seeks to conduct joint work and share experiences of financial innovation, to improve financial stability, integrity, customer outcomes and inclusion.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

        The DFSA's 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.

      • 12 September 2018 — DFSA Board Appoints Bryan Stirewalt as Next Chief Executive

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 12 September 2018: The Board of Directors ("Board") of the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") has today announced, following a global search, the appointment of Bryan Stirewalt as the next Chief Executive of the DFSA. Bryan will succeed Ian Johnston, who in late 2017 announced his intention to retire from the DFSA. The appointment will take effect from 1 October 2018. During his tenure, Ian made a significant contribution to the DFSA and was key to its development as a strong and internationally respected regulator, as well as to the development of the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC").

        Bryan Stirewalt is an acclaimed financial regulator with a career that spans over 30 years in various public and private sector roles. He has been with the DFSA for 10 years, serving for the last eight years as Managing Director, Supervision. Bryan has extensive experience in financial regulation and played 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 country supervisors.

        Bryan commented on his appointment saying: "I am honoured to take on this role and would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Board for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am very privileged to step into the Chief Executive role and look forward to further contributing to the DFSA's work in delivering world-class financial regulation in the DIFC."

        Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, commented: "The DFSA plays a crucial role as the independent financial regulator of the DIFC. Bryan has played a vital part in executing the DFSA's regulatory mandate and developing its risk-based supervision framework. He comes with wide international experience combined with a thorough knowledge of the workings of the DFSA and the context in which it operates. The Board of Directors and I are looking forward to working with and supporting Bryan as he takes the lead in steering the work of the DFSA and further developing its capability as a robust regulator."

        Mr. Eigner added: "On behalf of the Board, I wish to convey our warm appreciation to Ian for his many achievements, which include his leading role in enhancing the reputation of the DFSA as an internationally respected regulator, driving regulatory policy formation, participating in the work of international standard-setting bodies and managing the DFSA efficiently. During his term, the DFSA became a signatory to important international bodies such as the International Organisation of Securities Commissions and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, to name but two. He has also strengthened our relationship with other UAE regulatory authorities. I am sure that Bryan will build successfully on this legacy."

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt's responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors and CRAs. Mr Stirewalt also directs the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance within his primary areas of responsibilities, as well as with DNFBPs. He has extensive experience in financial regulation in public and private sector roles.

        From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG) which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

        Saeb Eigner was appointed DFSA Chairman in August 2011. He has been a member of the Board since October 2004 and served as Deputy Chairman from 2007 until 2011. Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he left to found Lonworld, a private investment group in the early 1990s. Mr Eigner holds a Master's Degree in Management from London Business School. He is a former Governor of London Business School, Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committees and currently a member of its Estate Committee. He is the co-author of the management books Sand to Silicon (2003),Sand to Silicon - Going Global (2009), and author of Art of the Middle East (2010 and 2015). He holds and/or has held a number of Board appointments in Banking, Strategy, Education, Regulation and Investment.

      • 29 August 2018 — DFSA and Monetary Authority of Singapore Sign FinTech Agreement

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 29 August, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today entered into an agreement that provides a framework for cooperation and referrals between the innovation teams of each authority. The agreement reflects the commitment of both authorities to develop an environment that supports the sustainable development of financial services through emerging technology.

        The DFSA's Chief Executive, Ian Johnston said: “We are pleased to formalise an agreement with MAS to support the growth of innovation in financial services. Cooperation between MAS and the DFSA will help create synergies and greater understanding between our two markets and will enable FinTech firms to extend their reach globally."

        The agreement centres on a referral mechanism which will enable the authorities to refer innovator businesses between their respective innovation functions. It also sets out a process to share and use information on innovation in their respective markets.

        Furthermore, the agreement formalises intensions of both authorities to work on joint innovation projects on the application of key technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, flexible platforms (API), and other areas of new technologies.

        The DFSA and MAS are both also members of the recently established Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which consists of 12 financial regulators and associated organisations from around the world. The GFIN seeks to conduct joint work and share experiences of financial innovation, to improve financial stability, integrity, customer outcomes and inclusion. Members of GFIN include regulators from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia.

        The GFIN builds upon the bilateral relationships each regulator has in place. For example, the DFSA has bilateral FinTech cooperation agreements in place with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, and the Malaysian Securities Commission.

        The collaboration around FinTech extends a long-standing relationship between the DFSA and the MAS who have had a memorandum of understanding in place since 2008, providing a formal basis for supervisory cooperation in banking, insurance and capital markets. It facilitates the exchange of information for supervisory purposes between the two authorities.

        This latest initiative forms part of 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 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 7 August 2018 — DFSA Joins Peers in discussion on a Global Financial Innovation Network

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 07 August, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), in collaboration with 11 other financial regulators and associated organisations from around the world, has today issued a discussion paper announcing the establishment of a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) and consulting on its proposed functions.

        The GFIN is a network of leading global regulators, which will seek to conduct joint work and share experiences of financial innovation, to improve financial stability, integrity, customer outcomes and inclusion, through the responsible adoption of emerging technologies and business models. GFIN has launched this paper to seek views on its mission statement, its proposed functions, and where it should prioritise activity. Members of GFIN include regulators from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: “The DFSA has always been an advocate of regulatory collaboration to build strong and stable financial markets that work for all, as illustrated by our active membership on international standardsetting bodies and our extensive network of bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements. By joining the GFIN, the DFSA intends to continue this work to ensure that the development of innovative financial services takes place sustainably and effectively, across borders."

        The GFIN will complement the DFSA's existing initiatives in FinTech, which includes a regulatory framework for crowdfunding platforms and its own sandbox under the Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) programme. The ITL programme was launched in May last year to provide FinTech operators a controlled environment to test out innovative financial services concepts with clients in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The DFSA also has bilateral FinTech cooperation agreements in place with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, the Malaysian Securities Commission, and discussions with other key, innovative counterparts are underway.

        This latest development forms part of 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.

        The paper can be accessed here [https://www.dfsa.ae/getattachment/1e2b52a3-00a6-4890-a5a3-094ccdd554d4/5779-GFIN-consultation-paper-draft-FINAL.PDF.aspx].

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 16 July 2018 — DFSA fines Al Ramz and former employee for failing to cooperate and provide information regarding an investigation

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 16 July, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it has fined Al Ramz Capital LLC (Al Ramz) and its former Head of Information Technology, Mr Najim Al Attar, for serious failures to provide complete and accurate information relevant to a DFSA investigation which commenced in 2014.

        The DFSA imposed a fine of USD 205,200 (AED 753,084) on Al Ramz, which is a Recognised Member of NASDAQ Dubai. Al Ramz is also required to pay USD 100,000 (AED 367,000) towards the DFSA's investigation costs. In addition, the DFSA imposed a fine of USD 32,640 (AED 119,789) against Mr Al Attar.

        The DFSA's action follows an investigation that initially focused on trading on NASDAQ Dubai by Al Ramz and others, which the DFSA suspected may have breached Part 6 of the DIFC Markets Law 2012. The DFSA later expanded the scope of its investigation to include further suspected contraventions, including obstructing the DFSA's investigation and providing information which was false, misleading and deceptive.

        While the trading in question was eventually found not to be in breach of Part 6 of the DIFC Markets Law 2012, the DFSA found that during the investigation Al Ramz had failed to comply fully with requirements to provide the DFSA with information relevant to the investigation and deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner. Al Ramz's misconduct included:

        •   misleading the DFSA about the users of computers used by two Al Ramz brokers at the time of the trading in question;
        •   selectively withholding from the DFSA certain material communications (including emails and recordings of telephone calls) relevant to certain trading;
        •   failing to disclose that a member of Al Ramz's senior management was centrally involved in such trading; and
        •   failing to disclose close family relationships between the Al Ramz client connected to the trading and certain senior members of Al Ramz's staff, including its senior management.

        In relation to Mr Al Attar, the DFSA found that he:

        •   engaged in conduct intended to obstruct the DFSA in the exercise of its powers, without having a reasonable excuse for doing so; and
        •   provided information that was false or misleading to the DFSA, and concealed information where the concealment of such information was likely to mislead the DFSA.

        Mr Al Attar's misconduct included:

        •   reconfiguring computers of two Al Ramz brokers and providing these to the DFSA while claiming falsely that they were the computers used by the brokers at the time of the trading in question. In so doing, Mr Al Attar attempted to mislead the DFSA into believing they were the computers used by the brokers when that was not the case;
        •   altering the email account of one of the Al Ramz brokers in an attempt to remove all email messages sent or received by that broker for the relevant period and conceal them from the DFSA;
        •   deleting relevant electronic data collected during a DFSA inspection visit;
        •   refusing to provide the DFSA with certain relevant electronic data stored on Al Ramz's IT system, and instructing a junior member of Al Ramz's IT team not to provide the DFSA with such data; and
        •   providing false and misleading information to the DFSA regarding Al Ramz's IT system.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: "The DFSA takes the failure to provide complete and accurate information very seriously. It is imperative that regulated persons, including Recognised Members of an Exchange, deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner. In this matter, Al Ramz's conduct prolonged the DFSA's investigation and prevented the DFSA from obtaining relevant information at the appropriate time.

        "This conduct caused the DFSA to incur considerable and otherwise unnecessary investigative costs, which is why it is appropriate for Al Ramz to reimburse the DFSA. Further, the DFSA has very low tolerance for individuals who take steps to obstruct our investigations or provide us with false and misleading information."

        Al Ramz and Mr Al Attar each agreed to settle the DFSA's action against them. In reaching settlement, the DFSA agreed to reduce the fine imposed on Al Ramz by 10%, and the fine imposed on Mr Al Attar by 20%, under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for these discounts, the fines would have been USD 228,000 (AED 836,760) for Al Ramz, and USD 40,800 (AED 149,736) for Mr Al Attar.

        The detailed reasons for the DFSA's action against Al Ramz are set out in the DFSA's Decision Notice dated 28 June 2018 which can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website: https://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

        The detailed reasons for the DFSA's action against Mr Al Attar are set out in the DFSA's Decision Notice dated 28 May 2018 which can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website: https://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 2 July 2018 — DFSA Hosts 4th Annual Supervision Session

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 02 July, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its Annual Supervision Outreach Session with the Compliance Officers Network Group (CONG) last week, to discuss key developments and priorities for the financial services industry in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The annual event serves as a platform for the DFSA to engage with its regulated community and other stakeholders in respect of its key regulatory priorities such as cyber risks, fighting financial crime, and ensuring suitability of financial products and services.

        Over the course of the event, the DFSA provided updates on its current and future policy agenda, trends in recent regulatory actions, and current risks and issues in the banking, broking, insurance and wealth management sectors. The event also enabled participants to discuss the continued opportunities presented by FinTech, InsurTech and RegTech and the various initiatives being undertaken by the DIFC and the DFSA to support the United Arab Emirate's National Innovation Strategy launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE a global hub for innovation.

        In his opening remarks, Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision at the DFSA, said: "The DIFC continues to serve as the hub for financial services in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is a key part of our mandate to ensure that we are effectively engaged with our regulated population to understand evolving trends and the impact these will have on our market. This event has become a strong tradition for the DFSA as a chance to reach out to the regulated community in the DIFC."

        The event was targeted at the DFSA-regulated entities, including compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers from its Authorised Firms and Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs). Over 300 participants attended this year's event, representing many of the 491 Authorised Firms, 121 DNFBPs and 16 Registered Auditors now operating in the DIFC.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt's responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors, CRAs and DNFBPs. Within his primary areas of responsibilities, he also directs the DFSA's efforts in fighting methods of illicit finance. He has extensive experience in financial regulation in public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

      • 21 June 2018 — DFSA signs MoU with Astana Financial Services Authority

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 21 June, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA).

        The MoU was signed in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) by Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision of the DFSA, and Mr Stephen Glynn, Chief Executive Officer, AFSA . The signing was also attended by Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at the DFSA.

        The MoU follows the close collaboration between the DIFC bodies and the Republic of Kazakhstan to establish the Astana International Financial Centre which has been modelled on the DIFC. It sets out a framework for the two authorities to work together for the continued development of their legal and regulatory regimes including through information and personnel exchange and training.

        Mr Stirewalt said: "We are pleased to enter into an agreement with the Astana Financial Services Authority setting out a framework of cooperation for the continued development of sound and fair financial regulatory mechanisms and capital markets in both our markets. We firmly believe that cooperation between regulators is paramount to creating a more stable financial system."

        Mr Al Awadhi said: "The DFSA has 104 bi-lateral MoUs with regulators globally, and five multi-lateral MoUs. These agreements demonstrate our commitment to building strong relationships with regional and international regulators and this comes from our focus on cooperation and collaboration in the sustainable development of global financial markets."

        Mr Glynn said: "The AFSA looks forward to a long and productive relationship with the DFSA. The DFSA lead the development of bespoke international financial centres in the Middle East and has become a model of sound regulatory practice. Our vision is to create a regulatory ecosystem equal to the DIFC and other advanced international jurisdictions. Part of our success will be dependent on our ability to share information with our peers so that we can deliver an international standard of regulation."

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt's responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors, CRAs and DNFBPs. Within his primary areas of responsibilities, he also directs the DFSA's efforts in fighting methods of illicit finance. He has extensive experience in financial regulation in public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

        Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer joined the DFSA in March 2013. He has over 16 years of international and local experience in leadership and strategy roles in financial services, Islamic banking, real estate, media and telecommunication 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 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 has a Master of Laws with double major in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and Financial Crimes & Money Laundering and a Bachelor degree in Applied Business Science. He is a Harvard Alumni and has completed the General Management Program (GMP) at the Harvard Business School. Mr Al Awadhi has 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 has been published in the International Company and Commercial Law Review.

      • 28 May 2018 — DFSA obtains DIFC Courts Judgement to Enforce a Fine

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 28 May 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has recently obtained judgment in the DIFC Courts' Court of First Instance to enforce payment of a fine imposed by the DFSA on an individual.

        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.

        The action taken against Mr Grimes in summary, was because the DFSA found that from January 2014 to July 2014, he:

        •   was knowingly concerned in undertaking Insurance Intermediation activities which contravened DFSA legislation;
        •   failed to take reasonable care to ensure that the business for which he was responsible complied with applicable DIFC legislation; and
        •   misled the DFSA.

        The DFSA notes that Mr Grimes did not challenge the DFSA's findings against him and failed to pay the fine by the date it was due. The DFSA therefore commenced proceedings in the DIFC Courts to enforce payment of the fine by Mr Grimes.

        A copy of the DIFC Courts' judgment can be found on the DFSA's website via https://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

        - 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

        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

      • 16 May 2018 — DFSA Expands FinTech Innovation Testing Programme

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 16 May 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced the expansion of its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) programme in response to continued interest in FinTech and the digital economy. The ITL programme enables firms to test innovations in financial technology (FinTech) in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        Six companies will form a new Cohort (Cohort 1) that will today begin the ITL application process, which includes the development of a regulatory test plan describing the proposed business model, product or service. Over the next few weeks, the DFSA will work with the applicants to navigate the on-boarding process. Should the firms be successful, they will begin a testing period lasting up to 12 months, at the end of which the firms must demonstrate that they have met the agreed targets of the test plan, and can meet the full DFSA authorisation requirements, to obtain a full licence.

        The ITL was introduced by the DFSA in May 2017, as part of its strategy to foster an innovation-friendly ecosystem in the DIFC. The restricted financial services licence allows qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the DIFC, without being subject to the full regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director of Supervision at the DFSA, said: “Since introducing the ITL in May last year, we have been impressed with the volume of applications from firms wanting to test from the DIFC. This is clearly indicative of the value they place on the established ecosystem available to them here. Although a number of firms have already been granted an ITL, in order to provide the necessary support to these applicants, we have introduced the Cohort approach to reviewing applications and believe this will provide the best outcome for firms with hopes of contributing to the Dubai and UAE economy."

        The firms making up Cohort 1 illustrate the diversity of innovations in the FinTech field and the global interest to test these innovations from the DIFC.

        Cohort 1 Applicants include

        Bridg is one of the Middle East's first FinTech startups and is building a software-based payment solution that allows smartphones to process face-to-face transactions without the need to be connected to the internet.

        Delio is creating a digital ecosystem to enable deal providers to showcase investment opportunities in private assets to both institutional and private investors. The opportunities include private equity, private debt and real estate investments. Delio also intends to offer regional specific functionality, for example the ability to distinguish between Sharia and non-Sharia compliant opportunities.

        Fastnet is a FinTech adviser that aims to link cutting edge risk profiling with simple, liquid, low cost investment solutions. Its premise is that the greatest enhancement to retail investors will be in providing a much deeper and sharper understanding of investors' needs and ambitions. Fastnet's focus is on developing a detailed understanding of the client, by helping investors truly understand how their financial personality affects their investment outcomes, providing investors with the tools to manage their wealth with confidence.

        HedgeSPA offers Sophisticated Predictive Analytics to hedge funds and institutions. Its mission is to democratise access to advanced investment analytics for large institutions and sophisticated investors. HedgeSPA's core platform, powered by artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing, empowers professional investors with asset selection.

        MarketsFlow is a sophisticated, and innovative Machine Learning and AI-based Intelligent Robo Advisor and Digital Wealth Management platform. It offers customised portfolio strategies that are suitable to the client. The platform allows clients to manage their assets actively on a daily basis, inclusive of rebalancing, readjustments, and risk management.

        Jibrel Network, a Swiss blockchain development company, will be developing a UAEspecific financial services blockchain solution, to enable the deployment of virtual mobile accounts. Jibrel's implementation will include consumer protection, awareness and support - as well as compliance / risk management and mitigation capabilities.

        Cohort 2 applications will open in September to coincide with the second edition of the DIFC's FinTech Hive@DIFC accelerator programme. The 12-week programme, which was announced in January 2017 and went live in August in partnership with Accenture, a leading global professional services company. It is designed to bridge the gap between innovative tech entrepreneurs and financial industry giants, while providing a platform that enables the development of cutting-edge innovation in line with Dubai Plan 2021 and the DIFC's 2024 Strategy.

        Of the first 12 firms to have completed the FinTech Hive@DIFC programme, two transitioned to the DFSA's ITL to test out a FinTech innovation from the DIFC.

        This latest development forms part of 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. In line with the goals of the Dubai 2021 strategy, the DFSA also formalised its approach to crowdfunding loan and crowdfunding investment platforms in 2017, making it the first to introduce a bespoke framework in the GCC. Specifically, loan crowdfunding has become a valuable source of financing for SMEs in several jurisdictions.

        For details of the application process please visit dfsa.ae/fintech

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt's responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors and CRAs. Mr Stirewalt also directs the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance within his primary areas of responsibilities, as well as with DNFBPs. He has extensive experience in financial regulation in public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG) which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

      • 3 April 2018 — DFSA Hosts Accounting Standard-Setters for Islamic Finance

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 03 April March, 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Islamic Finance Consultative Group (IFCG) meeting last week. The DFSA's involvement reflects its commitment to develop an effective and supportive regulatory framework for Islamic finance.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, delivered the opening address where he said that the DFSA places great importance on maintaining the highest international standards in its regulatory processes including for financial institutions applying Islamic principles.

        Mr Johnston said: "Since its inception, the DFSA has been tasked with supporting the Dubai Government's ambitions to develop Dubai into a centre for Islamic finance. In line with the Islamic Economy Initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the DFSA has focused considerable effort on developing an effective and supportive regulatory framework for all types of Islamic finance activity, including the listing of Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai."

        The DFSA is a member of the IFCG that was formed by IASB in 2013 with a mandate to focus on challenges that may arise in the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to instruments and transactions commonly referred to as Islamic finance. The meeting was attended by IFCG members from Bahrain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the United Kingdom.

        Following the IFCG meeting, the DFSA hosted an Outreach session with the IASB where an IASB board member and senior technical staff shared their approach to supporting implementation of IFRSs, in particular IFRS 9 (Financial Instruments), IFRS 15 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers), IFRS 16 (Leases) and IFRS 17 (Insurance Contracts). The session provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to provide comments about their experiences in implementing IFRS.

        The event was attended by the DFSA Registered Auditors, UAE regulators, academia and professional accounting bodies. Over 50 stakeholders attended the event.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 19 February 2018 — DFSA Hosts Annual Audit Outreach

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 19 February 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted its annual outreach event for Registered Auditors (RAs) this week, during which it shared the results of its annual audit inspections carried out in 2017.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, delivered the opening address where he commented on the significant progress being made in financial accounting standards, while noting that risks still remain in the audit process. He cited the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) fifth annual survey of findings issued last March for the year ended 31 December 2016, which noted a general decline in adverse inspection findings, yet a continued high level of material findings.

        Mr Johnston said: "Major audit failures usually result in a regulatory response and as regulators, we seek to ensure that any regulatory response is conducted by persons independent of those involved in the regulatory failure. Once faults are identified, it is also incumbent upon the regulator to take the appropriate and proportionate course of action.

        "The overarching objective of DFSA enforcement activities is to prevent, detect and restrain conduct that causes or may cause damage to the reputation of the Dubai International Financial Centre. We work proactively, where possible, to resolve regulatory concerns by taking remedial action to bring firms back into compliance with our legal and regulatory regime," he said.

        The DFSA also briefed the participants about the DFSA's preparedness for the upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mutual evaluation and provided an update on the Supervision Division restructuring plans. Presentations also covered the 2018 Audit Monitoring Focus as issued by the DFSA at the start of the year.

        The event was targeted at managing partners, audit principals, money laundering reporting officers and senior audit staff of RAs. Over 90 stakeholders attended the event.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 11 February 2018 — DFSA Signs MoU with Central Bank of Oman

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 11 February 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Central Bank of Oman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the supervision and authorisation of firms operating in both markets.

        The MoU was signed in the Dubai International Financial Centre by Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision of the DFSA, and His Excellency, Tahir Bin Salim Bin Abdullah Al Amri, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman. Signing was also attended by; Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer and Mr Mark McGinness, Head of International Relations at DFSA. From the Central Bank of Oman; Mr Bader Khalid Al-Aghbari, Vice President, Financial Services and Operations, Mr Rashid Zayid Al Ghassani, Senior Manager, Banking Examination and Surveillance Departments, Mr Mazin Hamed Al Riyami, Economist, Economic Research and Statistics Department, and Mr Salim Hamed Al khanbashi, Assistant Manager, Executive President's Office were also present.

        Mr Stirewalt said: "We are honoured to host His Excellency, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman. This agreement is indicative of the value we place on regional cooperation and sustainable growth of financial services in our respective markets. DFSA already enjoys a warm relationship with the Capital Markets Authority of Oman, with whom we signed a MoU in October 2008."

        His Excellency, Tahir Bin Salim Bin Abdullah Al Amri, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, said: "The MoU aims at strengthening the bilateral relationship and enhancing mutual cooperation between ourselves and DFSA. It also aims at supporting and developing banking, financial and economic operations for both the Sultanate of Oman and DIFC and the UAE."

        The agreement is the third MoU signed by DFSA with a Central Bank in the Gulf and reflects the level of trust and confidence each Authority has for the other. In January, DFSA signed an MoU with the Central Bank of Bahrain to cooperate in the supervision and authorisation of firms operating in both markets. This builds upon an MoU signed with the Central Bank of the UAE in 2009.

        DFSA has 103 bi-lateral MoUs with regulators globally, and five multi-lateral MoUs. The agreements reflect the continued need for regulatory cooperation 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 1613
        Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Bryan Stirewalt joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director since 2010. Mr Stirewalt's responsibilities include prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of financial service providers and overseeing the DFSA's role with Registered Auditors and CRAs. Mr Stirewalt also directs the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance within his primary areas of responsibilities, as well as with DNFBPs. He has extensive experience in the financial regulation public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the BCBS's engagement with global supervisors on banking supervisory issues.

      • 31 January 2018 — DFSA Publishes Findings of Client Classification and Suitability Review

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 31 January 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today published the findings of a thematic review of client classification and suitability practices at regulated firms. The review is part of the DFSA's risk-based supervisory efforts.

        The thematic review started with a comprehensive survey followed by detailed analysis of responses and follow-up visits to selected firms over the course of the year. The review had two primary objectives. First, the DFSA wished to verify that Clients of regulated firms in the DIFC were classified appropriately, according to the rules set out by the DFSA and according to each firm's authorised activities. Secondly, the DFSA wished to assess how each firm determined the suitability of products and services for each Client, based on that Client's knowledge, expertise and risk appetite. The review also focused on how firms were documenting the suitability assessments.

        The review found that while overall processes for client classification and suitability assessments had improved since the last review in 2012, concerns remained. This included in some cases, insufficient training and guidance provided to staff to perform client classification assessments; inadequate and often unclear documentation to support assessments; and over-reliance on 'tick-box' assessment approaches rather than detailed qualitative assessments. The DFSA noted continued concerns around the appropriateness of using "suitability waivers" and other language in Client Agreements to limit liability, duties and obligations in respect of suitability.

        In light of the findings of the review, the DFSA offered recommendations to regulated firms to support the enhancement of relevant systems and controls and to ensure Clients' interests are properly considered and protected. These include:

        •   Develop appropriate policies and procedures, including operational procedures, to:
        •   provide sufficient guidance on the steps required to carry out assessments supporting client classification;
        •   document client assessments in a more robust manner, including the final client classification; and
        •   ensure all Clients are notified of their right to be classified as a Retail Client.
        •   Provide training programmes to ensure all client-facing staff are knowledgeable of client classification.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has evolved into a hub for wealth management and advisory services for individuals, families, and other Clients who should be able to rely upon the judgments of our financial professionals. All firms must keep in mind that client classification and suitability assessments, and all forms of investor protections, are and will continue to be very high DFSA priorities and will feature in the DFSA's future supervisory agenda.

        "We expect this report to be instructive to Firms and their staff and to promote certain behaviours conducive to the best interests of Clients in the DIFC."

        Click on the Client Classification Report to access the report on the DFSA's 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor. Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 22 January 2018 — DFSA and Central Bank of Bahrain sign MoU

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 22 January 2018: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Central Bank of Bahrain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last week to cooperate in the supervision and authorisation of firms operating in both markets.

        The MoU was signed by Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, and His Excellency Rasheed Mohammed Al-Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, in Manama.

        Mr Eigner said: "The DFSA places great importance on the relationships we have with our counterparts in the GCC. The signing of this MoU formalises arrangements for cooperation and information sharing between us. It underscores our shared commitment to maintaining the highest standards of supervision and the joint promotion of a stable financial services sector in our region.

        "It also builds upon Dubai and the UAE leadership's Vision of continued regional and international engagement. I am particularly grateful to His Excellency, the Governor for hosting our meeting and for the opportunity to share the experiences of two neighbouring regulators of international financial centres with much in common."

        The DFSA and the Central Bank of Bahrain have for some years, been cosignatories of the multi-lateral MoU of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions. The bi-lateral MoU between the two authorities enhances this relationship, reflecting both authorities' commitment to 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)

        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Saeb Eigner

        Saeb Eigner was appointed DFSA Chairman in August 2011. He has been a member of the Board since October 2004 and served as Deputy Chairman from 2007 until 2011.

        Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he left to found Lonworld, a private investment group in the early 1990s. Mr Eigner holds a Master's Degree in Management from London Business School. He is a former Governor of London Business School, Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committees and currently a member of its Estate Committee. He is the co-author of the management books Sand to Silicon (2003),Sand to Silicon - Going Global (2009), and author of Art of the Middle East (2010 and 2015).

        He holds and/or has held a number of Board appointments in Banking, Strategy, Education, Regulation and Investment.

    • 2017 2017

      • 23 November 2017 — DFSA and ASIC sign FinTech agreement

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 23 November 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) entered into an agreement today that sets out a framework for cooperation on financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement demonstrates a commitment by both Authorities to provide a regulatory framework that promotes innovation in financial services and regulatory compliance in their respective markets.

        The signing took place between Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr John Price, Commissioner of ASIC, in Melbourne. Under the terms of the agreement, the Authorities will share information on developments in innovation in each market. The agreement also introduces a referral mechanism that enables the Authorities to refer innovative businesses to their respective authorities.

        Mr Johnston said: "Today's agreement underscores our commitment to maintaining strong channels of communication with our regulatory peers and creates a regulatory framework that supports the latest developments in FinTech innovation. We have a long-standing productive relationship with our colleagues at ASIC, which we look forward to extending to this fast-developing industry."

        John Price, Commissioner, ASIC, said: "We are excited to partner with the DFSA to help encourage fintech innovation in Australia and Dubai. RegTech is becoming more and more important — this is a new frontier in our bilateral cooperation that will benefit both regulators and businesses."

        This latest cooperation agreement forms part of 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. In August, the DFSA launched the first tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. In May, 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 in or from the DIFC. The DFSA's initiatives follow the launch of the FinTech Hive at the DIFC, bringing together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. Its aim is to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shariah-based services.

        In March 2015, ASIC, an early leader in this field, established the Innovation Hub to assist innovative FinTech businesses navigate its regulatory system. Through its Innovation Hub, ASIC engages with the FinTech community, provides assistance to innovative FinTech start-ups and liaises with FinTech experts through ASIC's Digital Finance Advisory Committee.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

        In September 2006, the DFSA and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for mutual assistance and the exchange of information. Its aim was to enhance supervision of cross-border transactions and create an environment conducive to the prevention of fraud.

        The Authorities are also co-signatories of the International Organization of Securities Commissions Multilateral-MoU (MMoU) initiative, covering consultation and cooperation and the exchange of information, and the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators MMoU to increase cooperation with the oversight of audit professionals.

      • 9 November 2017 — DFSA grants Sarwa Digital Wealth Ltd In-Principle Approval for Innovation Testing Licence

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 November 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today granted Sarwa Digital Wealth Limited (Sarwa), an automated investment advice service, in-principle approval1 for its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). The DIFC-based company becomes the first FinTech operator to receive approval for this special class of financial service licence developed specifically for FinTech firms.

        The DFSA's ITL is a restricted financial services licence that allows qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the DIFC, without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. It was introduced in May this year, as part of the DFSA's efforts to develop a regulatory framework that promotes growth and innovation in the sector.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive, DFSA, said: "The DFSA has worked closely with Sarwa's management to understand its business proposal and the appropriate controls for the safety of customers involved, as the company works towards receiving an ITL."

        Sarwa is the first automated investment advice service for young professionals in the Middle East, which combines investment strategies with technology to reduce investments costs. It is among the 12 start-ups to participate in the FinTech Hive at DIFC, the region's first accelerator programme launched by the DIFC in partnership with Accenture in January this year.

        The 12-week programme went live in August to facilitate collaboration between cutting-edge technology companies and leading regional and international financial institutions. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including Regulatory Technology (RegTech), alternative finance and mobile payments, and concludes with an Investor Day on 12 November 2017.

        Mr Johnston added: "We have been impressed by the proposals presented by the Hive participants. We expect several others to apply for DFSA regulation and are already considering the regulatory test plans of some."

        Ms Raja Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, said: "This announcement is a true testament to the success of Fintech Hive at DIFC and the opportunities we provided to our finalists. We remain committed to driving the development of the financial sector in the region and we look forward to seeing more success stories coming out of this Programme."

        In addition to the FinTech Hive at DIFC finalists, the DFSA is in discussions with a range of FinTech firms interested in applying for the ITL or a full financial services licence, with business models including robo-advisors, crowdfunding platforms and digital wallets and payment services. The DFSA is also engaging with a number of RegTech firms, who do not need to be licenced, to understand developments in this area and facilitate progress where possible.

        The DFSA's efforts to support the sustainable development of FinTech and RegTech in the DIFC compliments the UAE National Innovation Strategy set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE a hub for innovation and technology. In addition to the ITL, the DFSA introduced a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in August, the first such framework in the GCC region.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        The DFSA issues an in-principle approval when it is satisfied that the applicant firm can meet the relevant regulatory requirements. The firm then needs to take practical steps, such as obtaining premises, before it receives the formal licence.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 31 October 2017 — DFSA Continues to Develop its Funds Regime

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 31 October 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today consulted on a comprehensive package of proposals to support the continued development of the growing funds industry in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).The proposals are wide-ranging and are designed to provide greater flexibility for investors and fund managers in the Centre.

        Ian Johnston, the Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "These proposals, to enhance our funds regime, mark yet another milestone in the evolution and development of the funds industry in the DIFC. The changes reflect our ongoing commitment to maintaining international standards, while being fully aware of the need to tailor our regime to take account of DIFC specific factors and the regional requirements."

        The funds industry in the DIFC has been growing steadily with 18 Funds being registered so far in the current year, reinforcing the status of the DIFC as the largest fund hub in the region. The DFSA aims to provide further opportunities for industry development by:

        •  removing the current limits on the number of investors which a DIFC fund can have. Currently only a Public Fund is able to have 101 or more investors, with an Exempt Fund being limited to 100 or fewer investors and a Qualified Investor Fund ("QIF") to 50 or fewer investors. The proposals will not change the current approach to regulation of these funds, based on the type of investors (e.g. Public Funds, being open to retail investors, face greater regulatory requirements). These proposals will give fund managers more flexibility in structuring Funds.
        •  introducing a new class of specialist funds for Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). These open-ended funds, listed and traded on exchanges, are popular with both retail and institutional investors in other jurisdictions. Their introduction would give fund managers greater choice of the type of Funds they could offer in or from the DIFC.
        •  introducing a new model for internal management of an Investment Company, where such a company can be internally managed by its licensed sole Corporate Director. This is a model available in the European Union and the proposals introduce it with some adjustments to suit the DIFC regime.

        The proposals strengthen the DFSA's commitment to meeting international standards, particularly of the Financial Stability Board and the International Organization of Securities Commissions, through measures to enhance liquidity risk management in open-ended funds. Open-ended funds give investors the right to have units redeemed at a price calculated based on the net asset value of the fund's portfolio of assets.

        One of the key areas of recent funds growth in the DIFC is in the Property Funds sector, particularly in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), with two REITs already listed and traded on Nasdaq Dubai. The proposals remove the current restriction that all Property Funds must be closed-ended. Instead, only Public Property Funds will need to be closedended funds. Exempt Funds and QIFs which are Property Funds would be able to choose whether they wish to be closed-ended or open-ended.

        The name REIT is currently restricted to Public Property Funds investing in income generating real estate and distributing at least 80% of their net annual income. Exempt Funds and QIFs, which are Property Funds, will, under the proposals, be allowed to use the name REIT if they invest in income generating real estate and distribute 80% of their annual income.

        The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link:
        https://www.dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/Notice-of-Consultation-Paper-Release-(6)

        - 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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the global standard-setting body for Islamic finance. Ian was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board, from January 2011 to March 2016.

      • 25 October 2017 — DFSA to co-host 2nd Annual FinTech Summit

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 25 October 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is delighted to co-host the 2nd Annual FinTech Summit with Naseba a business facilitation company at Park Hyatt Dubai, on October 30. The summit will provide a platform for the region's Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) decision makers to discuss and evaluate the latest developments in FinTech.

