SCA Launches A Fintech Project Targeting UAE Markets Jointly with PwC
H.E. Sultan Al Mansoori: The agreement promotes the status of the UAE as a fintech hub in the region.
Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi: The project sets up a regulatory infrastructure for the development of innovative products and services, thus promoting capital market efficiency.
On the sidelines of the World Government Summit held in Dubai, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) entered into an agreement with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to develop a regulatory framework for financial and regulatory technology in the UAE capital markets. The agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi, CEO of SCA, and Max De Gregorio, Partner at PwC Middle East, in the presence of H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and SCA Board Chairman.
Under the agreement, PwC will provide services aimed at developing a regulatory framework for financial technology in the UAE capital markets in four stages, as follows:
This stage involves analyzing fintech regulations in force in capital markets and operation models used by regional and international authorities in line with best practices, then submitting a report comparing the existing regional and international frameworks.
This stage involves formulating a policy (or general principles) for financial technology that is consistent with SCA's vision and mission and in line with international practices and soliciting industry feedback on this policy, then making the necessary changes, as deemed appropriate.
This stage is about developing a regulatory sandbox—including the guiding principles and the application lifecycle—in line with best practices adopted by six specified countries. It involves soliciting industry feedback and then making the necessary changes, as deemed appropriate. It also includes organizing a workshop for key stakeholders to present the advanced policy framework and the experimental lab, plus developing a business plan for setting-up this lab in UAE capital markets.
This stage involves devising a model and an operation plan—including internal processes, roles and responsibilities, and points of contact with the Central Bank—and soliciting industry feedback, then making the necessary changes, as deemed appropriate. It takes into consideration first party feedback to improve the level of performance.
Following the signing of the agreement, H.E. Al Mansoori, said: “this agreement will promote the financial services industry at home and will present the country as a hub for financial technology in the region as it boasts a remarkable information technology infrastructure and specialized market professionals." He added that SCA has yet to introduce another fintech initiative aimed at creating a platform or an e-portal that brings together all financial technology companies, financial institutions, and Internet and telecommunications companies, to test and implement modern, technological initiatives in a safe, resilient, and cost-effective environment."
For his part, Dr. Al Zaabi said: “the agreement lays the foundations for a vital, fintech-centered project, as part of the UAE government's strategy to foster a culture of innovation." He explained that the project is consistent with SCA's role in regulating the securities industry and with its strategic objective of developing a stable investment environment and providing the proper regulatory infrastructure to develop products and services, thus raising capital market efficiency."
For his part, Max De Gregorio said: “we are pleased to work with SCA to launch a fintech initiative and accelerate the digitalization of UAE capital market processes. This is a key move in our digital agenda and will contribute to presenting the UAE as a leader in developing capital markets."
Established in 1998, PwC is a major professional services firm in the world. It was the result of the merger between Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. It has offices in 150 countries across the world.