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Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA): Contents

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2017
9 January 2017 — DFSA's Framework Receives Regulatory Equivalency to European Union Regime
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  • 2017

    • 23 November 2017 — DFSA and ASIC sign FinTech agreement

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 23 November 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) entered into an agreement today that sets out a framework for cooperation on financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement demonstrates a commitment by both Authorities to provide a regulatory framework that promotes innovation in financial services and regulatory compliance in their respective markets.

      The signing took place between Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr John Price, Commissioner of ASIC, in Melbourne. Under the terms of the agreement, the Authorities will share information on developments in innovation in each market. The agreement also introduces a referral mechanism that enables the Authorities to refer innovative businesses to their respective authorities.

      Mr Johnston said: "Today's agreement underscores our commitment to maintaining strong channels of communication with our regulatory peers and creates a regulatory framework that supports the latest developments in FinTech innovation. We have a long-standing productive relationship with our colleagues at ASIC, which we look forward to extending to this fast-developing industry."

      John Price, Commissioner, ASIC, said: "We are excited to partner with the DFSA to help encourage fintech innovation in Australia and Dubai. RegTech is becoming more and more important — this is a new frontier in our bilateral cooperation that will benefit both regulators and businesses."

      This latest cooperation agreement 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. In August, the DFSA launched the first tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. In May, the DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence, a special class of financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts in or from the DIFC. The DFSA's initiatives follow the launch of the FinTech Hive at the DIFC, bringing together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. Its aim is to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shariah-based services.

      In March 2015, ASIC, an early leader in this field, established the Innovation Hub to assist innovative FinTech businesses navigate its regulatory system. Through its Innovation Hub, ASIC engages with the FinTech community, provides assistance to innovative FinTech start-ups and liaises with FinTech experts through ASIC's Digital Finance Advisory Committee.

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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. 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 comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

      In September 2006, the DFSA and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for mutual assistance and the exchange of information. Its aim was to enhance supervision of cross-border transactions and create an environment conducive to the prevention of fraud.

      The Authorities are also co-signatories of the International Organization of Securities Commissions Multilateral-MoU (MMoU) initiative, covering consultation and cooperation and the exchange of information, and the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators MMoU to increase cooperation with the oversight of audit professionals.

    • 9 November 2017 — DFSA grants Sarwa Digital Wealth Ltd In-Principle Approval for Innovation Testing Licence

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 9 November 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today granted Sarwa Digital Wealth Limited (Sarwa), an automated investment advice service, in-principle approval1 for its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). The DIFC-based company becomes the first FinTech operator to receive approval for this special class of financial service licence developed specifically for FinTech firms.

      The DFSA's ITL is a restricted financial services licence that allows qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the DIFC, without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. It was introduced in May this year, as part of the DFSA's efforts to develop a regulatory framework that promotes growth and innovation in the sector.

      Ian Johnston, Chief Executive, DFSA, said: "The DFSA has worked closely with Sarwa's management to understand its business proposal and the appropriate controls for the safety of customers involved, as the company works towards receiving an ITL."

      Sarwa is the first automated investment advice service for young professionals in the Middle East, which combines investment strategies with technology to reduce investments costs. It is among the 12 start-ups to participate in the FinTech Hive at DIFC, the region's first accelerator programme launched by the DIFC in partnership with Accenture in January this year.

      The 12-week programme went live in August to facilitate collaboration between cutting-edge technology companies and leading regional and international financial institutions. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including Regulatory Technology (RegTech), alternative finance and mobile payments, and concludes with an Investor Day on 12 November 2017.

      Mr Johnston added: "We have been impressed by the proposals presented by the Hive participants. We expect several others to apply for DFSA regulation and are already considering the regulatory test plans of some."

      Ms Raja Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at DIFC, said: "This announcement is a true testament to the success of Fintech Hive at DIFC and the opportunities we provided to our finalists. We remain committed to driving the development of the financial sector in the region and we look forward to seeing more success stories coming out of this Programme."

      In addition to the FinTech Hive at DIFC finalists, the DFSA is in discussions with a range of FinTech firms interested in applying for the ITL or a full financial services licence, with business models including robo-advisors, crowdfunding platforms and digital wallets and payment services. The DFSA is also engaging with a number of RegTech firms, who do not need to be licenced, to understand developments in this area and facilitate progress where possible.

      The DFSA's efforts to support the sustainable development of FinTech and RegTech in the DIFC compliments the UAE National Innovation Strategy set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE a hub for innovation and technology. In addition to the ITL, the DFSA introduced a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in August, the first such framework in the GCC region.

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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.

      The DFSA issues an in-principle approval when it is satisfied that the applicant firm can meet the relevant regulatory requirements. The firm then needs to take practical steps, such as obtaining premises, before it receives the formal licence.

      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 comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 31 October 2017 — DFSA Continues to Develop its Funds Regime

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 31 October 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today consulted on a comprehensive package of proposals to support the continued development of the growing funds industry in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).The proposals are wide-ranging and are designed to provide greater flexibility for investors and fund managers in the Centre.

      Ian Johnston, the Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "These proposals, to enhance our funds regime, mark yet another milestone in the evolution and development of the funds industry in the DIFC. The changes reflect our ongoing commitment to maintaining international standards, while being fully aware of the need to tailor our regime to take account of DIFC specific factors and the regional requirements."

      The funds industry in the DIFC has been growing steadily with 18 Funds being registered so far in the current year, reinforcing the status of the DIFC as the largest fund hub in the region. The DFSA aims to provide further opportunities for industry development by:

      •  removing the current limits on the number of investors which a DIFC fund can have. Currently only a Public Fund is able to have 101 or more investors, with an Exempt Fund being limited to 100 or fewer investors and a Qualified Investor Fund ("QIF") to 50 or fewer investors. The proposals will not change the current approach to regulation of these funds, based on the type of investors (e.g. Public Funds, being open to retail investors, face greater regulatory requirements). These proposals will give fund managers more flexibility in structuring Funds.
      •  introducing a new class of specialist funds for Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). These open-ended funds, listed and traded on exchanges, are popular with both retail and institutional investors in other jurisdictions. Their introduction would give fund managers greater choice of the type of Funds they could offer in or from the DIFC.
      •  introducing a new model for internal management of an Investment Company, where such a company can be internally managed by its licensed sole Corporate Director. This is a model available in the European Union and the proposals introduce it with some adjustments to suit the DIFC regime.

      The proposals strengthen the DFSA's commitment to meeting international standards, particularly of the Financial Stability Board and the International Organization of Securities Commissions, through measures to enhance liquidity risk management in open-ended funds. Open-ended funds give investors the right to have units redeemed at a price calculated based on the net asset value of the fund's portfolio of assets.

      One of the key areas of recent funds growth in the DIFC is in the Property Funds sector, particularly in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), with two REITs already listed and traded on Nasdaq Dubai. The proposals remove the current restriction that all Property Funds must be closed-ended. Instead, only Public Property Funds will need to be closedended funds. Exempt Funds and QIFs which are Property Funds would be able to choose whether they wish to be closed-ended or open-ended.

      The name REIT is currently restricted to Public Property Funds investing in income generating real estate and distributing at least 80% of their net annual income. Exempt Funds and QIFs, which are Property Funds, will, under the proposals, be allowed to use the name REIT if they invest in income generating real estate and distribute 80% of their annual income.

      The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link:
      https://www.dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/Notice-of-Consultation-Paper-Release-(6)

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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.

      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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the global standard-setting body for Islamic finance. Ian was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board, from January 2011 to March 2016.

    • 25 October 2017 — DFSA to co-host 2nd Annual FinTech Summit

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 25 October 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is delighted to co-host the 2nd Annual FinTech Summit with Naseba a business facilitation company at Park Hyatt Dubai, on October 30. The summit will provide a platform for the region's Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) decision makers to discuss and evaluate the latest developments in FinTech.

