UAE Central Bank seeks feedback on new financial consumer protection rules

Proposed framework will include enhancements to the quality of disclosure and transparency

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., February 12, 2019. Sunny but chilly weather at the Corniche.
-- (Probable Big Picture) Watersports enthusiasts enjoy the beautiful weather.
Victor Besa/The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:   Mustafa AlRawi

The Central Bank of the UAE is seeking feedback from key stakeholders in the UAE for a new regulatory framework aimed at better protecting financial consumers in the second-biggest Arab economy.

The regulator has launched a consultation for a new Financial Consumer Protection Regulatory Framework, which will help it develop and implement the new regulations that include more comprehensive requirements for all financial institutions under its supervision, the central bank said in a statement on Monday.

It will also include enhancements to the quality of disclosure and transparency, ensuring timely responses to customer complaints and will require financial institutions to provide consumers with effective dispute resolution services.

The central bank has already set up a consumer protection department, which has initiated a review of consumers’ experiences with financial institutions in the UAE. The department has carried out benchmarking exercises with other central banks to follow and implement international best practice in the UAE, according to the statement.

The framework also covers areas such as regulatory supervision, corporate governance, market conduct, business conduct, and protection of consumer data and privacy, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, governor of the central bank said.

“The principles of responsible financing practice, complaint management and dispute resolution; consumer education and awareness and financial inclusion and Sharia compliance for financial services are essential for the development of a comprehensive framework,” the governor said.

Feedback from the stakeholders will be integrated in the proposed framework before it is reviewed by the central bank’s board, the statement said. It did not give an indication when the consultation period ends, though.