Global Financial Innovation Network invites firms to participate in cross-border testing
The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) – a group of over 60 international organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers – is inviting applications from firms to test innovative financial products, services, business models or regulatory technology across more than one country or jurisdiction.
Dubai Financial Services Authority Consults on Regulation of Security Tokens
The DFSA is proposing a comprehensive and innovative regulatory framework for regulating Security Tokens, a new and growing area of interest for many industry participants. We are actively engaged with key stakeholders in Dubai and around the world on the future of finance and the rapidly growing area of financial technology, including various Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) applications.
Maktoum bin Mohammed Appoints New DFSA Chairman Government of Dubai Media Office
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), appointed Fadel Al Ali as Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The appointment of Al Ali comes after the retirement of Saeb Eigner on first of June 2021. Eigner had 17 years of dedicated service and his hard work and diligence have greatly contributed to the success of the DFSA.
UAE Regulatory Authorities Launch Consultation on the ‘Guidelines for Financial Institutions Adopting Enabling Technologies’
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have jointly launched a four-week public consultation on proposed “Guidelines for Financial Institutions Adopting Enabling Technologies”.
Dubai Financial Services Authority provides the right regulatory framework for the future of finance
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent financial regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), continues to enhance its regulatory framework by focusing on the future of finance. As finance across the world transforms through the use of technology, the role of regulation has never been more important.
DFSA introduces regulatory framework for Investment Tokens
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has today launched its regulatory framework for Investment Tokens. The framework reflects the proposals outlined in Consultation Paper 138 issued in March 2021, and forms the first phase of the DFSA’s Digital Assets regime.
The DFSA authorises its 500th financial firm.
The DFSA marks a significant moment in the 15-year history of the DIFC by registering the 500th firm conducting financial services in or from the DIFC.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority's first MoU in Riyadh signed with the DFSA.
The DFSA and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) enhanced their relationship by signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen mutual cooperation in their supervision of banking and insurance.
DFSA extends MoU with Chinese regulatory body CBIRC.
The DFSA signed an extension to their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).
DFSA and Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier sign Financial Innovation agreement.
The DFSA and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) Luxembourg, entered into an agreement to cooperate in the development of FinTech.
DFSA to launch Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform.
The DFSA launched a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform to help firms in the DIFC implement appropriate safeguards to mitigate against cyber risks. The Platform is a result of ongoing cooperation and collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) and the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg (CIRCL).
CBUAE, ADGM & DIFC issues a joint guidance for banks and finance companies on the application of IFRS9 during COVID-19 pandemic.
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the DFSA, collectively issued joint guidance for banks and finance companies in relation to the application of International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9) during COVID-19.
DFSA Takes Measures to Support its Financial Community.
The DFSA announced a number of initiatives aimed to provide significant assistance and regulatory relief to the DIFC financial services community. These initiatives were designed to allow the DIFC community to focus on protecting the wellbeing of their staff and supporting their clients during COVID times.
DFSA’s 2020 Summer Innovation Testing Licence Programme Accepts Largest Number of Innovative Firms to Date.
The DFSA announced that it has accepted 16 firms into its 2020 Summer Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Cohort. The ITL Programme provides a unique environment that helps firms to test innovative solutions in and from the DIFC.
Maktoum bin Mohammed issues Decision appointing DFSA Board.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial DIFC, issued a Decision reappointing Saeb Eigner as Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s DFSA Board of Directors.
DFSA Joins Launch of Global Financial Innovation Network
The DFSA announced the launch of the next phase of the Global Financial Innovation Network (“GFIN”). The GFIN – a group of 29 international organisations including the DFSA – invited applications from firms looking to take part in a testing pilot for innovative financial products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.
SCA, ADGM and DFSA Launch Fund Passporting Legislation Enabling UAE-Wide Promotion of Investment Funds
SCA, the FSRA of ADGM and the DFSA announced that, following the enactment of relevant legislation and rules, a new fund passporting facility is available. This passporting facility, which has been the subject of extensive public consultation since November 2018, will ease the promotion of the funds licensed by each authority across the UAE.
