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

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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."

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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

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).