        The DFSA's involvement in the summit reflects its efforts to develop an innovation-friendly ecosystem, and compliments the UAE National Innovation Strategy set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE a hub for innovation and technology.

        The summit is being held under the theme 'Transforming BFSI Enterprises' and will feature keynote addresses from industry thought leaders, as well as business meetings between FinTech solution providers and BFSI senior executives who are seeking to adopt FinTech solutions. Delegates will hear from a distinguished panel of experts, who will discuss the latest developments and innovations in FinTech including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Digital Payments, and Cyber Security.

        In May, the DFSA introduced the DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence, a special class of restricted financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In addition, the DFSA introduced a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in August.

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, at the DFSA, said: "We are firm believers in the value that FinTech can bring to this region and are providing the regulatory infrastructure to ensure its sustainable development in and from the DIFC. We are delighted to use this platform to bring together market practitioners and experts to discuss the latest developments in this new and exciting area."

        Speakers at the summit include; Mr Stirewalt, Alastair Lukies CBE, the UK Prime Minister's Business Ambassador for FinTech, Sagheer Mufti, Chief Operating Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Naimish Shah, SVP of Innovation and FinTech at Emirates NBD.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Bryan Stirewalt joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director of the Supervision Division since 2010. The Supervision Division includes prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of a variety of financial service providers, including: commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, wealth managers, and a variety of advisory services.

        The Supervision Division also oversees the DFSA's role with auditors and credit rating agencies. Mr Stirewalt is active in the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance with respect to the entities mentioned above, as well as with other DNFBPs. Mr Stirewalt has extensive experience in the financial regulatory sphere, in both public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives.

        From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing his attention on emerging markets development programmes, including management of large-scale and multi-faceted projects in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. These projects related to a wide array of topics including financial sector development, risk management policies and practices, anti-money laundering systems and controls and methods of supervising complex financial conglomerates.

      • 4 October 2017 — DFSA Censures Finance Officer

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 4 October 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has censured Mr Prabhakar Kamath, a former Finance Officer of a DFSA Authorised Firm for submitting an inaccurate financial report to the DFSA.

        Mr Kamath, in his capacity as Finance Officer, was responsible for submitting the Firm's monthly financial reports to the DFSA, and its compliance with the DFSA's Rules in relation to prudential requirements.

        In June 2015, Mr Kamath provided the DFSA with the Firm's monthly financial report for May 2015. The report was incorrect because it represented that the Firm continued to meet the DFSA's prudential requirements. In fact, the Firm's current account balance was significantly less than stated and, therefore, the Firm was in breach of the DFSA's prudential requirements.

        Before Mr Kamath submitted the financial report to the DFSA, a member of the Firm's senior management gave Mr Kamath inaccurate information about the Firm's current account balance. However, Mr Kamath failed to take steps to verify the balance of the Firm's current account. In particular, he did not obtain and review relevant bank statements.

        The DFSA considers that Mr Kamath breached the DFSA's Principles for Authorised Individuals by failing to exercise sound judgment and diligence in performing the role of Finance Officer.

        Following the conclusion of the DFSA's investigation, Mr Kamath accepted responsibility for his conduct and agreed to settle the matter at an early stage. While breaches of the DFSA's Principles for Authorised Individuals have, in the past, resulted in a financial penalty, the DFSA concluded that a public censure is the most appropriate action given the circumstances of this matter. Mr Kamath also cooperated fully with the DFSA's investigation.

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice given to Mr Kamath can be found on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

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

        - 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

        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

      • 18 September 2017 — DFSA Signs MoU with Lebanon's CMA

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        DFSA Signs MoU with Lebanon's CMA

        Dubai, UAE, 18 September 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lebanon's Capital Markets Authority (CMA). The agreement will enhance information sharing and cooperation around supervisory issues, further extending the existing relationship between the two markets.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Sami Saliba, Executive Board Member of the CMA, signed the MoU in the offices of the DFSA. It also provides the foundation to facilitate the entry of some financial institutions into the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) from Lebanon, through information sharing.

        Mr Johnston said: "Building strong frameworks of cooperation with our regional peers has always been a strategic objective for us. We have MoUs in place throughout the GCC as well as in Egypt, Jordan and, through our MoU with the Banque du Liban (BDL).

        "Today's MoU affirms the success of our relationship with the Lebanese authorities and recognises the joint oversight of brokerage firms, investment banks and other non-banking financial institutions in the two jurisdictions."

        The MoU reflects growing relations between the DIFC and Lebanese markets. The DFSA entered into a MoU with the BDL in 2013, to enhance information sharing and cooperation. Meanwhile in May this year, the DIFC hosted the "Lebanese Banks Day in DIFC" under the patronage and in the presence of H.E. Riad Salamé, Governor, BDL and H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC. Senior representatives of the Lebanese banking community attended the event in an effort to further build relationships among the well-established sector.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

        The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was established in August 2011 as the independent, autonomous regulatory body responsible for regulating, supervising, licensing and monitoring the activities of Lebanese Capital Markets. The CMA has two main objectives that underline its strategic mission and vision: (I) promoting and developing the Lebanese Capital Markets; and (II) protecting investors from fraudulent activities, through issuing regulations that are in line with international best practices, and proper control and audit of all institutions that deal with financial instruments.

        Sami Saliba is currently Executive Board Member of the CMA. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Saliba held several responsibilities, as Head of the accounting and financial control in Bank of Beirut and the Arab Countries ("BBAC") between 2005 and 2012, Director of Financial Control and the Department of Informatics, Managing Director at Bank of Beirut between 1998 and 2005. Mr. Saliba also worked as finance director for the LINORD Project between 1995 and 1998, Consultant Director in the BankMed between 1993 and 1995, Head of the Department of Studies and banking relations/section of investments in the Arab Monetary Fund, Abu Dhabi – between 1985 and 1993, and Registered Representative at Merrill Lynch International New York – Dubai between 1983 and 1985.

        Mr. Saliba holds a master's degree in International Business Administration from the Western New England College in the United States, and a BA in international management from the University of Lowell in the United States.

      • 12 September 2017 — DFSA and Malaysia's Securities Commission sign FinTech Agreement

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 12 September 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) last week entered into an agreement to cooperate in the development of financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement reflects efforts by both authorities to provide a robust regime that fosters innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Malaysia.

        The agreement was signed by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the SC. Under the terms, the authorities will share information on developments and innovations in FinTech, and intend to consider participating in joint innovation projects on the application of novel approaches to FinTech in each market. Given the significance of Islamic finance in both Malaysia and Dubai, FinTech developments in that sector will be of particular interest.

        The agreement also provides a framework for cooperation and referrals between the innovation functions of each authority. The framework sets out a referral mechanism, which will enable the authorities to refer Innovator Businesses between their respective Innovation Functions and to provide the businesses with regulatory guidance.

        Mr Johnston said: "Our FinTech regime is developed to enhance and improve access to finance and the efficiency of markets. We also want to encourage innovative financial services and solutions. By collaborating with the SC, we will further strengthen our FinTech proposition across traditional and Islamic finance markets."

        The DFSA and SC have a long-standing relationship to support developments in each other's markets. In 2007, the authorities signed a mutual recognition agreement related to cross-border distribution and marketing of Islamic funds between Malaysia and the DIFC. It followed a 2006 joint initiative on regulatory alignment to facilitate Islamic finance transactions between the DIFC and Malaysia.

        The latest cooperation agreement forms part of 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. In August, the DFSA became the first regulator to launch a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. In May, 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.

        The DFSA's initiatives follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at the DIFC, bringing 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. Its aim is to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shariah-based services.

        In May, the SC introduced a framework to facilitate digital investment services. This follows the 2015 launch of the 'alliance of FinTech community' initiative in to engage with the tech entrepreneur community on innovative digital finance business models and technology related regulatory and policy matters.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

        The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is a statutory body established under the Securities Commission Act 1993 (SCA) to regulate and develop the Malaysian capital market. The SC's mission is to promote and maintain fair, efficient and transparent securities and derivatives markets to facilitate the orderly development of an innovative and competitive capital market. It is committed to ensuring investor protection, fair and orderly markets and reducing systemic risks. The SC's powers and authorities are clearly defined and transparently set out in securities laws, namely the SCA, Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA) and Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA)

        Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit was appointed the Vice-Chairman of the governing Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the global body of capital market regulators and was elected as the Chairman of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee (GEM) which represents 94 countries. In 2014, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit was appointed Chairman of the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF), a body tasked to spearhead market integration efforts within the region and comprises capital market authorities from ASEAN.

        Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit chairs the Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC), the Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Development Council (MVCDC) and the Capital Market Development Fund (CMDF). He is also the Vice- Chairman of the Asian Institute of Finance and a member of the Board of the Labuan Financial Services Authority and the Financial Reporting Foundation as well as a board member of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM).

        Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit is trained as a financial economist and accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree and a Master of Economics degree in Finance from Monash University, Melbourne. He was also conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Monash University Melbourne. He is a fellow of CPA Australia and has worked in academia, consulting and accounting in Australia and Malaysia.

        Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit's term as Executive Chairman has been extended for a further three years effective 1 April 2017.

      • 28 August 2017 — DFSA and Hong Kong's SFC sign FinTech Cooperation Agreement

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 28 August 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong today entered into an agreement to establish a framework of cooperation on financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement will further strengthen the efforts of both authorities to develop an innovations-friendly ecosystem in their respective markets.

        The signing took place between Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Ashley Alder, Chief Executive of the SFC, in Hong Kong.

        Under the agreement, both authorities will share information on developments and innovations in FinTech in their respective markets. The agreement also intends to encourage both regulators to refer innovative firms to one another's markets and to provide them with regulatory guidance.

        Mr Johnston said: "Providing a regime that fosters innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is a strategic priority for us. This agreement with Hong Kong's SFC deepens cooperation between our two markets and will build a common understanding of the principles of good innovation."

        "This agreement underscores the SFC's efforts to strengthen regulatory collaboration and promote innovation in financial services," said Mr Alder.

        "We look forward to working closely with the DFSA to support FinTech development in both our markets."

        The agreement extends the existing relationship between the SFC and the DFSA with a joint commitment to maintain the highest standards of cooperation. Both regulators are signatories to the 10SCO Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU). They also entered into a bi-lateral MoU in 2008.

        The agreement marks the latest step in the DFSA's roadmap to build a framework that supports innovation in the DIFC. It follows the introduction of regulations formalising a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms on August 1, the first in the GCC. On May 24, the DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL), a special class of financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the DIFC.

        The DFSA's innovation strategy is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy 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. It follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will 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. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shari'ah-based services.

        For its part, the SFC established the FinTech Contact Point (FTCP) in March 2016 to enhance communication with businesses involved in the development and application of FinTech and regulatory technology in Hong Kong. The FTCP also facilitates an understanding of the SFC's current regulatory regime while enabling it to stay informed of the development of the local industry.

        - 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (10SCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 - Mar 2016).

        The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is an independent statutory body charged with regulating the securities and futures markets in Hong Kong and overseeing their orderly development. The SFC derives its investigative, remedial and disciplinary powers from the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and subsidiary legislation. As a financial regulator in an international financial centre, it strives to strengthen and protect the integrity and soundness of Hong Kong's securities and futures markets for the benefit of investors and the industry.

        Ashley Alder was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the SFC on 1 October 2011.

        Prior to joining the SFC, Mr Alder was Head of Asia of the international law firm Herbert Smith LLP in Hong Kong, focusing on equity capital markets as well as mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital. He also handled regulatory and compliance work.

        Currently, Mr Alder is the Chairman of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

      • 9 August 2017 — DFSA Action against Former DIFC Employee

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 August 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has recently taken enforcement action against Chetan Parmar, a former employee of Deutsche Bank AG's DIFC branch (DBDIFC).

        The DFSA found that, in July 2012 and April 2013, Mr Parmar provided the DFSA with false information regarding DBDIFC's private wealth management activities with the result that the DFSA was misled.

        The DFSA imposed a fine of USD 25,000 (AED 91,750) on Mr Parmar for his misconduct. The action taken against Mr Parmar is final as he has not referred the DFSA's decision to the Financial Markets Tribunal for review.

        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.

        - 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 1612
        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

      • 1 August 2017 — DFSA launches Crowdfunding Framework

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 01 August 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched its regulatory framework for loan and investment-based crowdfunding platforms, the first such framework in the GCC countries. The regime forms part of the DFSA's regulatory roadmap to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem, in line with the UAE Government's National Innovation Strategy.

        The DFSA crowdfunding regulations have the ability to catalyse growth in the financial technology (FinTech) industry in the UAE and the region, by targeting the specific requirements of crowdfunding platforms. The regulations ensure clear governance for FinTech businesses and provide appropriate protection for their customers. They also formalise the DFSA's approach to regulating crowdfunding platforms which had operated through interim arrangements since 2016.

        The introduction of the regulation comes as crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly important route for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing. Global loan-based crowdfunding is forecast to reach more than USD 300 billion and global equity-based crowdfunding more than USD 93 billion by 20201.

        SMEs are significant contributors to the UAE economy. In 2014, they made up around 85% of businesses in the UAE, contributing to nearly 60% to the UAE GDP and employing 60-65% of the UAE work force. In Dubai, SMEs represent nearly 95% of all establishments in the Emirate accounting for 42% of the workforce and contributing around 40% to the total value of Dubai's economy.

        Data provided by the Khalifa Fund shows that approximately 50-70% of SMEs have had their applications for funding from conventional banks rejected and loans to SMEs account for just 4% of outstanding bank credit in the UAE, significantly below the MENA average of 9.3%. Conventional lenders are sometimes unwilling or unable to support SMEs given their often-limited asset pool or lack of a proven record of company operations. This makes it difficult for SMEs to do business; when they do get financing it can be expensive or with inflexible terms.

        The UAE government has an ambition to enhance the contribution and performance of the SME sector. It has taken a major role in establishing initiatives and programmes to help with sources of funding for SMEs. Initiatives include the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development and the Khalifa Fund. Given the significant role that SMEs play in the UAE economy, crowdfunding is expected to grow further in importance in the UAE as entrepreneurs seek alternative sources of funding.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: “We are pleased to be the first in the GCC region to formalise a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms, which represent an increasingly important source of financing for the SME sector. By creating a clear set of rules for operators, we hope to encourage the sustainable development of this industry and is part of our contribution to the UAE Government strategy to develop the SME sector.”

        The DFSA's crowdfunding framework follows the launch of its Innovation Testing Licence in May. That restricted financial services licence allows qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

        The DFSA's innovation strategy is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy set out by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem. It also follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will 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. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shari'ah-based services.


        1Based on CFX Alternative Investing Crowdfunding Statistics from 2015.


        - 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 1612
        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 19 July 2017 — DFSA Fines and Bans former Senior Executive Officer

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 19 July 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has fined Mr Andrew Grimes, a former Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of a DFSA Authorised Firm USD 52,500 (AED 192,675) and imposed a restriction preventing him from performing any function in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        This action follows an investigation conducted in co-operation with the Insurance Authority of the UAE which found that, from January 2014 to July 2014, Mr Grimes:

        •   was knowingly concerned in undertaking Insurance Intermediation activities which contravened DFSA legislation;
        •   failed to take reasonable care to ensure that the business for which he was responsible complied with applicable DIFC legislation; and
        •   misled the DFSA.

        From April 2013 to September 2014, Mr Grimes was the SEO of a DFSA Authorised Firm that carries on the Financial Service of Insurance Intermediation. During this time, the firm was restricted under DFSA Rules from intermediating a Contract of Insurance in the UAE unless the risk is situated in the DIFC or the contract is one of re-insurance.

        The DFSA found that Mr Grimes was actively involved in providing prohibited Insurance Intermediation services. Further, as the SEO, Mr Grimes was ultimately responsible for the day-to-day management, supervision and control of the firm's activities and he should have ensured that such prohibited activities did not occur. He also failed to ensure that the firm's customers were on-boarded properly as Clients.

        Mr Grimes also provided false and misleading information to the DFSA in April 2014 by stating that the firm had not intermediated any direct insurance (as opposed to re-insurance) in the UAE when that in fact was not true.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA expects SEOs of Authorised Firms to meet their obligations and perform their duties to the standards required of them. Mr Grimes did not do so and made matters worse by failing to deal with the DFSA in a frank and open manner.

        This action also demonstrates that the DFSA works closely with our colleagues at other financial regulators to address misconduct that affects our respective jurisdictions. I am grateful to the UAE Insurance Authority for its co-operation and assistance in this matter".

        The DFSA previously took a separate action against the firm after taking into consideration its initiative to self-report the misconduct to the DFSA, the steps it took to remediate its deficiencies, including voluntarily replacing Mr Grimes as SEO and for co-operating fully with the DFSA's investigation.

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice issued to Mr Grimes can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website:

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

        - 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 1612
        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 24 May 2017 — DFSA Launches Innovation Testing Licence for FinTech Firms

        Click herehere to view PDF

        Dubai, UAE, 24 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today announced that it will allow financial technology (FinTech) firms to apply for a class of financial services licence referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). This initiative signals the next phase of the DFSA's regulatory roadmap to foster innovation in Dubai.

        The restricted financial services licence will allow qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. The DFSA will work with applicants to understand the business proposal and establish the appropriate controls for the safety of any customers involved, on a case-by-case basis.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: "FinTech is changing the landscape for financial services, providing more opportunities to seek financing and increasing financial inclusion. As regulators, it is our responsibility to provide a framework which supports the sustainable development of this industry while protecting consumers and financial stability."

        The DFSA's approach is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy set out by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem. In line with the goals of the Dubai 2021 strategy, the DFSA is also formalising its approach to loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms. Specifically, loan-based crowdfunding has become a valuable source of financing for SMEs in several jurisdictions.

        Mr Johnston added: "Our efforts to develop a regulatory framework that promotes growth and innovation, while protecting financial stability and consumers, is part of our contribution to Dubai's greater vision of becoming an information-based society and a smart city."

        FinTech firms will be able to use the restricted licence to test an innovative product or service for six to 12 months. In exceptional cases, the DFSA will consider extending that period. If a firm has met the outcomes detailed in the regulatory test plan, and it can meet the full DFSA Authorisation requirements, it will migrate to full authorisation. If it does not, the company will have to cease carrying on activities in the DIFC that need regulation.

        The DFSA's latest initiative follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will 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. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Sharia-based services.

        Interested firms should contact the DFSA at FinTech@dfsa.ae to discuss proposals prior to application.

        The Innovation Testing Licence Guidance can be found on the following link:
        /node/23453

        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Mr Johnston played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Mr Johnston took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 15 May 2017 — DFSA Takes Action against Senior Executive Officer

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 15 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from Mr S Ravishankar Naidu, Senior Executive Officer (SEO) at Royal Shield Limited (RSL), an Insurance Intermediary licensed by the DFSA.

        The EU resulted from the DFSA's concerns that, with respect to RSL's insurance business, Mr Naidu failed to:

        •  arrange re-insurance cover in accordance with a Client's instructions and allowed incorrect information to be provided to the Client about their cover;
        •  comply with the DFSA's requirement that, as the SEO, he must be resident in the UAE;
        •  ensure that RSL's financial statements for the financial year 2014 accurately reflected the financial position of RSL; and
        •  ensure that RSL had adequate systems and controls to undertake its Insurance Intermediation business.

        As an Authorised Individual performing the Licensed Function of the SEO of RSL, Mr Naidu was ultimately responsible for the day-to-day management, supervision and control of RSL's Financial Services activities. However, Mr Naidu's conduct fell short of the high standard expected of him. In particular, Mr Naidu failed to act with due skill, care and diligence and take reasonable care to ensure that RSL's business was organised so that it could be managed and controlled effectively.

        In deciding to accept the EU offered by Mr Naidu, the DFSA acknowledges that Mr Naidu co-operated fully with the DFSA. Further, to resolve the DFSA's concerns, Mr Naidu has voluntarily undertaken to step down as RSL's SEO and ensure that RSL appoints a new SEO.

        Mr Naidu will remain as a Licensed Director and Controller of RSL, and he has agreed to appoint another Licensed Director to RSL's Board of Directors, so that RSL's Board comprises of at least three directors.

        Mr Naidu also agreed to pay a financial penalty of USD 70,000 (AED 256,900) to the DFSA, of which USD 10,000 (AED 36,700) is payable on or by 6 June 2017. The remaining USD 60,000 (AED 220,200) is suspended indefinitely and becomes payable if Mr Naidu fails to comply with the EU.

        A copy of the EU can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website:
        http://dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

      • 10 May 2017 — DFSA, FinTech Hive at DIFC, Hawkamah Institute and MEIRA host seminar on FinTech in the Middle East

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 10 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted an outreach session on the opportunities financial technology (FinTech) presents in the Middle East. The seminar was held jointly with the FinTech Hive at DIFC, Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) on May 8.

        The event provided a forum to discuss the current conditions for establishing a FinTech operation in the region, with applications such as financing for small to medium-sized enterprise and financial inclusion. Over 120 delegates from the region's FinTech industry as well as firms operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) attended the event.

        In his opening remarks, Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director of Supervision at the DFSA, gave an overview on how the FinTech movement is proving to be disruptive to the traditional financial sector and regulators alike. Mr Stirewalt highlighted the need to have balance between promoting growth, protecting financial stability and consumers, and allowing market innovation and development.

        Mr Stirewalt said: "We at the DFSA have a regulatory framework that facilitates the development of FinTech and maintains appropriate safeguards. This year, the DFSA has added a focus on innovation to its list of strategic themes, and we look forward to working with the new FinTech accelerator in the DIFC."

        Dr Ashraf Gamaleldin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, said: "As Dubai and the UAE push for further innovations, good governance always has to be present fuelling this growth. During this high-growth phase for FinTech, regulators must be flexible to encourage the growth of the industry while keeping their eyes on the risks and rights of investors and stakeholders."

        Alex MacDonald-Vitale, Chairman of MEIRA, said: "We are delighted to continue supporting the efforts of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, the DFSA and Hawkamah in delivering the latest in industry developments. New technologies have already brought exciting and evolutionary steps forward for markets across the world. FinTech is offering listed companies and their investors access to a range of highly efficient and versatile tools, helping improve communication and engagement, as well as regulatory governance overall; all of which are key requirements for an industry in which operational resilience and consumer protection are paramount."

        Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President at the FinTech Hive at DIFC, said: "The UAE government has a strong national agenda for innovation which enables the adaptation of technological advancement in the region. FinTech Hive at DIFC is the MEASA's first FinTech accelerator, and the Dubai International Financial Centre, positioned at the heart of the region and offering a world-class ecosystem, is committed to leading initiatives that answer the growing needs of its financial services sector."

        Other speakers at event included Paul Boots, Founding Partner of Osprey Advisory, Former COO of Beehive, and Sam Quawasmi, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Eureeca, who shared their experiences of establishing a FinTech business in the region. Yuvraj Singh, Head of Application Development at Thomson Reuters moderated the discussion.

        The DFSA's efforts follow the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC which will 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. It intends to catalyse the growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance such as peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and Sharia-based services.

        Since the start of 2017, the DFSA has published two consultation papers on Crowdfunding, which aim to formalise its approach to loan-based and investment-based platforms. The DFSA also issued a consultation paper on Innovations Testing Licence that will allow FinTech firms to test out their strategy in the DIFC within the existing regulatory framework, making it the first such licence in 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 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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Bryan Stirewalt joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director of the Supervision Division since 2010. The Supervision Division includes prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of a variety of financial service providers, including: commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, wealth managers, and a variety of advisory services.

        The Supervision Division also oversees the DFSA's role with auditors and credit rating agencies. Mr Stirewalt is active in the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance with respect to the entities mentioned above, as well as with other DNFBPs. Mr Stirewalt has extensive experience in the financial regulatory sphere, in both public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives.

        From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing his attention on emerging markets development programmes, including management of large-scale and multi-faceted projects in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. These projects related to a wide array of topics including financial sector development, risk management policies and practices, anti-money laundering systems and controls and methods of supervising complex financial conglomerates.

        Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG) which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committees' engagement with emerging markets supervisors around the world on banking supervisory issues.

      • 8 May 2017 — DFSA Hosts 3rd Annual Supervision Outreach Session

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 8 May, 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its 3rd Annual Supervision Outreach Session last week, in conjunction with the Compliance Officers Networking Group (CONG), to discuss the latest trends and developments in the financial sector.

        The event was targeted at the DFSA's regulated community, including compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers from its Authorised Firms and Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs). Over 250 participants attended this year's event, representing many of the 457 Authorised Firms and 119 DNFBPs now operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This year's number of attendees is reflective of the significant growth that the DIFC continues to see in its financial services community and supporting industries.

        The event also represented an opportunity for the DFSA to provide an update on its current and future policy agenda, trends in recent regulatory actions and current risks and issues in the wealth management, broking, banking and insurance sectors.

        In his opening remarks, Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, commented that in the past twelve months, the global supervisory agenda had shifted from policy development to implementation, and more recently to new technologies and business models as seen through financial technology (FinTech).

        Mr Johnston said: "The challenge that regulators face is around the speed of customer adoption and market penetration of these new business models, as well as the right balance of investor protection. While there is agreement that regulators should not stand in the way of innovation, there is also an understanding that we must not lose focus on market integrity, financial stability and customer protection."

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, DFSA's Managing Director of Supervision, discussed a variety of macroeconomic and compliance trends around the globe, as well as the current areas of focus for supervision of firms operating in and from the DIFC. Mr Stirewalt noted new areas of emphasis for supervision in fostering innovation in financial services, focusing more attention to operational risks and becoming even more efficient as a regulator.

        Participants also discussed the opportunities and challenges posed by FinTech, including the DFSA's regulatory framework for crowdfunding and the evolving Dubai ecosystem for FinTech. Recent initiatives to support the development of this market include the DIFC's accelerator programme, FintechHive@DIFC, and the proposed introduction of the DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence to facilitate the testing of new technology.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:

        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

      • 1 May 2017 — DFSA Co-hosts Seminar on Islamic Finance

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 1 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted a seminar on "Liquidity Generating Innovations in Islamic Finance" in conjunction with the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). The event was held at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), yesterday.

        The seminar served as a platform to explore the use of existing Islamic capital market instruments such as Sukuk and securitisation, to manage liquidity risks at Islamic financial institutions, including Takaful operators. It brought together senior delegates and subject matter experts from across the banking, financial services, regulatory and legal industries.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "Islamic institutions continue to be challenged by the shortage of liquidity management tools, with some relying primarily on cash and central bank placements. While exchanges and other advisers play a role in addressing some of the challenges in the UAE, and globally, we should focus on identifying opportunities in other asset classes."

        Participants recognised that, with insufficient assets available on the balance sheets of Islamic banks to support the issuance of Sukuk or to securitise; other commodities such as crude oil should be considered as alternatives. Participants also acknowledged that the development of a repurchase agreement market — which has yet to gain significant traction in the GCC region — should remain a priority in the absence of alternatives.

        The establishment of an Islamic financial market has been a key objective for the DFSA since its formation in 2004, and is in alignment with the Dubai Government's 2021 Strategy and the Islamic Economy Initiative. One of the main targets set by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his 2013 initiative is to make Dubai the capital of the Islamic economy.

        In 2016, the total value of outstanding Sukuk listings in the Emirate reached USD 53 billion, most of which represented USD denominated international issuances listed in the DIFC. The market continues to see greater diversification by issuer type, with listings coming from governments, multilateral and corporate issuers across the MENA region and East Asia.

        The IFSB plays a key role in promoting and enhancing the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry. The industry body has been issuing global prudential standards and guiding principles for the banking, capital markets and Takaful sectors for over a decade. The DFSA has supported the key work of the IFSB in its capacity as a full member of the IFSB and as a member of the Council of the IFSB.

        The seminar kicked off the meetings of the IFSB Working Groups, which will be held on May 1 to May 3 in the DIFC.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:

        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

      • 10 April 2017 — DFSA Censures Individual for Misleading Conduct

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 10 April 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has censured Mrs Jai Surve, a former employee of a DFSA Authorised Firm, for providing the DFSA with false and misleading information.

        Mrs Surve was a Business Consultant at an Authorised Firm which operated an online trading platform. From 2012 to 2016 Mrs Surve introduced clients to the platform and gave training to clients on how to use this platform.

        In late 2015, the DFSA received information that Mrs Surve may have executed unauthorised trades on the platform using the online account of one of her clients. The DFSA interviewed Mrs Surve in December 2015 about the allegation and Mrs Surve stated to the DFSA that she did not know the password for the client's online account and did not execute any trades on the client's online account.

        The DFSA commenced an investigation, and interviewed Mrs Surve again in November 2016. During this interview, Mrs Surve admitted that she knew the password to the client's online trading account and that she had executed trades on the client's online account after receiving instructions from a third party.

        Mrs Surve accepted responsibility for misleading the DFSA and agreed to settle the matter at an early stage following the conclusion of the investigation. While conduct like Mrs Surve's has, in the past, resulted in a financial penalty, the DFSA has concluded that a public censure is the most appropriate action given the circumstances of this matter and, in particular, Mrs Surve's personal situation. The DFSA did not make any findings of contraventions in relation to Mrs Surve's trading activities

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "For a regulator to be effective, it is imperative that it receives information which is true, precise and complete. The DFSA will therefore take action against any person who provides information to the DFSA which is false and misleading."

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices can be found in the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

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

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:

        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

      • 5 April 2017 — DFSA Signs International Agreement on Audit Oversight

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 5 April 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today joined 21 of the world's leading regulators of auditors in an agreement to increase co-operation with the oversight of audit professionals.

        DFSA Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, signed the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators' (IFIAR) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU), during the IFIAR Plenary Meeting in Tokyo.

        The MMoU aims to encourage and strengthen information sharing and co-operation to offer mutual assistance among IFIAR Members. It was first approved by the IFIAR Membership in June 2015, and follows a rigorous verification process to satisfy the highest standards of co-operation and confidentiality.

        Mr Johnston said: "I am pleased to see that the DFSA is among the first regulators to satisfy these new international standards. We have always placed a high priority on co-operation and our ability to share information and assist fellow regulators. In signing this MMoU, we continue to affirm our commitment to international co-operation.

        "Audit has become a borderless activity and it is important that audit regulators are able to co-operate seamlessly in a challenging business environment," Mr Johnston added.

        — 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

      • 13 March 2017 — DFSA Hosts Annual Audit Outreach

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 13 March 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted its annual outreach event for Registered Auditors (RAs) last week, during which it shared the results of its annual audit inspection.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, delivered the opening speech at the event. He highlighted the impact of technology on the audit industry, and encouraged greater use of data analytics to improve risk assessment.

        Mr Johnston said: "Audit data analytic techniques can be used in audit planning and in procedures to identify and assess risk by analysing data. Although our assessment indicates that audit firms are still at an early stage with big data, we do note the use of technology on audit procedures such as bank confirmations, analytical procedures and journal-entry testing."

        Mr Johnston added that, internationally, audit regulators were watching technological developments in this area with great interest. He cited the work currently underway by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)'s Data Analytics Working Group. The group was established in 2015 to provide insights into the opportunities and challenges with the use of data analytics in the audit of financial statements.

        "DFSA welcomes the work undertaken by the IAASB's Data Analytics Working Group," said Mr Johnston.

        The DFSA also discussed the impact of the changes resulting from Consultation Paper 106 on Regulation of Arranging, Representative Office Activities and Financial Promotions and global enforcement trends in audit.

        The event was targeted at the Managing Partners, Audit Principals, Money Laundering Reporting Officers and senior audit staff of RAs. Over 65 stakeholders attended the event.

        — 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

      • 6 March 2017 — DFSA Strengthens Dubai's Financial Technology Proposition

        Dubai, UAE, 6 March 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is enhancing its contribution to Dubai's position as the region's leading hub for innovation through the publication of a new FinTech consultation paper today. The paper is the third in a series, setting out the DFSA's approach to the regulation of pioneering financial technology (FinTech) activities.

        The DFSA has been following developments in the FinTech industry and, in 2016, determined that the current regime for regulating firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is already flexible enough to accommodate many aspects of FinTech without introducing new rules. Today's consultation sets out the DFSA's approach to FinTech firms that want to test innovative products and services in the DIFC.

        Firms meeting the qualifying criteria will receive a Financial Services Licence, referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence, which reflects the nature of the activities to be conducted during the testing phase. The DFSA will put in place limits on the FinTech testing activities to ensure appropriate controls for the safety of any customers involved. Given the limits on activities permitted during testing, FinTech firms will not have to comply with DFSA Rules where they are inappropriate at a testing stage.

        The testing phase is a step towards the FinTech firm obtaining a full Financial Services Licence.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: "The DFSA's approach to Fintech has been to regulate where needed, in order to create an environment that encourages innovation in technology in its many forms and applications. The DFSA will continue to watch as the market develops and respond to the evolving requirements of this industry."

        Peter Smith, Managing Director, Policy and Strategy, at the DFSA, added: "The DFSA has been discussing opportunities with a number of interested FinTech firms. We have concluded that it would be helpful to current stakeholders, and to the wider public, for us to set out more explicitly how we will deal with future enquiries from those interested in establishing a presence in the DIFC for a FinTech business."

        The DFSA is committed to providing the regulatory infrastructure to support the sustainable development of FinTech in the DIFC. Earlier this year the DFSA launched two consultations which proposed frameworks for the regulation of loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms.

        The DFSA's consultations follow the DIFC's launch of the FinTech Hive Accelerator programme in January 2017, the first such accelerator programme in the region. The programme provides a platform for financial services and technology firms to build solutions for the financial sector.

        The DFSA's approach is also aligned with the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, National Innovation Strategy to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem. Technology is a pivotal part of this strategy, and plays a central role in the Dubai Plan 2021 to develop the Dubai economy, as evidenced by initiatives such as the Dubai Future Accelerators and the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

        The Consultation Paper can be accessed by the following link:

        http://www.dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/NOTICE-OF-CONSULTATION-PAPER-RELEASE-(3)

        — 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

        Peter Smith, Managing Director of Head of Policy and Strategy, joined the DFSA in June 2012 as Head of Policy to lead further development of the DFSA's policy framework. He joined the Executive Committee in early 2015, and was appointed a Managing Director in early 2016. Mr Smith is also responsible for overseeing the DFSA's strategic planning, including its annual business planning cycle, and the organisation's approach to setting its Risk Tolerance and managing non-firm specific risks.

        He is an alternate member of the IAIS Financial Stability and Technical Committee, and is also involved in IAIS working groups. Mr Smith has over 25 years of regulatory experience. Prior to joining the DFSA, he was Head of the Investments Policy Department at the UK Financial Services Authority. Earlier roles in the UK included policy areas, supervision, bank resolution, internal audit and risk management. From 2003 to 2007, Mr Smith was seconded to the European Commission in Brussels, working on banking issues, supervision of financial groups, and the future of supervision within the European Union. Mr Smith holds a Master's degree in finance from London Business School.