      The DFSA's involvement in the summit reflects its efforts to develop an innovation-friendly ecosystem, and compliments the UAE National Innovation Strategy set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE a hub for innovation and technology.

      The summit is being held under the theme 'Transforming BFSI Enterprises' and will feature keynote addresses from industry thought leaders, as well as business meetings between FinTech solution providers and BFSI senior executives who are seeking to adopt FinTech solutions. Delegates will hear from a distinguished panel of experts, who will discuss the latest developments and innovations in FinTech including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Digital Payments, and Cyber Security.

      In May, the DFSA introduced the DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence, a special class of restricted financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In addition, the DFSA introduced a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in August.

      Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision, at the DFSA, said: "We are firm believers in the value that FinTech can bring to this region and are providing the regulatory infrastructure to ensure its sustainable development in and from the DIFC. We are delighted to use this platform to bring together market practitioners and experts to discuss the latest developments in this new and exciting area."

      Speakers at the summit include; Mr Stirewalt, Alastair Lukies CBE, the UK Prime Minister's Business Ambassador for FinTech, Sagheer Mufti, Chief Operating Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Naimish Shah, SVP of Innovation and FinTech at Emirates NBD.

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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.

      Bryan Stirewalt joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director of the Supervision Division since 2010. The Supervision Division includes prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of a variety of financial service providers, including: commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, wealth managers, and a variety of advisory services.

      The Supervision Division also oversees the DFSA's role with auditors and credit rating agencies. Mr Stirewalt is active in the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance with respect to the entities mentioned above, as well as with other DNFBPs. Mr Stirewalt has extensive experience in the financial regulatory sphere, in both public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives.

      From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing his attention on emerging markets development programmes, including management of large-scale and multi-faceted projects in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. These projects related to a wide array of topics including financial sector development, risk management policies and practices, anti-money laundering systems and controls and methods of supervising complex financial conglomerates.

    • 4 October 2017 — DFSA Censures Finance Officer

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 4 October 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has censured Mr Prabhakar Kamath, a former Finance Officer of a DFSA Authorised Firm for submitting an inaccurate financial report to the DFSA.

      Mr Kamath, in his capacity as Finance Officer, was responsible for submitting the Firm's monthly financial reports to the DFSA, and its compliance with the DFSA's Rules in relation to prudential requirements.

      In June 2015, Mr Kamath provided the DFSA with the Firm's monthly financial report for May 2015. The report was incorrect because it represented that the Firm continued to meet the DFSA's prudential requirements. In fact, the Firm's current account balance was significantly less than stated and, therefore, the Firm was in breach of the DFSA's prudential requirements.

      Before Mr Kamath submitted the financial report to the DFSA, a member of the Firm's senior management gave Mr Kamath inaccurate information about the Firm's current account balance. However, Mr Kamath failed to take steps to verify the balance of the Firm's current account. In particular, he did not obtain and review relevant bank statements.

      The DFSA considers that Mr Kamath breached the DFSA's Principles for Authorised Individuals by failing to exercise sound judgment and diligence in performing the role of Finance Officer.

      Following the conclusion of the DFSA's investigation, Mr Kamath accepted responsibility for his conduct and agreed to settle the matter at an early stage. While breaches of the DFSA's Principles for Authorised Individuals have, in the past, resulted in a financial penalty, the DFSA concluded that a public censure is the most appropriate action given the circumstances of this matter. Mr Kamath also cooperated fully with the DFSA's investigation.

      A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice given to Mr Kamath can be found on the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      https://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

      - Ends -

      Editor's notes:

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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.

    • 18 September 2017 — DFSA Signs MoU with Lebanon's CMA

      Click here to view PDF.

      DFSA Signs MoU with Lebanon's CMA

      Dubai, UAE, 18 September 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lebanon's Capital Markets Authority (CMA). The agreement will enhance information sharing and cooperation around supervisory issues, further extending the existing relationship between the two markets.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Sami Saliba, Executive Board Member of the CMA, signed the MoU in the offices of the DFSA. It also provides the foundation to facilitate the entry of some financial institutions into the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) from Lebanon, through information sharing.

      Mr Johnston said: "Building strong frameworks of cooperation with our regional peers has always been a strategic objective for us. We have MoUs in place throughout the GCC as well as in Egypt, Jordan and, through our MoU with the Banque du Liban (BDL).

      "Today's MoU affirms the success of our relationship with the Lebanese authorities and recognises the joint oversight of brokerage firms, investment banks and other non-banking financial institutions in the two jurisdictions."

      The MoU reflects growing relations between the DIFC and Lebanese markets. The DFSA entered into a MoU with the BDL in 2013, to enhance information sharing and cooperation. Meanwhile in May this year, the DIFC hosted the "Lebanese Banks Day in DIFC" under the patronage and in the presence of H.E. Riad Salamé, Governor, BDL and H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC. Senior representatives of the Lebanese banking community attended the event in an effort to further build relationships among the well-established sector.

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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. 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 comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

      The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was established in August 2011 as the independent, autonomous regulatory body responsible for regulating, supervising, licensing and monitoring the activities of Lebanese Capital Markets. The CMA has two main objectives that underline its strategic mission and vision: (I) promoting and developing the Lebanese Capital Markets; and (II) protecting investors from fraudulent activities, through issuing regulations that are in line with international best practices, and proper control and audit of all institutions that deal with financial instruments.

      Sami Saliba is currently Executive Board Member of the CMA. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Saliba held several responsibilities, as Head of the accounting and financial control in Bank of Beirut and the Arab Countries ("BBAC") between 2005 and 2012, Director of Financial Control and the Department of Informatics, Managing Director at Bank of Beirut between 1998 and 2005. Mr. Saliba also worked as finance director for the LINORD Project between 1995 and 1998, Consultant Director in the BankMed between 1993 and 1995, Head of the Department of Studies and banking relations/section of investments in the Arab Monetary Fund, Abu Dhabi – between 1985 and 1993, and Registered Representative at Merrill Lynch International New York – Dubai between 1983 and 1985.

      Mr. Saliba holds a master's degree in International Business Administration from the Western New England College in the United States, and a BA in international management from the University of Lowell in the United States.

    • 12 September 2017 — DFSA and Malaysia's Securities Commission sign FinTech Agreement

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 12 September 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) last week entered into an agreement to cooperate in the development of financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement reflects efforts by both authorities to provide a robust regime that fosters innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Malaysia.

      The agreement was signed by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the SC. Under the terms, the authorities will share information on developments and innovations in FinTech, and intend to consider participating in joint innovation projects on the application of novel approaches to FinTech in each market. Given the significance of Islamic finance in both Malaysia and Dubai, FinTech developments in that sector will be of particular interest.

      The agreement also provides a framework for cooperation and referrals between the innovation functions of each authority. The framework sets out a referral mechanism, which will enable the authorities to refer Innovator Businesses between their respective Innovation Functions and to provide the businesses with regulatory guidance.

      Mr Johnston said: "Our FinTech regime is developed to enhance and improve access to finance and the efficiency of markets. We also want to encourage innovative financial services and solutions. By collaborating with the SC, we will further strengthen our FinTech proposition across traditional and Islamic finance markets."

      The DFSA and SC have a long-standing relationship to support developments in each other's markets. In 2007, the authorities signed a mutual recognition agreement related to cross-border distribution and marketing of Islamic funds between Malaysia and the DIFC. It followed a 2006 joint initiative on regulatory alignment to facilitate Islamic finance transactions between the DIFC and Malaysia.

      The latest cooperation agreement 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. In August, the DFSA became the first regulator to launch a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. In May, the DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence, a special class of financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the DIFC.

