The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has fined global mortgage company Enness Limited $105,000 for engaging in "unauthorised activity" outside the scope of its licence at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
As a representative office, Enness DIFC is only permitted to carry out a narrow set of activities in the DIFC relating to the marketing of mortgage services offered by its head office based in the UK.
However, between 2017 and 2019, Enness DIFC arranged mortgages and provided mortgage advice for its clients the regulator said.
This action demonstrates that the DFSA takes the failure by Representative Offices to act within the scope of their Licences seriously"
"This action demonstrates that the DFSA takes the failure by Representative Offices to act within the scope of their Licences seriously. We expect that all Representative Offices in the DIFC understand what they are authorised to do, and have controls in place that ensure they only engage in authorised activities," Bryan Stirewalt, chief executive of the DFSA, said.
The company cooperated with the DFSA's investigation and has sought to obtain an appropriate DFSA licence authorising it to carry out the wider financial service of arranging credit and advising on credit, the authority added.
Enness DIFC also agreed to settle the DFSA's action at an early stage of the investigation and hence qualified for a discount under the DFSA's policy for early settlement. Without the discount, the company would have faced a fine of $150,000.
The high net worth mortgage broker Enness Global Mortgages has recently opened its fourth international office in Jersey, after London, Monaco and Dubai. It has plans to open in Paris and Geneva this year as part of an ambitious expansion plan.