      • 27 February 2017 — DFSA Hosts Outreach on International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 27 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) jointly organised an outreach event last week, on the implementation of the new IFRS 9.

        The event was opened by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, who discussed the importance of a regulatory framework that reflects international standards in the development of financial centres, citing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as an example. Speakers included Ms Neslihan Alankus Erkazanci, Chief Financial Officer MENA — HSBC Bank Middle East Limited; Mr Asim Rasheed, Group Financial Controller — Emirates NBD; Mr Zulfiqar Unar, Director Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services — PwC; and Mr Trevor Skinner, Banking Supervision Expert. The session was moderated by Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision at the DFSA.

        The event was targeted at DFSA regulated financial institutions, DFSA Registered Auditors and ICAEW members and other stakeholders and was well attended by over a 100 participants.

        The panel discussed the new requirements for financial institutions under IFRS 9 which will take effect on 1 January 2018. The panellists shared their experience about the practical challenges and opportunities in implementing the same.

        In his Opening Remarks, Mr Johnston said: "Since our inception, the DFSA has been fully committed to the implementation of IFRS, including the new and revised IFRS 9. From our continuous communication with the financial institutions in the DIFC, as well as their home regulators, we trust that they are well positioned to deal with the new standard."

        Mr Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: "IFRS 9 is a milestone in the world of financial reporting but preparing for it is complex. The key to ensuring compliance is to start preparing now to instigate the required changes. Regional banks and financial institutions must speed up their efforts and get ready before IFRS 9 is introduced in just 10 months from now. While preparation for IFRS 9 requires time and money, it will bring financial institutions into a new world of long term forecasting."

        — 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor. Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

        ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 147,000 chartered accountants worldwide. ICAEW provide qualifications and professional development, share knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

        Breakfast Briefing is a joint initiative between the DFSA and ICAEW to discuss topics of interest to the audit community. Previous topics include:

        •    Extended Audit Report (May 2016)
        •    The Challenges of Emiratisation: Attracting Talent into the Finance Industry (April 2013)
        •    Detection of Fraud: Whose role is it? (March 2012)
        •    The Importance of Professional Accounting Bodies (September 2011)
        •    The Future of Audit (September 2010)
        •    The role of audit monitoring in improving the quality of and confidence in financial information in the Middle East (March 2010).

      • 22 February 2017 — DFSA Signs MoU with European Securities and Markets Authority

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 22 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have entered into information sharing and cooperation arrangements regarding DIFC based central counterparties (CCPs) compliance with conditions set out in The European Union's Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, and by the Chairman of ESMA, Dr Steven Maijoor, in Milan today.

        It follows a decision published in mid-December 2016 by the European Commission, which found the DFSA's regulatory framework for CCPs as equivalent to that of the European Union. The European Commission's decision also confirmed that the DFSA's framework is compliant with international standards set out under the International Organisation of Securities Commissions' (IOSCO) Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures.

        Mr Johnston said: "Today's signing signals a new phase in the good relationship between the DFSA and ESMA and enables us to cooperate and exchange information in connection with monitoring of DIFC-based CCPs.

        "The DFSA has always placed a high priority on cooperation and its ability to share information and assist fellow regulators; particularly where the DIFC firms have strong links with the European Union market participants."

        The MoU marks the 100th MoU signed by the DFSA and the second with ESMA. The first MoU between the two regulators was signed in 2013 on cooperation in relation to credit rating agencies. The DFSA also has MoUs in place with counterparts in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and with most other European Union securities regulators through multilateral arrangements.

        "The DFSA remains committed to international best practice and continues to work with the EC and ESMA in other areas of their responsibilities," Mr Johnston added.

        — 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 recognition conditions are set out in Article 25 of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories. EMIR requires the establishment of cooperation arrangements by way of an MoU as a precondition for ESMA to recognise a CCP established in the DIFC to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union.

        CCPs are entities that sit in between buyers and sellers of derivatives contracts to become the sole counterparty to all trades. Its main purpose is to manage the risk of one counterparty defaulting (i.e. not being able to make the required payments when they are due), thereby reducing the overall risk in the system.

        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 20 February 2017 — DFSA Honours Graduates of prestigious Tomorrow Regulatory Leaders Programme

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 20 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) honoured the graduates of its prestigious Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Programme, that develops the skills of young UAE Nationals, at an award's ceremony being held at DFSA last week.

        The DFSA launched the two-year programme in 2006 to train Emirati university graduates to become leaders in the field of financial services and regulation. This year's graduate group joined the programme in 2015 as TRL Associates and received classroom training, on-the-job coaching from experienced DFSA colleagues and industry experience with Dubai International Financial Centre authorised Firms. Upon graduating, the group qualified to managerial roles within the DFSA.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: “We are delighted to recognise the distinguished achievements of the graduates of the TRL Programme at the awards ceremony. Now in its 11th year, the programme continues to serve as a key initiative of the DFSA to support the development of UAE National capabilities by providing training, and importantly, career opportunities in the financial sector. The TRL Programme has produced 33 managers since inception, with some now in senior roles across the organisation.”

        Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at the DFSA, said: “We are not only celebrating the success of the graduates of the TRL Programme but also welcoming them into the ranks of the DFSA as regulatory professionals. The TRL Programme was specifically designed to ensure the sustainable development of the financial sector by offering a conduit for young UAE Nationals who want to build a career in financial services. At the DFSA, UAE Nationals represent 33% of the workforce and we are proud to have these graduates amongst us.”

        — 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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 13 February 2017 — DFSA Launches Second Consultation into Crowdfunding Framework to support SME Financing

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 13 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched the next phase of consultations on its proposed framework for regulating crowdfunding platforms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), with a paper detailing its approach to investment-based crowdfunding.

        The consultation is the second in a series of papers which outline the DFSA's measures to support the sustainable development of crowdfunding, and financial technology more broadly, within the DIFC. In January, the DFSA issued its first consultation on a proposal for regulating loan-based crowdfunding platforms under a new Financial Service, that provides the fundamental framework for crowdfunding firms.

        Today's consultation is an extension of that proposal and deals with the specific risks associated with investment-based crowdfunding. This model of crowdfunding differs to loan-based funding by enabling start-up companies or small businesses to raise financing by selling stakes in their business. The growth of this market accelerated in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis when access to traditional funding sources became constrained.

        In the UAE, in particular, crowdfunding is expected to become a more established form of financing for the important small to medium sized enterprise sector in the region. A regulatory framework that targets the specific requirements of crowdfunding platforms contribute to the sustainable development of this valuable funding source for SMEs and the UAE economy.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA said: "This is our second consultation on our proposed framework for regulating crowdfunding platforms and reflects the increasing importance of this funding source to the UAE's SME sector. Our approach remains consistent for loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms in its aim to define a clear structure for the sustainable development of this industry."

        Key proposals in today's consultation paper include:

        •    A tailored regime specifically designed for those operating such a platform;
        •    Appropriate systems and controls placed on the platform's operations;
        •    Operational transparency and adequate disclosure made to all participants — Issuers and investors — on the platform;
        •    Suitable checks on the platform¡¦s participants — Issuers and investors;
        •    Appropriate safeguarding and segregation of Client Assets;
        •    The development of business cessation plans; and
        •    Allowing the transfer of securities between investors.

        The DFSA's proposals for regulating crowdfunding platforms form part of its approach to creating an infrastructure that fosters innovation in financial services. It aligns with the UAE's National Innovation Strategy, promoted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

        The DFSA's consultations on crowdfunding follow the launch of the DIFC's FinTech Hive Accelerator programme earlier in the year. The programme provides a platform for financial services and technology firms to build solutions for the financial sector.

        The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link: http://dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/Notice-of-Consultation-Paper-Release-(2)

        — 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) on FinTech
        In 2015, the DFSA said that is was looking at the evolving world of financial technology, or FinTech, and how this could be accommodated within the DFSA's regulatory regime and facilitated within the DIFC. The DFSA has been encouraged by the number of firms wanting to discuss opportunities in the FinTech area with the DFSA. Some of these firms are considering activities that would — in the normal course of events — be regulated, while some are considering, or already carrying out, activities that do not need to be regulated by the DFSA. The DFSA has stated that it is very much 'open for business' when it comes to FinTech and will deal with each firm, proposition, or idea, and its unique circumstances, on a case-by-case basis.

        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011–Mar 2016).

      • 31 January 2017 — DFSA Proposes Framework for Loanbased Crowdfunding to support SME Financing

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 31 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched a consultation on its proposed framework for regulating loan-based crowdfunding platforms. The consultation is the first in a series of papers which set out the DFSA's approach to the regulation of crowdfunding platforms and the financial technology (FinTech) industry within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The DFSA has been monitoring developments in FinTech both internationally and regionally since 2015, and has been engaged in discussions with firms looking to establish a presence in the DIFC. In some cases, these firms have been considering activities that would be regulated, such as loan-based crowdfunding.

        Crowdfunding is a way in which individuals, organisations and businesses, including business start-ups, can raise money through online portals, or crowdfunding platforms, to finance or re-finance their activities and enterprises. Specifically, loan-based crowdfunding has become a valuable source of financing for the SME sector in several jurisdictions. Well-regulated crowdfunding can contribute to the development of this important sector for Dubai and the UAE economy.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA said: "Crowdfunding offers an additional avenue for the SME sector to access financing. Establishing a clearly defined regulatory framework, that takes into account the specific needs of loan-based crowdfunding operators, supports the sustainable development of this important funding source for SMEs."

        The key proposals in the consultation paper include:

        •    A tailored regime specifically designed for loan-based crowdfunding platform operators.
        •    Minimum standards for systems and controls.
        •    Operational transparency and adequate disclosure to all participants — borrowers and lenders — on the platform.
        •    Suitable checks on platform participants (borrowers and lenders).
        •    Appropriate safeguarding and segregation of client money.
        •    The development of business cessation plans.
        •    Enabling the transfer of rights or obligations under a loan agreement between lenders.

        The consultation is part of the DFSA's contribution to creating an infrastructure that fosters innovation. It aligns with the UAE's National Innovation Strategy, promoted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

        The initiative follows the launch of DIFC's FinTech Hive Accelerator programme earlier this month. The programme provides a platform for financial services and technology firms to build solutions for the financial sector.

        The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link: /node/23297

        — 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) on FinTech
        In 2015, the DFSA said that is was looking at the evolving world of financial technology, or FinTech, and how this could be accommodated within the DFSA's regulatory regime and facilitated within the DIFC. The DFSA has been encouraged by the number of firms wanting to discuss opportunities in the FinTech area with the DFSA. Some of these firms are considering activities that would — in the normal course of events — be regulated, while some are considering, or already carrying out, activities that do not need to be regulated by the DFSA. The DFSA has stated that it is very much 'open for business' when it comes to FinTech and will deal with each firm, proposition, or idea, and its unique circumstances, on a case-by-case basis.

        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 and ancillary 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. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 16 January 2016 — DFSA Publishes Findings of Trade Finance Review in DIFC

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 16 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) published a Trade Finance Report detailing key findings of a review of trade finance activities carried out in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The review assessed the quality of systems and controls, in particular measures to mitigate trade-based money laundering risks, at banks and other financial service providers in the DIFC.

        The report notes that trade finance has grown in the DIFC over recent years. While the report shows that in general trade finance is conducted satisfactorily, it highlights several improvement opportunities surrounding trade finance risks. The report also contains a list of recommended best practices that firms engaged in trade finance activities are encouraged to implement. In particular the report notes the importance of guarding against financial crime.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "There is an increased focus globally, on trade-based money laundering risks from international groups such the Financial Action Task Force, and financial service regulators. Our review and the published report are further testament to the DFSA's commitment to maintaining the highest international standards in the DIFC. Given the importance of trade to this region, regulators need to effectively oversee and supervise trade finance without hindering actual trade. We urge firms to benefit from all international guidance issued in that regard."

        Mr Johnston added: "The DFSA continues to work toward enhancing the quality of systems and controls of regulated firms in the DIFC. Where we detect weaknesses or failures, we will rectify them through supervisory or enforcement actions."

        Click on the Trade Finance Report to access the report on the DFSA's 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 24 January 2017 — DFSA Deepens Ties with Hong Kong and Asia

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 24 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Chairman, Mr Saeb Eigner, delivered an address on the opening morning of the tenth annual Asian Financial Forum (AFF) in Hong Kong, emphasising Dubai's role as a financial hub for the region. The forum was attended by 2,800 participants from Asia, Europe and the US, including finance ministers, heads of government, central bankers and business leaders from 50 countries, to discuss global economic developments and business trends.

        Mr Eigner said: "The shift towards Asia of the world's economic centre of gravity is making itself felt strongly in the Middle East. Chinese, Japanese and Indian banks now occupy the top slots in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in terms of assets. Trade between China, the Middle East and much of Africa is now being financed through Dubai."

        Mr Eigner added that the financial markets across Asia are also becoming more integrated. "The increasing role of the Chinese renminbi (RMB) in settling trade transactions contributes to this process. The role of the UAE as a RMB clearing centre is growing," he said.

        Mr Eigner commented on the factors that make an international financial centre successful, including quality of life, transport links, efficient communications, the rule of law, a respected judiciary, a low tax environment, and an efficient and trusted regulatory system. "These are all well-established characteristics of Hong Kong. I believe we can fairly say that, in the 12 years since the DIFC was established, we have created a similar eco-system in our part of the world," said Mr Eigner.

        In his comments, Mr Eigner also addressed the growing role of Financial Technology (FinTech) in the post-crisis world, and the balance regulators have to strike between protecting financial stability and allowing market innovation and development.

        "We at the DFSA are working hard to get this balance right, while playing our part in implementing the recently-announced FinTech strategy of Dubai and DIFC. The DIFC is very much "open for business" in this space."

        The AFF was jointly organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, bringing together some of the most influential members of the global financial and business community under the theme of "Asia: Driving Change, Innovation and Connectivity".

        "Now in its tenth year, the Asian Financial Forum continues to attract a high-calibre attendance from government, financial and business sector professionals, with the common goal of ensuring the continued competitiveness of Asia's financial markets and their sustainable development," said Eigner.

        — 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
        Fax: +971 (04) 362 0801
        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

        Saeb Eigner was appointed DFSA Chairman in August, 2011. He has been a member of the Board since October 2004 and served as Deputy Chairman since 2007 until 2011. Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he left to found Lonworld, a private investment group in the early 1990s. Mr Eigner holds a Masters Degree in Management from London Business School. He is a former Governor of London Business School, Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committees, and currently a member of its Estate Committee. He is the co-author of the management books Sand to Silicon (2003) and Sand to Silicon-Going Global (2009) and author of Art of the Middle East (2010 and 2015). He holds and/or has held a number of Board appointments in Banking, Strategy, Education, Regulation and Investment.

      • 9 January 2017 — DFSA's Framework Receives Regulatory Equivalency to European Union Regime

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is pleased to announce that its regulatory framework for central counterparties (CCPs) has been classified as equivalent to that of the European Union.

        The determination, made by the European Commission (Commission), acknowledges the work undertaken by the DFSA to instil internationally-recognised best practices including a robust framework that promotes financial stability through a reduction in systemic risk. The distinction will encourage cross-border activity between European clearing members and CCPs located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) by reducing the regulatory burden to participate in the market.

        This development further evidences the DFSA's commitment to implementing a regulatory framework for the DIFC that is in line with international standards set out under the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures issued by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions. In so doing, the DIFC continues to cement its position as the leading hub for international financial services in the region.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DIFC has firmly established itself as the central gateway through which international and regional financial institutions conduct business across the region. The recognition received from the Commission for our regulatory framework for CCPs, will further strengthen the confidence market participants already have when operating in our Centre."

        Nasdaq Dubai is the DFSA-licensed CCP operating in the DIFC in respect of equites and derivatives trading. Alongside the DIFC, the Commission published equivalence decisions for the regulatory frameworks for CCPs of India, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and the UAE. Other jurisdictions whose CCP regimes are also recognised include the US, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Saima Farooqi
        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 equivalence status is given effect through a legally binding implementing act in accordance with Article 25(6) of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) (Regulation (EU) No 648/2012).

        CCPs are entities that sit in between buyers and sellers of derivatives contracts to become the sole counterparty to all trades. Its main purpose is to manage the risk of one counterparty defaulting (i.e. not being able to make the required payments when they are due), thereby reducing the overall risk in the system.

        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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

    • 2016 2016

      • 19 December 2016 — DFSA Hosts Outreach Event on Cyber Risks

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 19 December 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted an outreach event last week for its regulated community and other stakeholders to discuss known and emerging cyber risks and trends, and the steps that should be taken to prevent, detect and respond to them.

        It was acknowledged that globally, cyber-attacks are increasing in scale and sophistication from highly organised groups of hackers with malicious intent. The DFSA expects its regulated firms not only to look at their own arrangements but also to assess the cyber security arrangements of third-party providers to which they outsource key functions.

        The event was opened by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, who provided an overview of the current challenges being addressed by international standard-setting bodies, regulators and financial institutions. Mr. Johnston pointed out the global growth of FinTech and the concentrated efforts on addressing cyber risks as apriority on their agendas.

        Mr Johnston highlighted that: "Cyber threats are growing in sophistication. Most businesses across all industries, regardless of their location or size, now rely on digital technology. While the use of technology, and FinTech innovation in the finance sector, drives efficiency and development, it can also increase vulnerability to cyber-attacks in the UAE and around the world".

        A number of cyber risk specialists spoke at the event including; Mr Mohammed Nader Fikri, Monitoring Incident Handling and Response Analyst at the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT), Mr Stuart Paterson, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, Mr Darren Mullins, Director Forensic Technology at Deloitte, Mr Hamid Qureshi, Territory Sales Manager at Thales E-Security, and Mr Oliver Fairbank, Senior Analyst, Cyber Threat Intelligence from Control Risks.

        The discussions highlighted that cyber risks pose a serious and persistent threat to all financial institutions and to the resilience of the financial system.

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision at the DFSA said that: "Cyber security is now a risk that must be considered at Board level with day-today responsibility allocated to a member of senior management. Boards of directors and senior management need to focus on prevention and detection measures, while planning and rehearsing their responses".

        In his closing remarks Mr Stirewalt, referring to the importance of collaboration between the DFSA, DIFC, and UAE Cyber Agencies such as aeCERT, and Authorised Firms, said: "Open, honest and frequent communication is critical to getting this right, and today we are embarking on the first of many steps."

        The outreach session primarily targeted DIFC companies and was attended by senior management as well as compliance, risk and IT professionals.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 24 October 2016 — Rasmala Investment Bank Limited Resolves Compliance Concerns with the DFSA

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 24 October 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from Rasmala Investment Bank Limited (RIBL), a company incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre and a DFSA Authorised Firm.

        The EU resulted from DFSA concerns about RIBL's anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls, and about whether it had carried out the Financial Service of Providing Custody to its clients without being licensed to do so.

        Though RIBL does not agree with the DFSA's findings, it acknowledges the DFSA's concerns and agrees to engage an independent expert to ensure that the concerns are remedied.

        RIBL also agreed to pay a financial penalty of USD 60,000 (AED 220,200) to the DFSA of which USD 30,000 (AED 110,100) is payable on or by 17 November 2016. The remaining USD 30,000 (AED 110,100) is suspended indefinitely and becomes payable if RIBL fails to comply with the EU.

        The DFSA acknowledges that RIBL co-operated fully with the DFSA's inquiries, and has already carried out significant remedial work.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA's action again highlights the importance of firms having robust and effective AML systems and controls. The DFSA also reminds firms to operate within the scope of their licence. The DFSA urges firms to review their systems and controls and operations regularly, and to identify and remedy any concerns."

        A copy of the Enforceable Undertaking can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions:

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

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA also exercises delegated enforcement powers under the DIFC Companies Law. These include powers to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar of Companies (Roc).

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 27 September 2016 — DFSA Strengthens Regional Regulatory Co-operation

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 27 September 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) earlier this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Jordan Securities Commission (JSC).

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, and on behalf of the JSC by Commissioner Mr Mazen Wathaifi, at the DFSA offices in Dubai.

        The JSC was established as an autonomous public institution in 1997 to develop, regulate, and monitor Jordan's securities market and capital market institutions. The JSC's major objective is to provide a sound and transparent market to protect holders of securities, investors and the public from irregular market practices.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “While the DFSA remains committed to international best practice and the work of the standard-setters, its recent focus, has been on our region. In 2006 and 2007 the DFSA signed co-operative arrangements with the Insurance Commissioner and the Central Bank of Jordan and I am delighted to be signing this MoU with Commissioner Wathaifi today. The Jordan Securities Commission has long been an active participant in the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and, like the DFSA, was an early signatory of the IOSCO Multilateral MoU, an initiative which remains the high-water mark for co-operation and information sharing among securities regulators.

        "The DFSA has always attached great importance to its ability to assist, and to receive assistance from, its regulatory counterparts as financial activity increasingly crosses borders and calls for greater collaboration and enhanced responsiveness. As we sign our 98th bi-lateral MoU, we, with our Jordanian colleagues, confirm that commitment."

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 26 September 2016 — DFSA Fines Clements (Dubai) Limited

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 26 September 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed a fine of USD 85,191 (AED 312,650.97) on Clements (Dubai) Limited (CDL). The fine was imposed following a DFSA investigation conducted in collaboration with the Insurance Authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The investigation found that, from January 2014 to July 2014, CDL engaged in prohibited insurance activities in breach of DFSA administered Rules. The fine includes the giving up of commissions earned by CDL from the prohibited activities.

        CDL is authorised by the DFSA to provide the Financial Service of Insurance Intermediation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In providing this service, CDL is restricted under DFSA Rules from intermediating a Contract of Insurance for a risk situated in the UAE unless:

        •    the risk is situated in the DIFC; or
        •    the contract is one of re-insurance.

        The DFSA's investigation identified that CDL provided prohibited Insurance Intermediation services in breach of DFSA Rules on 21 occasions and failed to have adequate systems and controls in place to detect, monitor and prevent such activities from occurring.

        The DFSA discounted the amount of the fine imposed on CDL after taking into consideration CDL's initiative to self-report the misconduct to the DFSA, take steps to remediate its deficiencies and co-operate fully with the DFSA's investigation.

        The DFSA also notes that CDL voluntarily appointed a new Senior Executive Officer, and Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

        CDL agreed to settle the DFSA's action at an early stage of the investigation, and therefore qualified for a further discount under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for the mitigating factors and settlement discount, the DFSA would have imposed a fine of USD 102,191 (AED 375,040.97).

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “Intermediating direct insurance in the UAE (outside of the DIFC) is prohibited by DFSA administered legislation and the UAE Federal Law. The DFSA will take appropriate action against firms in the DIFC that engage in any unlicensed insurance activities.

        We worked closely with our colleagues at the UAE Insurance Authority on this matter, and I am grateful to the Authority for their co-operation and assistance.” A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website:

        http://dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 23 August 2016 — DFSA Strengthens Regulatory Co-operation in the UAE

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 23 August 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, and on behalf of the FSRA by Chief Executive Officer, Mr Richard Teng, at the offices of the DFSA.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA is pleased to engage with its counterparts in the GCC and especially with a fellow regulator in the United Arab Emirates. As regulators of financial centres, founded on Common Law principles, we embrace best practice and apply regulation which meets the requirements of the international standard-setters: the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision; the International Organisation of Securities Commissions; the International Association of Insurance Supervisors; and the Financial Action Task Force. Signing this MoU demonstrates a mutual willingness to co-operate and share information to those standards."

        "The importance of effective co-ordination and co-operation between regulators cannot be overstated and to that end the DFSA has concluded some 97 MoUs with its counterparts since our establishment in 2004. This agreement also builds on the agreements already signed with other UAE regulators, including; the Central Bank, the Securities and Commodities Authority and the Insurance Authority.", Mr Johnston added.

        Mr Richard Teng, CEO, FSRA said: "The MoU with the DFSA underscores FSRA's commitment to foster greater investor protection and support the development and innovation of regulations and supervision in the UAE and wider region. ADGM will continue to work closely with our fellow GCC counterparts and global like-minded regulators to foster high regulatory standards, advance financial development and safeguard financial market integrity in our jurisdictions. As a member of the IOSCO, the FSRA will play its part to co-operate and maintain fair, efficient and responsible markets in Abu Dhabi and beyond."

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 18 July 2016 — European Commission Recognises DFSA's Audit Oversight System

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 18 July 2016: Following a lengthy and rigorous assessment of the supervisory regime for auditors in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the European Commission (the Commission) announced its recognition of the adequacy of the Dubai Financial Services Authority's (DFSA's) oversight of audit firms.

        The Commission had already recognised the DFSA's audit regulation as having “equivalent status”, which allows DFSA Registered Auditors to conduct their audit activity in the European Union Member States, without going through a full registration process. With this announcement, the Commission has concluded that the DFSA has competence in oversight, external quality assurance and investigation of auditors and audit firms. In the Commission's view, the DFSA has implemented adequate safeguards to prohibit unlawful disclosure of confidential information to any third person or authority.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "This is further testament to the DFSA's commitment to the highest international standards. The DFSA becomes the first audit regulator in the region to meet European standards for information sharing and confidentiality. The ability to share confidential information with other regulators is integral to the efficient oversight of company audits. Audit has become a borderless activity and it is important that regulators are able to operate in a similar manner. We look forward to fruitful cooperation with our counterparts in Europe."

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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, UAE.

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate includes asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange, and an international commodities derivatives exchange. In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships where a material breach of DIFC Companies Law is suspected and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 20 June 2016 — The DFSA Hosts Annual Supervision Outreach Session

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, June 20 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its Annual Supervision Outreach Session last month to discuss key regulatory priorities and issues. The event brought together various speakers from the DFSA, the Compliance Officers Network Group (CONG), the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority and the DIFC Insurance Association. Over 200 participants attended the event, representing a sizeable percentage of the 418 Authorised Firms operating in the DIFC.

        The event was opened by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, who provided an overview of the DFSA's strategic themes, regulatory priorities and some of the current challenges faced by financial institutions and regulators.

        The DFSA noted that one of its new priorities includes better understanding of the risks and opportunities posed by FinTech, in respect of which the DFSA aims to develop an appropriate regulatory response that balances the need to protect investors, without stifling innovation.

        The event also provided an opportunity for the DFSA to provide an update on its current and future policy agenda; trends in recent enforcement actions; and current risks and issues in the wealth management, broking, banking and insurance sectors.

        In his opening remarks, Mr Ian Johnston said: "Our regulated population continues to expand and we continue to see an increase in the depth and complexity of activities undertaken in or from the DIFC. The DFSA continues to put a lot of effort into communicating with the industry we regulate. We consider events like this outreach session as an important part of our engagement with our regulated population, and in particular, compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers who play a key role in ensuring financial institutions meet their regulatory obligations, which we believe will ensure better compliance, but also enable better business."

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision said: "We continue to focus on the areas of financial crime and conduct of business risks. At the same time, as financial institutions continue to expand their balance sheets, we will focus on relevant prudential risks. In 2016, these areas continue to be important regulatory priorities."

        The event was primarily targeted at DFSA's regulated community and the various compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers from its Authorised Firms and Designated Non-Financial Business Professions.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 7 June 2016 — The DFSA Signs MoU with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, June 07 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), last week with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), represented by its subsidiary, the UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT). ae CERT is an initiative launched by the TRA to improve the standards and practices of information security, and protect the Information Technology infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It aims at supporting and ensuring a safer cyber space of the UAE.

        The MoU sets the means of co-operation between the DFSA and the TRA in the field of cyber-security and facilitates the detection, prevention, education, awareness and response to cyber-security incidents.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "I would like to express my appreciation to the TRA for the comprehensive support that they will provide to the DFSA. The DFSA is pleased to co-operate with the TRA to limit and reduce the challenges and risks in the world of cyber space.

        Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer of the DFSA said: "Today we are delighted to sign this MoU with the TRA, and look forward to co-operate with the TRA on an on-going basis. This step comes in line with the UAE's Government continuous efforts to raise awareness in the field of cyber security; furthermore the DFSA is very keen to collaborate with prominent federal authorities such as the TRA in the field of cutting edge cyber-security and to be part of the UAEs success by ensuring a sustainable and safe electronic environment in the financial services sector. Through this MoU the DFSA seeks to be proactive in its security stance by ensuring the latest safeguards of its core infrastructure and the continuity of its efforts to raise cyber-security awareness to its stakeholders in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, TRA, said: "In the era of smart cities and free flow of information across the digital space, safety becomes of utmost concern for many people. The UAE has entered into this era with full understanding of its prospects and challenges and armed with determination to increase the benefits and limit the challenges and risks. We should unify the efforts to achieve this target, with all concerned. We thank the DFSA staff for their work and efforts to achieve this agreement to promote the collaboration between the two parties and for TRA to be able to provide full support through aeCERT in the form of technical assistance and providing protection and cyber-security against virus attacks and intrusion attempts. We hope to ensure a safe e-environment where data flow is protected and secured against any risks from cyberspace."

        "aeCERT is fully aware and responsible to ensure the safety of the country's virtual borders. The team works to address and prevent all risks and threats, in line with the TRA's mandate to provide the highest form of protection and safety for all government entities and thereby enable them to meet the country's strategic goal of promoting e-lifestyle," H.E. Al Mansoori added.

        Engineer Mohamed Al Zarooni, Director Policy and Programs Department at TRA, noted that the aeCERT team are proactive in ensuring online safety in the UAE — providing guidance, education, monitoring, responding, researches and analytical services for all government entities aiming to achieve a safe e-environment.

        The aeCERT was established as a national team by Decree 5/89 of 2008 issued by the Ministerial Council for Services. Its goal is to improve the standards and practices of information security, and protect IT infrastructures from risks and violations, in conformity with the TRA's strategy and goal to ensure a safer cyberspace, both for UAE Nationals and residents.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 — Mar 2016).

      • 1 June 2016 — DFSA Hosts Outreach on Extended Audit Reports

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 1 June 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) jointly organised an outreach event last week to conduct a briefing on the new Extended Audit Reports.

        The event was opened by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, who provided an assessment of the DFSA's approach to audit, and speakers included Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision — DFSA; Mr Edward Quinlan, Audit Committee Member; Mr Richard Ackland, Partner — KPMG LLP and Mr Umar Saleem, Chief Finance Officer — Depa Limited. The session was moderated by Mr Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).

        The event was targeted at publicly listed companies, DFSA Registered Auditors and ICAEW members and other stakeholders.

        The panel discussed the new Extended Audit Reports which will be effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after 15 December 2016. The panelists expressed their views about the challenges and opportunities of implementing Extended Audit Reports and also shared practical experience in implementing such reports in the United Kingdom (UK).

        In his Opening Remarks, Ian Johnston said: "The Auditor's Report is the primary means by which the auditor communicates information regarding the audit of the financial statements to investors and other financial statement users. As currently designed, however, the auditor's report conveys very little of the information obtained and evaluated by the auditor. In recent years, many investors and others have stated that auditors should provide additional information in the auditor's report to make the report more relevant and useful. The communication of key audit matters would inform investors and other financial statement users of matters arising from the audit."

        Mr Michael Armstrong said: "The extended audit report is definitely a game changer for all market participants. It does not only provide the key audit risks of material misstatement, but also a simplified insight into complex accounting treatments and transactional issues.

        "The need to disclose information on the scope, materiality and areas of focus in audits will greatly increase the quality of debate auditors have with management, audit committees and boards."

        The event was well attended by over 75 stakeholders.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

        ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 145,000 chartered accountants worldwide. ICAEW provide qualifications and professional development, share knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

        Breakfast Briefing is a joint initiative between the DFSA and ICAEW to discuss topics of interest to the audit community. Previous topics include:

        •   The Challenges of Emiratisation: Attracting Talent into the Finance Industry (April 2013)
        •   Detection of Fraud: Whose role is it? (March 2012)
        •   The Importance of Professional Accounting Bodies (September 2011)
        •   The Future of Audit (September 2010)
        •   The role of audit monitoring in improving the quality of and confidence in financial information in the Middle East (March 2010)

      • 11 May 2016 — DFSA Restricts Former Trader Noyan Ayhan

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 11 May 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today that it has imposed a restriction on Mr Noyan Ayhan, a former trader at a DFSA Authorised Firm, after he inflated the value of his trading book by around USD 11,000,000 (AED 40,425,000) to cover up losses.

        The DFSA imposed the restriction because it found that Mr Ayhan's misconduct demonstrated that he lacked integrity. As a result, the DFSA concluded that he is not fit and proper to perform any functions in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The DFSA's action follows an investigation which found that, while a trader at a DFSA Authorised Firm (the Firm), Mr Ayhan:

        •   falsified internal Firm records on at least 163 occasions from May to July 2014, by entering false prices in the records. The effect of this was to overstate his trading profits or conceal his trading losses by approximately USD 11,000,000 (AED 40,425,000) — a practice known as "mismarking";
        •   colluded with traders on a Turkish market to "mark the close" on the last trading day of the month in April, May and June 2014, by creating closing prices that would match his mismarks. He did so to avoid the Firm's internal controls and conceal his mismarking;
        •   instructed a subordinate employee to enter false daily marks on one occasion while Mr Ayhan was out of the office; and
        •   denied any wrongdoing when the Firm questioned him, despite the Firm having presented him with evidence showing that he had mismarked the Firm's records.

        The Firm carried out an internal investigation and found that Mr Ayhan acted dishonestly and committed gross misconduct under the Firm's codes of conduct. The Firm notified the DFSA of the misconduct, and co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation. The DFSA has not taken any enforcement action against the Firm.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA expects employees of Authorised Firms in the DIFC to act with integrity when performing their duties. Mr Ayhan was a senior and experienced trader who held a position of trust at the Firm. Mr Ayhan's actions in deliberately mismarking his positions and engaging others in his misconduct fell far short of the DFSA's expectations."

        After a period of six years, the DFSA may consider varying or revoking the restriction on application by Mr Ayhan.

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website:

        http://dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 9 May 2016 — DFSA Fines Former Licensed Directors

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 May 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has fined two individuals USD 56,000 (AED 205,520) each for failing to act with due skill, care and diligence, which caused an Authorised Firm to breach the DFSA's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Rules.

        Mr Raphael Lilla and Mr Kapparath Muraleedharan were both Licensed Directors and members of the Board of Directors at a DFSA Authorised Firm.

        In August 2014, Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan instructed the Firm's Senior Executive Officer and the Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer to open three accounts for clients which had been assessed as “high risk”. Under the DFSA's AML Rules, the Firm was required to carry out Enhanced Customer Due Diligence on these clients before opening the accounts. However, Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan dismissed the advice from the Senior Executive Officer and the Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer that opening the accounts without the completion of Enhanced Customer Due Diligence would contravene the DFSA's AML Rules. In their senior positions as Board members of the Firm, Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan told the staff to follow their instructions.

