08/01/2017 07:15 AST

The 11th MENA Regulatory Summit is slated in Dubai on Feb. 5-6, co-hosted by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of news and information for professional markets and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Under the patronage of the UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the summit will debate key challenges that financial institutions and corporates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) face in complying with international standards, fighting financial crime and promoting strong, positive cultures.

According to the findings of Thomson Reuters MENA Financial Report 2016, about 50 % of compliance respondents have significantly increased their compliance spending over the last two years and 52 % expect a significant increase in compliance spending in the next two years. More than 39% prioritize business change and reorganization investment over technology and training. Only 7% have complete confidence in their compliance policies, while 44 % fear over-reliance on Technology.

Around 14 % of respondents are confident that technology is appropriately applied, while two thirds do not have a cyber security or technology policy in place. In respect to sanctions policy, more than 40 % of respondents confirmed that they do not have a sanctions policy in place.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, MENA, Thomson Reuters, said: “Cyber risk, cyber-crime and cyber-attacks have all come to the fore this year and will continue to be among the key themes next year especially with global names hitting the headlines for having been successfully targeted. The issue is being taken seriously at the highest international levels with the formation of intelligence-sharing hubs.”

“The MENA Regulatory Summit has been the region’s landmark forum for the financial compliance community in the past few years. The two-day program will explore key themes such as Emerging Regulatory trends, MENA capital markets regulation, corruption & anti-money laundering, information security, future risk scenario planning, and many other topics,” he added.

Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said: “The DFSA is pleased to partner with Thomson Reuters in hosting the 11th MENA Regulatory Summit 2017. In line with its commitment to international standards, the DFSA hopes that this summit will be an appropriate platform to facilitate discussion between public and private sector entities and thought leaders to help shape the solutions to these key challenges and maintain confidence in financial markets as well as protect the users of the financial services industry. We are eager to take part in a forum that will provide an open exchange of ideas and sharing of best practices to understand potential solutions to key challenges faced by the financial services industry.”

The summit will highlight the recent macroeconomic developments on the MENA region including the US election, Brexit aftermath, regional regulatory responses to the financial crisis, the digital revolution in financial services, block chain technology, and crowd funding.

The first day will highlight international anti- financial crime trends, FATF perspective on terrorist financing & emergent types of financial crimes, and the dangers of withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships. Panelists will also discuss trade-based money laundering and trade finance activities, a compliance culture, business conduct, business ethics, and compliance conflicts.

The 11th MENA Regulatory Summit is supported by Banque Saudi Fransi, Deloitte, ETIVE Consulting, Al Tamimi & Co, Abu Dhabi Securities, Barclay Simpson, Herbert Smith Freehills, eProseed and FinScan.


Saudi Gazette

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