First Financial Services Association to be established in UAE
A group of leading financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates have established the Financial Services Association (UAE), the first of its kind; a non-profit policy development and trade association for the financial services sector in the UAE. Such associations are integral to the development of a successful financial services sector in line with Global standards.
The Financial Services Association (UAE) has been initially registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and is currently under-going registration in Abu Dhabi. Plans are also underway to register the Association onshore in Dubai in order to create a UAE chapter.
H.E. Mr. Abdullah Al-Turifi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority ( SCA ) has said: “By virtue of the role vested in the Authority to supervise and develop financial markets in the country, SCA welcomes the establishment of the Financial Services Association (UAE) and supports the latter’s determined efforts in boosting the performance and uplifting the markets. We see the activity of this association as a significant initiative which will further enrich the country’s financial sector. It also clearly reflects the great development achieved by UAE financial institutions at the local and international levels. We look forward to working together with the association and with all our strategic partners in the financial sector to further develop the UAE financial market for more successes and progress.”
The Governor of the DIFC, H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh, commented: “We welcome and support such initiatives which provide UAE’s regulated financial services firms a platform to share their concerns, develop a progressive collaboration with the public sector, which optimistically will impact the industry over the long term”
The Association’s board consists of several local and international financial companies from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including: the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Invest AD, The National Investor, UBS AG, Fidelity Worldwide Investment, Franklin Templeton Investments, ING Investment Management, Allfunds Bank, Skandia International, in addition to Deloitte, and Clifford Chance. Capital Advantage acts as the Company Secretary. The membership pool of the Association consists of a diverse group across the various divisions of financial services in the UAE.
Dr. Henry Azzam, Founding Chairman of the Association and now Advisor to the board, said: “The financial services sector in the UAE has come a long way, matured and became more sophisticated. The needs of the market have branched out beyond merely reacting to external developments in the local and international markets. The establishment of the Association demonstrates the will and desire of the financial services companies operating in the UAE to take an active role in the development of their industry, in collaboration with the regulators and the Government of the UAE.”
Commenting on the establishment of the Association, Mr. Paul Koster, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said: “The DFSA engages with a variety of industry associations, including the Financial Services Association (UAE). Such associations help support dialogue between companies, government and consumers. This platform will serve as a beneficial tool for members to engage on a variety of subject matters and important issues so as to enhance the financial services industry in the UAE.”
The Financial Services Association (UAE) has currently one active policy working group, which is actively engaged with the Securities & Commodities Authority. The Association will continue to develop its work through addressing policy issues of high relevance and importance to the financial services sector in the UAE.
Speaking on behalf of the Board, Mrs. Farah Foustok the Chairwoman of the Association said: “The aim of the Association is to open a constructive dialogue between the Regulators and member firms, advance the regulatory framework needed to attract long term investments to the UAE and bring the market closer to international best practice. The Association will coordinate closely with other associations in the market on various issues of common interest. It represents the views and opinions of its member firms and therefore participation by financial services companies is encouraged, to ensure representation of all critical aspects of the industry.”