        The DFSA's investigation also found that Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan:

        •   received confirmation from external legal counsel shortly after the accounts were opened that the advice of the Senior Executive Officer and the Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer was correct;
        •   were aware that opening the accounts in such circumstances did not comply with the Firm's account-opening policies; and
        •   attempted to control the Senior Executive Officer and the Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer from reporting the opening of two of the accounts to the DFSA.

        Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan accepted responsibility for their actions and agreed to settle the matter at an early stage following the conclusion of the investigation. The DFSA therefore reduced the fines by 20% under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for discount for early settlement, Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan would have each been fined USD 70,000 (AED 256,900).

        The DFSA decided not to take any action against the Firm. After the accounts were opened, the Firm promptly notified the DFSA and other relevant authorities in the UAE that the accounts had been opened and also took steps to prevent the accounts from being used to receive funds.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “Mr Lilla and Mr Muraleedharan were given clear advice that opening the accounts without completing the required due diligence would contravene the DFSA's Rules. They ignored this advice and caused the accounts to be opened, which put the Firm in breach of its regulatory obligations. The DFSA considers their actions to be serious and expects a higher standard of behaviour from persons in such senior positions.

        The DFSA also commends the Senior Executive Officer and the Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer for taking action to mitigate the risks to which the Firm was exposed, and for notifying the DFSA.”

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices can be found in the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

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

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 3 May 2016 — DFSA Hosts Outreach on Corporate Governance and Investor Relations

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 3 May 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), together with Hawkamah, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Institute for Corporate Governance, and the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS), organised an outreach event last week on topics of Corporate Governance and investor relations. Panelists from each of these groups covered key topics, provided market insight and answered questions at the event.

        The event was targeted at representatives of companies listed on the DIFC markets, companies considering a listing, advisors and legal professionals advising firms on listing in the DIFC, investment bankers representing the buy-side for such listings, as well as investor relations professionals. Over 60 stakeholders attended the event.

        The DFSA explained its regulatory requirements for Corporate Governance and the panelists discussed the challenges of implementing Corporate Governance principles with a case study outlining the day to day implementation of Corporate Governance. The case study highlighted the role of Sharia compliance in attracting foreign capital.

        Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "This was a significant event, bringing together three key organisations to hold an interactive forum on topics of direct relevance to listed companies, as well as companies seeking to list. The aim of this event was to raise awareness of the DFSA's framework on Corporate Governance applicable to listed companies as well as to discuss key issues within the realm of Corporate Governance and investor relations affecting companies day to day".

        Dr Ashraf Gamal-El Din, CEO Hawkamah, said: "We look at governance as a corporate asset, it adds value, and it protects investors and other stakeholders. Therefore, an event like this is crucial in making sure that companies do not look at governance only from the compliance point of view, but from the strategic point of view as well".

        Alex MacDonald-Vitale, Chairman of the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS) said: "This is a successful and positive forum encouraging further exchange of ideas and shared challenges around the strategic roles of Corporate Governance and investor relations, both crucial to the region's development. MEIRS is delighted to be part of a trend of increasing openness in dialogue around investor perception and engagement, and welcomes the opportunity to continue working closely with its co-organisers in helping promote and foster best practice across our markets".

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980s and has spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 13 April 2016 — The DFSA and Society of Lloyd's establish a Framework for Co-operation

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 13 April 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into an arrangement today with the Society of Lloyd's to establish a Framework for co-operation.

        The Framework was signed by the Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Ian Johnston, and the Chairman of Lloyd's, Mr John Nelson. The Framework promotes an efficient and effective flow of information between the DFSA and the Society of Lloyd's in relation to Lloyd's syndicate service companies and other coverholders who operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

        This Framework for co-operation recognises the mutual benefit of sharing information to promote effective supervision of Lloyd's coverholders. While the DFSA has the responsibility for the licensing and supervision of Lloyd's coverholders in the DIFC, the Society of Lloyd's has statutory and supervisory powers relating to Lloyd's market participants who appoint the coverholders. Through a DIFC subsidiary, Lloyd's Ltd, it will provide a number of services to those coverholders. This creates a common interest between the DFSA and Lloyd's in seeking to ensure that these entities conduct their business properly and effectively.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The establishment of the Framework marks a significant step in the evolution of Lloyd's presence in the DIFC. While several Lloyd's participants have been licensed to conduct insurance activities in the DIFC for over a decade, Lloyd's Ltd's' presence in the DIFC, began in 2015. Its presence adds depth to the DIFC insurance market. We welcome them and look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Society of Lloyd's."

        Lloyd's Chairman John Nelson said: "This Framework for co-operation recognises the responsibilities and common interests between Lloyd's and the DFSA in ensuring the activities of Lloyd's coverholders in the DIFC are appropriately conducted and supervised.

        The Lloyd's market has evolved over 328 years and, in doing so, we have developed a robust and tested framework for monitoring the syndicates and business within the market and sharing our intelligence and insights with regulatory bodies.

        We are delighted to mark the first anniversary of the Lloyd's Dubai platform. The presence of the Lloyd's underwriting community in the DIFC allows us to build stronger relationships and deeper risk insights across the region and we are seeing promising business growth as a result of this investment."

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee (FSTC) of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (from Jan 2011 – Mar 2016).

      • 10 February 2016 — DFSA makes changes to the Collective Investment Rules

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 10 February 2016: The DFSA Board has enacted changes to the regime for Collective Investment Funds, which came into force on Monday 1 February 2016.

        Amendments have been made to the Rules for Property Funds, to simplify the current regime and align our regime better with international standards while still catering to specific features of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) market. Key changes are to the valuation and Related Person transaction requirements, as well as amendments to the borrowing limits, investment restrictions and custody requirements for these Funds.

        The DFSA has also introduced a framework for the regulation of Money Market Funds (MMFs), drawing on the work that the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) have done in this area. The Rules define what structure an MMF can have, and set out specific requirements for the liquidity, credit quality, and other features of allowable investments for MMFs and Islamic MMFs.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA continues to work with stakeholders to improve the regulatory environment. These new Rules provide clarity and certainty to fund managers and give greater flexibility to those operating Property Funds."

        The amendments to DFSA Rules are available on the DFSA website under: Notice of Amendments to Legislation.

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

      • 1 February 2016 — DFSA Launches Mobile Application and New Website

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 1 February 2016: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today the launch of a new free IOS and Android mobile application and its newly revamped website. The new application and revamped website will provide stakeholders with a more innovative and direct way to access information about the DFSA's activities.

        The development of the mobile application aims to facilitate easy access to information about Authorised Firms and Authorised Individuals through the Public Register. It features push notifications that will enable users to be alerted about DFSA alerts, media releases and other DFSA regulatory updates and warnings of scams as and when they happen.

        The new website is highly visual, with a focus on modern design and a user friendly interface. It has been designed for an optimal viewing and interactive experience, easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling, across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.

        Mr Waleed Al Awadhi, DFSA Director, Operations and Corporate Affairs said: "Today we are proud to announce the introduction of our new mobile application and launch of our newly revamped website. This move comes in line with the strategy of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a "Smart City". The new application and website will allow us to communicate more directly and transparently with our stakeholders on all levels, and will facilitate better stakeholder interaction. As we continue to move forward in this Information Technology age, we at the DFSA are committed to enhance stakeholder engagement. Today smart technology has become part of every government entity in Dubai, and the DFSA intends to stay ahead in ways to contribute to the success story of Dubai."

        To visit the new DFSA website please visit the following link: www.dfsa.ae

        To download the DFSA IOS mobile app please visit the following link:
        https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/app/dfsa/id1073575697?mt=8

        To download the DFSA Android mobile app please visit the following link:
        https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thampy.dfsa

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi joined the DFSA in March 2013 and is an experienced professional who has led key functions in financial services, Islamic banking, real estate investment and development, media and telecommunication industries.

        Through his international and local responsibilities, he has developed expertise in strategy and market intelligence, sales and marketing, communications, project management, product development, business development, business excellence and knowledge management.

        Before joining the DFSA, Mr Al Awadhi worked as Executive Director of Marketing and Communication at Abu Dhabi Media, Head of Priority Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank and Deputy Head of Retail Banking Group and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Dubai Bank where he led Royal Banking and Wealth Management, Branding, Corporate Communications and Customer Services Enhancement. He has also been Global Director of Marketing and Sales and Head of Research Intelligence Department at Sama Dubai (a Dubai Holding company), where he was responsible for over 20 international markets spanning the Far East, Australia, Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and the Levant region.

        Previously, Mr Al Awadhi worked as Key Accounts Manager in the Top Corporate Customers Department in Emirates Telecommunication Company.

    • 2015 2015

      • 21 December 2015 — DFSA Censures MAS Clearsight and Directs it to Compensate Investors

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 21 December 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has censured MAS Clearsight Limited (MAS) and directed MAS to pay compensation of USD3,200,000 (AED12,044,800) to 20 investors for contravening DFSA's Law and Rules. Had it not been for MAS' financial position and the DFSA's decision to require MAS to pay compensation to the investors, the DFSA would also have imposed a financial penalty on MAS.

        In June 2015, the DFSA suspended MAS' DFSA License to stop it from conducting any Financial Services in the DIFC.

        During 2010 to 2011 MAS marketed investment opportunities in the production of limited-edition publications. MAS told investors they would be repaid 100% of their initial investment, plus a further minimum return of 50% of their total investment. In fact, the publications have not been produced and the investors have not been repaid the amount of their initial investment or the returns they were promised. In July 2013, some of the investors complained to the DFSA about their investments through MAS.

        The DFSA investigated the matter and found that MAS had promoted a Collective Investment Fund in a manner that did not comply with the applicable Laws and Rules. In addition, the investors were not properly treated as clients by MAS and were thereby excluded from receiving the other protections they were entitled to under the DFSA's regulatory regime.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA's Laws and Rules provide important protections for investors. These protections are designed to ensure that investors are fully informed about the investments they make and that the investments are suitable for them. As this action against MAS shows, the DFSA will take appropriate action against anyone who fails to provide investors with the required regulatory protections."

        MAS initially challenged the DFSA's Decision Notice and referred the decision to the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT), which is empowered to review decisions made by the DFSA. However, on 19 November 2015 the DIFC Courts ordered a liquidator to be appointed to MAS. The liquidator decided not to proceed with the challenge against the DFSA's decision. Accordingly, the FMT dismissed the appeal thereby confirming that the DFSA's Decision Notice remains in effect

        Copies of the FMT's Decisions in this matter will be published on the FMT's website in due course.

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Public Register on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

        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. This would have been the first case considered by the FMT since the changes were made to the DFSA's decision-making framework in August 2014. .

      • 7 December 2015 — The DFSA Reminds Investors of their Obligations — Connected Person Disclosures

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 7 December 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) reminds shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq Dubai of their disclosure obligations under the DIFC Markets Law and DFSA Markets Rules (the “Regulation”). When a shareholder acquires 5% or more of the voting shares of a company listed on Nasdaq Dubai, such person is a Connected Person under DFSA administered laws and Rules. The obligations apply to shareholders, whether they are natural or legal persons.

        A Connected Person is required to file a report with the DFSA and listed company within 5 days of acquiring a holding of 5% or more of the voting shares of the listed company. Any further change of 1% increase or decrease triggers a report to the DFSA and the listed company.

        Once the listed company receives such a report from a Connected Person, it will disclose the information to the market via a public announcement. This disclosure is to ensure the market is informed about shareholders who control a significant number of voting shares.

        The obligation to monitor their shareholding and to file a Connected Persons report within the required 5 day period rests with the shareholder. As such, shareholders in companies listed on Nasdaq Dubai will be held responsible for meeting their obligations.

        Shareholders could face regulatory action in the event of failure to comply with the above requirements. Such regulatory action could be in the form of monetary penalties or a public censure and could lead to banning from transacting on the market in the case of repeated non-compliance.

        Please consider this as a reminder of your obligations to the DFSA and the market.

        For further information on Connected Person disclosures please click on the links below:

        DFSA Markets Rules (MKT)DFSA Markets Rules (MKT)

        DFSA Markets Brief 6DFSA Markets Brief 6

        Should you have any queries in relation to the contents of this release or your obligations under the DIFC Law and the DFSA Rules applicable to Connected Persons, please contact markets@dfsa.ae

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

      • 24 November 2015 — DFSA Facilitates Certification of 10 UAE Nationals in the Fundamentals of Islamic Banking and Finance

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 24 November 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces today ten UAE Nationals who the DFSA will facilitate to obtain a certified qualification on Fundamentals of Islamic Banking and Finance from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), UK. The ten were selected by the DFSA through an assessment made at a workshop hosted by the DFSA last month on Islamic finance. The seminar is part of the DFSA's Bawabaty 'My Gateway' initiative launched last year. The initiative aims to assist UAE Nationals wishing to pursue a career in financial services; to provide lifelong learning opportunities for our local community; and to support community education in financial services.

        The workshop participants came from a number of universities and government entities across the UAE. The content of the workshop was developed by CISI and delivered by DFSA's Islamic finance expert. The non-sponsored participants will receive a 50% discount on the examination fees.

        Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Director, Operations and Corporate Affairs of the DFSA said: "We are very happy to congratulate the ten UAE Nationals who scored the highest in the assessment conducted by the DFSA last month and wish them all the best in their exam. The DFSA's objective is continue to be an active role player in the preparation of an innovative Emirati generation in the field of Islamic finance that contributes to the "Dubai the Capital of Islamic Economy" initiative which is in line with the vision of the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum."

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

      • 4 November 2015 — DFSA fines ABN AMRO for Anti-Money Laundering Deficiencies

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 4 November 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed a fine of USD 640,000 (AED 2,350,720) on ABN AMRO Bank N.V. DIFC Branch (ABN).

        The fine was imposed following a DFSA investigation which found that, over the period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014, ABN contravened a number of DFSA's Rules requiring it to implement appropriate safeguards to prevent opportunities for money laundering.

        ABN brought the contraventions to the DFSA's attention after the firm received internal whistle-blower complaints concerning the operation of its Private Banking International business line in the DIFC (PBI). In response to the complaints, ABN initiated an internal investigation which revealed that certain of its staff, within the DIFC branch, had engaged in practices that breached ABN's own policies and DFSA administered laws and Rules.

        The DFSA imposed the fine because ABN did not:

        •   ensure that its anti-money laundering (AML) related systems and controls operated effectively;
        •   monitor and supervise the activities of all its PBI employees and ensure that they were adequately trained, understood and adhered to ABN's AML policies and procedures;
        •   undertake adequate risk based assessments of every customer or conduct adequate customer due diligence (CDD) for many of its clients; and
        •   undertake adequate transaction monitoring of client accounts.

        ABN's failings were widespread and exposed its business, and the DIFC, to a high risk of financial crime and money laundering. However the DFSA does not allege that any money laundering took place.

        The DFSA reduced the amount of the fine after taking into consideration ABN's initiative to act quickly on the issues raised in the complaints, to self-report the misconduct to the DFSA, to take significant steps to remediate its deficiencies and to co-operate fully with the DFSA's investigation.

        ABN also agreed to settle the DFSA's action at an early stage of the DFSA investigation and therefore qualified for a further discount under the DFSA's policy for early settlement.

        Were it not for the mitigating factors and settlement discount, the DFSA would have imposed a fine of USD 1,000,000 (AED 3,670,000) on ABN.

        As well as imposing the fine, the DFSA directed ABN to undertake further steps to remediate its AML related deficiencies.

        The DFSA's investigation was conducted in close co-operation with ABN's home regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. (DNB).

        Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, Acting Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Although the contraventions in this matter are serious, ABN has taken significant proactive steps to report, investigate and remediate its failings. ABN co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation. Consequently, the DFSA has taken these factors into consideration and adjusted the penalty proportionally. The DFSA seeks to encourage good governance and compliance with its standards by incentivising those who embrace compliance with its regulatory regime. In this case, ABN received a proportionate discount for exercising a good compliance culture after it found misconduct which contravened its own standards as well as the DFSA administered regulatory regime.

        The DFSA wishes to thank the DNB for the assistance it provided to the DFSA's investigation."

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Public Register on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        — Ends —

        For further information please contact:
        Kaja Mohaisen
        Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

      • 23 August 2015 — The DFSA Appoints New General Counsel

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, 23 August 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that Ms Muna Dandan will join them as General Counsel. Ms Dandan has held a number of senior legal positions in the private sector and has significant experience in legal practice. As General Counsel, Ms Dandan will have overall responsibility for all legal work carried out in the regulator.

        Ms Dandan's appointment follows an international search carried out by Hedley May LLP.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "I am pleased to welcome Muna to our executive team. The position of General Counsel carries significant responsibilities for the DFSA and its Board and it is clear that Muna brings an excellent balance of legal and industry knowledge to the DFSA".

        Mr Johnston acknowledged the contributions made by the outgoing General Counsel, Mr Michael Ridgeway and the Managing Director of Policy and Legal Services, Mr Errol Hoopmann each of whose contracts are at an end and plan to return to their home country. "I would like to thank Errol and Michael for the excellent work they did at the DFSA. Each added greatly to our reputation and that of the Dubai International Financial centre (DIFC), and we are sorry to see them go".

        Ms Dandan will take up her role at the end of September.

        The DFSA also confirmed that Mr Peter Smith, Head of Policy and Strategy will now have oversight of all policy work at the regulator.

        — 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti- Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

      • 6 August 2015 — The DFSA Signs MoU with Australia's Prudential Supervisor

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Sydney, 6 August 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into an agreement with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) last week. The Memorandum of Understanding commits the DFSA and APRA to information sharing and co-operation in the supervision of financial institutions.

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, and by the Chairman of APRA, Mr Wayne Byres, in Sydney on the side-lines of the Boao Forum for Asia, at which they were both speaking.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "I am very pleased to sign this MoU with APRA and to meet Mr Byres again. Much has been done to advance the critical work of the international standard-setters in the areas of insurance and banking supervision". Mr Johnston noted APRA's membership of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (the IAIS) and Mr Byres' membership of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). Mr Byers was formerly its Secretary General. "As a member of the IAIS and as an Observer on the Basel Committee, the DFSA also appreciates the importance of international standards in the insurance and banking sectors", Mr Johnston said.

        He added: "This bilateral MoU with APRA reflects the presence of a number of Australian firms offering financial services in the DIFC and reflects each Authority's commitment to co-operation in relation to their regulation. It also follows similar arrangements the DFSA has with other significant supervisors in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, the US, India, China, Japan and Singapore, as well as in the Region".

        — 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti- Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division. Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

        The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the Australian financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurance, friendly societies, and most of the superannuation industry. APRA is funded largely by the industries that it supervises. It was established on 1 July 1998. APRA currently supervises institutions holding $4.9 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.

        Mr Wayne Byres was appointed as a Member and Chairman of APRA from 1 July 2014 for a five-year term.

        Mr Byres' early career was in the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which he joined in 1984. After more than 13 years with the RBA, including a secondment to the Bank of England in London, he transferred to APRA on its establishment in 1998 and held a number of senior executive positions in APRA's policy divisions and supervisory divisions. In 2004, Mr Byres was appointed Executive General Manager, Diversified Institutions Division with responsibility for the supervision of Australia's largest and most complex financial groups. He held this role until the end of 2011, when he was appointed to the role of Secretary General of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), based at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.

        Mr Byres is APRA's representative on the Payments System Board, the Council of Financial Regulators, the Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision, the Basel Committee and its oversight body, the Governors and Heads of Supervision.

      • 29 July 2015 — Arqaam Capital Limited Resolves Compliance Deficiencies with the DFSA

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 29 July 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from Arqaam Capital Limited (Arqaam), a company incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and a DFSA Authorised Firm.

        The EU resulted from a DFSA investigation following a periodic DFSA risk assessment that focused on Arqaam's compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) obligations in the DIFC. The risk assessment identified a number of deficiencies in Arqaam's AML systems and controls, assessment of customer AML risks and customer due diligence (CDD) practices.

        Although the EU does not mention any specific contraventions of DFSA-administered laws or regulations, the DFSA is concerned that Arqaam may not have:

        •   acted with due skill, care and diligence;
        •   ensured that its affairs were managed effectively and responsibly; and
        •   complied with certain DFSA AML Rules requirements.

        In light of the DFSA's concerns, Arqaam will engage an independent compliance expert to assist the firm to remedy the AML deficiencies the DFSA has identified and any other issues the expert may identify.

        Arqaam also agreed to pay a financial penalty of USD50,000 (AED183,652). Arqaam cooperated fully at an early stage of the DFSA investigation.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Having robust and effective AML systems and controls, including customer AML risk assessments and CDD practices, are important in deterring financial crime. Firms should review their AML systems and controls regularly and ensure staff are given appropriate training concerning the firm's AML responsibilities. Furthermore, willingness to co-operate with the DFSA and remediate regulatory deficiencies at an early stage mitigates risks for both the firm and the DIFC."

        A copy of the Enforceable Undertaking can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

      • 10 June 2015 — Kuwait Turkish Participation Bank (Dubai) Limited Resolves Compliance Concerns With The DFSA

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 10 June 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from Kuwait Turkish Participation Bank (Dubai) Limited (KTD), a company incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre and a DFSA Authorised Firm.

        The EU resulted from a DFSA investigation which identified deficiencies and areas for improvement in KTD's systems and controls regarding risk management, anti-money laundering (AML) and corporate governance. The DFSA had concerns that KTD may not have:

        •   acted with due skill, care and diligence;
        •   ensured that its affairs were managed effectively and responsibly; and
        •   established and maintained adequate systems and controls.

        In light of the DFSA's concerns, KTD agreed to pay a financial penalty of USD150,000 (AED551,250) to the DFSA of which USD50,000 (AED183,750) is payable on or by 8 July 2015. The remaining USD100,000 (AED367,500) is suspended indefinitely and becomes payable if KTD fails to comply with the EU.

        KTD also agreed to improve its corporate governance arrangements and engage an independent compliance expert to ensure the deficiencies identified by the DFSA's investigation have been remedied.

        The DFSA notes that no specific contraventions of DFSA Laws and Rules by KTD are cited in the EU. The DFSA also acknowledges that KTD co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation and has already carried out significant remedial work.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA's action highlights the importance of Firms having robust and effective risk management, corporate governance and AML systems and controls. The DFSA urges Firms to review their systems and controls regularly to identify and remedy any deficiencies."

        A copy of the Enforceable Undertaking can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial 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 supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

      • 7 June 2015 — DFSA Signs MoU with Kuwaiti Counterpart

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has last week entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait (CMA).

        The MoU was signed at the DFSA offices by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and His Excellency Dr Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the CMA, Kuwait.

        The CMA was established in 2010 to regulate and develop the capital markets in the state of Kuwait while supervising and monitoring regulated companies with the aim of promoting fairness and transparency in transactions related to the securities markets, giving confidence to investors by protecting them from illegal practices, and by enforcing the securities law.

        Mr Johnston said, "I am honoured to welcome His Excellency, Dr Nayef Falah Al- Hajraf, to Dubai and to the DFSA, for this important initiative. Along with its commitments to the international standard-setters and its relationship with key home regulators in Europe, India and China, the DFSA maintains its focus on the region, particularly its links with counterparts in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As relatively young regulators — the DFSA was established in 2004; the CMA in 2010 — the DFSA and CMA see value in developing our capacity as capital markets regulators. Both authorities have agreed on a secondment programme that will allow regulatory members of staff to learn from each other and, in turn, to share this knowledge and experience with their colleagues."

        The Chairman of the DFSA, Mr Saeb Eigner, said, "I am very pleased to see that, as part of its focus on the Region, the DFSA is deepening its engagement with regulators in the GCC. In this spirit, the DFSA looks forward to working closely with the CMA, enhancing information sharing and cooperation and providing the foundation for facilitating the entry of financial institutions in the DIFC from Kuwait".

        The MoU signing was attended by the International Relations Director Mark McGinness, and Corporate Affairs Director, Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi in the DFSA, as it was attended by the Board of Commissioners Office Director, Moayed Al-Shakhs, and International Relations Office Director in the CMA.

      • 20 May 2015 — DFSA Fines United Investment Bank Limited

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 20 May 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed a fine of USD 56,000 (AED 205,800) on United Investment Bank Limited (UIB).

        The fine was imposed following a DFSA investigation which found that, from April to July 2014, UIB contravened a number of the DFSA's Rules, dealing with systems and controls to prevent money laundering (Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Rules). In particular, UIB:

        •   did not take sufficient steps to identify and assess the money laundering risk to which its business was exposed;
        •   established a business relationship with customers where the ownership or control arrangements of the customers prevented UIB from identifying one or more of the customers' beneficial owners;
        •   failed to obtain properly certified documents verifying the identity of customers;
        •   failed to properly document adequate information on the purpose and intended nature of its business relationships with customers;
        •   failed to properly document its understanding of its customers' sources of funds and wealth; and
        •   did not undertake sufficient due diligence on customers which UIB itself had identified as being high risk.

        As well as imposing the fine, the DFSA directed UIB to implement a plan to address the problems with its AML systems and controls and engage a suitably experienced and independent third party to oversee UIB's take-on of new clients.

        It is not alleged that any money laundering took place.

        UIB and its senior management, including its SEO, have accepted responsibility for the contraventions and have cooperated fully with the DFSA to resolve the shortcomings in UIB's AML systems and controls.

        UIB agreed to settle the matter following the conclusion of the investigation and the fine was imposed by way of a Decision Notice agreed with UIB. The DFSA therefore reduced the fine by 20% under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for this discount, the fine imposed on UIB would have been USD 70,000 (AED 257,250).

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Firms in the DIFC must conduct proper due diligence on clients and have effective systems and controls to prevent opportunities for money laundering. The DFSA will take appropriate action against any person who does not comply with the DFSA's AML Rules."

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Public Register on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

      • 19 May 2015 — The DFSA and the DIFC Registrar of Companies Co-host FATCA Outreach Workshop

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 19 May 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Registrar of Companies (RoC), jointly hosted an outreach workshop last week regarding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is extra-territorial US legislation that affects Financial Institutions (FIs), particularly those which have accountholders who are US Persons, as defined by the law.

        The event was specifically targeted at senior office holders of Authorised Firms in the DIFC that are affected by FATCA. In addition to background information regarding FATCA, details regarding the DIFC's reporting processes were explained. Private consultants were present at the session to respond to pre-submitted general questions regarding FATCA.

        Ian Johnston, DFSA Chief Executive, said: "The United States (US) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are close to signing an intergovernmental agreement that will facilitate FIs' reporting of information on their US accountholders. Certain DIFC firms will be required to report their US accountholder data to RoC, which will forward it to the UAE Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance will then report the information onward to the US Internal Revenue Service. The aim of this workshop was to further outline the roles of the DFSA and the RoC and to provide the necessary information regarding the recent developments surrounding FATCA efforts."

        Khalid Al Zarouni, DIFC Registrar of Companies, said: "DIFC's compliance to FATCA reiterates our overall commitment to the inter-governmental agreement that is set to be signed between the UAE Ministry of Finance and the US Treasury Department. Under the agreement, DIFC is mandated to facilitate, update and inform the community of firms based at the financial hub about the necessary reporting requirements. However, DIFC recommends all corporates and foreign financial institutions to seek external guidance for interpreting the clauses of FATCA on a case-by-case basis."

        The event attracted some 200 participants who were welcomed by Michael Ridgeway, DFSA General Counsel, Khalid Al Zarouni, Registrar of Companies. They focused on the reporting process, rather than the substance of the law, and made the point that, because FATCA is a foreign law, neither the Registrar nor any other DIFC official including the DFSA is authorised or qualified to interpret or advise regarding the law. Attendees were counseled to seek advice about their specific circumstances from lawyers or other consultants who are qualified to give advice.

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

      • 26 April 2015 — Dubai Delegation Visits India to Promote Collaboration Between The Financial Centres

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        India, 26 April 2015: A senior delegation from Dubai, led by the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Mr Saeb Eigner, met with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), H.E. Dr Raghuram Rajan, in Mumbai, on Thursday, 23rd April, to enhance co-operation and to discuss initiatives to promote further growth in these two leading financial centres.

        Mr Saeb Eigner was joined by The Honourable Apurv Bagri, a Board member of the DFSA, Ian Johnston, the Chief Executive and Mark McGinness, the Director of International Relations.

        The delegation also met with the Deputy Governor of the RBI, Shri S.S. Mundra, and other prominent dignitaries from the financial services and other leading industries in India.

        This visit reflects the increasing ties between Dubai and India as leading international financial centres and important partners in supporting the growing investment and trade flows between the UAE and India.

        The DFSA has in place MoUs with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the RBI. At the time, the Dubai regulator was the first regulator, after the China Banking Regulatory Commission, to sign an MoU with the respected RBI.

        Mr Saeb Eigner said: "We thank the Governor for a warm welcome. This is an important milestone in implementing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to become a leading financial centre and a knowledge-based economy. Knowledge sharing between the two financial hubs is an important contributor to sustainable and continued growth."

        RBI Deputy Governor, Mr S.S. Mundra said: "The RBI and the DFSA have an excellent working relationship. I am pleased to see their increasingly close co-operation and the growth in the presence of Indian banks in the DIFC. The quality of supervision of all overseas branches and subsidiaries of Indian banks is obviously a matter of great importance to the RBI."

        Under the direction of Dubai International Financial Centre's (DIFC) President, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's Deputy Ruler, the Centre has witnessed consistent year-on-year growth. The DFSA has entered into regulatory agreements with RBI in 2011. Indian banks have become well established at the DIFC and their business and banking assets have been increasing significantly. Combined assets of Indian banks in the Centre have almost tripled since 2011. There are currently eight of India's largest banks in the Centre, with increasing interest from banks to enter the DIFC. Building on the long-established trading links between India and the UAE, Dubai represents a natural hub for conducting trade finance, lending operations and capital-raising in the GCC, Africa and beyond.

        This month, H.E. Essa Kazim, the Governor of the DIFC, together with officials from the DFSA and DIFC Courts, welcomed an Indian delegation led by The Indian Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr Jayant Sinha. At the request of the Minister, the Governor shared best practices, used at the DIFC, in creating a successful financial hub with modern infrastructure. This illustrates our co-ordinated efforts, led by the Governor of the DIFC, to strengthen our relations with one of the most important economies in the world, in alignment with His Highness' vision. India is one of the UAE's top trading partners. The DFSA will seek to ensure that collaboration in the financial sector continues to grow strongly in parallel.

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Saeb Eigner was appointed DFSA Chairman in August, 2011. He has been a member of the Board since October 2004 and served as Deputy Chairman since 2007.

        Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he left to found Lonworld, a private investment group in the early 1990's.

        Mr Eigner holds a Master's Degree in Management from London Business School. He is a Governor of London Business School and Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committee.

        He is the co-author of the management books Sand to Silicon (2003) and Sand to Silicon-Going Global (2009) and author of Art of the Middle East (2010).

        Mr Eigner holds and/or has held a number of Board appointments in banking, strategy, education, regulation and investment.

      • 22 April 2015 — DFSA Takes Action Against Hany Lotfy Awwad Abdelwahab

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 22 April 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed a fine of USD 45,000 (AED 165,150) and a restriction, on Mr Hany Lotfy Awwad Abdelwahab (Mr Abdelwahab) for providing the DFSA with false, misleading or deceptive information, and for obstructing the DFSA by failing to comply with DFSA investigative notices.

        The restriction imposed by the DFSA prevents Mr Abdelwahab from performing any functions in connection with the provision of financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), for a period of 3 years, starting on 16 March 2015.

        On 27 March 2013, Mr Abdelwahab applied to become the Controller of a DFSA Authorised Firm.

        As part of the application process Mr Abdelwahab provided false information to the DFSA. During the DFSA's investigation into the provision of the false information it served investigative notices on Mr Abdelwahab requiring him to produce information and documents and to attend an interview with the DFSA. Mr Abdelwahab failed to produce the information and documents and present himself for interview.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Those who apply to be licensed or approved by the DFSA, including as a controller of a firm, must provide the DFSA with correct and accurate information. Furthermore recipients of investigative notices must comply with their requirements. The DFSA will take appropriate action against anyone who provides it with false and misleading information or fails to comply with investigative notices when required."

        Neither Mr Abdelwahab, nor any of his companies, are regulated by the DFSA.

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial freezone in Dubai. The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange. In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

        Restricting Persons or Suspending or Withdrawing Authorisations: If the DFSA reasonably concludes that a person is not a fit and proper person to perform any functions in or in connection with the provision of Financial Services or Ancillary Services in the DIFC, whether or not they are Licensed Functions, it may by means of written notice restrict such person from performing any or all such functions.

      • 15 April 2015 — DFSA Fines Deutsche Bank AG for Serious Breaches

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 15 April 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA"), announced today, that it has fined the DIFC branch of Deutsche Bank AG ("DBDIFC"), USD $8,400,000 (AED 30,849,000) for serious contraventions.

        Those contraventions include misleading the DFSA, failures in DBDIFC's internal governance and systems and controls and in its client take-on and anti-money laundering processes.

        The DFSA's action follows an investigation into DBDIFC which focussed on its activities from January 2011 to January 2014. The DFSA was initially concerned that DBDIFC had failed to properly classify some of its customers as Clients under DFSA Rules and, therefore, deprived them of certain protections under the DFSA's regulatory regime. However, over the course of the investigation, it became clear that there were wider failings at DBDIFC.

        The DFSA therefore broadened the scope of its investigation. In particular, the DFSA uncovered that DBDIFC was aware that its Private Wealth Management business (PWM) was operating in breach of DFSA requirements, but did not take adequate steps to address the issue. In addition, certain staff of DBDIFC provided false information to the DFSA on several occasions about the nature and scope of activities undertaken by PWM. The DFSA also found material failings in DBDIFC's governance and has made directions to DBDIFC to remediate the DFSA's concerns.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The provision of false information to the DFSA is a serious matter. One of the pillars of the DIFC regulatory framework is that Authorised Persons must deal with the DFSA in an open and co-operative manner and must disclose appropriately any information of which the DFSA would reasonably be expected to be notified."

        "The DFSA expects firms to have governance structures and systems and controls in place which encourage compliance with our rules and which promptly identify and remedy any regulatory failings. As demonstrated by the action against DBDIFC, the DFSA will take a robust stance where firms or individuals have breached these obligations. Had DBDIFC cooperated at an early stage of the investigation, the matter would have been resolved far sooner and at significantly less costs to both the DFSA and the firm. The fine imposed in this case reflects the seriousness with which the DFSA views these failings."

        The DFSA acknowledges that it was a small number of individuals in the firm who provided false information to the DFSA but believes that, with better governance within the Bank, this would have been identified and addressed earlier.

        Since January 2014, DBDIFC has worked openly and cooperatively with the DFSA to remedy the failings. The Bank has also made a number of changes to its operating model and improved its internal governance arrangements.

