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Dealing with Dubai: The DFSA responds

David Knott, the current chief executive of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, argues that Ian Hay Davison's account does not represent the status of the regulator, which is well placed to play an important future role in finance in the Middle East. Here he sets out the DFSA'S position

  • The DFSA is now by law a fully independent statutory authority (and has been since September 2004). Despite the inferences made in Mr Hay Davison's account, the creation of this legal framework (involving changes to the UAE Constitution, Federal Decree and Dubai Decree) was always intended but was a complex matter that took time to implement.

  • The DFSA is accountable directly to the government and not to the DIFC.

  • Our funding is assured by law and provided directly by the government.

  • As chief executive, I report solely to my board, which has been expanded and strengthened by the appointment of additional directors. The board includes leading individuals from financial, business and regulatory communities in the USA, the UK, Germany and Hong Kong. Out of a total of 10 independent directors only two are resident in Dubai.

  • Regulatory standards applying to authorized firms within the DIFC are set exclusively by DFSA and are based on international principles of best practice laid down by the BIS (banking), IAIS (insurance) and IOSCO (securities).

  • The authorization of regional firms to conduct business within the DIFC is entirely a matter for the DFSA and is being managed under risk assessment criteria that ensure that the high regulatory standards established by the DFSA are not compromised.

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