      The DFSA's initiatives follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at the DIFC, bringing together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. Its aim is to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shariah-based services.

      In May, the SC introduced a framework to facilitate digital investment services. This follows the 2015 launch of the 'alliance of FinTech community' initiative in to engage with the tech entrepreneur community on innovative digital finance business models and technology related regulatory and policy matters.

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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. 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 comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

      The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is a statutory body established under the Securities Commission Act 1993 (SCA) to regulate and develop the Malaysian capital market. The SC's mission is to promote and maintain fair, efficient and transparent securities and derivatives markets to facilitate the orderly development of an innovative and competitive capital market. It is committed to ensuring investor protection, fair and orderly markets and reducing systemic risks. The SC's powers and authorities are clearly defined and transparently set out in securities laws, namely the SCA, Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA) and Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA)

      Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit was appointed the Vice-Chairman of the governing Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the global body of capital market regulators and was elected as the Chairman of IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Committee (GEM) which represents 94 countries. In 2014, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit was appointed Chairman of the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF), a body tasked to spearhead market integration efforts within the region and comprises capital market authorities from ASEAN.

      Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit chairs the Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC), the Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Development Council (MVCDC) and the Capital Market Development Fund (CMDF). He is also the Vice- Chairman of the Asian Institute of Finance and a member of the Board of the Labuan Financial Services Authority and the Financial Reporting Foundation as well as a board member of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM).

      Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit is trained as a financial economist and accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree and a Master of Economics degree in Finance from Monash University, Melbourne. He was also conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Monash University Melbourne. He is a fellow of CPA Australia and has worked in academia, consulting and accounting in Australia and Malaysia.

      Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ranjit's term as Executive Chairman has been extended for a further three years effective 1 April 2017.

    • 28 August 2017 — DFSA and Hong Kong's SFC sign FinTech Cooperation Agreement

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 28 August 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong today entered into an agreement to establish a framework of cooperation on financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement will further strengthen the efforts of both authorities to develop an innovations-friendly ecosystem in their respective markets.

      The signing took place between Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, and Mr Ashley Alder, Chief Executive of the SFC, in Hong Kong.

      Under the agreement, both authorities will share information on developments and innovations in FinTech in their respective markets. The agreement also intends to encourage both regulators to refer innovative firms to one another's markets and to provide them with regulatory guidance.

      Mr Johnston said: "Providing a regime that fosters innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is a strategic priority for us. This agreement with Hong Kong's SFC deepens cooperation between our two markets and will build a common understanding of the principles of good innovation."

      "This agreement underscores the SFC's efforts to strengthen regulatory collaboration and promote innovation in financial services," said Mr Alder.

      "We look forward to working closely with the DFSA to support FinTech development in both our markets."

      The agreement extends the existing relationship between the SFC and the DFSA with a joint commitment to maintain the highest standards of cooperation. Both regulators are signatories to the 10SCO Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU). They also entered into a bi-lateral MoU in 2008.

      The agreement marks the latest step in the DFSA's roadmap to build a framework that supports innovation in the DIFC. It follows the introduction of regulations formalising a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms on August 1, the first in the GCC. On May 24, the DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL), a special class of financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the DIFC.

      The DFSA's innovation strategy is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy 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. It follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shari'ah-based services.

      For its part, the SFC established the FinTech Contact Point (FTCP) in March 2016 to enhance communication with businesses involved in the development and application of FinTech and regulatory technology in Hong Kong. The FTCP also facilitates an understanding of the SFC's current regulatory regime while enabling it to stay informed of the development of the local industry.

      - Ends -

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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. 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 comprise representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (10SCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee). In August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

      The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is an independent statutory body charged with regulating the securities and futures markets in Hong Kong and overseeing their orderly development. The SFC derives its investigative, remedial and disciplinary powers from the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and subsidiary legislation. As a financial regulator in an international financial centre, it strives to strengthen and protect the integrity and soundness of Hong Kong's securities and futures markets for the benefit of investors and the industry.

      Ashley Alder was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the SFC on 1 October 2011.

      Prior to joining the SFC, Mr Alder was Head of Asia of the international law firm Herbert Smith LLP in Hong Kong, focusing on equity capital markets as well as mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital. He also handled regulatory and compliance work.

      Currently, Mr Alder is the Chairman of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

    • 9 August 2017 — DFSA Action against Former DIFC Employee

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 9 August 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has recently taken enforcement action against Chetan Parmar, a former employee of Deutsche Bank AG's DIFC branch (DBDIFC).

      The DFSA found that, in July 2012 and April 2013, Mr Parmar provided the DFSA with false information regarding DBDIFC's private wealth management activities with the result that the DFSA was misled.

      The DFSA imposed a fine of USD 25,000 (AED 91,750) on Mr Parmar for his misconduct. The action taken against Mr Parmar is final as he has not referred the DFSA's decision to the Financial Markets Tribunal for review.

      In April 2015, the DFSA published its related action against DBDIFC for misleading the DFSA, and for failures in DBDIFC's internal governance and systems and controls and in its client take-on and anti-money laundering processes.

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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.

    • 1 August 2017 — DFSA launches Crowdfunding Framework

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 01 August 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched its regulatory framework for loan and investment-based crowdfunding platforms, the first such framework in the GCC countries. The regime forms part of the DFSA's regulatory roadmap to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem, in line with the UAE Government's National Innovation Strategy.

      The DFSA crowdfunding regulations have the ability to catalyse growth in the financial technology (FinTech) industry in the UAE and the region, by targeting the specific requirements of crowdfunding platforms. The regulations ensure clear governance for FinTech businesses and provide appropriate protection for their customers. They also formalise the DFSA's approach to regulating crowdfunding platforms which had operated through interim arrangements since 2016.

      The introduction of the regulation comes as crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly important route for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing. Global loan-based crowdfunding is forecast to reach more than USD 300 billion and global equity-based crowdfunding more than USD 93 billion by 20201.

      SMEs are significant contributors to the UAE economy. In 2014, they made up around 85% of businesses in the UAE, contributing to nearly 60% to the UAE GDP and employing 60-65% of the UAE work force. In Dubai, SMEs represent nearly 95% of all establishments in the Emirate accounting for 42% of the workforce and contributing around 40% to the total value of Dubai's economy.

      Data provided by the Khalifa Fund shows that approximately 50-70% of SMEs have had their applications for funding from conventional banks rejected and loans to SMEs account for just 4% of outstanding bank credit in the UAE, significantly below the MENA average of 9.3%. Conventional lenders are sometimes unwilling or unable to support SMEs given their often-limited asset pool or lack of a proven record of company operations. This makes it difficult for SMEs to do business; when they do get financing it can be expensive or with inflexible terms.

      The UAE government has an ambition to enhance the contribution and performance of the SME sector. It has taken a major role in establishing initiatives and programmes to help with sources of funding for SMEs. Initiatives include the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development and the Khalifa Fund. Given the significant role that SMEs play in the UAE economy, crowdfunding is expected to grow further in importance in the UAE as entrepreneurs seek alternative sources of funding.

      Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: “We are pleased to be the first in the GCC region to formalise a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms, which represent an increasingly important source of financing for the SME sector. By creating a clear set of rules for operators, we hope to encourage the sustainable development of this industry and is part of our contribution to the UAE Government strategy to develop the SME sector.”

      The DFSA's crowdfunding framework follows the launch of its Innovation Testing Licence in May. That restricted financial services licence allows qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

      The DFSA's innovation strategy is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy set out by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem. It also follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shari'ah-based services.


      1Based on CFX Alternative Investing Crowdfunding Statistics from 2015.


      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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. 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).