DFSA signs MoU with Smart Dubai on Organisation-Wide smart FINAL
The DFSA signed an MoU with Smart Dubai to collaborate on organisation-wide smart transformation initiatives led by Smart Dubai. The MoU was digitally signed by Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer of the DFSA, and H.E Wesam Lootah, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Dubai Government Establishment making it one of the first digitally signed MoUs in the UAE.
The DFSA joins Network for Greening the Financial System
The DFSA announced that it is a member of the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), becoming one of the first regulatory authorities in the Middle East and North Africa region to join the NGFS.
DFSA and Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier sign Financial Innovation Agreement
The DFSA and the CSSF Luxembourg entered into an agreement to cooperate in the development of FinTech. The cooperation framework reflects efforts by both authorities to foster innovation in the DIFC as well as in Luxembourg.
DFSA extends MoU with Chinese regulatory body CBIRC
The DFSA signed an extension to their MoU with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC). The MoU was signed by ZHOU Liang, Vice Chairman of the CBIRC and Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, during a visit by a CBIRC delegation to the DIFC.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority's first MoU in Riyadh signed with the DFSA
The DFSA and the SAMA improved their relationship when Mr Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA, met His Excellency Ahmed Al-Kholifey, Governor of SAMA, and signed a MoU to reinforce mutual cooperation in their supervision of banking and insurance.
The DFSA authorises its 500th financial firm
The DFSA marked a substantial moment in the 15-year history of the DIFC by registering the 500th firm conducting financial services in or from the DIFC.
SCA, the DFSA and the ADGM's FSRA reach agreement on the licensing and promotion of investment funds
The SCA, DFSA of the DIFC and the FSRA of the ADGM announced that they had reached agreement on facilitating the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE.
DFSA signs MoU with Bank Negara Malaysia
The DFSA entered into a MoU with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country’s central bank, to collaborate in the authorisation and supervision of banks and insurers operating in both markets.
Mohammed bin Rashid Enacts DIFC Regulatory Amendment Law
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, has passed the Regulatory Law Amendment Law, DIFC Law No. (6) of 2018. The Law, which amends the Regulatory Law 2004, came into force on 29 October 2018 and along with changes to DFSA Anti-Money Laundering Rules, will make a number of important changes to the regulatory regime in the DIFC.
DFSA signs FinTech Agreement with Japan's Financial Services Agency
DFSA entered yesterday into an Exchange Of Letters with the Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA) to cooperate in the development of financial technology (FinTech). The cooperation framework reflects efforts by both authorities to foster innovation in the DIFC as well as in Japan.
DFSA Board Appoints Bryan Stirewalt as next Chief Executive
The DFSA Board of Directors appointed Bryan Stirewalt as the next Chief Executive of the DFSA. Bryan succeeded Ian Johnston, who in late 2017 announced his intention to retire from the DFSA. The appointment took effect from 1 October 2018.
DFSA and Monetary Authority of Singapore sign FinTech Agreement
The DFSA and the Monetary Authority of Singapore entered into an agreement that offers a framework for cooperation and referrals between the innovation teams of each authority. The agreement echoes the commitment of both authorities to advance an environment that supports the sustainable development of financial services through emerging technology.
DFSA Joins Peers in Discussion on a Global Financial Innovation Network
The DFSA, in collaboration with 11 other financial regulators and associated organisations from around the world, issued a discussion paper announcing the establishment of a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) and consulting on its proposed functions.
DFSA expands FinTech Innovation Testing Programme
The DFSA announced the growth of its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme in response to continual interest in FinTech and the digital economy. The ITL Programme allows firms to test innovations in financial technology (FinTech) in or from DIFC.
DFSA Publishes Findings of Trade Finance Review in DIFC
The DFSA published a Trade Finance Report detailing the key findings of a review of trade finance activities carried out in and from 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.
