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29 Dec 2023, 09:12 am

The DFSA fines R.J. O’Brien (MENA) Capital Limited USD 1.37 million for inadequate compliance resources

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has imposed a fine of USD 1,368,767 (AED 5,023,375) on R.J. O'Brien (MENA) Capital Limited (the Firm) for a number of contraventions of DFSA legislation, including for having inadequate compliance systems and controls.

The amount of the fine was reduced because, amongst other things, the Firm offered the DFSA an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) to remediate the failings and agreed to settle the matter, reducing the fine amount from USD 2,793,403 (AED 10,251,789).

The DFSA found that:

  • the Firm did not undertake sufficient planning and analysis to ensure it could comply with its ongoing regulatory obligations after acquiring an additional brokerage; and
  • the Firm’s senior management were aware of the lack of compliance resources and failed to adequately address it to ensure that the compliance function was able to fulfil its regulatory obligations.

However, the DFSA also did not find any evidence that the Firm acted deliberately to contravene DFSA administered laws and Rules.

The DFSA acknowledges that the Firm has also provided the DFSA with an EU in which the Firm agrees to:

  • remedy the deficiencies in its systems and controls and compliance resources; and
  • engage an external compliance expert to assist the Firm in complying with its obligations and to verify that the necessary remediation has been completed.

Patrick Meaney, Head of Enforcement of the DFSA, said: "Authorised Firms must ensure that they have adequate compliance and other resources to be able to comply with their legal and regulatory obligations. Compliance is not an incidental cost of doing business, it is a critical function that must be adequately resourced in terms of both number and quality of staff."

Copies of the Decision Notices and Enforceable Undertaking setting out full details of this matter can be found in the Decision Notices section of the DFSA website.

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