The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced today it is merging the Insurance Authority and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) as part of a wider simplification of the federal government's structure.
As part of the regulatory restructuring--long anticipated--the Insurance Authority will be merged with the SCA. The as yet unnamed new body will be overseen by the Ministry for the Economy.
Announcing the changes, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice-president and ruler of Dubai, said the aim was "a government that can more quickly make decisions and deal with changes and more adeptly seize opportunities in dealing with this new stage in our history; a swift and agile government."
I hope the new entity will create a taskforce to stamp out unregulated firms, there are still far too many firms who turn a blind eye to being regulated in the UAE."
"The new government has one year to achieve its new priorities. Continuous changes will be the headline of the new phase until we achieve the best governance model for the new era; and until we achieve a government that fulfils the ambitions of the Emirati people," he added.
The move to merge the two regulators was largely foreseen and has been welcomed by many within the industry. Nigel Sillitoe, founder and CEO of Insight Discovery, said: "This is hopefully a much needed step in the co-ordination of financial services regulation in the UAE. Market players, mainly insurance brokers (currently regulated by the Insurance Authority) and investment advisers (typically SCA firms) will be waiting to see the new regulations from this combined group and perhaps, more importantly, how the regulations will be enforced."
Sillitoe added: "I hope the new entity will create a taskforce to stamp out unregulated firms, there are still far too many firms who turn a blind eye to being regulated in the UAE."
Last November the Insurance Authority rolled out new regulations regarding life insurance and family takaful, following an almost three-year consultation period.
Also today, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber was named president of the Emirates Development Bank.
The UAE economy is forecast to shrink by 3.6% this year.