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03 Nov 2010, 12:11 pm

DFSA Signatory to IAIS Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding: A First for the GCC

At the concluding meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) held in Dubai last week, the Chairman of that committee, Mr Peter Braumüller, announced that the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) had been accepted as a signatory to the IAIS Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).

The MMoU is a framework for co-operation and the exchange of information between insurance supervisors to facilitate effective oversight of insurance and reinsurance companies which are active in more than one jurisdiction. It sets minimum standards to which signatories must adhere and these include the purposes for which information provided by another insurance supervisor can be used and the confidentiality of information received. The growing number of internationally active insurance companies, the increasing integration of financial markets and the global financial crisis highlight the importance of a MMoU to further support supervisory liaison and co-operation. It allows a supervisor receiving a request for information to provide that information quickly and effectively.

The MMoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by its Chief Executive, Mr Paul Koster. Mr Koster said, “I am particularly delighted to see that the DFSA has satisfied the highest level of co-operation standards that exist between international insurance supervisors. Acceptance as an IAIS multi-lateral MoU signatory is only permitted after rigorous assessment of the authority’s legislative and regulatory regime. In the DFSA's case, this was conducted by a specialist team from four countries, confirmed by a group from another eight jurisdictions and finalised with an endorsement from the Chairs of IAIS’s three senior committees.”

“The DFSA has established best practice utilising a modern legal framework and a risk-based approach to its supervisory measures. In signing this multi-lateral MoU, the DFSA further affirms its commitment to international co-operation, which is an essential requirement in today’s changing business environment. Since 2005, the DFSA has placed a high priority on building its co-operative channels, which also now includes a bi-lateral MoU network with around fifty supervisors and regulators regionally and across the globe.”

The DFSA is the only regulator in the GCC, and the first in the Arab World, to be admitted as a signatory. The DFSA joins existing signatories representing the world's major insurance markets, including France, Germany, Australia and Singapore.

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