Abu Dhabi Global Market Issues Public Consultation on its Fintech Legislative Framework

ADGM 31/08/2016

31 August 2016, Abu Dhabi: The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) today issued a public consultation paper inviting public feedback and comments for its proposed legislative framework to  implement and govern the FRSA Regulatory Laboratory (“FSRA RegLab”).   This follows closely from our policy consultation of 10 May 2016 for a FinTech Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) in ADGM.  Taking into account the significant support and feedback received from the policy consult, the FSRA has formulated the proposed regulatory framework, comprising regulations, rules and guidelines, to introduce the FSRA RegLab that will provide a controlled environment to allow the development and testing of innovative FinTech solutions. 

The proposed FSRA RegLab and its legislative framework will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, and amongst the first in the world.  It is designed to support companies, institutions and participants that wish to deploy innovative technology within the financial services sector (“FinTech”) in Abu Dhabi and the wider region. 

The consultation paper is seeking feedback on:-

Introducing a new Regulated Activity that specifically caters for participants who wish to engage in “Developing Financial Technology within the RegLab”.  A FinTech Participant that carries on such a Regulated Activity will need to apply for a Financial Services Permission.  

The draft FinTech Regulatory Laboratory Guidance setting out FSRA’s approach to authorising and supervising FinTech Participants.  The regulatory approach adopted allows the FSRA to retain flexibility in tailoring its regulatory requirements based on the specific characteristics and risks posed by a specific FinTech Participant.  The FSRA recognises that FinTech Participants progress along different stages of development of their FinTech Proposal, accordingly a flexible approach to each applicant’s unique circumstances is needed.

Mr Richard Teng, CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM said, “We were very pleased to receive positive and constructive feedback from local and international participants on our earlier policy consultation of the FSRA Reglab initiative.   The global FinTech hubs have also been supportive in our initiative to develop a progressive and sustainable FinTech eco-system in this region. We will continue to welcome firms to create and deploy new technologies, create new growth opportunities and enhance the quality and efficiency of the financial services sector in Abu Dhabi.”

ADGM invites the public and industry participants to submit their comments to “Consultation Paper No. 3 of 2016” by 26 September 2016 to: 

Mail :

Consultation Paper No. 3 of 2016

Financial Services Regulatory Authority 
Abu Dhabi Global Market Square 
Al Maryah Island 
PO Box 111999 
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Email :
For more details of the consultation paper, please click here.
About FSRA Regulatory Laboratory (FSRA RegLab)

To support FinTech firms and start-ups, the FSRA Reglab provides a controlled and progressive operating environment to allow FinTech participants to focus on the development and testing of their innovations and solutions.   The FSRA RegLab will be launched once the FinTech legislative framework is approved and implemented.  The RegLab is designed with the following features:

Operates on a “blank-sheet” approach.  That is, instead of imposing a standard suite of authorisation regulations and rules (designed for more traditional financial institutions) from the outset, FSRA will identify the key risks associated with each FinTech business model, and customise a set of rules accordingly.

FinTech Participants are given up to two-years to develop, test and launch their products and services under the RegLab, after which FinTech Participants with viable business models may apply to be transferred to the full authorisation and supervisory regime (upon successful demonstration of compliance with the authorisation criteria).  FinTech Participants that are not ready after the two-year period will be required to exit the RegLab.