Dubai Financial Services Authority unveils licensing statistics for 2023

Omar Abbas - | Business

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) emphasized a time of expansion, innovation, and major contributions to Dubai's economic landscape in its annual report for 2023.

At present, the DFSA is in charge of 791 licenses, which is a notable 25% rise over the previous year. The increase in license activity is indicative of the growing trust in the DFSA's regulatory framework as well as Dubai's growing status as a financial services hub.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2024. Fadel Al Ali, Chairman of the DFSA, reiterated the authority's dedication to advancing Dubai's vision and the United Arab Emirates. He placed a strong emphasis on maintaining regulatory integrity while promoting growth and cooperation among the DIFC community.

The study found that applications for all business models rose by a startling 50% annually, indicating robust expansion and diversification in the DIFC's financial services sector. The increase in license applications from fund management companies, asset managers, and private banks shows how much the wealth management sector has expanded. An active investment climate is also evidenced by the Center's receipt of over 40 applications for the registration of domestic funds.

ESG Securities and Financial Crime Prevention

The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) securities listings have grown significantly, according to the DFSA. In 2023, $11.72 billion worth of new Sukuk and ESG bonds were listed. With this, the Center's commitment to sustainable finance is highlighted, since the total amount of issued ESG securities by year's end will reach $27 billion.

The DFSA continues to place a high focus on combating financial crime, as evidenced by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the United Arab Emirates. This collaboration supports counterterrorism financing (CTF) and anti-money laundering (AML) initiatives. Furthermore, the AML, CTF, and Sanctions Module modifications of the DFSA bring the authority's rules into compliance with the most recent Federal UAE norms and laws.

As a means of preserving and improving the cybersecurity environment in the DIFC, the DFSA persisted in acknowledging technology and digital transformation as vital components that propel efficacy, openness, and safety. Since its inception in 2020, their Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) has issued more than six million compromise indicators to users, marking a noteworthy milestone.

Promoting Innovation and Efficiency

The DFSA’s commitment to fostering innovation and efficiency was evident in its initiatives throughout 2023. The authority implemented measures to streamline regulatory processes, ensuring a conducive environment for businesses while maintaining regulatory standards. This proactive approach contributed to the Center’s attractiveness to financial services firms, as reflected in the surge in licensing activity.

DFSA's efforts to prevent financial crime and enhance financial integrity were greatly aided by collaborative collaboration. The authority's dedication to promoting collaboration and information sharing in the battle against illicit financial activities is demonstrated by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the United Arab Emirates. Such alliances support the general stability and standing of the DIFC as a preeminent financial hub, in addition to improving the efficacy of regulatory initiatives.

The 2023 annual report from the DFSA details a year of strong expansion, inventiveness, and significant additions to Dubai's economic landscape. The DFSA is dedicated to promoting a vibrant and robust financial services industry within the DIFC while also supporting the vision of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. It does this by prioritizing regulatory integrity, cooperation, and technological progress.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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