DFSA Deepens Ties with Hong Kong and Asia
The DFSA’s Chairman, Mr. Saeb Eigner, gave a speech at the opening morning of the 10th annual Asian Financial Forum (AFF) in Hong Kong, underlining Dubai’s role as a financial hub for the region.
DFSA Proposes Framework for Loan based Crowdfunding to support SME Financing
The DFSA launched a consultation on its proposed framework for regulating loan-based crowdfunding platforms. The DFSA started observing advances in FinTech both internationally and nationally since 2015, and has been engaged in discussions with firms looking to establish a presence in the DIFC.
DFSA signs MoU with European Securities and Markets Authority
The DFSA and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) 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).
DFSA Signs International Agreement on Audit Oversight
The DFSA joined 21 of the world’s leading regulators of auditors in a contract to increase co-operation with the oversight of audit professionals. The MMoU aimed to encourage and support information sharing and cooperation to offer mutual assistance among IFIAR Members.
DFSA Launches Innovation Testing Licence for FinTech Firms
The DFSA announced that it will permit financial technology (FinTech) firms to apply for a class of financial services licence referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). This initiative gestures the next phase of the DFSA’s regulatory roadmap to foster innovation in Dubai.
DFSA Launches Crowdfunding Framework
The DFSA launched its regulatory framework for loan and investment-based crowdfunding platforms, the first kind of 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.
DFSA and Hong Kong's SFC sign FinTech Cooperation Agreement
The DFSA and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) entered into an agreement to establish a framework of cooperation on financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement further strengthens the efforts of both authorities to develop innovation-friendly ecosystems in their respective markets.
DFSA and Malaysia's Securities Commission sign FinTech Agreement
The DFSA and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) entered into an agreement to cooperate in the development of financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The agreement echoes efforts by both authorities to offer a robust regime that nurtures innovation in the DIFC and Malaysia.
DFSA Grants Sarwa Digital Wealth Ltd In-Principle Approval for Innovation Testing Licence
The DFSA granted Sarwa Digital Wealth Limited, an automated investment advice service, in-principle approval for its Innovation Testing Licence. The DIFC-based company becomes the first FinTech operator to receive approval for this distinct class of financial service licence developed explicitly for FinTech firms.
10 year anniversary of TRL Programme
The DFSA marked the 10 year anniversary of the Tomorrow’s Regulatory Leaders Programme. Since its launch in 2006 33 Emiratis have graduated from the Programme which has significantly contributed to UAE Nationals making up over 30% of the DFSA’s regulatory staff.
DFSA Hosts Outreach on Corporate Governance
The DFSA hosted an outreach on Corporate Governance together with Hawkamah, DIFC Institute for Corporate Governance, and the Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS), on topics of Corporate Governance and investor relations.
European Commission Recognises DFSA Audit Oversight System
The European Commission recognised the DFSA’s Audit Oversight System. With this announcement, the Commission has concluded that the DFSA has competence in oversight, external quality assurance and investigation of auditors and audit firms.
DFSA Hosts Outreach on Extended Audit Reports
DFSA jointly organises an outreach event with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) on the new Extended Audit Reports.
MoU with the Telecoms Regulatory Authority
The DFSA entered into a MoU with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The MoU set the means of co-operation between the DFSA and the TRA in the field of cyber-security.
Certification of 10 UAE Nationals in Islamic Finance
As part of its Bawabaty ('My Gateway') initiative, the DFSA facilitates the certification of 10 UAE individuals in the Fundamentals of Islamic Banking and Finance from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).
Changes to the Collective Investment Rules
The DFSA enacted changes to simplify the current Collective Investment Rules and align the regime better with international standards while still catering to specific features of the DIFC market.
Mobile App and Website Launched
The DFSA announced the launch of a new mobile application and its newly revamped website. The new application and revamped website provide stakeholders with a more innovative and direct way to access information about the DFSA's activities.
First AML Report
The DFSA published its first Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Report. The findings of this report should be considered by all Firms in reviewing and implementing their on-going AML programs. The findings are based on an analysis of the 2014 AML Returns; they should not be viewed as exhaustive but as guidance to be applied where relevant.
