3. Powers to Obtain Confidential Information

3.1 Like other financial services regulators, the DFSA has comprehensive statutory powers to carry out its authorisation, supervision and enforcement functions regarding financial services in the DIFC. The DIFC Regulatory Law confers powers to require reports, conduct on-site inspections of business premises of authorised entities and individuals, investigate and compel the production of documents, testimony and other information.

3.2 The DFSA can also use its powers to obtain information from third party suppliers, including intermediaries and companies that have accepted outsourced functions for regulated entities. These include subsidiaries established in the DIFC and branches in the DIFC of firms authorised in other jurisdictions. The DFSA may also exercise these powers at the request, and on behalf, of foreign regulators and authorities to assist them in performing their regulatory or enforcement functions. Why, when and how this is permissible is described in more detail below.

3.3 In short, because the DFSA's statutory mandate is to regulate all financial services provided in and from the DIFC, the DFSA has broad access to confidential information about individuals and firms participating in or connected to the provision of financial services in the DIFC. This includes all market participants, listed companies, reporting entities and their officers and directors.

Example: This means that the DFSA will treat accounts that are booked and held in foreign jurisdictions, but serviced and managed in or from the DIFC the same as if the accounts were booked, held, serviced and managed entirely within the DIFC. Legally and practically the DFSA has complete access to the account information in both situations because the regulated financial service is provided in or from the DIFC. However, if a DIFC regulated financial institution books, holds, services and manages an account entirely in a foreign jurisdiction, the DFSA has no authority to access confidential client account information unless the laws of the foreign jurisdiction permit such access and disclosure.