6 January 2009 — DFSA Sanctions Former GFS Investments Compliance Officer
Dubai, UAE, 6 January 2008: The Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") today announced that it has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking given by Roberto Da Silva (DA SILVA), the former Compliance Reporting Officer of GFS Investments (Middle East) Limited ("GFS Investments").
The written undertaking follows the DFSA's investigation into DA SILVA's conduct between 17 May 2007, the date that GFS Investments was licensed by the DFSA, to 31 October 2007, the date of his resignation from GFS Investments. The DFSA's action follows an earlier investigation into the business operations of GFS Investments which resulted in Enforceable Undertakings with GFS Investments and a number of its Directors and employees, in September 2008.
In accordance with the Enforceable Undertaking entered into by GFS Investments, compensation has been paid to customers who were adversely affected by the conduct which was the subject of the investigation.
DA SILVA acknowledged the DFSA's concerns about his conduct as an Authorised Individual of GFS Investments. The DFSA was concerned that DA SILVA contravened the Principles for Authorised Individuals and was involved in contraventions, by GFS Investments, of the Principles for Authorised Firms.
As the Compliance Officer of GFS Investments, DA SILVA was required to observe high standards of integrity and fair dealing, act with skill, care and diligence and have in place adequate systems and controls to ensure the business of GFS Investments was organised so that it could be controlled and managed effectively and complied with legislation applicable in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The DFSA was concerned that DA SILVA failed to carry out his duties as a Compliance Officer adequately.
As a consequence of its investigation, the DFSA today entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with DA SILVA who agreed to pay a penalty to the DFSA in the amount of USD 70,000 (AED 257,250).
DFSA's Chief Executive, Mr. Paul Koster, said: "The DFSA has an important role to maintain business standards within the DIFC and relies upon Compliance Officers to maintain high standards of conduct in Authorised Firms.
Compliance Officers are the first line of regulatory defence against those who choose not to adhere to proper standards of governance and conduct in financial services.
The vast majority of our Compliance Officers take their governance and compliance responsibilities very seriously and this has helped the DIFC to quickly establish a reputation for excellence. We are, therefore, disappointed with any conduct that harms the reputation of the DIFC and our response should send a clear message that we will deal firmly with any person that fails to maintain the high standards required within this Centre."