MoU with Australia’s Prudential Supervisor
The DFSA entered into an agreement with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The Memorandum of Understanding commits the DFSA and APRA to information sharing and co-operation in the supervision of financial institutions.
HK leaders visit DFSA and DIFC
The DFSA hosts a delegation of 35 government, financial and business leaders to further links between Dubai and Hong Kong as leading international financial centres in their respective time zones and as gateways for the fast growing trade and investment flows between China and the Middle East.
TRL Programme Graduates
The DFSA held its annual Tomorrow's Regulatory Leaders (TRL) awards ceremony. The awards mark the successful completion of a two-year development programme for UAE Nationals. During the ceremony the DFSA congratulated 4 TRL Associates bringing the total number of graduates from the programme to 24.
Business plan key strategic themes
The DFSA publishes its 2015/2016 Business Plan outlining three key strategic themes of delivery, sustainability and engagement are announced by the DFSA to drive business plans over the next 2 years.
MoU with Kuwait
Regional ties are further extended by the signing of a MoU between the Capital Markets Authority of Kuwait and the DFSA. Through these agreements, the DFSA maintains its focus on strengthening its engagement in the region, particularly its links with counterparts in the GCC.
MoU with Indonesian Regulator
The DFSA extends its formal ties with its counterpart in Indonesia through the signing of a MoU with Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK).
Visit of DFSA Delegation to India
A senior delegation from the DFSA, meet with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April, to enhance co-operation and to discuss initiatives to promote further growth in these two leading financial centres.
The DFSA launched â€˜Bawabaty,â€™ a financial services awareness initiative for the UAE National community.
The DFSA celebrates 10 years as a regulator in pursuit of its mission to develop, administer and enforce world-class regulation of financial services within the DIFC.
The DFSAâ€™s financial regulation training programme for young UAE Nationals entered its eighth successful year in 2014. 21 UAE Nationals have completed the programme since it began in 2006. Today, graduates of the TRL Programme have joined other UAE Nationals in key positions within the DFSA, now representing more than 30% of the regulatory workforce and comprising the largest national group in the organisation.
In June 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai,reappointed the Chairman and members of the DFSA Board.
By September 2014, the DFSA had licensed and was supervising 355 Authorised Firms.
As at 30 September 2014, DFSA staff had an average length of service of 5.33 years. These images represent staff who have been employed with the DFSA for ten years or more, and those recruited in the last year.
Since its inception the DFSA has recruited experienced staff from around the globe. As at 30 September 2014, DFSA staff numbered 135, representing 22 nationalities. Regulatory staff have an average of 9.75 yearsâ€™ regulatory experience.
The European Commission granted the DFSAâ€™s audit monitoring system â€˜equivalent statusâ€™ with European Union Member States. The DFSA issued a report on its key findings of audit inspections conducted by the DFSA from January 2008 to December 2012. It was the first public report issued by the DFSA on its monitoring programme of Auditors registered in the DIFC.
As part of the DFSAâ€™s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, DFSA staff and their families put together care packages for those in need during Ramadan.
The Lord Mayor of London made his annual visit to the DFSA, emphasising the ties between the City of London and the DIFC.
As the UAE celebrated 40 years of nationhood, the DFSA signed an MoU with the UAE Insurance Authority, completing MoU arrangements with all three UAE federal financial regulators.
DFSA staff gathered under The Gate as a farewell to Paul Koster.
In October 2011, the DFSA assumed the responsibility for maintaining the Official List of Securities from NASDAQ Dubai.
On 17 June 2012, Ian Johnston assumed duties as Chief Executive Succeeding Paul Koster.
On 14 February 2012, the DFSA was honoured with a visit from His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum whose vision it was to establish the DIFC.His Highness, accompanied by the Crown Prince of Dubai, met with the Chairman and Members of the DFSA Board.
In September 2010, the DFSA and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICEAW) hosted a Breakfast Briefing, â€˜The Future of Auditsâ€™.