        DBDIFC agreed to settle the matter following the conclusion of the investigation and the fine was imposed by way of a Decision Notice agreed with the Bank. The DFSA therefore reduced the fine by 20% under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Were it not for this discount, the fine imposed on DBDIFC would have been USD $10,500,000 (AED 38,561,250).

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Public Register on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti- Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

      • 8 April 2015 — DFSA Takes Action Against Former Licensed Directors

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 8 April 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today, that it has imposed restrictions on Mr Abdul Rahman Al Ansari (Mr Al Ansari) and Mr Anthony Robert D'Aniello (Mr D'Aniello) for providing the DFSA with false and misleading information.

        The restrictions imposed by the DFSA prevent Mr Al Ansari and Mr D'Aniello from performing any function in connection with the provision of financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Both may apply to the DFSA to vary or revoke the restrictions after a period of six years.

        Mr Al Ansari and Mr D'Aniello were former Licensed Directors of First Capital of Switzerland Investment Bank Limited (FCSIB), a former Authorised Firm in the DIFC. The restrictions follow an investigation in which the DFSA found that Mr Al Ansari and Mr D'Aniello:

        •   provided the DFSA with false, incomplete and misleading information regarding the shareholding structure of FCSIB and its controllers; and
        •   demonstrated a fundamental lack of integrity in that they failed to be candid and truthful in all their dealings with the DFSA.

        As a result, the DFSA has concluded that Mr Al Ansari and Mr D'Aniello are not fit and proper to be involved in the provision of financial services in the DIFC.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Authorised Persons must deal with the DFSA openly and co-operatively, and must disclose appropriately and in a timely manner any relevant information. The DFSA will take appropriate action when anyone provides information, which is false and misleading."

        A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions. https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial freezone in Dubai. The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange. In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

        Restricting Persons or Suspending or Withdrawing Authorisations: If the DFSA reasonably concludes that a person is not a fit and proper person to perform any functions in or in connection with the provision of Financial Services or Ancillary Services in the DIFC, whether or not they are Licensed Functions, it may by means of written notice restrict such person from performing any or all such functions.

      • 6 April 2015 — The DFSA Strengthens Ties With Indonesian Regulator

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Jakarta, 6 April 2015: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) last week extended its formal ties with its counterparts in South East Asia, by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Indonesian counterpart, the Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK).

        The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Ian Johnston, and the Chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioners, Dr Muliaman D. Hadad.

        This signing followed a meeting a few days earlier in Bangkok between Mr Johnston and Khun Tipsuda Thavaramara, Deputy Secretary General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand (SEC). The SEC was among the first foreign regulators to sign an MoU with the DFSA in 2006 and, since then, the DFSA has forged formal links with its ASEAN counterparts, namely Malaysia's Bank Negara, its Securities Commission and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

        Similarly to the DFSA, the OJK is the independent integrated authority. It regulates and supervises financial services institutions and all financial services sector activities in the Republic of Indonesia.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “I would like to thank the OJK Chairman, Dr Muliaman D. Hadad, and his fellow Commissioners, for their presence and for their welcome. Both the OJK and the DFSA, as signatories of the Multilateral MoU of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), have already met the rigorous and respected standards of cooperation between capital market regulators. This enhancement of information sharing and assistance between the OJK and the DFSA to exchanging views on global regulatory reforms and capacity building is a critical step to ensuring confidence in each of our regulatory regimes. The DFSA looks forward to working with the OJK for the benefit of both Indonesia and our Centre in the UAE.”

        Mr Johnston added: "In addressing the authorisation and supervision of Islamic Finance, this initiative underscores Indonesia's position as the world's most populous Islamic market. Indonesia is a founding member of the Islamic Finance Standards Board (IFSB) and the OJK, with the Central Bank of Indonesia, has this week hosted a meeting of the IFSB Council, which I also attended.

        Dubai's Islamic Finance Initiative, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohamad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in His Highness's capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has inspired the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), to become a centre for excellence in Islamic Finance in the Middle East and, with its tailor-made regulatory system for Islamic Finance. The DFSA looks forward to working with the OJK, under this MoU, to promote and develop this sector.”

        - 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 1662
        Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

        The Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) regulates and supervises financial services institutions on integrated basis throughout all of the financial services sector activities as stipulated under the Law No. 21 of 2011 of the Republic of Indonesia concerning Otoritas Jasa Keuangan. The main function of the OJK is to promote integrated regulatory and supervisory framework in the financial services sector and to protect the interests of consumers. The OJK performs its regulatory and supervisory duties over financial services activities in banking, capital markets, and non-bank financial institutions.

        Dr Muliaman Darmansyah Hadad was appointed Chairman of Board of Commissioners of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) on July 18th, 2012, by Presidential Decree.

        Dr Hadad graduated from the Faculty of Economics at University of Indonesia in 1984 before continuing his Master's degree at John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University in Massachusetts, the U.S., in 1990 and earned Master of Public Administration degree a year later. In 1996, he was awarded a Ph.D. in business and economics from Monash University in Melbourne.

        Dr Hadad began his carrier as a member of general staff at the Mataram office of Central Bank of Indonesia in 1986. In 2003, he was promoted as Head of Financial System Stability Bureau, and two years later he served as Director of Directorate for Banking Research and Management. Dr Hada was promoted as Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor, by Presidential Decree, on December 22nd, 2006, and inaugurated on January 11th, 2007.

        Dr Hadad is also active as Head of Indonesian Sharia Economic Community and is a lecturer at several universities, including postgraduate lecturer at Trisakti University, and was once in charge as Head of Alumni Association of Faculty of Economics in 2007-2010.

        The former Secretary General of the Central Committee for the Indonesian Association of Economists or ISEI (2003- 2006 and 2006-2009), Dr Hadad was re-elected as Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor for his second term of office in December 2011, before being appointed to his current role.

    • 2014

      • 15 December 2014 — DFSA Congratulates UAE National Graduates

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 14 December 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its annual Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) awards ceremony last week. The awards mark the successful completion of a two-year development programme for UAE Nationals.

        The programme prepares newly graduated UAE Nationals to become financial services regulators. Initially, graduates join the DFSA as TRL Associates and over the two years undergo over 400 hours of class room training along with on-job coaching delivered by regulatory colleagues, where they benefit from a wealth of regulatory experience and gain an international perspective. The programme is written and delivered by DFSA regulators with training materials being updated every year to reflect changes in legislation and the market environment. The DFSA also works closely with many DIFC-based firms to provide the Associates with the opportunity to gain experience in financial services institutions as part of the TRL Programme. This results in them receiving first-hand knowledge of financial services issues and a better understanding of the regulated community.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, “The DFSA has been investing in developing young UAE Nationals to become leaders in the area of financial services regulation for eight years. To date, 24 people have graduated the TRL Programme and we have a further nine undergoing training. Currently, 35% of our regulatory workforce are UAE Nationals. We are very proud of these results and we will continue to deliver appropriate and sustainable benefits to UAE Nationals by equipping them for long-term career advancement and future leadership.”

        - End -

        For further information please contact:
        Ms Angharad Irving-Jones
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Mr Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Mr Johnston joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director heading the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Mr Johnston was admitted to practice law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia's major trustee companies. During that time, he played a leading role in the trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Mr Johnston joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he was Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner. In 2005, he took up a position as a special advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

        Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In November 2013, he was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.

      • 10 December 2014 — DFSA and DIFC Host Hong Kong Leaders Visiting the UAE

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 10 December 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted today, in Dubai, a delegation of 35 government, financial and business leaders from Hong Kong, led by The Honourable John Tsang, GBM, JP, Financial Secretary of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

        The delegation was welcomed by HE Essa Kazim, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, colleagues from the DIFC Authority and DFSA Boards and prominent members of the UAE government and business community.

        This high level visit attests to the increasing links between Dubai and Hong Kong as leading international financial centres in their respective time zones and as gateways for the fast growing trade and investment flows between China and the Middle East.

        Following the signing of regulatory agreements between the DFSA and the relevant Chinese regulators and the accompanying increased regulatory co-operation, the four leading Chinese banks have become well-established in the DIFC with rapidly growing business. The recent listing in the DIFC as well as in Hong Kong of the Hong Kong government's first Sukuk issue established the basis for further co-operation in the field of Islamic finance. The USD1 billion Sukuk, the first AAA rated government Sukuk, was oversubscribed some five times. Close co-operative relationships exist between the DFSA and financial market regulators in Hong Kong, including the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

        Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA said: "The DFSA has learned much from the highly successful development of Hong Kong as a global financial centre in a rapidly growing region of the world. We are honoured to have Hong Kong's Financial Secretary and his visiting delegation with us in Dubai today. One of our Board members, Mr Robert Owen, was the founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. I believe the Centre today has become for our region what Hong Kong is for the region of Asia, building on the natural strengths of the UAE and implementing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the founding President of the DIFC. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's Crown Prince, welcomed the decision by the Hong Kong government to list its Sukuk on NASDAQ Dubai. This took place under the Dubai Islamic economy initiative, further exemplifying the strong economic and commercial ties. Under the leadership of DIFC's President, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's Deputy Ruler, the Centre has witnessed consistent year-on-year growth. The DIFC's Governor HE Essa Kazim visited China last year. I also visited Hong Kong and China, and we are all in the DIFC working under the energetic and clear co-ordinating leadership of the Governor to strengthen our relations with this important part of the world, in line with His Highness' vision. By way of example, we are particularly pleased to have with us at the DFSA a student from Beijing working under the Dubai Business Internship Programme, run under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a further testament to the bridge-building that is taking place. Asia is a region we know well, and we are working on a number of initiatives between Hong Kong and China and Dubai to further develop this important relationship."

      • 18 September 2014 — DFSA Statement: ES Bankers (Dubai) Limited

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 18 September, 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has, today, exercised its power under the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Regulatory Law 2004 to impose a restriction on ES Bankers (Dubai) Limited (ESBD) the effect of which is to restrict the firm from taking or paying deposits and to require the firm to maintain and preserve its assets.

        The imposition of the restriction was considered necessary, at this time, due to the failure of a Swiss-domiciled bank in the ES Group, Banque Privee Espirito Santo (BPES), to honour contractual commitments to ESBD and to repay deposits owed to ESBD in the normal course of business. Mr José Manuel Espirito Santo is Chairman of BPES. The failure of BPES to honour its legal obligations has seriously compromised ESBD's operations and solvency.

        Given the rapid onset of financial difficulties of the wider ES Group in recent months, the DFSA has taken a series of regulatory actions to protect the interests of depositors and other clients of the DIFC bank. These included actions under the Regulatory Law restricting the bank from transferring any assets to other ES Group companies and requiring a Manager to act in place of the Board of Directors of ESBD (with effect from 11 August 2014). The DFSA also suspended the status of Mr Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva Salgado as an Authorised Individual, as the DFSA considered Mr Salgado no longer to be a fit and proper person to be a Licensed Director of the bank.

        ESBD is a bank operating in the DIFC, licensed by the DFSA. It is part of the Espirito Santo Group (ES Group) of companies, and is a subsidiary of Espirito Santo Financial Group S.A. (ESFG), which is domiciled in Luxembourg.

        As a DIFC bank, ESBD is not permitted to deal with retail clients, nor to accept deposits from UAE clients.

      • 10 September 2014 — DFSA Releases Findings of Corporate Governance Review in DIFC

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 10 September 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) recently concluded a thematic review of the corporate governance of firms licensed to provide financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The review focussed on twelve themes fundamental to good corporate governance including management structures and practices, systems and controls, internal audit and management information flows.

        While the DFSA routinely reviews the quality of governance in regulated businesses in the DIFC, this review is the first full scale corporate governance review and is the first occasion on which the DFSA has issued a Report on this subject.

        The DFSA generally found a good level of compliance by institutions and that governance structures and arrangements generally reflected the nature, scale and complexity of the businesses reviewed. However, the practices of some institutions fell short of their own stated policies. The DFSA noted that governance arrangements and responsibilities often did not align to business plans and strategies and that those institutions need to comply with their stated polices or amend them to reflect current practices.

        A significant finding of the review, documented in the Report, was that firms often did not carry out structured, periodic reviews of their Governing Bodies and their committees, or their effectiveness. The Governing Body is generally a company's Board of Directors.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the DFSA said: "The findings of the review provide a benchmark and reference that should be used by institutions to assess their corporate governance frameworks and practices. The DFSA is working to enhance the quality of governance of regulated businesses in the DIFC and where we detect governance failures we will rectify them through supervisory methods or enforcement action."

        The Report of the findings can be accessed on the DFSA website.

      • 1 September 2014 — Bawabaty — DFSA Congratulates UAE Nationals on Completion of Summer Training Programme

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 1 September 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) last week congratulated Ms Noora Gargash and Mr Sultan Qabeel on their successful completion of the DFSA's Summer Training Programme as part of Bawabaty initiative.

        Both received a completion certificate for their achievement working for eight weeks with DFSA's Finance and IT departments respectively.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA is proud to provide developmental programmes that provide financial education within the Emirati community. The DFSA is also committed to providing the time and resources required to create a solid platform for developing young talent in the Emirati community, equipping them with skills and expertise in the financial services industry, particularly in areas of personal finances and work ethic."

        "I hope that the two individuals have learned valuable skills through the DFSA's Summer Training Programme that will help them in developing their skill sets and future careers, added Mr Johnston."

        Ms Noora Gargash, Finance undergraduate, Zayed University said: "The DFSA is a globally respected and independent regulator with high responsibilities; hence I chose to join its Summer Training Programme to enhance both my professional and personal skills in relation to finance."

        Mr Sultan Qabeel, Information Technology undergraduate, HCT Dubai Men's College said: "One of the most things I wanted to achieve is to enrich my knowledge, gain experience and develop my network as those are assets that I need in the future. I believe I have accomplished them greatly here in DFSA with the help of my co-workers and managers."

        Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Director, Corporate Affairs of the DFSA said: "The DFSA is committed in contributing to the awareness of the Emirati community aligning with the vision of the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The DFSA launched Bawabaty in March earlier this year and is one of our corporate social responsibility initiatives, that aims to raise awareness of the financial services industry to the UAE National community. Under Bawabaty, meaning 'My Gateway', the Summer Training Programme was developed to allow UAE National undergraduates to have the experience of working at the DFSA."

      • 19 August 2014 — DFSA Welcomes Changes Resulting from New Amendment Law

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        Dubai, UAE, 19 August 2014: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, has enacted the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DIFC Laws Amendment Law 2014. The Law, which amends the Regulatory Law 2004 and various other DIFC laws, will come into force on Thursday, 21 August 2014 and will make a number of significant changes to the DFSA's regulatory regime.

        The amendments simplify and improve the structure and process for DFSA regulatory decisions and for appeals against those decisions. Under the changes, the DFSA will make all first instance decisions and must follow specified procedures designed to ensure its decisions are fair and reasonable. The process for appealing against DFSA decisions will be simplified with the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT) continuing as an independent tribunal but with a revised role of reviewing DFSA decisions. The Regulatory Appeals Committee (RAC) which used to hear appeals from DFSA decisions will be abolished (as its role will now be undertaken by the FMT.

        The changes also strengthen the DFSA's supervisory and enforcement powers in line with international practice. A new provision has been introduced which prohibits misleading, deceptive, fraudulent or dishonest conduct related to financial products or services in the DIFC. New powers are also given to the DFSA to suspend a licence or registration for up to twelve months and to prohibit Firms from using misleading names. The DFSA already has the right to withdraw licences.

        The current framework for the supervisory oversight of Auditors in the DIFC is also improved by, for example, introducing the registration of Audit Principals, strengthening Rules on Auditor independence and making other changes to ensure consistency with international auditing standards.

        Also, the Collective Investment Law 2010 is amended to allow the creation of a new category of fund, called a “Qualified Investor Fund” (QIF). This type of fund would be available to professional investors willing to make an investment of at least USD 500,000. Each QIF would be limited to 50 investors. As an addition to the existing categories of DIFC funds, the new QIF rules provide for lower regulation of funds specifically designed for higher net worth investors.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the DFSA said: “These amendments are an important step in simplifying and improving the structure and procedures for decision making and review of DFSA decisions. They will also strengthen DFSA supervisory and enforcement powers, improve the supervisory oversight of auditors and provide new opportunities for fund managers and investors. They are considered desirable and appropriate for the maturity of the DIFC, given that it has now experienced a decade of operations. They also ensure that the regulatory regime continues to evolve to reflect best international practice.”

        The Amendments to DIFC laws, together with associated amendments to DFSA Rules, will come into force on Thursday, 21 August 2014 and are available on the DFSA website under: Notice of Forthcoming Amendments to Legislation 2014.

      • 16 June 2014 — DFSA Signs Agreement with UK Financial Regulator

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        Dubai, UAE, 16 June 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) last week entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

        At a meeting in London, Mr Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the PRA and a Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, and Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective authorities.

        The PRA was established in April 2013 and is a part of the Bank of England. It is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The strong links between UK financial firms and the Dubai International Financial Centre make the PRA the DFSA's most important regulatory relationship outside the UAE. The PRA is the home regulator of a number of significant firms authorised by the DFSA to conduct business in and from the DIFC.

        “I have already, in April 2013, signed a similar, complementary MoU with my counterpart at the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates the conduct of financial firms. These formalised arrangements for cooperation and information sharing recognise the reliance placed by us on the quality of regulatory standards administered in our respective jurisdictions,” said Mr Johnston.

      • 27 May 2014 — DFSA Signs Agreement With Egyptian Regulator

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        Dubai, UAE, 27 May 2014: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has finalised an important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA).

        The MoU was signed in Dubai by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA and by Mr Sherif Samir Samy, Chairman of EFSA, in Cairo.

        The EFSA was established in 2009 and is responsible for supervising and regulating non-banking financial markets and instruments including the Capital Market, the Exchange, Insurance Services, Mortgage Finance, Financial Leasing, Factoring and Securitisation. The EFSA performs its duties to ensure markets' stability and the protection of its participants.

        The agreement is designed to enhance information sharing and co-operation between the two authorities in important aspects of their particular supervisory roles.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA and the Egyptian regulator have enjoyed a good and co-operative relationship since the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was established. The DFSA and the Capital Market Authority of Egypt signed our first MoU as early as September 2006. It was the DFSA's first MoU with another securities regulator in the Middle East, outside the UAE. We are delighted that this supplementary arrangement, reflecting the broader jurisdiction and additional responsibilities of the CMA's successor, the EFSA, reconfirms this link. It is particularly pleasing that the DFSA, as one of the youngest authorities in the region, has such ties with the regulator of the oldest capital markets in the Middle East."

        Mr Sherif Samy, Chairman of the EFSA said: "We were keen to sign this agreement due to the DFSA's growing role and activity witnessed from companies across both jurisdictions." He added, "I look forward to closer co-operation between the two regulators."

      • 17 March 2014 — DFSA Launches Bawabaty — a Financial Services Awareness Initiative for the Local Community

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 17 March 2014: The DFSA announced the creation of a new initiative today. Bawabaty meaning 'My Gateway' is a DFSA idea to reach out to the local community, and in the first instance, will target the UAE youth sector through a series of seminars and events. Bawabaty aims to address topics such as business ethics and financial literacy. Facilitating learning and understanding of the financial services industry as a whole will better provide young UAE Nationals with the skills and knowledge that employers typically look for.

        The principal objectives of Bawabaty are to 1) to meet the growing needs of UAE National university graduates wishing to pursue a career in financial services; 2) to support lifelong learning opportunities for our local community; and 3) to provide community education in financial services, in the UAE.

        Bawabaty's inaugural event held at the DIFC Centre of Excellence today focused on 'Integrity at Work' and saw the DFSA partnering with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). The workshop included individual voting machines, realtime results and lively debates, providing participants with the unique opportunity to vote on a range of ethical challenges, drawn from real-life situations from the workplace.

        CISI, the largest respected professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK, evolved from the London Stock Exchange. CISI has more than 40,000 members in 110 countries. The DFSA chose to partner with the CISI for the inaugural event as it reflected the standards and professional aspirations that the DFSA has for professional conduct in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Director, Corporate Affairs of the DFSA said: “It is the DFSA's wish to align with the vision of the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in that we realise that strengthening the knowledge economy will strengthen competitiveness in business. Our wish is to provide a platform for our local community to come together to learn more about the financial services industry, particularly in areas that we are faced with every day such as personal finances and work ethics. Bawabaty will partner with professional organisations to ensure that our local community are given the skills and tools needed to play an active part in the workforce”.

        He added: “Our plans for 2014 include a summer training programme; a financial services training programme and the continuation of our Universities Outreach. We hope to raise awareness of differing aspects of financial services and increase employability skills amongst UAE Nationals”.

        Highlights of the inaugural workshop included lively, well-informed and instructive discussions, allowing for fruitful exchanges of ideas, experiences and opinions between the participants on wide ranging ethical issues faced in the business environment in the UAE.

      • 09 February 2014 — DFSA Obtains Court Orders Against Deutsche Bank AG

        Click herehere to view PDF.

        Dubai, UAE, 9 February 2014: The DIFC Courts have declared that Deutsche Bank AG (Dubai International Financial Centre branch), was in material non-compliance with requirements to produce information and documents to the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

        The DFSA filed proceedings in the DIFC Courts on 31 October 2013 seeking orders that Deutsche Bank AG deliver information and documents, relating to a DFSA investigation into the conduct of Deutsche Bank AG.

        The DFSA brought the Court proceedings for the purpose of enforcing compliance with two investigative Notices served on Deutsche Bank AG requiring information and documents to be delivered to the DFSA.

        An investigative Notice is a tool used by many regulators to assist them to obtain information and documents that relate to their investigations.

        Deutsche Bank AG consented to the Court Orders and agreed to produce specified information and documents to the DFSA within 28 days and ensure that any consolidated response is verified by a statement of truth.

        Deutsche Bank AG also agreed to pay the DFSA's costs in respect of the proceedings.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The DFSA's powers to request information and documents are important regulatory tools that assist the DFSA in conducting supervisory and enforcement activities. Where a person, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a DFSA Notice requiring it to deliver information and documents, the DFSA will enforce compliance with such a Notice by seeking orders in the DIFC Courts.”

        The DFSA will make no further comment in respect of the matter as the investigation is ongoing.

      • 21 January 2014 — Dubai Regulator Strengthens Links With Hong Kong and Asia

        Hong Kong, 21 January 2014: In order to further strengthen relations in financial services between Dubai, Hong Kong and Asia, the Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Mr Saeb Eigner, delivered an address in Hong Kong on the opening morning of the seventh Asian Financial Forum. The forum was attended by 2,400 delegates from Asia, Europe and America, where finance ministers, central bankers, heads of governments and business leaders gathered to discuss economic developments and business trends in China and the rest of Asia.

        Mr Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA said: "The focus of this year's forum was the challenges and opportunities powering world growth. We all know that the UAE is highly competitive as a trading and financial hub. Financial institutions in Dubai and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are playing a central role in driving trade, investment and infrastructure finance. The future will belong to vibrant cities like Hong Kong and Dubai which continue to pioneer, innovate and implement strategies quickly and efficiently with visionary leadership and efficient governments."

        Mr Eigner added: "Dubai has been successful in attracting major global organisations by being a regional business hub. The emirate's growth plays testament to the founding father of Dubai and now through the skill and exemplary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai."

        Dubai enjoys excellent trade and finance relationships with Hong Kong and the rest of Asia. These will continue to grow in 2014, including in the Islamic finance arena. Since His Highness the Ruler of Dubai announced the initiative for Dubai to be the global hub for the Islamic economy, plans are moving ahead, with the necessary legislation already in place. In 2013, the DFSA witnessed many successful issues of sukuk on NASDAQ Dubai, where USD $6 billion worth of sukuk were listed, up from USD $1 billion in 2012.

        Mr Eigner added: "The highly international nature of the DIFC causes us at the DFSA to place great emphasis on international collaboration with other regulators in supervisory colleges of the world's largest financial institutions, as well through active participation in the work of the global financial sector standard-setters; the Basel Committee, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the Islamic Finance Services Board. We currently have nearly 100 bi-lateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with other regulators worldwide".

        Due to the highly international nature of Dubai and the DIFC, the DFSA has placed great emphasis in its work on international co-operation and collaboration. This has included building regulatory relationships with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and with the Reserve Bank of India. Asia is now a key driver of the Centre's growth.

    • 2013

      • 30 December 2013 — DFSA Signs Agreements With Italian Regulators

        Rome, Italy, 30 December 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into two important agreements, last week, with the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (Italian Securities and Exchange Commission) or CONSOB and Bank d'Italia (Bank of Italy), in Rome.

        CONSOB is the public authority responsible for regulating the Italian securities market and protecting the investing public. It also conducts investigations with respect to potential infringements of insider dealing and market manipulation law.

        The Bank of Italy is the central bank of the Republic of Italy and is responsible, among other issues, for the stability and efficiency of the financial system, regulating, coordinating, and controlling the provision of credit.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA is very pleased to have settled these protocols with each of Italy's financial supervisors. In doing so, our Italian counterparts have expressed their confidence in the DFSA's equivalence with international standards and our willingness and ability to share information and assist. This is especially important as two of Italy's largest financial institutions have branches in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). These just completed arrangements will give confidence to investors that both home and host supervisors are working closely together in Dubai and in Rome to ensure sound supervision of these institutions."

        - Ends -

        For further information please contact:

        Ms Angharad Irving-Jones
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial freezone in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

        The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange.

        In addition to regulating financial and ancillary services, the DFSA is responsible for supervising and enforcing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) requirements applicable in the DIFC. The DFSA has also accepted a delegation of powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC) to investigate the affairs of DIFC companies and partnerships.

        Ian Johnston was appointed as Chief Executive of the DFSA in June 2012. Ian joined the DFSA in November 2006, as a Managing Director, to head-up the Policy and Legal Services Division.

        Ian was admitted to practice Law in Australia in the early 1980's and spent most of his career in the private sector. He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was CEO of one of Australia's major Trustee Companies. During that time, Ian played a leading role in the Trustee industry and served on the National Council of the Trustee Corporations Association.

        In 1999, Ian joined the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he held the position of Executive Director, Financial Services regulation, and spent several terms as an acting Commissioner. In 2005, Ian took up a position with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a Special Advisor.

        Ian is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprises representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). He is a member of the Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).

        Giuseppe Vegas was appointed Chairman of Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) in January, 2011 and has served as a councillor for the Italian Senate, and has also been a journalist, a publicist, and has served as a visiting professor.

        He was nominated Undersecretary of the State for the first time under the Dini Government (1995), first for Finances and then for the Treasury, and then later under the Berlusconi Government. He was nominated Undersecretary of the State for Economy and Finance in 2001 and 2008.

        He served as the Vice-Minister for the Economy and Finance from 2005 – 2006 and from 2009–2010. From 1996 to 2010 he served in the Parliament, first as a Senator, and then from 2008, as a Member of Parliament. He has always been involved with public finance, in particular in terms of financial manoeuvring and the national budget, including the recent legal reform of public accounting, which he played an active role in developing.

        Mr Vegas is the author of a number of publications on legal and economic matters, both scientific and didactic, which include: "Spesa pubblica e confessioni religiose"(1990); "Il bilancio dello Stato" (with D. Da Empoli and P. De Ioanna, 1988, 1995, 2000 and 2005); "Cittadino, economia e Stato" (with A. Pescosolido, 2000, 2001 and 2003); "Il nuovo bilancio pubblico" (2010).

      • 21 November 2013 — DFSA Clarifies DIFC Courts Action

        Dubai, UAE, 21 November 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, this week, that it had commenced proceedings in the DIFC Courts in respect of a DIFC Authorised Firm.

        The announcement stated that the DFSA had brought the proceedings for the purpose of enforcing compliance with two investigative Notices.

        The DFSA's Particulars of Claim filed in the DIFC Courts makes reference to Mr Munir Kaloti, who was a customer of the Firm.

        The DFSA confirms that neither Mr Munir Kaloti nor the Kaloti Group of companies are or were the subjects of the DFSA's investigation.

      • 18 November 2013 — DFSA Fines Unregistered Auditor

        Dubai, UAE, 18 November 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that it had fined a Dubai-based auditor, Middle East Auditing Office, AED 55,000 (USD $15,000) for conducting audits of the financial statements of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) company without being registered as an auditor.

        Auditors who audit DIFC-based companies are required to be registered by the DIFC Registrar of Companies (RoC). An auditor not registered by the RoC is prohibited from auditing companies based in the DIFC.

        An investigation found that Middle East Auditing Office, a licensed accounting firm in Dubai, consented to conduct an audit of three sets of financial statements of a DIFC-based company, but was not registered to do so.

        The AED 55,000 fine was imposed on Middle East Auditing Office by the DFSA, acting under a delegation from the RoC to conduct investigations on its behalf. The fine is the first such fine imposed by the DFSA acting under such a delegation.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Auditors play an integral role in complying with governance, compliance and financial standards. They are the first line of defence against impropriety and systems and controls failures. The Registrar of Companies and the DFSA registers auditors so that they comply with our high audit standards. In so doing clients of DIFC companies are better protected."

      • 17 November 2013 — DFSA Commences DIFC Courts Action

        Dubai, UAE, 17 November 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has commenced proceedings in the DIFC Courts to enforce compliance by Deutsche Bank AG, Dubai (DIFC) Branch (DBDIFC), with a Notice requiring information.

        The DFSA has brought the proceedings for the purpose of enforcing compliance with two investigative Notices served on DBDIFC, under Article 80 of the Regulatory Law 2004, requiring the production of information and documents.

        The DFSA will make no further comment until the proceedings are resolved.

      • 7 October 2013 — DIFC Financial Adviser Banned by the DFSA

        Dubai, UAE, 7 October 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that it had restricted a former financial adviser of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firm, Mr Jaime Corona (Mr Corona), for unethical conduct when he was advising clients about the value of their investment portfolios.

        The restriction imposed by the DFSA prevents Mr Corona from performing any functions in connection with the provision of Financial Services in the DIFC for a period of six years.

        The DFSA took this action because Mr Corona engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, in relation to investments, by providing two Dubai-based clients falsified portfolio account statements which indicated that the value of their portfolios were significantly greater than their actual value. The conduct of Mr Corona came to the attention of the DFSA after he left the UAE. By engaging in this conduct the DFSA found that Mr Corona is not a person who is fit and proper to provide financial services in the DIFC.

        During the course of the DFSA's investigation and decision making, Mr Corona failed to respond to any DFSA communications. Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "People who act unethically cannot avoid the DFSA's scrutiny by leaving the jurisdiction or failing to communicate with the regulator. The DFSA may impose sanctions on those who contravene its laws regardless of their location. Furthermore, the DFSA is taking an increasing interest in the conduct of financial advisers to improve the quality of advice provided to consumers."

        Mr Johnston added, "financial advisers are required to make accurate disclosures to consumers and if a consumer is concerned about the validity of advice provided then they should inform their financial services regulator of their concerns."

        A copy of the Notice of Restriction can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      • 2 October 2013 — DFSA Signs MoU with Lebanese Counterpart

        Dubai, UAE, 2 October 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) earlier this week entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Banque du Liban (BDL), the Central Bank of Lebanon.

        The MoU was signed at the DFSA by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Usama R Mikdashi, Chairman of the Banking Control Commission of Lebanon (BCCL), on behalf of the Governor of the BDL.

        The BCCL was established in 1967 to supervise banks, financial institutions, money dealers, brokerage firms and leasing companies in Lebanon. The BCCL exercises its supervisory functions independently but in close co-operation with the Governor of the BDL. The BCCL performs its duties through periodic on-site and off-site examinations and evaluates financial soundness of regulated entities.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Since its inception, the DFSA has been keen to engage with our counterparts in this region. This MoU confirms a growing relationship between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Central Bank of Lebanon and reflects the importance of links between neighbouring regulators."

        Mr Johnson added: "This agreement will enhance information sharing and co-operation between us and assume increasing importance as both regulators rely on the quality of regulatory standards administered in the other's jurisdiction."

      • 30 September 2013 — DFSA Disciplines Former Senior Executive of DIFC Firm

        Dubai, UAE, 30 September 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that Mr Tareck Fouad Farah (Mr Farah), will pay a financial penalty of AED 27,525 (USD $7,500) for issuing a letter containing false information.

        Mr Farah was a former Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firm. In April 2009, Mr Farah issued a bank reference letter on behalf of a client containing false information that was addressed to another financial institution. The bank reference letter stated that the client held a portfolio of securities valued at approximately AED 18,350,000 (USD $5,000,000). The actual value of the client's portfolio was only approximately AED 697,000 (USD $190,000).

        By engaging in this conduct, the DFSA was concerned that Mr Farah had breached DFSA Principles requiring SEOs to perform their functions with integrity, skill, care and diligence.

        Mr Farah acknowledged the DFSA's concerns and made a settlement offer in the form of an Enforceable Undertaking (EU), in which he agreed to pay the financial penalty. Mr Farah co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation and no person suffered any financial loss as a result of the conduct. The Authorised Firm brought the matter to the DFSA's attention in December 2012.

        Mr Stephen Glynn, Head of Enforcement at the DFSA said: "The DFSA expects Senior Executive Officers to perform their functions to the high standards required of them and as set out in the DFSA's Laws and Rules. SEOs of Authorised Firms occupy positions of trust and their stakeholders are entitled to rely upon the integrity of their statements, whether they be written or oral. In this instance the written statement was prepared for use by another financial institution and the DFSA was concerned the letter may have been relied upon to extend credit or for some other purpose."

        Mr Glynn added: "SEOs should expect the DFSA to take action when they fail to meet standards required of them under the Laws and Rules administered by the DFSA."

        A copy of the EU can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      • 23 September 2013 — DIFC Private Banker Sanctioned by the DFSA

        Dubai, UAE, 23 September 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today, that Mr Nikhil Das (Mr Das), a former private banker, will pay a financial penalty of AED 73,400 (USD $20,000) and be restricted, for a period of six years, from performing any functions in, or in connection with, the provision of a financial service in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The announcement follows the conclusion of a DFSA investigation into the conduct of Mr Das when he was a former employee of a DFSA Authorised Firm.

        Between July 2012 and January 2013 Mr Das executed two transactions, valued at AED 12,478,000 (USD $3.4 million) and AED 18,350,000 (USD $5 million) respectively, on behalf of a client without his consent.

        Furthermore, Mr Das forged the client's signature on a number of documents and sent fraudulent letters and account statements, containing false and misleading information about his investments. The client did not suffer any financial loss as a consequence of Mr Das' fraudulent conduct and unauthorised investments.

        Mr Das co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation and acknowledged forging the client's signature, executing unauthorised investments and providing the client with falsified documents.

        Mr Das agreed to settle the DFSA's concerns by making a settlement offer, in the form of an Enforceable Undertaking (EU), to comply with the sanctions.

        The EU requires Mr Das to comply with all of its conditions. Should Mr Das fail to comply with any condition of the EU then the DFSA may seek to enforce that condition in the DIFC Courts.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "Consumers who rely on the advice and services of private bankers are entitled to expect high standards of conduct from them. The DFSA expects private bankers who provide services in or from the DIFC to act ethically and with integrity. Bankers who do not meet these minimum standards will have to answer to the DFSA."

