26th August 2020- DFSA Issues Audit Monitoring Report following review of Registered Audit Firms. The report noted improvements in practices of audit firms, included noting that some Registered Auditors provided inaccurate information to the DFSA. Whilst improvements from previous years were noted, generally further enhancements are still required.
26th July 2020- DFSA releases Consultation Paper 133- Future of Finance New Venture Capital regime
26th July 2020- DFSA Updates Supervised Firm Contact Form, to come into effect on 3rd August 2020.
12-July-2020 - His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the DIFC, issued a Decision reappointing Saeb Eigner as Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s (DFSA) Board of Directors. His Highness also appointed Fadel Al Ali as Deputy Chairman of the Board and Abdul Wahid Al Ulama, Andrew Spindler, Apurv Bagri, Charles Flint QC, Swee Lian Teo, Julie Dickson and Sabine Lautenschläger as Board members.
24-June-2020 - The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today published a thematic review report on cyber risks.
- The Report highlights a number of important opportunities for operational risk management practices of Firms operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
22-June-2020 - Praesidium Advisory Ltd provides regulatory advisory services to FINTECH businesses To evolve and adapt operations to align regulatory obligations with technology.
- The services examine the use of Artificial Intelligence and the associated regulatory implications and shift of obligations as a consequence. As technology evolves around financial services, so has the regulatory burden and risk shifted between consumers, institution, and ultimately, regulator. Hari Bhambra, who holds a Certificate in Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence states ‘FINTECH is not just the new buzzword, but the implications across business, particularly financial services is very significant in terms of how regulatory duties and obligations and regulatory supervision shifts’
14-June-2020 - DFSA along with Deloitte Middle East published
- “A Market Overview of Custody for Digital Assets” with the aim of highlighting the importance of digital asset custodians and the key role they play in the future of digital asset adoption. The paper aims to frame the current digital custody landscape, the market solutions currently available, and the challenges and uncertainties currently faced by the industry.
04 Jun 2020 - The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) hosted the first edition of a Regulatory Technology (RegTech) event,
- ‘RegTech Live’, on 2 and 3 of June. The event, held in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA), drew over 600 delegates from the financial sector around the globe centering on the theme of Driving Compliance through Innovation.
11 May 2020 - DFSA Action against two firms and three individuals referred to Financial Markets Tribunal
- DFSA published Decision Notices on 11th May 2020, in respect of two firms ( Al Masah Capital Limited and Al Masah Capital Management Limited) and three individuals (Shailesh Dash, Nrupaditya Singhdeo and Don Lim Jung Chiat ) for multiple serious breaches of DFSA legislation.
30 April 2020 - The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)
- Assessed the UAEs anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system. The report is a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the UAE’s measures and their compliance with the FATF Recommendations. It also provides recommendations on how the system could be strengthened, www.fatf-gafi.org.
23 April 2020 – DFSA Fines La Tresorerie for Serious Failings
- DFSA announced today that it has fined La Tresorerie (a DFSA Authorized Firm) , USD 612,790 including USD 261,154 disgorgement of the financial benefit La Tresorerie received, plus interest, due to multiple serious breaches of DFSA legislation, mainly arising from conducting an illegal service that provided physical cash to its clients (Illegal Cash Service).
22 April 2020 - DFSA welcomes Regulatory Sandbox applications for its 2020 Summer Cohort
- DFSA announced on 22nd April to support the future of finance through innovation and Dubai’s SMART Initiatives. DFSA welcomes innovative technology-driven local and international companies to join its 2020 Summer Cohort through its website between 1 and 31 May. The announcement of the Successful cohort applicants will be on 16th June, after which they will be invited to submit an ITL application by 26th July.
2020 Deferment of DFSA Reporting Requirements
- The DFSA announced on 9th April that it may allow flexibility to extend existing year-end reporting deadlines set out in GEN 8.6.2.
- The DFSA will consider Requests for an extension of this deadline made by the Firms with financial year-ends from 31 December 2019 to 31 March 2020 (both days inclusive) on a case-by-case basis, provided each Request is made to the DFSA, on a reasonable basis.
7 April 2020 - DIFC’s Regulator, DFSA launches COVID incentives for existing Authorised Firms, including:
Waiver of fees for Authorised Individuals, Flexibility of temporary cover and Compliance arrangements through outsourcing firms, waiver of fees for waiver and modification applications, capital relief. Details are available here.
7 April 2020 - DIFC’s Regulator, DFSA Launches COVID Incentives for New Applications
The new incentives may act as a stimulus to encourage new businesses to establish:
- 50% discount of DFSA Application fees for 2020
- Flexible timeline to complete Authorisations
- Flexibility for permanent premises requirements in 2020
- Waiver DFSA fees on Domestic Fund registrations for 2020.
