Abu Dhabi financial regulator launches appeals panel

The Abu Dhabi financial services regulator has announced the creation of a new Appeals Panel to work alongside its recently-launched Regulatory Committee.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) board of directors said that the new panel has been set up to “review and determine decisions” made in the first instance by the Regulatory Committee. The committee was established on 26 January to ensure that “proper observance of due process and procedural fairness of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) in exercising its duties and powers in a consistent, transparent and balanced manner”.

This followed the original launch of the ADGM in October last year as the region bids to bring its financial services regulatory system more in line with standards expected at other international regulators.

The panel will have full independence and authority for determining regulatory appeals and is independent of the ADGM Board of Directors, the FSRA, the Regulatory Committee and the ADGM Courts, as it aims to ensure impartiality.

Important step

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, chairman of ADGM, said: “This is an important step in reinforcing ADGM’s commitment in strengthening its regulatory framework. An independent merits review by the Appeals Panel will provide a robust mechanism to safeguard due process of administrative decisions by the Regulatory Committee.”

“As an International Financial Centre, ADGM will continuously align itself to international expectations and practice to ensure its framework is on par with international financial regulatory standards.  We are committed to maintaining a fair, robust and transparent financial environment for our businesses to expand and grow in the UAE and globally.”

Global legal professionals

The new panel comprises of four global legal professionals with expertise and experience in commercial litigation, international arbitration, banking and finance, commercial dispute resolution and others. They are Michael Brindle QC, Patricia Roberston QC, Rachel Eng and Mr Mark Hapgood QC.

The ADGM is an international financial centre in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi after originally being established by federal decree in 2013. It officially opened for business on 21 October 2015.

The ADGM has three independent authorities, the Registration Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and ADGM Courts. It says that it was launched to enable registered companies to conduct business in a zero-percent tax environment and “operate with confidence within an international regulatory framework with its own independent judicial system”.

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