        Mr Johnston reinforced his message that, "the DFSA will continue to uphold high standards of probity and will not permit any individual, who does not meet its standards, to provide financial services in the DIFC."

        A copy of the EU can be found in the Public Register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      • 11 September 2013 — DFSA Sanctions United Investment Bank Limited

        Dubai, UAE, 11 September 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that it had accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from United Investment Bank Limited (UIB), a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firm.

        UIB agreed:

        •    to pay a financial penalty of AED 183,500 (USD $50,000) to the DFSA; and
        •    to not Provide Custody to any persons until it had implemented measures including remedying its systems and controls to the satisfaction of the DFSA.

        The EU resulted from a DFSA investigation into the manner in which UIB was Providing Custody. During 2012, UIB was contracted to provide custodian services for six funds.

        The investigation revealed that:

        •    UIB did not maintain adequate systems and controls to comply with DFSA's safe custody requirements;
        •    corporate governance deficiencies prevented UIB's management from acting in the best interest of the Firm; and
        •    for one of its funds, UIB had failed to provide any custodian services even though it was contracted to do so and was identified as the fund's custodian in the fund's Offering Memorandum. Further, UIB knew this and failed to notify the DFSA until nine months later.

        UIB co-operated with the DFSA's investigation.

        A copy of the EU can be found in the public register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      • 25 August 2013 — DFSA signs 26 Agreements with EU Regulators

        Dubai, UAE, 25 August 2013: Continuous collaboration with international regulators has been at the forefront of the Dubai Financial Services Authority's (DFSA's) engagement objective this year, and as such, the DFSA has entered into 26 supervisory co-operation agreements with European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) securities regulators. Under these agreements, each regulator agrees to help each other supervise fund managers operating across borders, between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Europe.

        The DFSA negotiated the agreements with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The DFSA's Chief Executive Mr Ian Johnston signed the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with 26 EU regulators last month. The EU signatories to these agreements are: France, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Malta, Lithuania, Greece, Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic and Romania.

        The agreements under the MoUs allow fund managers in the DIFC to manage and market Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) to professional investors in the EEA under the rules of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). AIFs include hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds. Managing and marketing such funds into Europe will allow DIFC-based fund managers to access a greater pool of investors. It is hoped that with a strong distribution network and a sustainable distribution model, the MoUs will prove beneficial for the industry in the DIFC.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The DFSA's efforts to improve cross-border opportunities will further facilitate investment flows and will benefit investors and the funds industry. In addition, it reflects the DFSA's commitment to enhance the economy of the UAE and Dubai, furthering Dubai's position as a prominent financial centre.”

        The DFSA already has in place bi-lateral agreements with 13 of its European counterparts and enjoys strong and close relationships with them ensuring that fund managers are well supervised in the DIFC and in Europe.

      • 5 August 2013 — European Commission Recognises DFSA's Audit Oversight System

        Click herehere to view PDF

        Dubai, UAE, 5 August 2013: The European Commission (Commission) announced its decision, recently, to grant the Dubai Financial Services Authority's (DFSA's) audit monitoring system 'equivalent status' with European Union (EU) member states.

        Following an assessment of the supervisory regime for auditors in the Dubai International Financial centre (DIFC), the Commission considered the DFSA's audit oversight system equivalent with that of EU member states. On the basis of this decision, individual EU audit regulators may enter co-operative agreements with the DFSA with the view to relying on each other's work on the supervision of auditors and audit firms.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "This is further confirmation of the recognition of the DFSA as a regulator of international standing and of the DIFC as a reputable financial centre. Confidence in capital markets is absolutely fundamental to long-term growth. Instilling and maintaining that confidence is, in no small part, the obligation of auditors. The DFSA has already established a Memorandum of Understanding with the audit oversight regulator in the United States, and we look forward to similar fruitful collaboration with our counterparts in Europe."

        The DFSA will now commence discussions with those individual EU regulators where DIFC debt and equity instruments are listed on their respective exchanges.

      • 5 May 2013 — DFSA Releases Key Findings of Audit Inspections

        Dubai, UAE, 5 May 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) released, today, an Audit Monitoring Report (Report) detailing key findings of audit inspections conducted by the DFSA from January 2008 to December 2012. This is the first public report issued by the DFSA on its monitoring programme of Auditors registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and able to conduct audits of financial firms and exchanges.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The DFSA's audit monitoring programme aims to promote high-quality audits of the financial statements of financial institutions, domestic funds, DIFC exchanges and their publicly listed entities. Our regulation and supervision is risk-based and involves both desk-based surveillance and intensive on-site verification to assess whether Auditors meet our requirements and applicable international standards.”

        During the period, covered by the Report the DFSA conducted thirty three (33) on-site assessments, assessed fifty six (56) Audit Principals and reviewed one hundred and six (106) audit engagement files.

        Mr Johnson added: “Overall, we observed improvements in the conduct of audit work over the five (5) year period. Our on-site audit inspections commenced in 2008 with all registered and appointed Auditors being seen at least twice during that five year period. However, the Report identifies a number of areas where Auditors need to focus their attention and make further improvements to ensure audit quality.”

        Issuing the DFSA's Report is consistent with principles of transparency and accountability of regulation, observed by Audit regulators internationally.

      • 24 April 2013 — DFSA Hosts Event on Attracting UAE Nationals into the Financial Sector

        Dubai, UAE, 24 April 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), today, held a breakfast briefing to discuss ways in which to attract and retain UAE Nationals into the finance industry. The event was held at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The speakers comprised industry experts who shared experiences and advice on ways to attract, retain, develop and provide industry specific qualifications to UAE Nationals wishing to pursue a career in financial services. Speakers included: Mr Khaled Al Zaabi, Manager, Supervision - DFSA; Ms Jeanette Vinke, Senior Lecturer Finance and Accounting - American University of Sharjah; Mr Anis Sadek, Managing Partner Deloitte & Touche (ME), Dubai office; Mr Ahmed Al Maqtari, Managing Partner - Al Maqtari Auditing; Mr Peter Beynon, Regional Director - ICAEW Middle East and Mr Mohammed Zamani, Associate - KPMG. The sessions were moderated by Mr Richard Dean from Dubai Eye.

        The briefing was well attended by delegates from the accountancy and finance industry from across the region.

        Mr Michael Ridgeway, General Counsel, DFSA, and Dean of the Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Programme said: "The TRL Programme is our UAE National recruitment, training and development programme, which is now in its seventh year. The goal of this programme is to equip and shape the next generation of financial services regulators. Today's event brought together several unique perspectives and creative ideas regarding ways to improve the development and retention of UAE National employees in all organisations, including our own."

        Speaking at the event, Mr Anis Sadek said: "Today's event was very successful in that it shed light on many important issues related to Emiratisation goals in the financial sector. Deloitte Middle East is fully committed to invest in building local market capabilities, as well in attracting, retaining and developing UAE National talent to lead our various service lines and industries."

        Mr Peter Beynon, Regional Director - ICAEW Middle East, said: "Although great progress is being made with Emiratisation, there are challenges. The financial sector is one of the areas where bright, hardworking UAE Nationals can find rewarding careers. The ICAEW was encouraged by the issues raised today in that delegates openly expressed views, offered advice and shared experiences."

      • 23 April 2013 — DFSA Announces Appointment of Board Member

        Dubai, UAE, 23 April 2013: The Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is pleased to announce that His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has appointed Mr Charles Flint QC to the DFSA Board of Directors. This follows the retirement of Mr Michael Blair QC from the DFSA Board. Mr Charles Flint QC succeeds him as a Member of the Board and Chairman of the Legislative Committee, with effect from 10 April 2013.

        Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA stated: "In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the DIFC to have an internationally recognised regulator of the very highest calibre, I am pleased to welcome Mr Charles Flint QC to the DFSA Board. He is a leading figure in financial services and will solidify the DFSA's reputation as a strong and internationally respected regulator."

        "We are grateful for Mr Blair's most valuable contribution over the last ten years. He was instrumental in contributing to the creation of the excellent regulatory and legal regime that exists in the DIFC today."

      • 1 April 2013 — DFSA Consumer Alerts Having an Impact

        Dubai, UAE, 1 April 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) was recently informed of a fraudulent alert that attempts to undermine the credibility of the DFSA's Consumer Alert system.

        The DFSA issues Consumer Alerts whenever it becomes aware of a scam that misuses the identity of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the DFSA or any of their staff. The Consumer Alerts warn the public of the scam and advise consumers not to deal with any of the persons or companies associated with the scam. The DFSA applies best global standards to reduce the phenomenon of any fraud affecting the Center or its clients.

        Consumer Alerts have saved a number of people from being scammed. The DFSA's Consumer Alerts are easily accessible through a simple internet search and consumers can easily protect themselves by simply conducting an internet search and informing themselves of the most recent scams. The DFSA also publishes any documents that are used to defraud consumers on its web site. The DFSA has had a lot of success in diminishing the effectiveness of scams by posting the alerts and documents on its web site.

        Recently the DFSA became aware of unusual and fraudulent information being posted on the internet about the DFSA's own Consumer Alert system. It appears the fraudulent information attempts to imitate the DFSA's Consumer Alerts with the intention of undermining the credibility of the DFSA Consumer Alert's system.

        The DFSA's Head of Enforcement, Stephen Glynn said that: "I was surprised to see a fraudulent alert that mimics the DFSA's Consumer Alerts. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity of scammers to invent fraudulent practices that protect their own interests".

        "It is not precisely clear why the fraudulent alert has been issued. One theory is that it is an attempt by scammers to undermine the credibility of the DFSA's Consumer Alert system, thus improving the prospects of their own illegal activities. Alternatively, it could be part of a broader scam for which we don't yet have full particulars."

        Mr Glynn said: "Consumers need to be vigilant and careful when investing in products or services they do not understand, that offer returns well above the market rate or are too good to be true."

        "Many scams are now reported on the internet or blog sites. Consumers can protect themselves by simply conducting an internet search. If in doubt, consumers should always first call their financial services regulator before parting with their hard earned cash."

        The DFSA has issued a Consumer Alert in relation to the fraudulent alert which can be viewed here.

      • 25 February 2013 — Market Regulators Meet in the DIFC

        Click herehere to view PDF

        Dubai, UAE, 25 February 2013: In Dubai, last week, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted a meeting of the region's securities regulators, the Africa and Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC) of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

        AMERC is one of the four regional committees of IOSCO, representing 21 securities regulators across the region. Thirty representatives from twelve of these members attended the 30th Meeting of AMERC, its first in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In addition to participants from the DFSA and the federal regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia were also represented. The new Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait also attended as an Observer.

        In his welcome address, DFSA Chief Executive, Ian Johnston, observed, “IOSCO continues to shape the regulatory landscape, leading us to more equable, transparent markets in which investors can have confidence.” Mr Johnston commended IOSCO on leading the way for all standard-setters in establishing its multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU), which has strengthened co-operation and sharing of information among securities regulators. AMERC has further enhanced this process by introducing a regional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), recognising the need to exchange general and more specific information about matters of regulatory concern, including financial and other supervisory information, technical expertise, surveillance and investor education and the sharing of information related to systemic risks.

        In her opening remarks on the second day of the meeting, the Chair of AMERC, Ms Arunma Oteh, thanked the DFSA for hosting the meeting and joined Mr Johnston in stressing the important role of risk-based supervision, which reflected the theme of the conference, “Risk-based Supervision as a Global Agenda”.

        Members also heard from IOSCO's Secretary General, Mr David Wright, who spoke of the effects of the global financial crisis and prompted a discussion among all members on emerging risks, barriers to development and key regulatory priorities for emerging securities markets. It was agreed that the identification of risks would be a standing agenda item at future AMERC meetings.

      • 10 February 2013 — DFSA Signs Agreement With European Securities and Markets Authority

        Dubai, UAE, 10 February 2013: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), last week, entered into an important agreement with Europe's Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The signing took place during a meeting between Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Dr Steven Maijoor, Chairman of ESMA. ESMA's Executive Director, Ms Verena Ross, was also present.

        ESMA is an independent European Union (EU) Authority, established on 1 January 2011 to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the EU. One of its responsibilities is the supervision of Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs).

        In 2011, the DFSA extended its regulatory reach to require CRAs in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to be licensed and supervised by the DFSA. Three of these CRAs are also supervised by ESMA, which prompted this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “I am particularly pleased to have signed this MoU with ESMA, which recognises the importance of on-going supervisory and enforcement-related co-operation in light of the cross-border activities of credit rating agencies and the global nature of ratings generally.”

        “Since 2005, the DFSA has placed a high priority on building its information network, and reflecting the home jurisdiction of financial firms in the Centre, our links with Europe have been significant. The DFSA already has MoUs with many of our counterparts in Europe including France, Germany and the UK. Through these arrangements we demonstrate our commitment to the operation of internationally accepted practices within the DIFC,” Mr Johnston added.

    • 2012

      • 5 December 2012 — UAE Nationals Graduate From DFSA's Leadership Programme

        Dubai, UAE, 5 December 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) congratulated, earlier today, the latest group of UAE Nationals who have graduated from the DFSA's Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Programme and become financial services regulators. The five Nationals, who joined the programme in 2010, have been promoted to Managers in the Supervision Division. Each Manager will now receive a portfolio of financial services firms and act as the lead supervisor, ensuring that their firms will comply with the rules and laws of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        To obtain this promotion and responsibility, the group has undertaken two years of specific regulatory training and on-job coaching under the guidance of their local and international colleagues. The graduates have also completed relevant professional qualifications to assist them in their career development.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "It is our belief that the young talent we have on TRL Programme today will become our future leaders in financial services. We believe that is a worthy goal, and we will continue to commit time and resources to the development of financial services regulatory skills in each and every UAE National at the DFSA."

        The Award ceremony today was attended by the DFSA Chairman, Mr Saeb Eigner; members of the DFSA Board of Directors and employees.

      • 26 September 2012 — DFSA Promotes Continuous Professional Development

        Dubai, UAE, 26 September 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) celebrated, today, the achievement of sixteen (16) of its employees who recently achieved the Advanced Diploma in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) from the International Compliance Association (UK).

        Over the last year, the group of financial services regulators responsible for the supervision of financial services entities in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), attended workshops and completed assignments and examinations to achieve this internationally recognised qualification.

        Awarded by the International Compliance Association in conjunction with the University of Manchester, this diploma gives individuals up-to-date knowledge of the practice of anti-money laundering activities and the prevention of money laundering.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA offered his congratulations to the sixteen regulators saying: "The DFSA encourages and supports staff members to obtain recognised certificates as AML specialists. This achievement underscores our commitment to quality and continuous learning through building the capability of our people."

      • 19 September 2012 — DFSA Sanctions Credit Europe Bank (Dubai) Limited and its Former Head of Treasury

        Dubai, UAE, 19 September 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced today that it has accepted Enforceable Undertakings (EU) from Credit Europe Bank (Dubai) Limited (CEBD) and its former Head of Treasury. The EUs result from a DFSA investigation into trading conducted by the former Head of Treasury, on behalf of CEBD. CEBD is a firm authorised to conduct financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        In May 2011, CEBD's former Head of Treasury, Mr Ozkan Demirkaya (Mr Demirkaya), executed a loss-making foreign exchange transaction on behalf of CEBD. To hide the unrealised loss resulting from that transaction, Mr Demirkaya created a fake forward transaction and caused it to be entered into the accounts of CEBD. The effect of the fake forward transaction was that it concealed the full extent of the unrealised loss arising from the earlier transaction in the accounts of CEBD.

        In October 2011, after determining that his earlier position was unlikely to recover, Mr Demirkaya disclosed his misconduct and the loss to CEBD. The matter was later reported to the DFSA by CEBD.

        The DFSA's investigation found that the fake forward transaction was not prevented or detected by CEBD because CEBD did not have appropriate systems and controls in place to effectively manage its trading functions and activities.

        The DFSA further found that CEBD failed to notify the DFSA of Mr Demirkaya's misconduct within an appropriate time.

        As a consequence of the DFSA's findings, CEBD has undertaken not to conduct proprietary trading activities until all of the internal control weaknesses identified by the DFSA have been addressed to the DFSA's satisfaction, and to pay a financial penalty of AED 183,500 (USD $50,000).

        In accepting the EU, the DFSA acknowledges that CEBD co-operated fully with the DFSA's investigation and has taken steps to improve its systems and controls.

        Mr Demirkaya has undertaken to the DFSA not to perform any functions in or in connection with the provision of Financial Services or Ancillary Services in the DIFC for a period of three (3) years. He has also undertaken to pay a financial penalty of AED 73,400 (USD $20,000); of which AED 55,000 (USD $15,000) has been suspended indefinitely subject to Mr Demirkaya's compliance with the EU. The suspended penalty reflects Mr Demirkaya's acknowledgement of the DFSA's concerns and his full cooperation with the DFSA's investigation.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The action taken by the DFSA today highlights the importance of Firms having robust systems and controls in place to mitigate the risks associated with their activities. Importantly, when Firms detect conduct that contravenes DFSA administered laws and rules then there is an obligation on them to promptly disclose that activity to the DFSA. A failure to notify the DFSA is likely to result in regulatory action."

        Copies of the EUs can be found in the public register of the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      • 17 September 2012 — Arqaam and Ernst & Young Sanctioned Over Accounting and Audit Standards

        Dubai, UAE, 17 September 2012: The Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT), an independent tribunal of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), today made orders in respect of Arqaam Capital Limited (Arqaam) and its auditor, Ernst & Young (E&Y). The orders were made with the consent of both Arqaam and E&Y.

        In essence:

        (i) Arqaam failed to comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) when it accounted for transactions involving artworks in its financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2009 (the 2009 Accounts);
        (ii) E&Y failed to comply with International Standards of Auditing (ISA) when carrying out the audit of the 2009 Accounts;
        (iii) Arqaam will restate the 2009 Accounts and its 2010 financial statements, and adjust its 2010 and 2011 financial statements for any flow on implications, within 28 days;
        (iv) Arqaam and E&Y will each pay a fine of AED 183,500 (USD $50,000) to the DFSA within 28 days; and
        (v) Arqaam and E&Y will pay the DFSA's costs of the investigation and the FMT proceedings within 28 days.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Ian Johnston said: "Where Authorised Firms and Auditors are in breach of DFSA legislation, in this case by not meeting accounting or audit standards, the DFSA will hold such firms to account.

        It is important that the financial statements of financial services firms are clear and do not have the potential to mislead.

        The action taken by the DFSA and the FMT's orders confirm the DFSA's commitment to maintaining international standards within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The DFSA will, therefore, take all necessary measures to protect the integrity of the financial markets it regulates".

        Background

        1. E&Y was registered by the DFSA as an auditor in the DIFC on 3 January 2006, and has been Arqaam's auditor since March 2007.
        2. Arqaam was registered as a company in the DIFC on 29 March 2007, and licensed to carry on financial services by the DFSA as a Category 2 Firm on 23 May 2007.
        3. Arqaam is required to lodge audited financial statements with the DFSA at the end of each financial year.
        4. In July 2007, Arqaam commissioned eight (8) pieces of artwork (the Artworks) as an investment and for display at its offices and agreed a purchase price for them (the Original Purchase Price). The Artworks were completed and delivered to Arqaam in October 2008.
        5. In August 2009, Arqaam obtained a valuation of the Artworks (the Valuation) from an art gallery revaluing the Artworks at an increased price to the Original Purchase Price (the Valuation Price). The difference between the Valuation Price and the Original Purchase Price is hereafter referred to as the Valuation Gain.
        6. Arqaam approached E&Y to agree the accounting treatment for the Artworks.
        7. Following discussion with E&Y, in September 2009, Arqaam arranged for and executed sale and buy-back agreements with a company (the Buyer) on the following terms:
        (a) A sale agreement dated 29 June 2009, in which Arqaam sold the Artworks to the Buyer at the Valuation Price; and
        (b) A purchase agreement dated 30 June 2009, in which the Buyer sold the Artworks to Arqaam at the Valuation Price (together, the Artworks Transaction).
        8. The Artworks Transaction was an accounting trade which lacked economic substance as there was no real intention to sell or repurchase the Artworks. The Artworks Transaction was not an arm's length transaction.
        9. The DFSA did not allege dishonesty or intention to deceive or mislead, or that the Valuation was not genuine, or that anyone suffered loss.
        10. On 31 October 2009, Arqaam lodged the 2009 Accounts with the DFSA. The 2009 Accounts were audited by E&Y.

        Accounting Treatment

        11. The 2009 Accounts were prepared on the basis that the Artworks had been sold and repurchased at the Valuation Price in the financial year ending 30 June 2009, when in fact the sale and repurchase transaction was executed in September 2009. Since the sale and repurchase was of no economic substance, the 2009 Accounts should not have reflected it.
        12. On the DFSA's case, the accounting treatment adopted by Arqaam had the following effect on the 2009 Accounts:
        a. It decreased losses in 2009 by 21% in the Statement of Income by the Valuation Gain on the Artworks;
        b. It increased stated assets in the Balance Sheet (namely Plant and Equipment) by the amount of the Valuation Gain. Further, Arqaam failed to make disclosures, as required under IFRS as to the nature of the increase that such a treatment would require; and
        c. It resulted in the Statement of Cash Flow recording that Arqaam made both a gain and a disposal in respect of the Artworks, when in fact there were no cash flows resulting from the transactions.
        13. On E&Y's and Arqaam's case, Arqaam was entitled to account for the Artworks in the manner in which they did, arguing that the balance sheet and income statement numbers should have been as presented in the 2009 Accounts.
        14. E&Y gave an unqualified audit opinion that the 2009 Accounts present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Arqaam as of 30 June 2009 and its financial performance and its cash flows for the period then ended in accordance with IFRS.

        DFSA Regulatory Action

        15. The DFSA commenced its investigation into Arqaam and E&Y's failures to comply with IFRS and ISA respectively on 23 June 2010 and issued Notices of Fines to both Arqaam and E&Y on 20 March 2011.
        16. E&Y and Arqaam lodged Notices of Objections to the fines on 16 May 2011 and 29 May 2011 respectively.
        17. The DFSA commenced proceedings in the FMT against Arqaam and E&Y on 3 August 2011. The DFSA sought declarations of contraventions of DFSA administered rules that required Arqaam and E&Y to comply with IFRS and ISA respectively, the imposition of financial penalties and orders for Arqaam to restate the 2009 Accounts.
        18. Arqaam and E&Y filed proceedings in the FMT to hold the proceedings in private and to prevent any publication of the FMT proceedings and its orders. The DFSA objected to the restriction on the publicity. The FMT heard the arguments at an FMT hearing in London on 12 December 2011 and, on 11 January 2012, issued its decision to make public both the proceedings and its decisions. The FMT's decision can be accessed at:

        http://www.dfsa.ae/Documents/FMT/DECISION%20ON%20APPLICATION%20FOR%20DIRECTIONS-%20revised.pdf
        19. Arqaam appealed the FMT's decision to the DIFC Courts. The DFSA opposed the application, and there was a hearing of the appeal on 23 May 2012.
        20. The DIFC Courts delivered its judgment on 4 September 2012 in favour of the DFSA. The judgment can be accessed at:

        https://difccourts.visionhall.eu/?Start=search#:3

        The DFSA's media release in respect of the judgment can be accessed at:

        http://www.dfsa.ae/WhatsNew/DispForm.aspx?Id=226
        21. The hearing of the substantive matters was to commence in the FMT on 17 September 2012. However, the parties settled the proceedings with consent orders as summarised in this media release.

      • 16 September 2012 — DFSA Action in the Financial Markets Tribunal to be Made Public

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        Dubai, UAE, 16 September 2012: The DIFC Courts, on an appeal from the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT), delivered its decision in the matter of Arqaam Capital Limited (Arqaam) vs the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

        The decision allows publication of the FMT's interim decision of 11 January 2012 and allows the proceedings commenced by the DFSA against Arqaam and Ernst and Young (E&Y) in August 2011 to be heard in public.

        The DIFC Courts' decision results from an appeal by Arqaam against a decision of the FMT in January 2012, to, amongst other things, make the proceedings public.

        The hearing of the substantive matters before the FMT is set down for 17 to 20 September 2012.

        The FMT's interim decision and directions orders are published on the FMT page on the link below: http://www.dfsa.ae/Pages/FinancialMarketsTribunal.aspx

        The DFSA will not make any further comments about the proceedings until after the conclusion of the hearing.

      • 20 June 2012 — DFSA Introduces New Markets Law and Amendments to the Regulatory Law

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        Dubai, UAE, 20 June 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces today that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, has enacted two Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Laws. These Laws are the Markets Law 2012 and the Regulatory Law Amendment Law 2012, which are both administered by the DFSA.

        The new Markets Law 2012, which replaces the current Markets Law 2004, brings about a number of significant changes including changes to prospectus disclosure, what activities constitute an offer, market misconduct provisions and corporate governance. The prospectus disclosure changes include the requirement for a prospectus to be formally approved by the DFSA before it can be used to make an offer of securities to the public, or to have the securities referred to in the prospectus admitted to the Official List of Securities maintained by the DFSA. The new Laws are designed to promote investor protection in a manner that better aligns the DIFC to international standards, particularly European Union (EU) requirements and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

        The amendments to the Regulatory Law 2004 support the changes brought about by the new Markets Law regime, for example, the law now provides for the DFSA to undertake regulatory oversight of auditors of DIFC incorporated companies listed on an Authorised Market Institution (AMI) or any other exchange. The amendments also make changes to the recognition powers of the DFSA with respect to cross-border trading including recognition of alternative trading systems, the quasi exchanges which are developing an increasingly important role in trading of financial instruments on the international capital markets. The changes permit non-DIFC exchanges and clearing houses meeting certain regulatory standards to provide access to their facilities to persons located in the DIFC and permit non-DIFC firms meeting certain regulatory requirements to be remote members of an AMI in order to trade investments on a DIFC exchange from a place of business outside the DIFC.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the DFSA said: “These changes bring our markets regime into closer alignment with the EU requirements while retaining features necessary to accommodate regional needs and circumstances. The DFSA's supervisory oversight has also been expanded to include auditors for companies incorporated in the DIFC which seek listing on an exchange in the DIFC or in another jurisdiction. Such regulatory oversight of auditors would allow for the passporting of auditors registered by the DFSA into the EU, thus enabling those auditors to conduct audits of DIFC-based companies where they seek listings in the EU. These changes will also allow the DFSA to meet Principle 8 of the Core Principles of Independent Audit Regulators by the International Forum for Independent Audit Regulators, of which the DFSA is a member.”

        The new Markets Law 2012 and the Regulatory Law Amendment Law 2012 were enacted on 7 June 2012 and come into force on 5 July 2012 and are available on the DFSA website: www.dfsa.ae/Legal Framework/Legislation/Amendments to Legislation.

      • 23 May 2012 — DFSA Meets Finance Leaders in Hong Kong and Singapore

        Singapore, 23 May 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) met, today and last week, senior government officials, financial regulators, industry figures and academics in Hong Kong and Singapore.

        The visit to Hong Kong and Singapore coincided with a visit to Beijing where the DFSA attended the Annual conference of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions and entered into a supplementary agreement on co-operation with the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

        In Hong Kong, the DFSA met with the Financial Secretary, The Hon John Tsang; the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Mr Norman Chan; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Mr Eddy Fong; the Commission's Chief Executive, Mr Ashley Alder and senior bankers with operations in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The DFSA hosted a dinner which was attended by the Financial Secretary as Guest of Honour and a number of senior government and financial industry figures including the Chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

        In Singapore, the DFSA met with HE Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Singapore and Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as with several senior bankers and the Chief Executive of the Singapore Exchange.

        Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA said: "Ensuring that we have regular dialogue with our counterparts in other jurisdictions enables us to keep up with international market trends, regulatory developments and policy formulation and implementation in financial and monetary matters." Mr Eigner added that he was pleased to have received such favourable comments regarding the speed in which Dubai is realising the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in making the DIFC the premier financial centre in the Middle East. As well as receiving comments on DFSA's world-class regulatory and legal framework and the infrastructure of the DIFC.

        "Singapore and Hong Kong provide world-class financial centres with excellent reputations. Dubai not only complements theirs but also fills a geographical void between the West and East" Mr Eigner concluded.

        The DFSA delegation also included Board Members Mr Robert Owen and The Hon Apurv Bagri, together with the Chief Executive designate Mr Ian Johnston.

      • 16 May 2012 — DFSA Enters Into Agreement With China's Banking Supervisor

        Beijing, China, 16 May 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), this week, entered into a supplementary agreement on co-operation with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

        The CBRC supervises all banks and non-bank financial institutions, including foreign and foreign invested financial institutions and offices, with the aim of safeguarding legitimate and sound functioning of the banking industry in the People's Republic of China.

        The signing took place during a meeting between the Chairman of the CBRC, Mr Shang Fulin and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DFSA, Mr Saeb Eigner, and coincided with a visit to Beijing by a DFSA delegation attending the 2012 Annual Conference of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions. The delegation included DFSA Board Member, Mr Robert Owen; the Chief Executive, Mr Paul M Koster; and the Chief Executive designate, Mr Ian Johnston.

        The agreement was signed, on behalf of the DFSA, by Mr Paul M Koster, and on behalf of the CBRC, by Chairman Shang Fulin. Mr Koster said: "This initiative confirms a close and effective relationship between our two authorities. It grew from the response to the global financial crisis by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which issued specific guidelines to enhance cross-border co-operation on crisis management. As active participants in the work of the Basel Committee, the CBRC and DFSA have entered into this agreement conscious of the need to implement international best practice and the commitment to ensure efficient and effective supervision of banks we both supervise."

        Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA's Board of Directors said: "I am very pleased that the CBRC and the DFSA have, with this supplementary agreement, enhanced the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding we put in place on 24 September 2007. Together with the existing MoU, today's agreement reflects each agency's commitment to co-operation in relation to prudential oversight and inspections in all situations and should ensure continued supervisory confidence as a number of significant banks from the People's Republic of China enter the Dubai International Financial Centre."

      • 2 May 2012 — DFSA Board Announces Appointment of the Next Chief Executive

        Dubai, UAE, 2 May, 2012: The Board of Directors ("Board") of the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") today announces the appointment of Ian Johnston as the next Chief Executive of the DFSA. Ian Johnston will succeed Paul M Koster, with effect from 15 June 2012, after Paul Koster completes three and a half years with the DFSA. During his tenure Paul Koster has made an important contribution to the further establishment of the DFSA as a strong and internationally respected regulator, and thus, to the development of the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC") as a successful international financial centre.

        Ian Johnston has been the DFSA's Deputy Chief Executive since 2009 and Managing Director since 2006, when he joined the DFSA. Ian has wide international experience and has been active in supporting the work and objectives of the international standard-setting bodies. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation. Of his new appointment Ian said: "I would like to thank the Board for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am very honoured to have been selected as the new Chief Executive and look forward to continuing the DFSA's work in delivering world-class regulation."

        Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, commenting on the appointment said; "International interest in the DIFC and in DFSA's role plays an important part in the work that we do. As such, Ian's experience in shaping our international agenda and his experience in working with the global standard-setters continues to be very relevant to the development of the DFSA and to the DIFC. The Board of Directors and I are committed to supporting the Executive as Ian Johnston takes the helm of the DFSA."

        Mr Eigner continued by saying; "On behalf of the Board, I wish to convey our appreciation to Paul whose many achievements at the DFSA include the further development of our co-operation with key regulatory agencies in the UAE and other important jurisdictions."

      • 22 April 2012 — DFSA Wins First Contested Case Before Regulatory Appeals Committee

        Dubai, UAE, 22 April 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) today announced the outcome of a challenge to its decision to withdraw the Licenses and Authorisations of Capital Investment International [CII-UAE] Ltd (“CII”); and the Authorised Individual Status of Mr Husam Al Ameri (“Mr Al Ameri”) and Mr Odhaid Al Mansouri (“Mr Al Mansouri”) as Licensed Directors of CII. The DFSA had earlier found that CII, Mr Al Ameri and Mr Al Mansouri (“the Directors”) were no longer fit and proper to provide financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”), but that decision was subject to appeal.

        The Licenses and Authorisations of CII, and the Directors were originally withdrawn by the DFSA on 26 June 2011 following a hearing before a DFSA Decision Maker. No announcement of that step was taken at the time.

        On 25 August 2011, CII and the Directors each presented an appeal from the DFSA decision to the Regulatory Appeals Committee of the DFSA (the “RAC”). The appeals were jointly heard by the RAC at a hearing on 28 November 2011 which was held in private subject to a confidentiality order.

        On 18 January 2012, the RAC notified the parties in confidence of its decisions in respect of the appeals. The RAC today made a further order requiring those decisions to be placed on the DFSA website.

        The RAC unanimously upheld the DFSA's decisions to withdraw the Licenses and Authorisations of CII, and the Authorised Individual status of the Directors. In essence the decision found that there had been a failure by all three appellants to comply with a number of DFSA requirements including, in the case of CII, the obligation to have systems and controls and effective compliance arrangements; and, in the case of the Directors, the requirement to act with due skill, care and diligence.

        CII has not been permitted to transact any investment business since June 2011 and, as far as the DFSA is aware, no clients of CII have suffered any loss as a result of CII's contraventions.

        The RAC's decisions are published on the RAC section of the DFSA's public register, which can be found at www.dfsa.ae / Public Register / Regulatory Appeals Committee or at http://www.dfsa.ae/Pages/RegulatoryAppealsCommittee.aspx.

      • 20 February 2012 — DFSA Continues to Develop Emirati Regulatory Talent

        Dubai, UAE, 20 February 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its annual Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Awards ceremony last week. The purpose of the awards is to congratulate Emirati employees who have completed the DFSA's two-year TRL Programme.

        The programme prepares newly graduated UAE nationals to become financial services regulators. A combination of in-house training, coaching by experts from international financial centres and examinations from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (UK) makes the TRL Programme a unique development programme. Graduates join as TRL Associates and over the two years undergo over 400 hours of classroom training along with on-the-job coaching from their more experienced DFSA colleagues and industry experience in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authorised Firms.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive said, “The DFSA is investing in developing young Emiratis to become leaders in the area of financial services regulation. To date, the TRL Programme has produced eleven managers and currently has nine individuals on the programme. UAE nationals constitute 28% of DFSA's regulatory workforce. We are very proud of the results of this programme and will continue our efforts to deliver sustainable and enduring benefits to the DFSA by equipping Emiratis for long-term careers in regulation.”

        The programme is written and delivered by DFSA regulators with training materials being updated every year to reflect changes in legislation and the market environment. In addition, each graduate is assigned a coach who helps the Associate understand the job they are assigned to do. In so doing, the graduate benefits from their coach's wealth of regulatory experience and their international perspective.

