DFSA continues to bolster regulatory environment to support economic growth


Published: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 3:19 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 3:20 PM

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), on Tuesday announced that the authority continues to play a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) reputation as a leading global financial centre and supporting the increasing recognition of Dubai and the UAE as a beacon of economic opportunity, its top official says.


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Fadel Al Ali, chairman of DFSA, said the authority continued to focus on ensuring a robust and resilient financial sector, which resulted in a nine per cent year-on-year increase in total regulated entities in 2022. The DFSA also recorded a 54 per cent growth in licensing and registration activity last year.

"In line with UAE government initiatives, we have worked to create an enabling environment for the digital economy and have introduced a new regulatory framework for crypto tokens to further facilitate the future of finance in the DIFC. We set high standards in building a clear and flexible regulatory framework, based on the best practices and laws of the world's leading financial jurisdictions. The results demonstrate the trust that local, regional, and international businesses have in the DFSA,” Al Ali said.

Authorised firms rise

The total number of authorised firms (AFs) grew by 11 per cent from 529 in 2021 to 588 in 2022. The DFSA also observed diversification in the types of firms authorised, with more innovative companies being registered through the DFSA’s money services regime and its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme.

As part of the DFSA’s efforts to maintain the integrity of the DIFC and safeguard consumers of financial services, the DFSA undertook 10 enforcement actions in 2022 and issued 15 scam alerts.

In addition, through the DFSA’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (DFSA TIP) 8,153 cyber events were shared in 2022 consisting of more than 2 million Indicators of Compromise. Intel on these risks were shared with more than 236 members that are connected to the platform.

“As a forward-looking and proactive regulator, we continue to respond to the rapidly changing financial services landscape by being more innovative, more assertive, and more adaptive," Al Ali said.

"The vision of the leadership of Dubai and the UAE set the tone, by continually evolving and future proofing to respond to the challenges and opportunities of this ever-evolving sector,” he said.

In early November 2022, as part of the DFSA’s ESG agenda, the Task Force for Sustainable Finance (TFSF) issued its Climate and Environmental Risk Management publication featuring insights from seven TFSF members on how best to address and mitigate the physical and transition risks stemming from climate change, as well as broader environmental risks in the UAE.

The DFSA also issued Markets Brief 26 outlining best practice guidelines on ESG bonds in late November, which will provide practical support to the continuing development of the largest green bond/sukuk market in the region. The DFSA will supplement this early in 2023 with best practice advice to the market on Greenwashing.


> 54% growth in licensing and registration activity in 2022

> Total number of Authorised Firms (AFs) grew from 529 in 2021 to 588 in 2022, up by 11% per cent; regulated entities increased by 9% from 655 to 713

> 10 enforcement actions were undertaken, and 15 scam alerts issued

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

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