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Introduction

1. The DFSA’s policy has been not to consider licence applications from start up entities. The DFSA has recently reconsidered this policy and from 1 January 2006 will accept applications to be considered individually on a risk based approach.
2. This policy statement is designed to serve as a user friendly guide to assist start up entities which are interested in applying for authorisation by the DFSA to conduct financial services in or from the DIFC. It gives guidance as to the information required to support an application and indicates the criteria that the DFSA may apply in the authorisation process. Start ups, as with any other applicants, will be required to satisfy all relevant aspects of the DFSA’s rules and authorisation process prior to being granted a licence.
3. Considering the restriction in Article 4(1) (a) of the Federal Law No 8 of 2004, the DFSA will not authorise a new entity proposing to form in the DIFC to carry out banking activities, unless it is a branch or a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing bank or a joint venture between parties, in which each party must be an existing bank. In formulating this policy the DFSA recognizes that it is not practical to provide guidance on the application of the policy to every possible scenario. Therefore, interested parties are invited to contact the DFSA if they have questions about the application of the policy to their particular circumstances. That said, the DFSA will give as much guidance as possible to circumstances that it has considered or will consider as application of the policy develops.