November 7, 2019

UAE to investigate establishing a single Financial Services regulator

The UAE has established a committee to investigate the potential merger of the Insurance Authority into the Securities and Commodities Authority, to form a single financial services regulator. Regulation of financial services in the UAE is currently the responsibility of two separate bodies: the Securities and Commodities Authority, which oversees banking and investment; and the Insurance Authority which oversees insurance activities.

The UAE Ministry of Justice issued on 23 September 2019 a resolution (Ministerial Resolution No. 814 of 2019) pursuant to which a ten-member committee was formed to lay the ground for the merger of the Insurance Authority into the Securities and Commodities Authority. The Committee comprises members from the Securities and Commodities Authority (2), the Ministry of Finance (2), the Insurance Authority (2), the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (2) and the Ministry of Justice (2).

The Committee has 6 months (i.e. until the end of March 2020) to:

  1. Prepare the necessary legislation for effecting the merger, and submit these to the "Technical Committee for Legislation"; and
  2. Identify the implications of the merger, and make recommendations in that regard, and submit these to the Cabinet, along with the proposed legislation.

The Resolution does not contain a deadline for the actual merger.

If the merger does go ahead, the UAE will be following the approach taken by other regional regulators such as Saudi Arabia (SAMA), Qatar (QCB), and Bahrain (CBB), along with regulators in the UAE Financial Free Zones.