        Mr Michael Ridgeway, General Counsel and Dean of the TRL Programme said, “The awards not only celebrate the success of our young Emirati colleagues, but also recognise the considerable efforts and enthusiasm shown by our TRL trainers and coaches. In line with our core regulatory mission, the TRL Programme is one of our most important strategic initiatives. We place great importance on sustainability, now our TRL Programme 'alumni' are also involved in developing the next generation of regulatory leaders. ”

      • 15 February 2012 — DFSA Receives Delegation of Powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies

        Dubai, UAE, 15 February 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today accepted a delegation of certain powers from the DIFC Registrar of Companies (Registrar).

        The delegated powers include the power to appoint inspectors to investigate the affairs of companies and partnerships, and to pursue enforcement remedies available to the Registrar under the following Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Laws and their associated Regulations (together, the Registrar of Companies Laws (ROC Laws)):

        •    Companies Law, DIFC Law No 2 of 2009;
        •    Limited Partnership Law, DIFC Law No 4 of 2006;
        •    Limited Liability Partnership Law, DIFC Law No 5 of 2004;
        •    Insolvency Law, DIFC Law No 3 of 2009; and
        •    General Partnership Law, DIFC Law No 11 of 2004.

        The Registrar continues to have the right to exercise the delegated powers in relation to any matter, whether independent of, or concurrently with, the DFSA. However, the Registrar and the DFSA have agreed that the DFSA will investigate contraventions of the ROC Laws for which penalties of AED 36,700 (US $10,000) or more may be imposed. Contraventions, for which lesser penalties may be imposed, will remain the responsibility of the Registrar (though the DFSA may investigate such contraventions if they are ancillary to any DFSA investigation).

        The Registrar will continue to administer the registry functions within the DIFC.

        Mr Khalid Al Zarouni, The Registrar said: "This move comes in line with our on-going commitment to develop the DIFC's legal and regulatory framework while leveraging the expertise and best practices of other DIFC bodies. Both the DIFC Registrar of Companies and the DFSA agree that the delegation will result in a more efficient and effective regulation of the ROC Laws."

        Under the delegation, the DFSA will exercise the delegated powers and functions as it deems necessary or desirable in order to carry out inspections and investigations, make directions, procure court orders, impose penalties or take any other regulatory or enforcement action in relation to the ROC Laws.

        Persons wishing to report a contravention of the ROC Laws, or any legislation administered by the DFSA, may do so by complaining through the DFSA Complaint portal which is located on the DFSA's website at www.dfsa.ae. A copy of the Instrument of Delegation is available on the DFSA and DIFC websites.

      • 09 February 2012 — DFSA Announces its Chief Executive to Step Down Later This Year

        Dubai, UAE, 9 February 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces, today, that after nearly four years in the Chief Executive's role, Mr Paul M Koster has decided to step down in September 2012.

        The DFSA Board of Directors have commenced the normal nominations process for identifying a new Chief Executive, which is being guided by the DFSA's Governance and Nominations Committee.

        The Board are confident of finding a worthy successor to Mr Paul M Koster to take over the important work which he, and his team, have been doing; to strive to maintain the high international standards of the DFSA as an independent regulatory body and to contribute to the success of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as a whole.

      • 08 February 2012 — DFSA Announces Stakeholder Survey Results

        Dubai, UAE, 8 February 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces, today, the results of a recent stakeholder perception survey of the DFSA.

        In 2011, the DFSA commissioned an independent survey into levels of satisfaction with the DFSA and its performance. The research was carried out by ChantLink, an Australian firm with global experience in conducting market research on behalf of firms and financial services regulators.

        The research involved conducting interviews with individuals representing DFSA stakeholders both in and outside the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Underlining the independence of the research, the interviews, scores and comments of individual stakeholders are confidential to ChantLink. The DFSA has only seen the scores in aggregate, without any attribution of scores or comments to individual stakeholders.

        The results identified some opportunities for improvement. The DFSA will review these closely as part of a continuous process to improve performance. All summary reports of DFSA stakeholder surveys are posted on the DFSA website: www.dfsa.ae

      • 29 January 2012 — DFSA Enters Into Statement of Protocol With US Audit Regulator

        Washington DC, USA, 29 January 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), recently, entered into a Statement of Protocol with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

        The agreement was signed on behalf of the DFSA by the Chief Executive, Mr Paul M Koster, and the Chairman of the PCAOB, Mr James R Doty, during a visit by Mr Koster to Washington DC. DFSA Board Member, Dr J Andrew Spindler, was also present at the signing.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “The DFSA is very pleased to have concluded this statement of protocol with the PCAOB, the United States (US) agency responsible for federal oversight of the audits of public companies. The ability of audit regulators to co-operate and share information is critical in the current environment when the need to protect investors and the public interest has never been more important. There are eight US regulated Firms in the DIFC and the PCAOB already conducts audits jointly with the DFSA, this agreement facilitates the sharing of information. ”

        “This is, in fact, the first bi-lateral agreement the DFSA has established with an audit regulator following the change to the Dubai International Financial Centre's Regulatory law, which allows such co-operation. As fellow members of the International Federation of Independent Audit Regulators, the DFSA and the PCAOB are committed to developing and implementing international standards, among them supporting co-operation between regulators and promoting greater consistency of audit oversight. ”

        Mr Koster added: “This initiative also extends the DFSA's collegiate links with regulators in the US. The DFSA already has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and with the four federal banking supervisors, as well as other US regulators in the context of our multilateral arrangements.”

        When the PCAOB announced its approval of this agreement in December, Mr Doty said: “For many years the DFSA has been a valued partner as the PCAOB has sought to ensure effective cross-border audit oversight. We are pleased that this agreement will allow us to exchange confidential information, which will enhance the strong co-operative relationship that already exists. ”

      • 15 January 2012 — DFSA Introduces New Regime For Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals

        Dubai, UAE, 15 January 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) announces today that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has enacted amendments to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Law No 1 of 2004 (Regulatory Law 2004) under which the regulation of DIFC Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (“CFT”) requirements for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (“DNFBP”) in the DIFC is transferred to the DFSA.

        From today, the DFSA assumes responsibility for, and becomes the single AML/CFT regulator of, all AML/CFT supervision and enforcement in the DIFC. Previously DNFBPs were supervised for AML/CFT compliance by the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (“DIFCA”).

        Mr Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of DIFCA said: “This move further portrays the co-operation between DIFC bodies to ensure that the highest standards of compliance are achieved. It also comes in line with our commitment to the continuous development of DIFC's legal and regulatory framework and providing the ideal platform for our clients to grow and prosper.”

        Accompanying these amendments to the Regulatory Law 2004 is the introduction of a new DFSA rulebook “Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions Module” (“DNF”), which provides rules and guidance to those Firms now falling under the DFSA's supervision.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The transfer of these supervision and enforcement powers to the DFSA creates a single regulator of AML/CFT obligations in the DIFC and will ensure greater consistency in the regulation of all DIFC-incorporated entities. The DFSA will continue to work closely with the Central Bank's AML Suspicious Cases Unit to combat the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.”

        The DFSA has produced a quick guide to highlight the changes and implications for firms operating inside the DIFC of the new AML/CFT rules. This Guide is available in both English and Arabic and can be viewed on the DFSA website: http://www.dfsa.ae/Documents/Leaflets%202011/DNFBP%202011.pdf

        Additionally, the DFSA will shortly be contacting all DNFBPs within the DIFC to provide training and guidance on the changes. Any queries regarding the AML/CFT for DNFBPs can be directed via email to Mr Matt Gamble, Head of AML at “STRunit@dfsa.ae

    • 2011

      • 5 December 2011 — DFSA Enters Into Memorandum of Understanding With Central Bank of Cyprus

        Click herehere to view PDF

        Dubai, UAE, 20 June 2012: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces today that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, has enacted two Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Laws. These Laws are the Markets Law 2012 and the Regulatory Law Amendment Law 2012, which are both administered by the DFSA.

        The new Markets Law 2012, which replaces the current Markets Law 2004, brings about a number of significant changes including changes to prospectus disclosure, what activities constitute an offer, market misconduct provisions and corporate governance. The prospectus disclosure changes include the requirement for a prospectus to be formally approved by the DFSA before it can be used to make an offer of securities to the public, or to have the securities referred to in the prospectus admitted to the Official List of Securities maintained by the DFSA. The new Laws are designed to promote investor protection in a manner that better aligns the DIFC to international standards, particularly European Union (EU) requirements and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

        The amendments to the Regulatory Law 2004 support the changes brought about by the new Markets Law regime, for example, the law now provides for the DFSA to undertake regulatory oversight of auditors of DIFC incorporated companies listed on an Authorised Market Institution (AMI) or any other exchange. The amendments also make changes to the recognition powers of the DFSA with respect to cross-border trading including recognition of alternative trading systems, the quasi exchanges which are developing an increasingly important role in trading of financial instruments on the international capital markets. The changes permit non-DIFC exchanges and clearing houses meeting certain regulatory standards to provide access to their facilities to persons located in the DIFC and permit non-DIFC firms meeting certain regulatory requirements to be remote members of an AMI in order to trade investments on a DIFC exchange from a place of business outside the DIFC.

        In Singapore, the DFSA met with HE Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Singapore and Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as with several senior bankers and the Chief Executive of the Singapore Exchange.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the DFSA said: “These changes bring our markets regime into closer alignment with the EU requirements while retaining features necessary to accommodate regional needs and circumstances. The DFSA's supervisory oversight has also been expanded to include auditors for companies incorporated in the DIFC which seek listing on an exchange in the DIFC or in another jurisdiction. Such regulatory oversight of auditors would allow for the passporting of auditors registered by the DFSA into the EU, thus enabling those auditors to conduct audits of DIFC-based companies where they seek listings in the EU. These changes will also allow the DFSA to meet Principle 8 of the Core Principles of Independent Audit Regulators by the International Forum for Independent Audit Regulators, of which the DFSA is a member.”

        The new Markets Law 2012 and the Regulatory Law Amendment Law 2012 were enacted on 7 June 2012 and come into force on 5 July 2012 and are available on the DFSA website: www.dfsa.ae/Legal Framework/Legislation/Amendments to Legislation.

      • 29 November 2011 — The UAE Ministry of Economy and the DFSA Hosted Regional Audit Conference

        Dubai, UAE, 29 November 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the UAE Ministry of Economy jointly hosted the Second Regional Audit Conference entitled “Professional scepticism: raising the bar”, last week in Dubai.

        Delegates were welcomed by HE Abdullah M Saleh, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and heard key note addresses from HE Yaser Abdalla Amiri, Director General of Financial Audit Department and Member of the Executive Council, Government of Dubai and Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA.

        HE Abdullah M Saleh, Governor of the DIFC, in his welcome address mentioned: “It is wonderful to see the growing collaboration between government entities on such an important matter that has a direct impact on audit quality and ultimately financial statements. Secondly, this annual conference is reflective of the DFSA's and the Ministry of Economy's dedication to training and development of the auditing profession in the Middle East.”

        HE Yaser Abdalla Amiri, Director General of Financial Audit Department and Member of the Executive Council, Government of Dubai stated that: “The important issues that are under consideration and discussion at this conference came in a timely manner because we in the UAE are looking forward to put in place rules and principles of corporate governance commensurate with our needs and with the business environment in our region”.

        The event attracted some 230 delegates from nine countries in the region and internationally. Conference speakers and panelists included Brian Walsh, Member, International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants; George Botic, Deputy Director, Division of Registration and Inspections, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; Gavin Aspden, Director Qualifications, ICAEW; and Dr Obaid Saif Al Zaabi, Director of Research and Development, UAE Securities and Commodities Authority.

        Keynote speakers from global regulatory bodies, industry experts and academia raised issues including:

        •   Professional scepticism and the public interest — who does the auditor serve?;
        •   Ethical considerations for accountants;
        •   The use of financial instruments and their future use in audits; and
        •   Audit quality and inspections;

        Interactive panel discussions with industry experts, regulatory bodies, the Big 4 accounting and audit firms discussed various issues including:

        •   Providing an industry viewpoint on professional scepticism;
        •   Lessons learned from the crisis, from a Big 4 perspective;
        •   Auditing in the small business environment — challenges and developments; and
        •   The role of regulators in enhancing the professional scepticism of auditors.

        The DFSA also highlighted the role of the DFSA and shared recent developments in the DFSA's audit monitoring approach and some key inspection findings.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: “The year-end 2011 may be the most challenging auditors have ever faced. After four consecutive years of the worst financial crisis we have seen since World War II, auditors will have to make very difficult judgment calls requiring and demanding scepticism which is integrally linked to independence and objectivity.”

      • 18 October 2011 — DFSA Withdraws Licence of Siraj Capital (Dubai) Limited

        Dubai, UAE, 18 October 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced that it has withdrawn the Licence of Siraj Capital (Dubai) Limited (Siraj) to provide financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The DFSA took this action because Siraj contravened the Laws and Rules administered by the DFSA by failing to:

        •    Maintain adequate Capital Resources during the period from 1 October 2010 to the date of the withdrawal of Licence;
        •    Have adequate systems and controls to enable it to determine and monitor its Capital Requirements;
        •    Advise the DFSA immediately in regard to the occurrence of an action which would result in material changes in its capital adequacy or solvency;
        •    Disclose a matter which reasonably tends to show a breach or likely breach of the DFSA Laws or Rules;
        •    Ensure that its affairs were managed effectively and responsibly by its senior management; and
        •    Have adequate systems and controls to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, that it complied with legislation applicable in the DIFC.

        As a result of the above contraventions, the DFSA found Siraj was not fit and proper to remain as an Authorised Firm in the DIFC and withdrew Siraj's Licence. The DFSA's exercise of its powers in this regard was in the pursuit of the DFSA's regulatory objective of preventing, detecting and restraining conduct that causes or may cause damage to the reputation of the DIFC or the financial services industry in the DIFC.

        The DFSA withdrew the Licence on 18 September 2011. No clients of the Firm suffered a loss as a result of the Firm's contraventions.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "Financial Services Firms operating in the DIFC are required to maintain adequate Capital Resources to satisfy day-to-day claims on the business and to meet future contingencies. The DFSA's Capital Requirement provides investors and customers with the confidence that institutions will be able to meet claims as and when they fall due. The DFSA will take appropriate action where Firms fail to maintain adequate Capital Resources."

      • 9 October 2011 — DFSA Fines Licensed Directors for Failing to Inform the DFSA

        Dubai, UAE, 9th October 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has fined Arun Panchariya and Satish Panchariya AED 44,000 (USD 12,000) each for failing to disclose material information to the DFSA.

        The fines follow an investigation by the DFSA, in which the DFSA found that Arun Panchariya and Satish Panchariya failed to disclose material information to the DFSA in their applications to the DFSA to become Authorised Individuals in February 2009. Their failure to disclose material information continued after they were Authorised by the DFSA in November 2009.

        Arun Panchariya and Satish Panchariya failed to disclose:

        •   All director and controller positions which they were required to disclose in the applications for Authorisation; and
        •   Investigations and regulatory actions by the Securities and Exchange Board of India in relation to their conduct and the conduct of companies associated with them which they were required to disclose in their applications for Authorisation and/or after they became DFSA Authorised Individiuals.

        By failing to disclose the abovementioned information, Arun Panchariya and Satish Panchariya contravened Laws and Rules administered by the DFSA requiring them to disclose material information to the DFSA and to deal with the DFSA in an open and co-operative manner.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, “It is imperative that Authorised Firms and Authorised Individuals are open and co-operate fully with the DFSA. The DFSA relies on Firms and Individuals to disclose appropriately any mandatory information and any other information of which the DFSA would reasonably be expected to be notified.Accordingly, the DFSA will take action where Firms and Individuals have breached these requirements”.

        Fine:

        Details of the fines are posted on the DFSA website: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

      • 13 September 2011 — DFSA and NASDAQ Dubai Announce the Transfer of the Official List of Securities

        Dubai, UAE, 13 September 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) and NASDAQ Dubai today announce that with effect from 1 October 2011 the responsibility for maintaining the Official List of Securities will be transferred from NASDAQ Dubai to the DFSA (the “Transfer”).

        The Transfer will result in the streamlining of the regulatory process for approving prospectuses and listing, for the benefit of issuers and investors. It is also in line with international best practice. NASDAQ Dubai will continue to be exclusively responsible for the admittance to trading of securities on its market and its role as an Authorised Market Institution licensed to operate an exchange and clearing house remains unchanged.

        The DFSA and NASDAQ Dubai agreed to effect the Transfer in view of the DFSA's proposed new Markets Rules. Without the Transfer the Markets Rules would have had the effect of considerably increasing the regulatory burden on issuers in the Dubai International Financial Centre, by duplicating regulatory oversight in respect of prospectus and listing approval processes. The Transfer ensures that these processes will instead be centralised at the DFSA, providing an efficient and effective regulatory structure.

        For more information about the Transfer please view the Q&As on http://www.dfsa.ae/Documents/Official%20List/PDF%20QAs%20DFSA%20ND%20Official%20List%20of%20Securities%20Sept%202011.pdf

      • 7 September 2011 — Appointment of DFSA Chairman and Board

        Dubai, 7 September 2011: The Deputy Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his capacity as President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), appoints Mr Saeb Eigner, as the new Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). His Highness also appointed the existing DFSA Board Members for a further three-year term.

        Mr Eigner said, "The DFSA has strengthened its reputation as a world-class regulator under the leadership of the former Chairman Mr Abdullah Saleh, who takes on his new responsibility as Governor of the DIFC. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and to leading the DFSA in its vital role as the regulator of the DIFC. In doing so I am fortunate to have a highly respected and experienced international Board of Directors and an excellent Executive team.

        The DFSA looks forward to continuing to fulfill the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, to position the DIFC as a global financial Centre with strong and independent regulation." Mr Eigner said that one of his key priorities is the DFSA's continued engagement with international standard-setting bodies and regulators, as well as the implementation of international regulatory standards.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA, warmly welcomed the appointment of the new Chairman and the stability provided by the re-appointment of Board members.

        The DIFC is the purpose built financial centre in Dubai which has attracted more than 250 financial firms, including many of the world's largest institutions.

        The DFSA Board comprises:
        Saeb Eigner, as Chairman;
        Fadel Abdulbaqi Al Ali;
        Abdul Wahid Al Ulama;
        The Honourable Apurv Bagri;
        Michael Blair QC;
        Robert L Clarke;
        Lord Currie of Marylebone;
        The Earl of Home;
        Robert Owen;
        J Andrew Spindler;
        Georg Wittich; and
        Paul Koster, in his capacity as Chief Executive.

      • 27 July 2011 — DFSA Renews Ties With Swiss Counterpart

        Bern, Switzerland, 27 July 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) yesterday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by its Chief Executive, Mr Paul M Koster and Professor Anne Héritier Lachat, Chair of the Board of Directors of FINMA, in advance of a meeting of the DFSA Board in Zurich.

        FINMA was established in June 2007 by Federal legislation, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMASA) Act, which merged the Federal Office of Private Insurance (FOPI), the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) and the Anti-Money Laundering Control Authority into one agency responsible for all financial regulation in Switzerland.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "The DFSA Board meeting in Zurich this week underlines the significant presence of Swiss financial institutions in the Dubai International Financial Centre and the importance the DFSA attaches to Switzerland, which has long been regarded as among the world's leading international financial centres. FINMA plays a critical role as the national regulator, as did its predecessors, FOPI and the SFBC. In fact, this initiative reflects FINMA's status as an integrated financial services regulator and in adding co-operation in relation to insurance supervision; it enhances an existing relationship by extending the reach of an MoU which the DFSA and the SFBC have had in place since April 2007.

        As active members of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, FINMA and the DFSA strive to embrace best practice and seek to reflect the resolutions of the international standard-setters. This initiative should be seen as an affirmation of a mutual willingness to co-operate and share information to those standards."

      • 16 June 2011 — DFSA Strengthens Ties with the Reserve Bank of India

        Mumbai, India, 16 June 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), has this week, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

        The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster and Executive Director of the RBI, Mr G Gopalakrishna, during a visit by Mr Koster and senior DFSA executives to Mumbai. The ceremony at the Central office of the RBI took place in the presence of Dr KC Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor of the Bank. One of the DFSA Board Members, the Honourable Apurv Bagri, also attended the meeting and later in the evening hosted a dinner to mark the occasion.

        The Reserve Bank of India was established in 1935 as the Central Bank of the country entrusted with monetary stability, the management of currency and the supervision of the financial as well as the payments system.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "The DFSA is honoured to be the first regulator, after the China Banking Regulatory Commission to sign an MoU with the Reserve Bank of India, a respected supervisor of one of the world's largest financial systems. Indian banks have a significant, and growing, presence in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), so this enhancement of information sharing and assistance between the RBI and the DFSA is a critical step to ensuring confidence in each of our regulatory regimes."

        "This initiative reflects each authority's commitment to co-operation in relation to prudential oversight and inspections. It adopts the model for information sharing developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and follows similar arrangements the DFSA has with other significant banking supervisors such as the UK Financial Services Authority, Germany's Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, Banque de France, China Banking Regulatory Commission and the United States Federal Reserve. The DFSA looks forward to working with RBI for the benefit of both India and the DIFC."

      • 1 May 2011 — DFSA Takes Action on Failures in E*TRADE's Anti-Money Laundering Systems and Controls

        Dubai, Sunday, 1 May 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) announced, today, that it has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (“EU”) from E*TRADE Securities Ltd (Dubai International Financial Centre Branch) (“E*TRADE”).

        The written undertaking follows a periodic risk assessment in 2010 conducted by the DFSA of E*TRADE, which identified a number of deficiencies in E*TRADE's anti-money laundering (“AML”) systems and controls. E*TRADE acknowledges these deficiencies which include failing to:

        • Obtain sufficient documentary evidence of its clients' origin of funds and/or sources of wealth;
        • Obtain, for some of its clients, sufficient documentary evidence of address or appropriately certified copy documents;
        • Have adequate polices in place to ensure that documentation concerning a client's identity remains accurate and up-to-date, resulting in E*TRADE's failure to request and obtain updated Know Your Customer documents;
        • Have policies, procedures, systems and controls to adequately address the need to assess the money laundering risk of its clients; and
        • Ensure that its compliance resources were sufficient given the nature and scale of its business activities.

        In the EU, E*TRADE has agreed to pay a financial penalty of AED 1,101,870 (USD $300,000), with AED 734,580 (USD $200,000) payable within 30 days and the remaining amount of AED 367,000 (USD $100,000) being suspended subject to E*TRADE fulfilling a number of undertakings including:

        • Submitting to a further risk assessment by the DFSA;
        • Taking all necessary steps to remediate the DFSA's concerns arising from the risk assessment; and
        • Making arrangements to ensure it has appropriately skilled compliance resources to conduct and manage its affairs in accordance with the DFSA's Laws and Rules.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, “This is a new era for financial services, and Firms must be more vigilant in meeting today's requirements. The action taken against E*TRADE shows that the DFSA considers the anti-money laundering and Know Your Client systems and controls of Firms in the DIFC to be of fundamental importance in this new era. In taking this action, the DFSA recognises that E*TRADE has co-operated fully in the investigation.”

        Enforceable Undertaking:

        A copy of the EU between the DFSA and E*TRADE is posted on the DFSA website at: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

        - Ends -

        For further information please contact:

        Angharad Irving-Jones (Ms)
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Fax: +971 (0)4 362 0801
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purposebuilt 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.

        Paul M Koster was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 December 2008. Prior to becoming Chief Executive, he was Commissioner and Member of the Executive Board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), the national, integrated conduct of business financial services regulator for the Netherlands, where he was identified as one of the four leaders shaping the conscience of Dutch business. Mr Koster joined the AFM in March 2001 and in addition to his duties as a Commissioner, he chaired, from May 2006 until December 2007, CESR-Fin, the permanent working party of the Committee of European Securities Regulators that co-ordinates the endorsement and enforcement of financial reporting standards in Europe.

        For the previous two years he had chaired CESRs Sub-committee on International Standards Endorsement. During his time with the AFM, he was also a Member of the IOSCO Chairs' Committee and, as Chief Executive of the DFSA, he remains actively involved in the work of IOSCO.

        Mr Koster previously served as Executive Vice President (Corporate Internal Audit) at Royal Philips Electronics 1998 to 2001; as Managing Partner Corporate Finance, Coopers & Lybrand 1988 to 1998; and as Chief Compliance Officer and Acting Commissioner of Quotations, Amsterdam Stock Exchange 1986 to 1988; and carried out a number of senior finance functions in his earlier career, having trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen. Mr Koster is a licensed Registered (Chartered) Accountant having qualified through the Royal Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1977 and certified as a registered auditor in 1983.

        In May 2009, Mr Koster joined the Advisory Board of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the UAE's federal securities regulator, and in July 2009, he also became a Member of the Consultative Advisory Groups of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

        In September 2010, Mr Koster won the 'CEO of the Year for Financial Services' award and was voted one of the most influential expatriates living and working in the region today.

      • 27 April 2011 — DFSA Signs MoU With UAE Insurance Authority

        Dubai, Wednesday, 27 April 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered today into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Insurance Authority (IA) of the UAE regarding co-operation and exchange of regulatory information.

        The MoU was signed in the presence of His Excellency Eng Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of the Economy and Chairman of the IA, in the Dubai Office of the Ministry, by Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Her Excellency Fatima Mohammed Ishaq Al-Awadi, Deputy Director-General of the IA.

        The Insurance Authority is responsible for regulating and monitoring the activity of the UAE insurance sector to secure a suitable environment for its development and to provide security for both the relevant individuals (the consumers, the public, the professions, the insurance companies, the insured, the beneficiaries, applicants for insurance) and property. The DFSA is the regulator of Authorised Firms, including banks, insurance companies, investment banks, asset managers and fund administrators, providing financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "I am very pleased to be signing this MoU with our federal insurance counterpart, the Insurance Authority, and I am particularly honoured by the presence and support of His Excellency the Minister of the Economy. The DFSA already enjoys a strong relationship with the Authority and both agencies are members of the insurance standard-setter, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and last year the IA was a major sponsor for, as well as a participant in, the IAIS Annual Conference hosted by the DFSA in Dubai."

        "The signing of today's MoU extends that co-operation to day-to-day regulatory issues, formalising arrangements for information sharing. It recognises that both supervisors place reliance on the quality of regulatory standards administered federally and in the DIFC. This also marks a formal collaborative link between the DFSA and all three federal financial supervisors; MoUs having been signed with the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority in 2005 and with the Central Bank of the UAE in 2009."

        "Continuing close co-operation and future joint initiatives between the DFSA and the Insurance Authority will reinforce our mutual commitment to ensuring financial stability and promote sound economic growth in the UAE," Mr Koster said.

        - Ends -

        For further information please contact:

        Angharad Irving-Jones (Ms)
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Fax: +971 (0)4 362 0801
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purposebuilt 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.

        Paul M Koster was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 December 2008. Prior to becoming Chief Executive, he was Commissioner and Member of the Executive Board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), the national, integrated conduct of business financial services regulator for the Netherlands, where he was identified as one of the four leaders shaping the conscience of Dutch business. Mr Koster joined the AFM in March 2001 and in addition to his duties as a Commissioner, he chaired, from May 2006 until December 2007, CESR-Fin, the permanent working party of the Committee of European Securities Regulators that co-ordinates the endorsement and enforcement of financial reporting standards in Europe.

        For the previous two years he had chaired CESRs Sub-committee on International Standards Endorsement. During his time with the AFM, he was also a Member of the IOSCO Chairs' Committee and, as Chief Executive of the DFSA, he remains actively involved in the work of IOSCO.

        Mr Koster previously served as Executive Vice President (Corporate Internal Audit) at Royal Philips Electronics 1998 to 2001; as Managing Partner Corporate Finance, Coopers & Lybrand 1988 to 1998; and as Chief Compliance Officer and Acting Commissioner of Quotations, Amsterdam Stock Exchange 1986 to 1988; and carried out a number of senior finance functions in his earlier career, having trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen. Mr Koster is a licensed Registered (Chartered) Accountant having qualified through the Royal Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1977 and certified as a registered auditor in 1983.

        In May 2009, Mr Koster joined the Advisory Board of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the UAE's federal securities regulator, and in July 2009, he also became a Member of the Consultative Advisory Groups of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

        In September 2010, Mr Koster won the 'CEO of the Year for Financial Services' award and was voted one of the most influential expatriates living and working in the region today.

        The Insurance Authority of the UAE was established in 2009 and is responsible for regulating and monitoring the activity of the UAE insurance sector to secure a suitable environment for its development and to provide security for both the relevant individuals (the consumers, the public, the professions, the insurance companies, the insured, the beneficiaries, applicants for insurance) and for property. Her Excellency Fatima Mohammad Ishaq Al-Awadi, was appointed the first Deputy Director General on the Insurance Authority ………………..

      • 17 April 2011 — DFSA Introduces New Regime for Financial Services Marketing

        Dubai, Sunday, 17 April 2011:The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced, today, that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has enacted amendments to the Regulatory Law 2004 which further enhance the requirements and prohibitions relating to financial services marketing (“financial promotions”). These amendments, and the rules made under the law, provide greater clarity as to who can make a Financial Promotion in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and under what circumstances.

        The new provisions build upon the current financial promotion restrictions and prohibitions contained in the Collective Investment Law 2010 and the Markets Law 2004 which will continue to apply.

        The new legislation provides the DFSA with a greater degree of regulatory oversight and control over who may conduct Financial Promotions in or from the DIFC, and in particular oversight of the standards which such promotions must meet with respect to retail investors. The DFSA will also have greater scope to bring enforcement action in a Financial Promotion case when it deems it necessary in light of its statutory objectives.

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, “Our new and enhanced legislation provides greater protection for investors and potential investors against misleading promotions, especially those coming into the DIFC from outside.”

        - Ends -

        For further information please contact:

        Angharad Irving-Jones (Ms)
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Fax: +971 (0)4 362 0801
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purposebuilt 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.

        Paul M Koster was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 December 2008. Prior to becoming Chief Executive, he was Commissioner and Member of the Executive Board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), the national, integrated conduct of business financial services regulator for the Netherlands, where he was identified as one of the four leaders shaping the conscience of Dutch business. Mr Koster joined the AFM in March 2001 and in addition to his duties as a Commissioner, he chaired, from May 2006 until December 2007, CESR-Fin, the permanent working party of the Committee of European Securities Regulators that co-ordinates the endorsement and enforcement of financial reporting standards in Europe.

        For the previous two years he had chaired CESRs Sub-committee on International Standards Endorsement. During his time with the AFM, he was also a Member of the IOSCO Chairs' Committee and, as Chief Executive of the DFSA, he remains actively involved in the work of IOSCO.

        Mr Koster previously served as Executive Vice President (Corporate Internal Audit) at Royal Philips Electronics 1998 to 2001; as Managing Partner Corporate Finance, Coopers & Lybrand 1988 to 1998; and as Chief Compliance Officer and Acting Commissioner of Quotations, Amsterdam Stock Exchange 1986 to 1988; and carried out a number of senior finance functions in his earlier career, having trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen. Mr Koster is a licensed Registered (Chartered) Accountant having qualified through the Royal Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1977 and certified as a registered auditor in 1983.

        In May 2009, Mr Koster joined the Advisory Board of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the UAE's federal securities regulator, and in July 2009, he also became a Member of the Consultative Advisory Groups of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

        In September 2010, Mr Koster won the 'CEO of the Year for Financial Services' award and was voted one of the most influential expatriates living and working in the region today.

      • 5 April 2011 — DFSA Strengthens Ties With its Cayman Islands Counterpart

        Dubai, Tuesday, 5 April 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), last week.

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster, having been signed earlier in Grand Cayman by the Managing Director of CIMA, Mrs Cindy Scotland. The ceremony in the Dubai International Financial Authority (DIFC) took place during a State Visit by the Premier of the Cayman Islands, The Honourable McKeeva Bush, Government representatives and business leaders, in the presence of the Governor of the DIFC, His Excellency Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, and senior officials from DIFC Authority and the DFSA.

        CIMA was established in 1997 as the single regulatory authority for banks insurance companies, mutual funds, securities business and all other financial services operating in the Cayman Islands. CIMA also manages the Cayman Islands currency, and advises the Cayman Islands government on financial-services regulatory matters.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, “The DFSA is pleased to have entered this formal arrangement with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Both authorities are integrated regulators striving to embrace best practice and seekingto reflect the resolutions of the international standard-setters. Both the DFSA and CIMA are already signatories to multi-lateral MoU of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) which reflects the highest standards of cooperation and assistance among capital market regulators. This bi-lateral initiative extends that commitment to the banking and insurance sectors.”

        “Given the international nature of the Centre, the DFSA has always valued the importance of its links with and trust between supervisors and regulators. We now have a bi-lateral MoU network with 53 fellow regulators, including the central banks and banking supervisors in the UAE, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Jordan, China, Singapore and Japan.”, Mr Koster said.

        - Ends -

        For further information please contact:

        Angharad Irving-Jones (Ms)
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Fax: +971 (0)4 362 0801
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purposebuilt 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.

        Paul M Koster was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 December 2008. Prior to becoming Chief Executive, he was Commissioner and Member of the Executive Board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), the national, integrated conduct of business financial services regulator for the Netherlands, where he was identified as one of the four leaders shaping the conscience of Dutch business. Mr Koster joined the AFM in March 2001 and in addition to his duties as a Commissioner, he chaired, from May 2006 until December 2007, CESR-Fin, the permanent working party of the Committee of European Securities Regulators that co-ordinates the endorsement and enforcement of financial reporting standards in Europe.

        For the previous two years he had chaired CESRs Sub-committee on International Standards Endorsement. During his time with the AFM, he was also a Member of the IOSCO Chairs' Committee and, as Chief Executive of the DFSA, he remains actively involved in the work of IOSCO.

        Mr Koster previously served as Executive Vice President (Corporate Internal Audit) at Royal Philips Electronics 1998 to 2001; as Managing Partner Corporate Finance, Coopers & Lybrand 1988 to 1998; and as Chief Compliance Officer and Acting Commissioner of Quotations, Amsterdam Stock Exchange 1986 to 1988; and carried out a number of senior finance functions in his earlier career, having trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen. Mr Koster is a licensed Registered (Chartered) Accountant having qualified through the Royal Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1977 and certified as a registered auditor in 1983.

        In May 2009, Mr Koster joined the Advisory Board of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the UAE's federal securities regulator, and in July 2009, he also became a Member of the Consultative Advisory Groups of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

        In September 2010, Mr Koster won the 'CEO of the Year for Financial Services' award and was voted one of the most influential expatriates living and working in the region today.

