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

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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.

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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

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).