Deloitte and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) second annual Regulatory and Financial Crime Conference 2017 (RFCC) signals, disruptive change is coming and advises regulators and financial institutions to embrace this change to avoid falling behind quickly.
Launched in 2016, as part of the Deloitte Global Financial Crime Symposium series, this year’s RFCC brought together 18 regional and international speakers who shared their experience and knowledge on trending topics. The conference was attended by more than 150 practitioners, local and global regulators, business and key opinion leaders, representing over 100 companies who debated the disruptive forces redefining how Middle East financial institutions and regulators need to operate in the future.
Keynote speaker, Bob Contri, Deloitte’s Global Financial Services Industry Leader said “There may be some debate about how exactly the financial services landscape will change as disruptive technologies emerge, but it is undeniable: change is coming. Financial institutions and regulators worldwide must adapt – or risk falling quickly behind. The UAE’s notable efforts to stay ahead of the curve are welcome in an unpredictable, and at times worrying, world.”
The conference programme included a series of expert panel discussions, with leading industry and regulatory experts who discussed the top ten regulatory trends in the region, innovation in fighting financial crime and the role of regulators in disruptive times and the “Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) requirements preparedness, including the UAE’s ambition to become a full-time FATF member.
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“Based on my recent conversations with banks and regulators in the U.A.E., it is encouraging to hear about the steps being taken by the financial institutions to combat and mitigate the risks of financial crime and money laundering. Utilizing a robust and proactive risk-based approach will be key for the banks in the future to identify and address financial crime risks as they emerge, and to manage growing compliance costs in this arena.” said Micheal Shepard, Global AML, Sanctions and Financial Crime Leader, Deloitte.
“Meeting increasingly complex regulatory obligations remains a challenge for financial institutions – not just in the UAE, but worldwide. The financial institutions globally and regionally need to refresh their Regulatory and Financial Crime risk management strategies for how they respond to regulation and how they do business in a regulatory, economic and political environment that could be fundamentally more constraining. Not all institutions will succeed in doing this in the years ahead. Those that do will find ways of making this new environment work for them, capitalizing on their inherent resilience, agility and efficiency.” said Bhavin Shah, Partner, Financial Advisory, Deloitte, Middle East.
Jacques Visser, Chief Legal Officer, DIFC Authority, commented: “It is encouraging to see the high level of attendance from many industry leaders at this year’s Regulatory & Financial Crime Conference, a clear indication of the commitment to tackling financial crime in the region and beyond. As the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, DIFC is aligned with industry efforts and we continue in our drive to maintain high standards. There is always room for improvement in combatting risks and it is critical that the industry continues to engage in order to help establish more effective ways of disrupting financial crime.”