    • 19 July 2017 — DFSA Fines and Bans former Senior Executive Officer

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 19 July 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has fined Mr Andrew Grimes, a former Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of a DFSA Authorised Firm USD 52,500 (AED 192,675) and imposed a restriction preventing him from performing any function in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

      This action follows an investigation conducted in co-operation with the Insurance Authority of the UAE which found that, from January 2014 to July 2014, Mr Grimes:

      •   was knowingly concerned in undertaking Insurance Intermediation activities which contravened DFSA legislation;
      •   failed to take reasonable care to ensure that the business for which he was responsible complied with applicable DIFC legislation; and
      •   misled the DFSA.

      From April 2013 to September 2014, Mr Grimes was the SEO of a DFSA Authorised Firm that carries on the Financial Service of Insurance Intermediation. During this time, the firm was restricted under DFSA Rules from intermediating a Contract of Insurance in the UAE unless the risk is situated in the DIFC or the contract is one of re-insurance.

      The DFSA found that Mr Grimes was actively involved in providing prohibited Insurance Intermediation services. Further, as the SEO, Mr Grimes was ultimately responsible for the day-to-day management, supervision and control of the firm's activities and he should have ensured that such prohibited activities did not occur. He also failed to ensure that the firm's customers were on-boarded properly as Clients.

      Mr Grimes also provided false and misleading information to the DFSA in April 2014 by stating that the firm had not intermediated any direct insurance (as opposed to re-insurance) in the UAE when that in fact was not true.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA expects SEOs of Authorised Firms to meet their obligations and perform their duties to the standards required of them. Mr Grimes did not do so and made matters worse by failing to deal with the DFSA in a frank and open manner.

      This action also demonstrates that the DFSA works closely with our colleagues at other financial regulators to address misconduct that affects our respective jurisdictions. I am grateful to the UAE Insurance Authority for its co-operation and assistance in this matter".

      The DFSA previously took a separate action against the firm after taking into consideration its initiative to self-report the misconduct to the DFSA, the steps it took to remediate its deficiencies, including voluntarily replacing Mr Grimes as SEO and for co-operating fully with the DFSA's investigation.

      A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notice issued to Mr Grimes can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website:

      http://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

      - Ends -

      For further information please contact:
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1612
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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. 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).

    • 24 May 2017 — DFSA Launches Innovation Testing Licence for FinTech Firms

      Click here to view PDF

      Dubai, UAE, 24 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today announced that it will allow financial technology (FinTech) firms to apply for a class of financial services licence referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). This initiative signals the next phase of the DFSA's regulatory roadmap to foster innovation in Dubai.

      The restricted financial services licence will allow qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. The DFSA will work with applicants to understand the business proposal and establish the appropriate controls for the safety of any customers involved, on a case-by-case basis.

      Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: "FinTech is changing the landscape for financial services, providing more opportunities to seek financing and increasing financial inclusion. As regulators, it is our responsibility to provide a framework which supports the sustainable development of this industry while protecting consumers and financial stability."

      The DFSA's approach is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy set out by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem. In line with the goals of the Dubai 2021 strategy, the DFSA is also formalising its approach to loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms. Specifically, loan-based crowdfunding has become a valuable source of financing for SMEs in several jurisdictions.

      Mr Johnston added: "Our efforts to develop a regulatory framework that promotes growth and innovation, while protecting financial stability and consumers, is part of our contribution to Dubai's greater vision of becoming an information-based society and a smart city."

      FinTech firms will be able to use the restricted licence to test an innovative product or service for six to 12 months. In exceptional cases, the DFSA will consider extending that period. If a firm has met the outcomes detailed in the regulatory test plan, and it can meet the full DFSA Authorisation requirements, it will migrate to full authorisation. If it does not, the company will have to cease carrying on activities in the DIFC that need regulation.

      The DFSA's latest initiative follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Sharia-based services.

      Interested firms should contact the DFSA at FinTech@dfsa.ae to discuss proposals prior to application.

      The Innovation Testing Licence Guidance can be found on the following link:
      http://dfsa.complinet.com/en/display/display_main.html?rbid=1547&element_id=23453

      Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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. 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).

    • 15 May 2017 — DFSA Takes Action against Senior Executive Officer

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 15 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) from Mr S Ravishankar Naidu, Senior Executive Officer (SEO) at Royal Shield Limited (RSL), an Insurance Intermediary licensed by the DFSA.

      The EU resulted from the DFSA's concerns that, with respect to RSL's insurance business, Mr Naidu failed to:

      •  arrange re-insurance cover in accordance with a Client's instructions and allowed incorrect information to be provided to the Client about their cover;
      •  comply with the DFSA's requirement that, as the SEO, he must be resident in the UAE;
      •  ensure that RSL's financial statements for the financial year 2014 accurately reflected the financial position of RSL; and
      •  ensure that RSL had adequate systems and controls to undertake its Insurance Intermediation business.

      As an Authorised Individual performing the Licensed Function of the SEO of RSL, Mr Naidu was ultimately responsible for the day-to-day management, supervision and control of RSL's Financial Services activities. However, Mr Naidu's conduct fell short of the high standard expected of him. In particular, Mr Naidu failed to act with due skill, care and diligence and take reasonable care to ensure that RSL's business was organised so that it could be managed and controlled effectively.

      In deciding to accept the EU offered by Mr Naidu, the DFSA acknowledges that Mr Naidu co-operated fully with the DFSA. Further, to resolve the DFSA's concerns, Mr Naidu has voluntarily undertaken to step down as RSL's SEO and ensure that RSL appoints a new SEO.

      Mr Naidu will remain as a Licensed Director and Controller of RSL, and he has agreed to appoint another Licensed Director to RSL's Board of Directors, so that RSL's Board comprises of at least three directors.

      Mr Naidu also agreed to pay a financial penalty of USD 70,000 (AED 256,900) to the DFSA, of which USD 10,000 (AED 36,700) is payable on or by 6 June 2017. The remaining USD 60,000 (AED 220,200) is suspended indefinitely and becomes payable if Mr Naidu fails to comply with the EU.

      A copy of the EU can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website:
      http://dfsa.ae/What-We-Do/ENFORCEMENT#Regulatory-Actions

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: kmohaisen@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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.

    • 10 May 2017 — DFSA, FinTech Hive at DIFC, Hawkamah Institute and MEIRA host seminar on FinTech in the Middle East

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 10 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted an outreach session on the opportunities financial technology (FinTech) presents in the Middle East. The seminar was held jointly with the FinTech Hive at DIFC, Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) on May 8.

      The event provided a forum to discuss the current conditions for establishing a FinTech operation in the region, with applications such as financing for small to medium-sized enterprise and financial inclusion. Over 120 delegates from the region's FinTech industry as well as firms operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) attended the event.

      In his opening remarks, Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director of Supervision at the DFSA, gave an overview on how the FinTech movement is proving to be disruptive to the traditional financial sector and regulators alike. Mr Stirewalt highlighted the need to have balance between promoting growth, protecting financial stability and consumers, and allowing market innovation and development.

      Mr Stirewalt said: "We at the DFSA have a regulatory framework that facilitates the development of FinTech and maintains appropriate safeguards. This year, the DFSA has added a focus on innovation to its list of strategic themes, and we look forward to working with the new FinTech accelerator in the DIFC."

      Dr Ashraf Gamaleldin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, said: "As Dubai and the UAE push for further innovations, good governance always has to be present fuelling this growth. During this high-growth phase for FinTech, regulators must be flexible to encourage the growth of the industry while keeping their eyes on the risks and rights of investors and stakeholders."

      Alex MacDonald-Vitale, Chairman of MEIRA, said: "We are delighted to continue supporting the efforts of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, the DFSA and Hawkamah in delivering the latest in industry developments. New technologies have already brought exciting and evolutionary steps forward for markets across the world. FinTech is offering listed companies and their investors access to a range of highly efficient and versatile tools, helping improve communication and engagement, as well as regulatory governance overall; all of which are key requirements for an industry in which operational resilience and consumer protection are paramount."