        The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA): CIMA was established on 1 January 1997 as the primary financial services regulator of the Cayman Islands. Its regulatory role encompasses regulation and supervision of financial services, the monitoring of compliance with money laundering regulations, the issuance of a regulatory handbook on policies and procedures and the issuance of rules and statements of principle and guidance. It also has a cooperative role that contemplates the provision of assistance to overseas regulatory authorities, including the execution of memoranda of understanding to assist with consolidated supervision. CIMA also manages the Cayman Islands currency, and advises the Cayman Islands government on financial-services regulatory matters. Further details are available on its website, www.cimoney.com.ky

        Cindy Scotland was appointed Managing Director of the CIMA in June 2002. In this role she oversees the implementation of policies to ensure the sound management of the Cayman Islands' currency and the effective supervision of the more than 14,000 regulated entities operating in and from the Cayman Islands. She also has responsibility for the development and maintenance of strong working relationships between CIMA and other international regulatory bodies. Joining the Authority at its inception in January 1997 as the Head of Currency Operations, Mrs. Scotland was appointed General Manager six months later. She had previously spent six years with one of CIMA's predecessors, the Cayman Islands Currency Board, the last three of those years as the Board's Manager she represents the jurisdiction extensively on regulatory matters to organisations including the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors, the International organisation of Securities Commissions, the International Monetary Fund and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, as well as on a regulator-to-regulator basis.

        Mrs Scotland holds a number of board and committee posts. She is chairman of the Cayman Islands Guidance Notes Committee, a member of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange Authority board, and the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Committee of the Private Sector Consultative Committee.

        She was the 2004 recipient of the Young Caymanian Leadership Award and was made a life member of the International Association of Business Leaders in 2005. A notary public, Mrs. Scotland holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Macalester College (1991) and a certificate with distinction and diploma with merit, both in offshore business management, from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (2001).

      • 4 April 2011 — DFSA Board Extends Chief Executive's Contract to 2013

        Dubai, Monday, 4 April 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today, announced the DFSA Board's decision to extend the employment contract of its Chief Executive to December 2013.

        Mr Abdullah M Saleh, Chairman of the DFSA Board of Directors said, “Paul Koster has served as Chief Executive of the DFSA since December 2008 and I am very pleased that he has accepted the Board's offer. Extending his employment contract to December 2013 will allow him to continue to drive the aims and goals of the Authority during this important period in the regulation of financial services globally.”

        Mr Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, “I am honoured that the DFSA Board has given me the opportunity to further shape and attune financial services regulation that best meets the dynamics and development of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). I am very happy that they have entrusted me to continue working with this professional team and for such a distinguished Board.”

        - Ends -

        For further information please contact:

        Angharad Irving-Jones (Ms)
        Head of Corporate Communications
        Dubai Financial Services Authority
        Level 13, The Gate
        Dubai, UAE
        Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1661
        Fax: +971 (0)4 362 0801
        Email: airvingjones@dfsa.ae
        www.dfsa.ae

        Editor's notes:

        The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial and ancillary services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purposebuilt 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.

        Abdullah M Saleh was appointed as Chairman of the DFSA Board of Directors on 17 June 2007, having served as a Director of the DFSA since 2004.

        Mr Saleh is former Vice Chairman of Emirates NBD PJSC, the largest banking entity in the Middle East. Emirates NBD PJSC was formed by the merger of National Bank of Dubai (NBD) and Emirates Bank International (EBI). Mr Saleh was one of NBD's founders in 1963, the Managing Director from 1982 until January 2004, and Chairman from 2005 until the merger with EBI.

        Mr Saleh is a former adviser on financial matters to the Late Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Mr Saleh served as an Arbitrator on the Paris-based High Board of the Euro- Arab Arbitration Centre, from 1988 to 2000. He has been a Member of the Board of Qatar Fuel Additives Company since 1990 and has been Chairman of International Octane Limited since 1990. He is the Deputy Chairman and major shareholder of Dubai Transport Company LLC (DUTCO), the holding company of the DUTCO Group of Companies. He has been Chairman of MARSH INSCO (insurance brokers) since 1976. He is a Director of K S Energy Services Limited.

        He was educated in Sharjah and London and also attended the Institute of Bankers after completing his academic studies.

        Paul M Koster was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA on 1 December 2008. Prior to becoming Chief Executive, he was Commissioner and Member of the Executive Board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM), the national, integrated conduct of business financial services regulator for the Netherlands, where he was identified as one of the four leaders shaping the conscience of Dutch business. Mr Koster joined the AFM in March 2001 and in addition to his duties as a Commissioner, he chaired, from May 2006 until December 2007, CESR-Fin, the permanent working party of the Committee of European Securities Regulators that co-ordinates the endorsement and enforcement of financial reporting standards in Europe.

        For the previous two years he had chaired CESRs Sub-committee on International Standards Endorsement. During his time with the AFM, he was also a Member of the IOSCO Chairs' Committee and, as Chief Executive of the DFSA, he remains actively involved in the work of IOSCO.

        Mr Koster previously served as Executive Vice President (Corporate Internal Audit) at Royal Philips Electronics 1998 to 2001; as Managing Partner Corporate Finance, Coopers & Lybrand 1988 to 1998; and as Chief Compliance Officer and Acting Commissioner of Quotations, Amsterdam Stock Exchange 1986 to 1988; and carried out a number of senior finance functions in his earlier career, having trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen. Mr Koster is a licensed Registered (Chartered) Accountant having qualified through the Royal Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1977 and certified as a registered auditor in 1983.

        In May 2009, Mr Koster joined the Advisory Board of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the UAE's federal securities regulator, and in July 2009, he also became a Member of the Consultative Advisory Groups of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).

        In September 2010, Mr Koster won the 'CEO of the Year for Financial Services' award and was voted one of the most influential expatriates living and working in the region today.

      • 23 March 2011 — DFSA Launches Web Pages on "How To Avoid Being Scammed"

        Dubai, UAE, 23 March 2011: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) launches, today, on its website information on "How To Avoid Being Scammed." The aim of this initiative is to further inform members of the public on common scams being perpetrated on the financial services community.

        The DFSA's Head of Enforcement, Mr Stephen Glynn said: "We are launching the web pages, today, in both English and Arabic in response to the growing number of investors being targeted by scammers who are increasingly using electronic facilities to market their illegal schemes."

        "There seem to be new scams created everyday and they are becoming increasingly sophisticated." Mr Glynn said. "Public awareness and education are the most effective means of eradicating this menace."

        The DFSA regularly publishes Alerts on its website about the most recent scams affecting the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and investors. The Alerts, together with the "How To Avoid Being Scammed" web pages, will give investors more information about scams and how best to avoid them.

        If investors have queries or concerns about any product offered to them then they should consult a financial advisor from a reputable and licenced financial services provider or their financial services regulator before making any investment.

        The DFSA has an electronic portal through which members of the public can make complaints. The DFSA will respond to all complaints within 24 hours. The link to the "complaints portal" can be found at:
        http://www.dfsa.ae/Pages/Complaints/Complaints.aspx

        A link to the "How To Avoid Being Scammed" web page in English may be found at: http://www.dfsa.ae/Pages/Alerts/HowToAvoidBeingScammed.aspx

        A link to the "How To Avoid Being Scammed" web page in Arabic may be found at: http://www.dfsa.ae/ar/Pages/Alerts/HowToAvoidBeingScammed.aspx

        A link to the DFSA's Alerts may be found at: http://www.dfsa.ae/Alerts/Alerts.aspx

        For further information please contact the DFSA.

      • 20 March 2011 — DFSA Censures Saxo Bank for Client Take-On and AML Systems and Controls Failings

        Dubai, UAE, 20 March 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today censured Saxo Bank Dubai Limited (SBDL) for its failure to comply with the DFSA's Rules regarding the on-boarding of clients.

        The censure followed admissions by SBDL that it had breached the client take-on and anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls requirements in the DFSA's Rules by failing to:

        •    Properly classify clients;
        •    Enter into client agreements with clients;
        •    Obtain sufficient and satisfactory verification of clients' identities, permanent addresses and sources of wealth;
        •    Perform ongoing due diligence on clients;
        •    Adequately monitor client transactions; and
        •    Establish and maintain appropriate systems and controls in relation to Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

        These failings increased the risk of SBDL's Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) business being used for the purposes of money laundering. However, the DFSA found no evidence of any money laundering having taken place

        SBDL consented to the DFSA's censure.

        The censure arises from a DFSA investigation into the conduct of SBDL which found that SBDL's failures arose, in part, because SBDL referred its clients to its parent, Saxo Bank A/S in Denmark, and did not carry out sufficient client classification in accordance with the Laws and Rules of the DIFC.

        In censuring SBDL, the DFSA acknowledges the mitigating factors in regard to SBDL's conduct, which are set out in the censure.

        Mr Ian Johnston, Deputy Chief Executive and Managing Director of the DFSA said, "The DFSA considers the know your client and AML systems and controls of Firms in the DIFC to be of fundamental importance to maintaining the DIFC's integrity."

        Mr Stephen Glynn, DFSA's Head of Enforcement said, "The DFSA vigilantly supervises and detects systems and control failures relating to know your client, AML and counter terrorist financing obligations. The DFSA expends considerable resources educating the regulated community in respect of these obligations and will take strong action to enforce the applicable Laws and Rules when lapses occur."

        "The DFSA expects all Firms, as part of their compliance regimes, to establish and maintain strong and effective know your client, AML and counter terrorist financing systems and controls. Clients, therefore, should expect Firms in the DIFC to request information from them to confirm their identity, residential address and source of funds. The request for this information is to fulfill not only the Firms' obligations under the DIFC Laws and Rules but also the Federal Law and international standards."

        Censure:

        A copy of the censure is posted on the DFSA website: https://www.dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

    • 2010

      • 1 December 2010 — DFSA Congratulates New UAE National Regulators

        Dubai, UAE, 1 December 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) holds its annual Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Awards later today. The purpose of the awards is to congratulate Emirati employees who have completed the DFSA's two-year TRL Programme.

        The programme prepares newly graduated UAE Nationals to become financial services regulators. A combination of in-house training and coaching by experts from international financial centres and examinations from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (UK) makes the TRL Programme a unique development programme. Graduates join as TRL Associates and over the two years undergo over 400 hours of class room training along with on-job coaching from their more experienced DFSA colleagues. They also benefit from regular mentoring and industry placements within Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Firms.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "We take our obligations to the financial services community very seriously. To be a good regulator is to understand the challenges and market conditions your regulated community is facing. This is difficult at any stage of a regulator's career but more so when you are first starting out. DFSA is working closely with many DIFC-based Firms to provide our trainees with the opportunity to work in financial services institutions as part of the TRL Programme, so they can better understand our regulated community.

        Almost 95% of the TRL Programme is delivered by our regulatory colleagues who write and deliver training material or coach our trainees on a daily basis, where they benefit from a wealth of regulatory experience and gain an international perspective. In our awards today we not only celebrate the success of our young Emirati colleagues, but also recognise the considerable efforts and enthusiasm our trainers and coaches have shown over the last year.

        In line with our core regulatory mission, the TRL Programme is one of our most important strategic initiatives. We place great importance on developing the next generation of regulatory leaders."

        Mr Abdullah Saleh, Chairman of the DFSA said, "We are proud to say that 26% of our regulators are UAE Nationals. Since inception we have graduated nine managers with another ten trainees currently going through the Programme. The success of this programme is very important to the DFSA and we will continue our efforts to deliver sustainable and enduring benefits to the UAE, by developing young Emiratis for long-term careers in financial services regulation."

      • 3 November 2010 — DFSA Signatory to IAIS Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding: A First for the GCC

        Dubai, UAE, 3 November 2010: At the concluding meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) held in Dubai last week, the Chairman of that committee, Mr Peter Braumüller, announced that the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) had been accepted as a signatory to the IAIS Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).

        The MMoU is a framework for co-operation and the exchange of information between insurance supervisors to facilitate effective oversight of insurance and reinsurance companies which are active in more than one jurisdiction. It sets minimum standards to which signatories must adhere and these include the purposes for which information provided by another insurance supervisor can be used and the confidentiality of information received. The growing number of internationally active insurance companies, the increasing integration of financial markets and the global financial crisis highlight the importance of a MMoU to further support supervisory liaison and co-operation. It allows a supervisor receiving a request for information to provide that information quickly and effectively.

        The MMoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by its Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster. Mr Koster said, "I am particularly delighted to see that the DFSA has satisfied the highest level of co-operation standards that exist between international insurance supervisors. Acceptance as an IAIS multi-lateral MoU signatory is only permitted after rigorous assessment of the authority's legislative and regulatory regime. In the DFSA's case, this was conducted by a specialist team from four countries, confirmed by a group from another eight jurisdictions and finalised with an endorsement from the Chairs of IAIS's three senior committees."

        "The DFSA has established best practice utilising a modern legal framework and a risk-based approach to its supervisory measures. In signing this multi-lateral MoU, the DFSA further affirms its commitment to international co-operation, which is an essential requirement in today's changing business environment. Since 2005, the DFSA has placed a high priority on building its co-operative channels, which also now includes a bi-lateral MoU network with around fifty supervisors and regulators regionally and across the globe."

        The DFSA is the only regulator in the GCC, and the first in the Arab World, to be admitted as a signatory. The DFSA joins existing signatories representing the world's major insurance markets, including France, Germany, Australia and Singapore.

      • 27 October 2010 — DFSA Hosts Global Insurance Summit Today

        Dubai, UAE, 27 October 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosts, today, the world's policy makers and insurance leaders, in Dubai. The 17th Annual Conference of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) is a two day event commencing today at the Grand Hyatt Conference Centre.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: "The theme of this year's conference is 'The Gateway to Trust in the Insurance Industry.' The global financial crisis has reminded us all of the critical importance of trust in financial institutions and markets as a pillar to financial and economic stability."

        "Activity in the UAE insurance sector has continued to expand throughout the crisis and has a buoyant outlook. There are significant opportunities in the region's insurance market and the outlook for the Gulf's insurance sector is robust. Over the coming days delegates should gain a deeper understanding of emerging industry trends and regulatory developments."

        The DFSA would like to thank the UAE Insurance Authority, DIFC, PWC, RGA, Deloitte, Metlife, Swiss Re and all the other sponsors for the support it has received.

      • 10 October 2010 — DFSA Signs Accounting Standard-Setters MoU

        Dubai, UAE, 10 October, 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group (AOSSG), last month.

        In doing so, the DFSA joins standard-setting bodies from Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Macao, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

        The MoU sets out the four objectives of the AOSSG:

        •   Promoting the adoption of, and convergence with, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) by jurisdictions in the region;
        •   Promoting consistent application of IFRSs by jurisdictions in the region;
        •   Co-ordinating input from the region to the technical activities of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB); and
        •   Co-operating with governments and regulators and other regional and international organisations to improve the quality of financial reporting in the region.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "As the regulator of the DIFC which sets IFRS as the statutory standard for accountants practicing in the Centre, the DFSA is very pleased to join the Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group. The endorsement and promotion of IFRS, through the MoU and working committees, is a critical initiative for achieving global transparency and consistency and the DFSA is committed to participating in the important work of the AOSSG."

      • 4 October 2010 — DFSA Launches Arabic Website

        Dubai, UAE, 4 October 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced the launch of an Arabic version of its website, www.dfsa.ae. This is part of the Authority's strategy to realise its communication endeavours in Arabic, and this initiative accompanies the DFSA's various regulatory publications, also written in Arabic.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: “Ensuring we meet the needs of our stakeholders is paramount to the DFSA. We consider communication in the native tongue an important aspect in establishing dialogue with the broader market and I am pleased that, today, we are able present our services in the language of the region.”

        “This initiative is a reflection of our efforts to more effectively reach a wider audience in the financial services industry.”

        The DFSA will consider the translation of the Laws and Rules, in due course, but for the moment, they will remain in English. The website pages now available in Arabic include: About the DFSA, Doing Business with the DFSA, Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders, Islamic Finance, Legal Framework and Contact the DFSA.

      • 10 August 2010 — DFSA Signs MoU With Banco de Portugal

        Dubai, UAE, 10 August 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has recently entered into an agreement with the Portuguese banking supervisor, Banco de Portugal. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) commits the DFSA and Banco de Portugal to information sharing and co-operation in the supervision of financial institutions.

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster, having been signed earlier in Lisbon by Mr Carlos da Silva Costa, Governor of Banco de Portugal.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: "I am very pleased to have signed this agreement with Governor da Silva Costa as this initiative reflects each agency's commitment to co-operation in relation to prudential oversight and inspections of authorised institutions in Portugal and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It adopts the model for information sharing developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and acknowledges the call of the G20 and the Financial Stability Board promoting global adherence to international co-operation and information exchange standards."

        "Given the international nature of the Centre, the DFSA has always valued the importance of its links with and trust between supervisors and regulators. We now have a bi-lateral MoU network with more than 50 fellow regulators, including the central banks and banking supervisors in the UAE, UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Jordan, China, Singapore, and Japan."

      • 11 July 2010 — DFSA Enters Into MoU With Danish Counterpart

        Dubai, UAE, 11 July 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Finanstilsynet, the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, last week.

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster, and by Mr Ulrik Nodgaard, the Director General of Finanstilsynet. The Danish FSA is responsible for the supervision of financial institutions, such as banks, mortgagecredit institutions, pension and insurance companies. The Finanstilsynet also supervises the securities markets in Denmark.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: "Both the DFSA and Finanstilsynet are pleased to be signatories to the International Organisation of Securities Commissions multi-lateral MoU, which sets the highest standards for cooperation and assistance among securities regulators. Our bi-lateral MoU with Finanstilsynet reflects the broader responsibilities of each authority and extends this co-operation beyond the field of securities, and beyond the area of enforcement, to embrace licensing, inspection, surveillance and anti-money laundering functions covering banking, insurance and securities activity in Denmark and the Dubai International Finance Centre."

        "This initiative strengthens the Finanstilsynet and the DFSA's relationship as home-host regulators of Danish firms and reflects each authority's commitment to cooperation in relation to supervisory oversight and inspections."

      • 20 June 2010 — DFSA Signs MoU With Canadian Banking Regulator

        Dubai, UAE, 20 June 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions of Canada (OSFI), last week.

        The MoU was signed, first, on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster, and subsequently in Ottawa by Mr Mark White, the Assistant Superintendent, Regulation Sector, of OSFI. OSFI is responsible for regulating and supervising all federally chartered, licensed or registered banks, insurance, trust and loan companies, co-operative credit associations and fraternal benefit societies in Canada.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: “The attraction of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as the domicile of choice for Canadian financial institutions in the Middle East will be further enhanced by this regulatory relationship. This initiative reflects each agency's commitment to co-operation in relation to prudential oversight and inspections. It adopts the model for information sharing developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and follows similar arrangements the DFSA has with other significant banking supervisors in the UK, Germany, France, the US, Japan, Singapore and China.”

        “The global financial crisis has reinforced the importance of effective dialogue and collaboration between banking supervisors. Agreements of this kind will help that process.”

        “Since 2005 the DFSA has placed a high priority on building its information network. As a result of this signing, we now have a bi-lateral MoU network with fifty regulators regionally and across the globe.”

      • 15 June 2010 — DFSA Signs MoU With Leading US Banking Regulator

        Dubai, UAE, 15 June 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New York State Banking Department regarding co-operation and exchange of information, last week.

        The Department is the primary regulator for state-licensed and state-chartered financial entities, including domestic banks, foreign agencies, branches and representative offices, savings institutions and trust companies, credit unions and other financial institutions operating in New York including mortgage bankers and brokers, check cashers, money transmitters, and licensed lenders, among others.

        Total assets of the institutions regulated are nearly AED 8.8 trillion (USD 2.4 trillion). A branch of one of these banks is authorised to carry out financial services in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and is supervised by the DFSA.

        The MoU was signed by Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Richard Neiman, New York State's Superintendent of Banks, at the Department's headquarters, in New York.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: “I am very pleased to have concluded this arrangement with Superintendent Nieman and the DFSA is honoured to have formalised its relationship with the oldest banking regulatory agency in the United States. As co-supervisors of a common institution operating in New York and in the DIFC, the State Banking Department and the DFSA are committed to enhancing co-operation and information sharing in relation to this bank, and any others that may follow in future.

        “This memorandum was drafted in light of the Basel Principles for Effective Banking Supervision and complements another MoU established by the DFSA in October 2007 with the four US Federal banking supervisors - the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTC), to ensure a coordinated approach between home and host supervisors of a number of significant US banks.”

      • 21 March 2010 — DFSA Takes Action Over Damas Failures

        Dubai, UAE, 21 March 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") today announced remedial action and enforcement sanctions against Damas International Limited ("Damas") and its Board of Directors ("Board") for their failure to exercise appropriate corporate governance over the company and its subsidiaries.

        The remedial action includes the resignation of the Damas Board, the appointment of a new Board to govern Damas, and measures to enhance the governance, systems and controls of Damas so as to protect the company, its assets and shareholders' interests. Damas has also agreed to the appointment of new auditors for the fiscal year commencing 1 April 2010.

        The sanctions include financial penalties against Damas, Tawhid, Tawfique and Tamjid Abdullah, ("Abdullah Brothers") and voluntary bans, for periods up to 10 years, on the Abdullah Brothers from acting as Directors of Damas or any company in the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC").

        Today's announcement follows an investigation by the DFSA into "unauthorised transactions" that were announced to the market by Damas on 15 October 2009. The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: "Maintaining international governance standards and internal systems and controls as well as ensuring investor confidence is fundamental to the integrity of the market in the DIFC.

        This action will remind Directors of public companies that they owe a duty to the company and their shareholders, which supersedes any duty they have to their private interests.

        The range of measures, announced today, will assist Damas to conduct its business in accordance with the Laws and Rules of this jurisdiction."

        "In pursuing the objectives of the DIFC, the DIFC Registrar of Companies and the DFSA collaborated and concurred on the foregoing measures in its regulatory efforts to enhance corporate governance within Damas." Koster said.

        Enforceable Undertaking:

        A copy of the Enforceable Undertakings between the DFSA, Damas, the Abdullah Brothers and each non-Executive Director is posted on the DFSA website:

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

        Summary of the Findings of the DFSA's Investigation:

        The investigation found that the amount owing by Tawhid, Tawfiq and Tamjid Abdullah ("Abdullah Brothers") to Damas International Limited ("Damas") comprised of approximately AED 365, 000,000 (USD 99,400,000) plus the value of approximately 1,940,250 grams of gold, the price of which is to be fixed on a date agreed by Damas and the Abdullah Brothers.

        These drawings required the prior approval of the Damas International Limited ("Damas") Board of Directors ("Board") and/or shareholders of Damas, which was not obtained.

        The DFSA found that:

        •    The Abdullah Brothers contravened DFSA Laws and Rules in that they:
        •    Engaged in the practice of withdrawing Damas funds for their own personal use and did not disclose the drawings or other transactions to, or seek the approval of, the Board; and
        •   Obtained the drawings as loans from Damas on non-commercial terms.
        •    Tawhid Abdullah contravened DFSA Laws and Rules in that he failed to disclose, immediately, to the Board:
        •    The drawings;
        •    The use to which the drawings would be put; and
        •    His interest in properties sold to Damas.
        •    Tawfique and Tamjid Abdullah contravened DFSA administered Laws and Rules in that they failed to make adequate and reasonable enquiries into the transfer, purpose and use of the drawings of Damas funds.
        •    Tawfique Adbullah, as Chairman, failed to provide to the Board information about the directors drawings, in a timely manner, and in a form and of a quality appropriate to enable the directors to discharge their duties.
        •    Damas and its Board contravened DFSA Laws and Rules in that they failed to establish and maintain appropriate systems and controls to:
        •    Safeguard shareholders' investments and the assets of Damas;
        •    Ensure the Damas Chairman supplied the Board with sufficient information to carry out its functions; and
        •    Ensure the Audit Committee carried out its functions.
        •    Damas also failed to:
        •    Disclose, without delay, the nature, content and details of the drawings; and
        •    Obtain the consent of shareholders to provide financial assistance to the Abdullah Brothers.

        The Undertakings

        Damas, each of the non-Executive Damas Directors and the Abdullah Brothers have entered into Enforceable Undertakings (EUs) with the DFSA. In particular Damas and the Board have accepted the DFSA's position regarding their corporate governance failures and agreed to implement a range of corporate governance measures and controls. These include that Damas:

        •   Obtains the resignation of each non-Executive Board Member of his and her directorship within 30 days of the EU, and that each not seek reappointment to the Board for a period of 2 years;
        •    Calls an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to appoint a new Board within 30 days of the EU;
        •    Appoints, and appropriately allocates and apportions, Board and senior management responsibilities;
        •    Establishes appropriate measures to ensure the Board receives the information it requires to act on an informed basis;
        •    Establishes appropriate and proper systems and controls;
        •    Appoints a full-time Compliance Officer and Company Secretary;
        •    Establishes appropriate measures to manage and mitigate risk;
        •    Agrees to appoint a new auditor;
        •    Pays a financial penalty in the amount of AED 2,569,000 (USD 700,000), of which AED 367,000 (USD 100,000) is to be paid within 30 days of the EU with the balance suspended but payable upon a failure by Damas to comply with a term or condition of the EU; and
        •    Pays the cost of the DFSA's supervision of compliance with the EU in the amount of AED 92,000 (USD 25,000).

        The Abdullah Brothers have undertaken to:

        •    Repay the amount owing to Damas;
        •    Disclose and particularise to Damas each of their assets over a value of AED 300,000 (USD 82,000);
        •    Grant to Damas a legal mortgage or other enforceable security over their assets;
        •    Resign as Directors of Damas, within 30 days of the EU and its subsidiaries within a timeframe suitable to the DFSA;
        •    Not act as a Director or Officer of Damas and any DIFC company for periods of 5 and 10 years;
        •    Pay the costs of the DFSA investigation; and
        •    Pay a financial penalty in the amount of AED 11,010,000 (USD 3,000,000), of which AED1,101,000 (USD 300,000) is to be paid within 180 days of the EU with the balance suspended but payable upon a failure, by any of the Abdullah Brothers, to comply with a term or condition of the EU.

      • 10 March 2010 — DFSA Launches Electronic Islamic Finance Handbooks

        Dubai, UAE, 10 March 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has launched a series of electronic Islamic finance tailored handbooks, designed to help Firms undertaking Islamic finance activities in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The Islamic finance handbooks are designed to assist with the identification of the DFSA's Rulebook requirements applicable to financial activities conducted as Islamic or Shari'a compliant.

        The five tailored handbooks relate to five different types of Islamic finance activities. Each handbook contains the parts of the DFSA Rulebooks which apply to that particular area of activity namely:

           • Islamic Banking;
           • Islamic Investment Business, other than Operating Funds;
           • Islamic Insurance;
           • Islamic Insurance Intermediation and Management; and
           • Operation of Islamic Funds.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: "Islamic finance has witnessed tremendous growth and as such is an important area of focus for the DFSA. We want to provide the industry with improved access to our framework of Laws and regulations which is why we have created the Islamic finance tailored handbooks. By improving our delivery of information to Firms conducting Islamic finance activities, we hope that the handbooks will help Firms access the requirements that apply to their Islamic finance activities more easily."

        The electronic handbooks are available on

        www.dfsa.ae/Pages/LegalFramework/IslamicFinance

      • 7 March 2010 — DFSA Enters Into Memorandum of Understanding With French Markets Authority

        Paris, France, 7 March 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Autorité des marchés financiers of France (AMF), the French securities regulator, on Friday.

        The signing took place between Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and M Jean-Pierre Jouyet, Chairman of the AMF.

        The AMF is France's independent public body responsible for safeguarding investments in financial instruments and in all other savings and investment vehicles; for ensuring that investors receive material information; and for maintaining orderly financial markets. The AMF also lends its support to financial market regulation at European and International levels.

        The Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Paul Koster said: "The Autorité des marchés financiers has been a valued member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and an active participant in the work of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), adopting and harmonising international standards in Europe and continuing to establish world-class standards in the regulation of capital markets. As such, this MoU is a significant initiative, recognising the importance of these arrangements for co-operation and information sharing between the two regulators."

        Both the AMF and the DFSA are signatories to the IOSCO multi-lateral MoU, having satisfied the highest standards of co-operation and assistance among IOSCO members. It is enhanced by today's bi-lateral agreement which reflects each agency's responsibilities in the regulation of securities.

        This initiative reflects France's continuing commitment to the UAE, as the AMF already enjoys a significant and warm relationship with our federal counterpart, the Emirates' Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), having signed a bi-lateral MoU in April 2009. Reflecting its status as an integrated regulator, the DFSA also has an MoU with Commission Bancaire, France's banking supervisor, signed in August 2008.

        "As a result of this signing, the DFSA now has a bi-lateral and multi-lateral MoU network with 90 regulators across the globe, which underlines the importance of effective co-ordination and co-operation", Mr Koster said.

      • 23 February 2010 — DFSA Strengthens Ties With The QFC Regulatory Authority

        Doha, Qatar, 23 February 2010: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Regulatory Authority, yesterday.

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster, and Mr Phillip Thorpe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the QFC Regulatory Authority, during the 4th GCC Regulators' Summit, held in Doha.

        The QFC Regulatory Authority was established in 2005 as the independent regulatory body of the Qatar Financial Centre. It has been established to regulate firms that conduct financial services in or from the QFC.

        Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "The DFSA is keen to engage with its counterparts in the GCC and I am particularly pleased to be signing this MoU with Phillip Thorpe, a distinguished and experienced figure in the world of financial regulation. I am also pleased that we now have a formal arrangement with the QFC Regulatory Authority, with whom we have much in common. Both authorities are integrated regulators of international centres striving to embrace best practice and seeking to reflect the resolutions of the international standard-setters. This initiative should be seen as a mutual willingness to co-operate and share information to those standards."

        "In the past year, the importance of effective co-ordination and co-operation between regulators cannot be overstated. We are looking for better ways of working together to resolve problems and prevent their repetition. Agreements such as this will make a difference", Mr Koster said.

        Phillip Thorpe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of QFC Regulatory Authority welcomed the signing of the MoU saying, "As markets and regulatory jurisdictions are brought closer together in today's evermore complex financial environment, it is increasingly important that regulators share information and working practices as a means of bolstering their effectiveness. This is especially important in neighbouring jurisdictions where cross-border activities are, therefore, more likely to occur and where regulators are, therefore, more likely to need to communicate.

        "This move marks an important development for both regulators in light of our clear shared interests. I am delighted that we are able to sign this MoU with the DFSA and I anticipate that a closer relationship will significantly benefit both parties".

    • 2009

      • 8 December 2009 — DFSA Issues Censure

        Dubai, UAE, 8 December 2009: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today imposed an administrative censure (Censure) against Mr Samir Madison-Jammal (Madison-Jammal) a former Authorised Individual of a Firm authorised by the DFSA to provide financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        The censure arises as a consequence of Mr Madison-Jammal's failure to notify the DFSA of a material change in the application by the Firm for the granting of its licence to provide financial services in the DIFC. Mr Madison-Jammal is also censured for being knowingly and directly concerned in the failure of the Firm to have mandatory appointments in place from the date of its Licensing in 2009.

        Firms seeking to provide financial services in the DIFC must appoint individuals who are suitably qualified and experienced to carry out the licensed functions of the Firm, such as the function of Senior Executive Officer, Finance Officer and Compliance Officer. The licensed functions can only be carried out by individuals whom are fit and proper, and authorised by the DFSA, to carry out such functions.

        Firms must notify the DFSA and seek approval, in advance, of any proposed change of individuals, where either the individuals have been proposed by an application to the DFSA to carry out a licensed function or are currently carrying out licensed functions.

        Firms that do not have individuals in place to carry out the mandatory licensed functions may be prohibited from carrying on the financial services activities for which they are licensed and may have their licence revoked.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "The DFSA aims to ensure that firms providing financial services within the DIFC are governed only by individuals who are fit, proper, skilled and experienced to carry out their licensed functions."

        "Consequently the DFSA must be vigilant to ensure that Firms and people in responsible positions within Firms maintain high standards. The DFSA believes that this can only be achieved if Firms appoint individuals who are suitably qualified to carry out the licensed functions of the Firm."

        "Additionally, Firms must at all times be transparent in their dealings with the DFSA and notify it of any changes to individuals whom carry out its licensed functions, including during the licencing process," Mr Koster said.

        The administrative censure (which summarises the facts giving rise to the censure) is published on the DFSA website www.dfsa.ae.

      • 29 October 2009 — DFSA Strengthens Ties With Securities and Exchange Board of India

        Mumbai, India, 29 October 2009: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) entered yesterday into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

        The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster, and Mr Shri CB Bhave, Chairman of SEBI, on the eve of a Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) seminar entitled, 'The India-UAE Partnership: Investments, Opportunities and Synergies'.

        The seminar was held in Mumbai on Thursday 29 October, led by the Governor of the DIFC and Vice Chairman of the UAE Central Bank HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, and Union Cabinet Ministers, Their Excellencies Vayalar Ravi and Kamal Nath.

        The Securities and Exchange Board of India was established in 1992 to regulate the securities markets in India, to protect the interest of the investors and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "As the supervisor of one of the largest capital markets in the world, SEBI is an active member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and acknowledged as one that is committed to world best practice. SEBI is, like the DFSA, a signatory to IOSCO's multi-lateral MoU and, as such, has already shown its ability and willingness to co-operate and share information to international standards. This bi-lateral MoU is a significant initiative, recognising the importance of these arrangements for cooperation and information sharing between the two regulators."

        "There are already a number of branches of Indian firms operating in the DIFC so this agreement, which reflects the responsibilities of both agencies, will enhance information sharing and co-operation between the DFSA and SEBI as regulators of these firms. As more financial services firms join the DIFC from India, this bi-lateral relationship will assume increasing importance as both regulators rely on the quality of regulatory standards administered in the other's jurisdiction."

        "In the past year, the importance of effective co-ordination and co-operation between regulators cannot be overstated. We are looking for better ways of working together to resolve current problems and prevent their repetition. Agreements such as this will make a difference", Mr Koster said.

        Mr Shri CB Bhave, Chairman of SEBI said, "This arrangement establishes a framework for mutual assistance, strengthening of cross-border co-operation and contributes towards efficient performance of the supervisory functions and effective enforcement of the laws and regulations governing the markets in our respective jurisdictions."

      • 28 October 2009 — DFSA Grants Recognition to NYSE Liffe US LLC

        Dubai, UAE, 28 October 2009: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced last week that NYSE Liffe US LLC, has been granted the status of Recognised Body within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

        Mr Paul Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA said, "This recognition will enable NYSE Liffe US LLC to provide direct access to its futures markets in the United States by Firms operating within the DIFC that are appropriately licensed for such activities."

        NYSE Liffe US LLC is a designated contract market registered in the United States with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a wholly owned subsidiary of NYSE Euronext.

      • 19 October 2009 — DFSA Seeks Public Comment on Review of Funds Regime in the DIFC

        Dubai, UAE, 19 October 2009: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) released today for public comment the Report of the Market Practitioner Panel (Panel) it appointed in July 2009 to review the DIFC's Collective Investment Funds regime.

        The Panel Report contains recommendations relating to 10 Key Issues. In the Panel's view, these issues need to be addressed in order to support the growth of the funds industry in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIF