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国际资讯监管与政策

迪拜金融服务管理局首推金融科技试验许可牌照

迪拜国际金融中心(后文简称DIFC)下属迪拜金融服务管理局(后文简称DFSA)近日宣布,为推动金融科技产业发展,将推出一项专门的限制性许可牌照。从消息公布的5月24日开始,相关金融科技企业就可以针对这个名叫"创新试验牌照"的金融服务许可提出申请。

按照政策规定,拥有这个牌照的金融科技公司可以在DIFC政策范围内开发和测试相关创新概念,无需受到现有监管政策的管束。牌照的有效期为6到12个月。目前,DFSA正在考虑针对某些企业和产品延长牌照的有效期。如果某个金融科技企业达到了监管测试规划的成果要求,那么就有可能获得DFSA的全面授权。如果不能,该企业则需要退出DIFC免监管金融服务范围。

就在不久前,DIFC刚刚成立了自己的金融科技实验室/加速器-FinTech Hive。该项目计划将金融科技行业内的领导人物和创业企业家汇聚在一起,形成业内良性竞争,以应对区域内金融服务产业涌现的各种新增问题。

此外,DFSA目前还在积极完善贷款和投资众筹相关监管政策。其中,贷款众筹凭借"物美价廉"的优势,已经逐步超过传统银行,成为当地中小企业获得资金援助的一条有效途径。

DFSA此举其实也是在积极践行阿联酋副总统、总理兼国王2014年提出的"阿联酋国家创新战略"。

目前,支持创新发展与维护金融稳定已经成为全球金融产业监管者共同面临的挑战。比如,新加坡和澳大利亚有关部门就推出了"监管沙盒"政策,为从业者提供限制性牌照,在实现利益最大化的前提下降低行业风险。此外,也有不少国家选择进行国际合作,共同为金融科技创新和市场发展建言献策。

Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent financial regulator the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)1 is introducing a new kind of restricted licence to promote financial technology (FinTech) innovation. DFSA announced on May 24 that it will allow FinTech firms to apply for a class of financial services licence referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL).

The ITL will allow qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the DIFC, without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. FinTech firms will be able to use the restricted licence to test an innovative product or service for six to 12 months. DFSA could consider extending that period in exceptional cases. If a firm has met the outcomes detailed in the regulatory test plan, and it can meet the full DFSA Authorisation requirements, it will migrate to full authorisation. If it does not, the company will have to cease carrying on activities in the DIFC that need regulation.

This initiative follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, a FinTech lab/ accelerator, which plans to bring together leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region’s financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions, in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Sharia-based services.

The DFSA is also in the process of formalising its approach to loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms (models wherel many persons lend sums of money to a company in return for the company’s legally-binding commitment to repay the loan at pre-determined time intervals and interest rates or in return for equity). Loan-based crowdfunding has become a valuable source of financing for SMEs in several jurisdictions, as it provides funds at competitive and lower interest rates, compared to traditional bank loans.

The DFSA’s approach is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2014, to foster an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

This challenge of supporting and promoting innovation, while protecting financial stability and consumers is something financial regulators around the world are grappling with today. Regulators are exploring the creation controlled environments in the form of regulatory sandboxes (Singapore, Australia), providing restricted licences, to maximise benefits and minimise risks. Countries are also forming International partnerships (a few examples here, here and here) for exploring FinTech innovation and developing markets.


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