5 April 2020 – CBUAE, ADGM & DIFC issues a joint guidance for banks and finance companies on the application of IFRS 9, specifically, the calculation of Expected Credit Loss (“ECL”) provisioning, during COVID-19 pandemic.
29 March 2020 – The DIFC announced that it is launching a new “Business Stimulus Initiative”. With the aim of reinforcing business confidence under the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19, the Initiative provides both corporate and retail clients with five packages which will be in place for the next three months:
A waiver of annual licensing fees on new registrations during the next three months;
- 10% discount of renewal fees for existing license holders in the DIFC that are due to renew their licenses during this period;
- Deferred payments in respect all properties owned by DIFC Investments for a period up to six months;
- A reduction on property transfer fees from 5% to 4% for any sale of property (or any part thereof) that took place within the three month period and the transfer is registered with the DIFC Registrar of Properties, at the latest, within 30 days after the expiry of the said three month period;
- A free movement of labour in and out of the DIFC to other free zones, provided that the employers concerned have the necessary arrangements and contracts in place with their employees.
24 March 2020 - Praesidium assists Firms consider the implications of COVID 19 on their business models. Innovation, technology and adaptability are the new tools for businesses.
23 March 2020 - DFSA Issues Cybersecurity Alert- COVID 19 has shifted businesses to work remotely leading to Firms to also monitor any increased risks from use of IT.
22 March 2020 – The DFSA announced that it has fined Mr. Ajay Arora, SEO of Morgan Gatsby Limited (MGL), USD 87,500, prohibited him from holding office or being an employee of a regulated DIFC firm, and restricted him from performing any functions in connection with the provision of Financial Services in or from the DIFC.
The DFSA has taken this action following multiple serious breaches of DFSA legislation:
- Execution of Client transactions without authorization, providing false or misleading information about the transactions to the Clients, or concealing the transactions from the Clients;
- Engagement in misleading and deceptive conduct towards Clients and the DFSA;
- Failure to observe high standards of integrity and fair dealing.
Praesidium Advisory Ltd - Response to COVID 19
Please follow the link to view the letter from our CEO - click here.
9 March 2020 - The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has publishes its Innovation Programme Progress Report.
24 February 2020 - The DFSA issues a fine of USD105,000 for unauthorized business, conducted by the Representative Office, Enness DIFC.
Enness DIFC is authorised by the DFSA to carry on the Financial Service of Operating a Representative Office (a Rep Office) in or from the DIFC. Pursuant to its Licence, Enness DIFC is only authorised to undertake activities related to the marketing of the mortgage products and services offered by its head office, Enness Limited in the UK. However, Enness DIFC carried on the Financial Service of Arranging Credit and Advising on Credit in or from the DIFC without a Licence authorising it to do so. The Decision Notice is a useful reminder to all Firms about the boundary between general marketing and straying into Advisory and Arranging activities.
29 January 2020- DFSA Issues Consultation Paper 131- Early Intervention, Recovery & Resolution setting out proposals to facilitate intervention and recovery in distress for Firms that Accept Deposits, Provide Credit, Deal in Investments as Principal or Manage an Unrestricted PSIA.
18 November 2019: Crypto-assets same as property, say UK senior judges
A “legal statement” was issued by a panel led by Sir Geoffrey Vos, a senior High Court judge stating that, crypto-assets “have all of the indicia of property”. The view of the senior legal figures was that the “novel or distinctive features possessed by some crypto-assets — intangibility, cryptographic authentication, use of a distributed transaction ledger, decentralisation, rule by consensus — do not disqualify them from being property”.
September 2019: Praesidium Advisory leads on advising RegTech and ComplianceTech financial services businesses. Examining the impact of disruptive technologies in financial services.
8 August 2019: DFSA issues Consultation Paper 127 proposing changes to the suitability regime to remove the full waiver of suitability obligations to Professional Clients. Consultation ends on 10th September 2019.
30 July 2019 - DFSA Sanctions Abraaj group of companies. The DFSA imposed financial penalties of USD 299,300,000 (AED 1,098,431,000) and USD 15,275,925 (AED 56,062,645) on Abraaj Investment Management Limited (AIML) and Abraaj Capital Limited (ACLD), respectively.
Abraaj - US Superseding Indictment 12 June 2019 - listing numerous criminal allegations raising significant issues of governance and oversight.
15 April 2019 – Post - Abraaj, the need for real commitment towards better governance is now unquestionable, this is beyond mere adherence to regulations, but about the integrity of operations.
25 February 2019 - DFSA Fund Protocol Rules to go live facilitating marketing of Domestic funds across the UAE in collaboration with ESCA, ADGM and DFSA.