UAE central bank issues best practice rules for financial products

The Central Bank of UAE released new regulations for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aimed at promoting “best practices among licenced financial institutions when engaging with SMEs”.
The purpose of the regulation was to improve SMEs’ access to financial products and services, following the launch of its new regulatory framework for financial consumer protection, the central bank said in a statement on 4 April.

The regulation “strengthens governance over the design, promotion and sale of financial products and services, and promotes responsible financing practices and appropriate disclosure of risks”.

“In addition, it provides SMEs with access to timely and accurate information to make informed decisions, implements clear mechanisms for redress of complaints by SMEs, and requires appropriate debt counselling.”

The regulator further said that licensed financial institutions would be required to ensure that the opening of a bank account for an SME should be completed within three business days, provided that appropriate due diligence was undertaken related to financial crime compliance and that SME presents a low risk of money laundering or terrorism financing.