The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) held its Annual Supervision Outreach Session last month to discuss key regulatory priorities and issues. The event brought together various speakers from the DFSA, the Compliance Officers Network Group (CONG), the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority and the DIFC Insurance Association. Over 200 participants attended the event, representing a sizeable percentage of the 418 Authorised Firms operating in the DIFC.
The event was opened by Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, who provided an overview of the DFSA’s strategic themes, regulatory priorities and some of the current challenges faced by financial institutions and regulators.
The DFSA noted that one of its new priorities includes better understanding of the risks and opportunities posed by FinTech, in respect of which the DFSA aims to develop an appropriate regulatory response that balances the need to protect investors, without stifling innovation.
The event also provided an opportunity for the DFSA to provide an update on its current and future policy agenda; trends in recent enforcement actions; and current risks and issues in the wealth management, broking, banking and insurance sectors.
In his opening remarks, Mr Ian Johnston said: “Our regulated population continues to expand and we continue to see an increase in the depth and complexity of activities undertaken in or from the DIFC. The DFSA continues to put a lot of effort into communicating with the industry we regulate. We consider events like this outreach session as an important part of our engagement with our regulated population, and in particular, compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers who play a key role in ensuring financial institutions meet their regulatory obligations, which we believe will ensure better compliance, but also enable better business.”
Mr Bryan Stirewalt, Managing Director, Supervision said: “We continue to focus on the areas of financial crime and conduct of business risks. At the same time, as financial institutions continue to expand their balance sheets, we will focus on relevant prudential risks. In 2016, these areas continue to be important regulatory priorities.”
The event was primarily targeted at DFSA’s regulated community and the various compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers from its Authorised Firms and Designated Non-Financial Business Professions.
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