6 June 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 6th June 2016 to develop the Financial Technology (“FinTech”) eco-system in Abu Dhabi. This MoU follows closely on the recent announcement of ADGM’s proposed Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab), a tailored framework that allows firms deploying innovative technology in the financial services sector (“FinTech participants”) to conduct their activities in a controlled and cost-effective environment. The proposed RegLab is also the first of such initiative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The new partnership provides a framework for FSRA and NYUAD to harness each other’s expertise and knowledge to build and introduce shared initiatives that strategically support the development and growth of the FinTech ecosystem in ADGM, Abu Dhabi and beyond.
The agreement with NYUAD underpins ADGM’s commitment to work and build strategic partnerships with key industry stakeholders to collaboratively cultivate local entrepreneurship and promote technology development and innovation in financial services. From ADGM, the FSRA team will provide domain knowledge, expertise on matters of FinTech to NYUAD community entrepreneurs interested in FinTech. Among others, FSRA will assist FinTech entrepreneurs and participants on understanding and navigating any commercial or regulatory requirements in relation to their business activities. Through the partnership, NYUAD aims to offer access to entrepreneurship training and skills development to participants that are part of the ADGM’s RegLab platform. NYUAD will also contribute towards the design and organisation of ADGM-FinTech related activities, discussions and engagements. Both parties intend to jointly promote related programs and initiatives through their respective channels and digital platforms.
Richard Teng, CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority said, “We are glad to welcome NYU Abu Dhabi as one of our key FinTech partners and every stakeholder plays a critical and unique part towards the realisation of a FinTech Hub in the UAE. The ADGM team has been establishing significant and meaningful milestones which we will be sharing with the community in due course.”
He added, “NYUAD has been a very supportive stakeholder and keen to develop globally-recognised and locally-tailored programmes and initiatives that will support the FinTech community and its participants. We look forward to working closely with NUYAD and more partners to establish a vibrant and enduring Fintech eco-system in Abu Dhabi.”
NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ramesh Jagannathan said: "NYUAD is committed to developing a globally competitive, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. In this context, we are thrilled to partner with The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in pioneering the FinTech ecosystem. The mission of NYUAD IDEA Lab, an entrepreneurship platform focused on democratizing innovations and accelerating startups, is vastly strengthened by ADGM’s innovative Regulatory lab (RegLab) framework. Working together, we will develop FinTech strategies, programs and initiatives that will jump start FinTech startups in the region.”
The FRSA published a consultation paper on 10 May 2016 and is seeking industry views on its proposed FinTech regulatory framework including the “Regulatory Laboratory” initiative. In this proposed initiative, FinTech participants enjoy a two-year period to develop, test and launch their products and services in a controlled environment. The proposal supports FSRA’s objective in developing a stable and sustainable financial services sector in Abu Dhabi, while fostering innovation within scoped parameters buffered by risk-proportionate regulatory safeguards. The consultation period ends on 13 June 2016.