20 June 2016 — The DFSA Hosts Annual Supervision Outreach Session

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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.

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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. 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).