      Raja Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Vice President at the FinTech Hive at DIFC, said: "The UAE government has a strong national agenda for innovation which enables the adaptation of technological advancement in the region. FinTech Hive at DIFC is the MEASA's first FinTech accelerator, and the Dubai International Financial Centre, positioned at the heart of the region and offering a world-class ecosystem, is committed to leading initiatives that answer the growing needs of its financial services sector."

      Other speakers at event included Paul Boots, Founding Partner of Osprey Advisory, Former COO of Beehive, and Sam Quawasmi, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Eureeca, who shared their experiences of establishing a FinTech business in the region. Yuvraj Singh, Head of Application Development at Thomson Reuters moderated the discussion.

      The DFSA's efforts follow the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC which will bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. It intends to catalyse the growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance such as peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and Sharia-based services.

      Since the start of 2017, the DFSA has published two consultation papers on Crowdfunding, which aim to formalise its approach to loan-based and investment-based platforms. The DFSA also issued a consultation paper on Innovations Testing Licence that will allow FinTech firms to test out their strategy in the DIFC within the existing regulatory framework, making it the first such licence in the UAE.

      Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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.

      Bryan Stirewalt joined the DFSA in 2008 and has served as a Managing Director of the Supervision Division since 2010. The Supervision Division includes prudential and conduct-oriented oversight of a variety of financial service providers, including: commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, wealth managers, and a variety of advisory services.

      The Supervision Division also oversees the DFSA's role with auditors and credit rating agencies. Mr Stirewalt is active in the DFSA's efforts to fight methods of illicit finance with respect to the entities mentioned above, as well as with other DNFBPs. Mr Stirewalt has extensive experience in the financial regulatory sphere, in both public and private sector roles. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, where he specialised in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives.

      From 1996 to 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing his attention on emerging markets development programmes, including management of large-scale and multi-faceted projects in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. These projects related to a wide array of topics including financial sector development, risk management policies and practices, anti-money laundering systems and controls and methods of supervising complex financial conglomerates.

      Mr Stirewalt serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG) which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committees' engagement with emerging markets supervisors around the world on banking supervisory issues.

    • 8 May 2017 — DFSA Hosts 3rd Annual Supervision Outreach Session

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 8 May, 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its 3rd Annual Supervision Outreach Session last week, in conjunction with the Compliance Officers Networking Group (CONG), to discuss the latest trends and developments in the financial sector.

      The event was targeted at the DFSA's regulated community, including compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers from its Authorised Firms and Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs). Over 250 participants attended this year's event, representing many of the 457 Authorised Firms and 119 DNFBPs now operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This year's number of attendees is reflective of the significant growth that the DIFC continues to see in its financial services community and supporting industries.

      The event also represented an opportunity for the DFSA to provide an update on its current and future policy agenda, trends in recent regulatory actions and current risks and issues in the wealth management, broking, banking and insurance sectors.

      In his opening remarks, Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, commented that in the past twelve months, the global supervisory agenda had shifted from policy development to implementation, and more recently to new technologies and business models as seen through financial technology (FinTech).

      Mr Johnston said: "The challenge that regulators face is around the speed of customer adoption and market penetration of these new business models, as well as the right balance of investor protection. While there is agreement that regulators should not stand in the way of innovation, there is also an understanding that we must not lose focus on market integrity, financial stability and customer protection."

      Mr Bryan Stirewalt, DFSA's Managing Director of Supervision, discussed a variety of macroeconomic and compliance trends around the globe, as well as the current areas of focus for supervision of firms operating in and from the DIFC. Mr Stirewalt noted new areas of emphasis for supervision in fostering innovation in financial services, focusing more attention to operational risks and becoming even more efficient as a regulator.

      Participants also discussed the opportunities and challenges posed by FinTech, including the DFSA's regulatory framework for crowdfunding and the evolving Dubai ecosystem for FinTech. Recent initiatives to support the development of this market include the DIFC's accelerator programme, FintechHive@DIFC, and the proposed introduction of the DFSA's Innovation Testing Licence to facilitate the testing of new technology.

      — Ends —

      For further information please contact:

      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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 1 May 2017 — DFSA Co-hosts Seminar on Islamic Finance

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 1 May 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted a seminar on "Liquidity Generating Innovations in Islamic Finance" in conjunction with the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). The event was held at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), yesterday.

      The seminar served as a platform to explore the use of existing Islamic capital market instruments such as Sukuk and securitisation, to manage liquidity risks at Islamic financial institutions, including Takaful operators. It brought together senior delegates and subject matter experts from across the banking, financial services, regulatory and legal industries.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "Islamic institutions continue to be challenged by the shortage of liquidity management tools, with some relying primarily on cash and central bank placements. While exchanges and other advisers play a role in addressing some of the challenges in the UAE, and globally, we should focus on identifying opportunities in other asset classes."

      Participants recognised that, with insufficient assets available on the balance sheets of Islamic banks to support the issuance of Sukuk or to securitise; other commodities such as crude oil should be considered as alternatives. Participants also acknowledged that the development of a repurchase agreement market — which has yet to gain significant traction in the GCC region — should remain a priority in the absence of alternatives.

      The establishment of an Islamic financial market has been a key objective for the DFSA since its formation in 2004, and is in alignment with the Dubai Government's 2021 Strategy and the Islamic Economy Initiative. One of the main targets set by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his 2013 initiative is to make Dubai the capital of the Islamic economy.

      In 2016, the total value of outstanding Sukuk listings in the Emirate reached USD 53 billion, most of which represented USD denominated international issuances listed in the DIFC. The market continues to see greater diversification by issuer type, with listings coming from governments, multilateral and corporate issuers across the MENA region and East Asia.

      The IFSB plays a key role in promoting and enhancing the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry. The industry body has been issuing global prudential standards and guiding principles for the banking, capital markets and Takaful sectors for over a decade. The DFSA has supported the key work of the IFSB in its capacity as a full member of the IFSB and as a member of the Council of the IFSB.

      The seminar kicked off the meetings of the IFSB Working Groups, which will be held on May 1 to May 3 in the DIFC.

      — Ends —

      For further information please contact:

      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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 10 April 2017 — DFSA Censures Individual for Misleading Conduct

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 10 April 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has censured Mrs Jai Surve, a former employee of a DFSA Authorised Firm, for providing the DFSA with false and misleading information.

      Mrs Surve was a Business Consultant at an Authorised Firm which operated an online trading platform. From 2012 to 2016 Mrs Surve introduced clients to the platform and gave training to clients on how to use this platform.

      In late 2015, the DFSA received information that Mrs Surve may have executed unauthorised trades on the platform using the online account of one of her clients. The DFSA interviewed Mrs Surve in December 2015 about the allegation and Mrs Surve stated to the DFSA that she did not know the password for the client's online account and did not execute any trades on the client's online account.

      The DFSA commenced an investigation, and interviewed Mrs Surve again in November 2016. During this interview, Mrs Surve admitted that she knew the password to the client's online trading account and that she had executed trades on the client's online account after receiving instructions from a third party.

      Mrs Surve accepted responsibility for misleading the DFSA and agreed to settle the matter at an early stage following the conclusion of the investigation. While conduct like Mrs Surve's has, in the past, resulted in a financial penalty, the DFSA has concluded that a public censure is the most appropriate action given the circumstances of this matter and, in particular, Mrs Surve's personal situation. The DFSA did not make any findings of contraventions in relation to Mrs Surve's trading activities

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "For a regulator to be effective, it is imperative that it receives information which is true, precise and complete. The DFSA will therefore take action against any person who provides information to the DFSA which is false and misleading."