The DFSA became a signatory to the IAIS multi-lateral MoU, a first for the GCC.
The DFSA successfully hosted the 17th Annual Conference of the IAIS in Dubai.
On 1 August 2011, Mr. Saeb Eigner was appointed Chairman of the DFSA, succeeding Mr. Abdullah Saleh.
By 2009, the Enforcement Division, led by Stephen Glynn, had a team of six and during that year received and assessed some 83 allegations of misconduct. A review conducted in 2009 found a robust Enforcement Framework with some minor recommendations to enhance its effectiveness.
On 4 October 2010, the DFSA launched an Arabic version of its website. Pages including About the DFSA, Doing Business with the DFSA, Tomorrowâ€™s Regulatory Leaders,Islamic Finance, and Legal Framework were made available in the language of the region, meeting the needs of local stakeholders and broadening dialogue with the broader market. Since then, most DFSA publications are also produced in Arabic and English.
The DFSAâ€™s Communications team has produced an in-house magazine, 13th Story, since 2007, sharing news, views, personal stories â€“ even recipes. 13th Story, now retitled CONNECT, has fostered a greater sense of family among the DFSA community and given a voice to anyone wanting to communicate an experience, an opinion or a good cause.
In November 2008, the DFSA licensed its 300th Regulated Firm within the DIFC.
By the end of 2008, the DFSA workforce was comprised of 13% UAE National staff - almost a 100% increase from just under 7% at the end of 2005 prior to the launch of the TRL Programme.
2009 proved a challenging year for regulators across the globe. The DFSA, now in its fifth year, calmly navigated the choppy waters, working closely with fellow supervisors and its firms.
The DFSA signed two important MoUâ€™s with the UAE Central Bank and the Anti-Money Laundering Suspicious Cases Unit regarding co-operation and exchange of regulatory information.
The DFSAâ€™s Finance Department won the DIFC â€˜Distinguished Department of the Yearâ€ Award 2009 in recognition of their outstanding commitment to excellence.
In November 2007, the DFSA licensed its 200th Regulated Firm within the DIFC. It also reached 100 employees for the first time.
In December 2007, the DFSA hosted the IOSCO Emerging Markets Committee Annual Conference,representing more than 90% of the worldâ€™s securities regulators.
The DFSA became a signatory to the Boca Declaration, the multi-lateral MoU on co-operation and supervision of International Futures Markets and Clearing organisations.
In October 2006, the DFSA licensed its 100th Regulated Firm.
On 26 April 2007, the DFSA licensed the Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME) as an Authorised Market Institution in the DIFC.
On 17 June 2007, Mr. Abdullah Saleh was appointed Chairman of the DFSA, succeeding Dr Habib Al Mulla.
In November 2007, the DFSA won the â€œBest Regulator for Islamic Fundsâ€ award during the 5th Annual Islamic Funds World Conference, recognising the DFSAâ€™s efforts to facilitate cross-border marketing of Islamic investment funds.
On 20 September 2005, the DFSA authorised the Dubai International Financial Exchange (now NASDAQ Dubai).
Every year since its launch in May 2006, the DFSAâ€™s Tomorrowâ€™s Regulatory Leaders Programme has trained and developed sustainable career opportunities for UAE Nationals.
The DFSA and the Securities Commission, Malaysia announced a joint project to remove regulatory barriers to Islamic Finance transactions between the two jurisdictions.
The Dubai Financial Services Authority is born. On 13 September 2004, the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, enacted the Dubai Law creating the DFSA as an independent entity within the DIFC.
On 1 October 2004, the DFSA Regulatory Council (soon to be the DFSA Board) met for the first time under the new Law.
On Sunday 24 April 2005, the 48 members of the DFSA moved across the road from Emirates Tower to its headquarters on Level 13 of The Gate building.
In May 2005, David Knott commenced his term as Chief Executive.
In 2005, the DFSA entered its first enforcement action by assisting law enforcement agencies in closing down a rogue investment firm.
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