      A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices can be found in the DFSA website under Regulatory Actions.

      https://www.dfsa.ae/en/What-We-Do/Enforcement#Regulatory-Actions

      — Ends —

      For further information please contact:

      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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 5 April 2017 — DFSA Signs International Agreement on Audit Oversight

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 5 April 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today joined 21 of the world's leading regulators of auditors in an agreement to increase co-operation with the oversight of audit professionals.

      DFSA Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, signed the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators' (IFIAR) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU), during the IFIAR Plenary Meeting in Tokyo.

      The MMoU aims to encourage and strengthen information sharing and co-operation to offer mutual assistance among IFIAR Members. It was first approved by the IFIAR Membership in June 2015, and follows a rigorous verification process to satisfy the highest standards of co-operation and confidentiality.

      Mr Johnston said: "I am pleased to see that the DFSA is among the first regulators to satisfy these new international standards. We have always placed a high priority on co-operation and our ability to share information and assist fellow regulators. In signing this MMoU, we continue to affirm our commitment to international co-operation.

      "Audit has become a borderless activity and it is important that audit regulators are able to co-operate seamlessly in a challenging business environment," Mr Johnston added.

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 13 March 2017 — DFSA Hosts Annual Audit Outreach

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 13 March 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted its annual outreach event for Registered Auditors (RAs) last week, during which it shared the results of its annual audit inspection.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, delivered the opening speech at the event. He highlighted the impact of technology on the audit industry, and encouraged greater use of data analytics to improve risk assessment.

      Mr Johnston said: "Audit data analytic techniques can be used in audit planning and in procedures to identify and assess risk by analysing data. Although our assessment indicates that audit firms are still at an early stage with big data, we do note the use of technology on audit procedures such as bank confirmations, analytical procedures and journal-entry testing."

      Mr Johnston added that, internationally, audit regulators were watching technological developments in this area with great interest. He cited the work currently underway by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)'s Data Analytics Working Group. The group was established in 2015 to provide insights into the opportunities and challenges with the use of data analytics in the audit of financial statements.

      "DFSA welcomes the work undertaken by the IAASB's Data Analytics Working Group," said Mr Johnston.

      The DFSA also discussed the impact of the changes resulting from Consultation Paper 106 on Regulation of Arranging, Representative Office Activities and Financial Promotions and global enforcement trends in audit.

      The event was targeted at the Managing Partners, Audit Principals, Money Laundering Reporting Officers and senior audit staff of RAs. Over 65 stakeholders attended the event.

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 6 March 2017 — DFSA Strengthens Dubai's Financial Technology Proposition

      Dubai, UAE, 6 March 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is enhancing its contribution to Dubai's position as the region's leading hub for innovation through the publication of a new FinTech consultation paper today. The paper is the third in a series, setting out the DFSA's approach to the regulation of pioneering financial technology (FinTech) activities.

      The DFSA has been following developments in the FinTech industry and, in 2016, determined that the current regime for regulating firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is already flexible enough to accommodate many aspects of FinTech without introducing new rules. Today's consultation sets out the DFSA's approach to FinTech firms that want to test innovative products and services in the DIFC.

      Firms meeting the qualifying criteria will receive a Financial Services Licence, referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence, which reflects the nature of the activities to be conducted during the testing phase. The DFSA will put in place limits on the FinTech testing activities to ensure appropriate controls for the safety of any customers involved. Given the limits on activities permitted during testing, FinTech firms will not have to comply with DFSA Rules where they are inappropriate at a testing stage.

      The testing phase is a step towards the FinTech firm obtaining a full Financial Services Licence.

      Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: "The DFSA's approach to Fintech has been to regulate where needed, in order to create an environment that encourages innovation in technology in its many forms and applications. The DFSA will continue to watch as the market develops and respond to the evolving requirements of this industry."

      Peter Smith, Managing Director, Policy and Strategy, at the DFSA, added: "The DFSA has been discussing opportunities with a number of interested FinTech firms. We have concluded that it would be helpful to current stakeholders, and to the wider public, for us to set out more explicitly how we will deal with future enquiries from those interested in establishing a presence in the DIFC for a FinTech business."

      The DFSA is committed to providing the regulatory infrastructure to support the sustainable development of FinTech in the DIFC. Earlier this year the DFSA launched two consultations which proposed frameworks for the regulation of loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms.

      The DFSA's consultations follow the DIFC's launch of the FinTech Hive Accelerator programme in January 2017, the first such accelerator programme in the region. The programme provides a platform for financial services and technology firms to build solutions for the financial sector.

      The DFSA's approach is also aligned with the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, National Innovation Strategy to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem. Technology is a pivotal part of this strategy, and plays a central role in the Dubai Plan 2021 to develop the Dubai economy, as evidenced by initiatives such as the Dubai Future Accelerators and the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

      The Consultation Paper can be accessed by the following link:

      http://www.dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/NOTICE-OF-CONSULTATION-PAPER-RELEASE-(3)

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

      Peter Smith, Managing Director of Head of Policy and Strategy, joined the DFSA in June 2012 as Head of Policy to lead further development of the DFSA's policy framework. He joined the Executive Committee in early 2015, and was appointed a Managing Director in early 2016. Mr Smith is also responsible for overseeing the DFSA's strategic planning, including its annual business planning cycle, and the organisation's approach to setting its Risk Tolerance and managing non-firm specific risks.

      He is an alternate member of the IAIS Financial Stability and Technical Committee, and is also involved in IAIS working groups. Mr Smith has over 25 years of regulatory experience. Prior to joining the DFSA, he was Head of the Investments Policy Department at the UK Financial Services Authority. Earlier roles in the UK included policy areas, supervision, bank resolution, internal audit and risk management. From 2003 to 2007, Mr Smith was seconded to the European Commission in Brussels, working on banking issues, supervision of financial groups, and the future of supervision within the European Union. Mr Smith holds a Master's degree in finance from London Business School.

    • 27 February 2017 — DFSA Hosts Outreach on International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 27 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) jointly organised an outreach event last week, on the implementation of the new IFRS 9.

      The event was opened by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, who discussed the importance of a regulatory framework that reflects international standards in the development of financial centres, citing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as an example. Speakers included Ms Neslihan Alankus Erkazanci, Chief Financial Officer MENA — HSBC Bank Middle East Limited; Mr Asim Rasheed, Group Financial Controller — Emirates NBD; Mr Zulfiqar Unar, Director Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services — PwC; and Mr Trevor Skinner, Banking Supervision Expert. The session was moderated by Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision at the DFSA.

      The event was targeted at DFSA regulated financial institutions, DFSA Registered Auditors and ICAEW members and other stakeholders and was well attended by over a 100 participants.

      The panel discussed the new requirements for financial institutions under IFRS 9 which will take effect on 1 January 2018. The panellists shared their experience about the practical challenges and opportunities in implementing the same.

      In his Opening Remarks, Mr Johnston said: "Since our inception, the DFSA has been fully committed to the implementation of IFRS, including the new and revised IFRS 9. From our continuous communication with the financial institutions in the DIFC, as well as their home regulators, we trust that they are well positioned to deal with the new standard."

      Mr Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: "IFRS 9 is a milestone in the world of financial reporting but preparing for it is complex. The key to ensuring compliance is to start preparing now to instigate the required changes. Regional banks and financial institutions must speed up their efforts and get ready before IFRS 9 is introduced in just 10 months from now. While preparation for IFRS 9 requires time and money, it will bring financial institutions into a new world of long term forecasting."

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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).

      ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 147,000 chartered accountants worldwide. ICAEW provide qualifications and professional development, share knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

      Breakfast Briefing is a joint initiative between the DFSA and ICAEW to discuss topics of interest to the audit community. Previous topics include:

      •    Extended Audit Report (May 2016)
      •    The Challenges of Emiratisation: Attracting Talent into the Finance Industry (April 2013)
      •    Detection of Fraud: Whose role is it? (March 2012)
      •    The Importance of Professional Accounting Bodies (September 2011)
      •    The Future of Audit (September 2010)
      •    The role of audit monitoring in improving the quality of and confidence in financial information in the Middle East (March 2010).

    • 22 February 2017 — DFSA Signs MoU with European Securities and Markets Authority

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 22 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have entered into information sharing and cooperation arrangements regarding DIFC based central counterparties (CCPs) compliance with conditions set out in The European Union's Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

      The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Mr Ian Johnston, and by the Chairman of ESMA, Dr Steven Maijoor, in Milan today.

      It follows a decision published in mid-December 2016 by the European Commission, which found the DFSA's regulatory framework for CCPs as equivalent to that of the European Union. The European Commission's decision also confirmed that the DFSA's framework is compliant with international standards set out under the International Organisation of Securities Commissions' (IOSCO) Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures.

      Mr Johnston said: "Today's signing signals a new phase in the good relationship between the DFSA and ESMA and enables us to cooperate and exchange information in connection with monitoring of DIFC-based CCPs.

      "The DFSA has always placed a high priority on cooperation and its ability to share information and assist fellow regulators; particularly where the DIFC firms have strong links with the European Union market participants."

      The MoU marks the 100th MoU signed by the DFSA and the second with ESMA. The first MoU between the two regulators was signed in 2013 on cooperation in relation to credit rating agencies. The DFSA also has MoUs in place with counterparts in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and with most other European Union securities regulators through multilateral arrangements.

      "The DFSA remains committed to international best practice and continues to work with the EC and ESMA in other areas of their responsibilities," Mr Johnston added.

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The recognition conditions are set out in Article 25 of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories. EMIR requires the establishment of cooperation arrangements by way of an MoU as a precondition for ESMA to recognise a CCP established in the DIFC to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union.

      CCPs are entities that sit in between buyers and sellers of derivatives contracts to become the sole counterparty to all trades. Its main purpose is to manage the risk of one counterparty defaulting (i.e. not being able to make the required payments when they are due), thereby reducing the overall risk in the system.

      The 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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 20 February 2017 — DFSA Honours Graduates of prestigious Tomorrow Regulatory Leaders Programme

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 20 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) honoured the graduates of its prestigious Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) Programme, that develops the skills of young UAE Nationals, at an award's ceremony being held at DFSA last week.

      The DFSA launched the two-year programme in 2006 to train Emirati university graduates to become leaders in the field of financial services and regulation. This year's graduate group joined the programme in 2015 as TRL Associates and received classroom training, on-the-job coaching from experienced DFSA colleagues and industry experience with Dubai International Financial Centre authorised Firms. Upon graduating, the group qualified to managerial roles within the DFSA.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA, said: “We are delighted to recognise the distinguished achievements of the graduates of the TRL Programme at the awards ceremony. Now in its 11th year, the programme continues to serve as a key initiative of the DFSA to support the development of UAE National capabilities by providing training, and importantly, career opportunities in the financial sector. The TRL Programme has produced 33 managers since inception, with some now in senior roles across the organisation.”

      Mr Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer at the DFSA, said: “We are not only celebrating the success of the graduates of the TRL Programme but also welcoming them into the ranks of the DFSA as regulatory professionals. The TRL Programme was specifically designed to ensure the sustainable development of the financial sector by offering a conduit for young UAE Nationals who want to build a career in financial services. At the DFSA, UAE Nationals represent 33% of the workforce and we are proud to have these graduates amongst us.”

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The 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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 13 February 2017 — DFSA Launches Second Consultation into Crowdfunding Framework to support SME Financing

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 13 February 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched the next phase of consultations on its proposed framework for regulating crowdfunding platforms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), with a paper detailing its approach to investment-based crowdfunding.

      The consultation is the second in a series of papers which outline the DFSA's measures to support the sustainable development of crowdfunding, and financial technology more broadly, within the DIFC. In January, the DFSA issued its first consultation on a proposal for regulating loan-based crowdfunding platforms under a new Financial Service, that provides the fundamental framework for crowdfunding firms.

      Today's consultation is an extension of that proposal and deals with the specific risks associated with investment-based crowdfunding. This model of crowdfunding differs to loan-based funding by enabling start-up companies or small businesses to raise financing by selling stakes in their business. The growth of this market accelerated in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis when access to traditional funding sources became constrained.

      In the UAE, in particular, crowdfunding is expected to become a more established form of financing for the important small to medium sized enterprise sector in the region. A regulatory framework that targets the specific requirements of crowdfunding platforms contribute to the sustainable development of this valuable funding source for SMEs and the UAE economy.

      Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA said: "This is our second consultation on our proposed framework for regulating crowdfunding platforms and reflects the increasing importance of this funding source to the UAE's SME sector. Our approach remains consistent for loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms in its aim to define a clear structure for the sustainable development of this industry."

      Key proposals in today's consultation paper include:

      •    A tailored regime specifically designed for those operating such a platform;
      •    Appropriate systems and controls placed on the platform's operations;
      •    Operational transparency and adequate disclosure made to all participants — Issuers and investors — on the platform;
      •    Suitable checks on the platform¡¦s participants — Issuers and investors;
      •    Appropriate safeguarding and segregation of Client Assets;
      •    The development of business cessation plans; and
      •    Allowing the transfer of securities between investors.

      The DFSA's proposals for regulating crowdfunding platforms form part of its approach to creating an infrastructure that fosters innovation in financial services. It aligns with the UAE's National Innovation Strategy, promoted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

      The DFSA's consultations on crowdfunding follow the launch of the DIFC's FinTech Hive Accelerator programme earlier in the year. The programme provides a platform for financial services and technology firms to build solutions for the financial sector.

      The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link: http://dfsa.ae/MediaRelease/News/Notice-of-Consultation-Paper-Release-(2)

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) on FinTech
      In 2015, the DFSA said that is was looking at the evolving world of financial technology, or FinTech, and how this could be accommodated within the DFSA's regulatory regime and facilitated within the DIFC. The DFSA has been encouraged by the number of firms wanting to discuss opportunities in the FinTech area with the DFSA. Some of these firms are considering activities that would — in the normal course of events — be regulated, while some are considering, or already carrying out, activities that do not need to be regulated by the DFSA. The DFSA has stated that it is very much 'open for business' when it comes to FinTech and will deal with each firm, proposition, or idea, and its unique circumstances, on a case-by-case basis.

      The 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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 31 January 2017 — DFSA Proposes Framework for Loanbased Crowdfunding to support SME Financing

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 31 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched a consultation on its proposed framework for regulating loan-based crowdfunding platforms. The consultation is the first in a series of papers which set out the DFSA's approach to the regulation of crowdfunding platforms and the financial technology (FinTech) industry within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

      The DFSA has been monitoring developments in FinTech both internationally and regionally since 2015, and has been engaged in discussions with firms looking to establish a presence in the DIFC. In some cases, these firms have been considering activities that would be regulated, such as loan-based crowdfunding.

      Crowdfunding is a way in which individuals, organisations and businesses, including business start-ups, can raise money through online portals, or crowdfunding platforms, to finance or re-finance their activities and enterprises. Specifically, loan-based crowdfunding has become a valuable source of financing for the SME sector in several jurisdictions. Well-regulated crowdfunding can contribute to the development of this important sector for Dubai and the UAE economy.

      Ian Johnston, Chief Executive at the DFSA said: "Crowdfunding offers an additional avenue for the SME sector to access financing. Establishing a clearly defined regulatory framework, that takes into account the specific needs of loan-based crowdfunding operators, supports the sustainable development of this important funding source for SMEs."

      The key proposals in the consultation paper include:

      •    A tailored regime specifically designed for loan-based crowdfunding platform operators.
      •    Minimum standards for systems and controls.
      •    Operational transparency and adequate disclosure to all participants — borrowers and lenders — on the platform.
      •    Suitable checks on platform participants (borrowers and lenders).
      •    Appropriate safeguarding and segregation of client money.
      •    The development of business cessation plans.
      •    Enabling the transfer of rights or obligations under a loan agreement between lenders.

      The consultation is part of the DFSA's contribution to creating an infrastructure that fosters innovation. It aligns with the UAE's National Innovation Strategy, promoted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to create an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

      The initiative follows the launch of DIFC's FinTech Hive Accelerator programme earlier this month. The programme provides a platform for financial services and technology firms to build solutions for the financial sector.

      The consultation paper can be accessed by the following link: http://dfsa.complinet.com/en/display/display_main.html?rbid=1547&element_id=23297

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) on FinTech
      In 2015, the DFSA said that is was looking at the evolving world of financial technology, or FinTech, and how this could be accommodated within the DFSA's regulatory regime and facilitated within the DIFC. The DFSA has been encouraged by the number of firms wanting to discuss opportunities in the FinTech area with the DFSA. Some of these firms are considering activities that would — in the normal course of events — be regulated, while some are considering, or already carrying out, activities that do not need to be regulated by the DFSA. The DFSA has stated that it is very much 'open for business' when it comes to FinTech and will deal with each firm, proposition, or idea, and its unique circumstances, on a case-by-case basis.

      The 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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 16 January 2016 — DFSA Publishes Findings of Trade Finance Review in DIFC

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 16 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) published a Trade Finance Report detailing key findings of a review of trade finance activities carried out in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The review assessed the quality of systems and controls, in particular measures to mitigate trade-based money laundering risks, at banks and other financial service providers in the DIFC.

      The report notes that trade finance has grown in the DIFC over recent years. While the report shows that in general trade finance is conducted satisfactorily, it highlights several improvement opportunities surrounding trade finance risks. The report also contains a list of recommended best practices that firms engaged in trade finance activities are encouraged to implement. In particular the report notes the importance of guarding against financial crime.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "There is an increased focus globally, on trade-based money laundering risks from international groups such the Financial Action Task Force, and financial service regulators. Our review and the published report are further testament to the DFSA's commitment to maintaining the highest international standards in the DIFC. Given the importance of trade to this region, regulators need to effectively oversee and supervise trade finance without hindering actual trade. We urge firms to benefit from all international guidance issued in that regard."

      Mr Johnston added: "The DFSA continues to work toward enhancing the quality of systems and controls of regulated firms in the DIFC. Where we detect weaknesses or failures, we will rectify them through supervisory or enforcement actions."

      Click on the Trade Finance Report to access the report on the DFSA's website.

      — Ends —

      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
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).

    • 24 January 2017 — DFSA Deepens Ties with Hong Kong and Asia

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 24 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Chairman, Mr Saeb Eigner, delivered an address on the opening morning of the tenth annual Asian Financial Forum (AFF) in Hong Kong, emphasising Dubai's role as a financial hub for the region. The forum was attended by 2,800 participants from Asia, Europe and the US, including finance ministers, heads of government, central bankers and business leaders from 50 countries, to discuss global economic developments and business trends.

      Mr Eigner said: "The shift towards Asia of the world's economic centre of gravity is making itself felt strongly in the Middle East. Chinese, Japanese and Indian banks now occupy the top slots in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in terms of assets. Trade between China, the Middle East and much of Africa is now being financed through Dubai."

      Mr Eigner added that the financial markets across Asia are also becoming more integrated. "The increasing role of the Chinese renminbi (RMB) in settling trade transactions contributes to this process. The role of the UAE as a RMB clearing centre is growing," he said.

      Mr Eigner commented on the factors that make an international financial centre successful, including quality of life, transport links, efficient communications, the rule of law, a respected judiciary, a low tax environment, and an efficient and trusted regulatory system. "These are all well-established characteristics of Hong Kong. I believe we can fairly say that, in the 12 years since the DIFC was established, we have created a similar eco-system in our part of the world," said Mr Eigner.

      In his comments, Mr Eigner also addressed the growing role of Financial Technology (FinTech) in the post-crisis world, and the balance regulators have to strike between protecting financial stability and allowing market innovation and development.

      "We at the DFSA are working hard to get this balance right, while playing our part in implementing the recently-announced FinTech strategy of Dubai and DIFC. The DIFC is very much "open for business" in this space."

      The AFF was jointly organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, bringing together some of the most influential members of the global financial and business community under the theme of "Asia: Driving Change, Innovation and Connectivity".

      "Now in its tenth year, the Asian Financial Forum continues to attract a high-calibre attendance from government, financial and business sector professionals, with the common goal of ensuring the continued competitiveness of Asia's financial markets and their sustainable development," said Eigner.

      — Ends —

      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
      Fax: +971 (04) 362 0801
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      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).

      Saeb Eigner was appointed DFSA Chairman in August, 2011. He has been a member of the Board since October 2004 and served as Deputy Chairman since 2007 until 2011. Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he left to found Lonworld, a private investment group in the early 1990s. Mr Eigner holds a Masters Degree in Management from London Business School. He is a former Governor of London Business School, Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committees, and currently a member of its Estate Committee. He is the co-author of the management books Sand to Silicon (2003) and Sand to Silicon-Going Global (2009) and author of Art of the Middle East (2010 and 2015). He holds and/or has held a number of Board appointments in Banking, Strategy, Education, Regulation and Investment.

    • 9 January 2017 — DFSA's Framework Receives Regulatory Equivalency to European Union Regime

      Click here to view PDF.

      Dubai, UAE, 9 January 2017: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is pleased to announce that its regulatory framework for central counterparties (CCPs) has been classified as equivalent to that of the European Union.

      The determination, made by the European Commission (Commission), acknowledges the work undertaken by the DFSA to instil internationally-recognised best practices including a robust framework that promotes financial stability through a reduction in systemic risk. The distinction will encourage cross-border activity between European clearing members and CCPs located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) by reducing the regulatory burden to participate in the market.

      This development further evidences the DFSA's commitment to implementing a regulatory framework for the DIFC that is in line with international standards set out under the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures issued by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions. In so doing, the DIFC continues to cement its position as the leading hub for international financial services in the region.

      Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: "The DIFC has firmly established itself as the central gateway through which international and regional financial institutions conduct business across the region. The recognition received from the Commission for our regulatory framework for CCPs, will further strengthen the confidence market participants already have when operating in our Centre."

      Nasdaq Dubai is the DFSA-licensed CCP operating in the DIFC in respect of equites and derivatives trading. Alongside the DIFC, the Commission published equivalence decisions for the regulatory frameworks for CCPs of India, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and the UAE. Other jurisdictions whose CCP regimes are also recognised include the US, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

      — Ends —

      For further information please contact:
      Saima Farooqi
      Corporate Communications
      Dubai Financial Services Authority
      Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
      Dubai, UAE
      Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613
      Email: DFSAcorpcomms@dfsa.ae
      www.dfsa.ae

      Editor's notes:

      The equivalence status is given effect through a legally binding implementing act in accordance with Article 25(6) of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) (Regulation (EU) No 648/2012).

      CCPs are entities that sit in between buyers and sellers of derivatives contracts to become the sole counterparty to all trades. Its main purpose is to manage the risk of one counterparty defaulting (i.e. not being able to make the required payments when they are due), thereby reducing the overall risk in the system.

      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. 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 August 2016, he was re-elected to IOSCO's Growth and Emerging Markets Steering Committee, a position he has held since 2013. 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).