Authorised Firms

In order to meet its objectives, the DFSA requires an open, transparent and co-operative relationship between itself and the Authorised Firm.

The DFSA seeks to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of an Authorised Firm’s business. However, an Authorised Firm is also required to keep the DFSA informed of significant events, or anything related to the firm of which the DFSA would reasonably expect to be notified.

The nature and intensity of the DFSA’s relationship with an Authorised Firm will depend on a number of factors. The DFSA’s level of supervision will be proportionate to the risks which the Authorised Firm poses to the DFSA’s objectives and will emphasise the responsibilities of the Authorised Firm’s senior management in identifying, assessing, mitigating and controlling its risks. The greater the impact and probability of the Authorised Firm’s perceived risks, the more intensive the supervisory relationship will be.

The DFSA encourages open and proactive communication with all Authorised Firms. To achieve this, the DFSA follows a multi-channel approach to communication with Authorised Firms:

  • Relationship managers are the primary contact point with Authorised Firms, through regular visits and on-site risk assessments.
  • From time-to-time, the DFSA issues letters addressed to Senior Executive Officers (SEOs) regarding specific issues. Refer to SEO Letters.
  • On a quarterly basis, the DFSA hosts Outreach sessions to discuss specific regulatory issues in an open forum. Refer to Outreach Sessions.
  • The DFSA also issues Alerts regarding possible fraud issues and other regulatory warnings. To view or subscribe to Alerts, click here.
  • The DFSA reviews its regulatory regime on an ongoing basis and updates its Rulebook as and when required. To view or subscribe to notification of changes, click here.
  • Firms are also required to complete regular reports. To access the EPRS system, click here.
  • Firms are required to file Suspicious Transaction Reports immediately. To access contact information for filing of STRs, click here

For more information regarding being supervised by the DFSA, please refer to the DFSA Rulebook and the Regulatory Policy and Process Sourcebook.


Expanding your business

An Authorised Firm wishing to change its scope of licence or obtain specific endorsements (Islamic or Retail), should complete the relevant application form available in the AFN Module of the DFSA Rulebook. As a first step, the firm should discuss their intentions with their DFSA relationship manager.

We aim to process such applications in a timely and efficient manner.


SEO Letters

​The DFSA is committed to open and transparent communication with Authorised Firms. From time-to-time the DFSA issues letters to the Senior Executive Officers (SEOs) of Authorised Firms, which alert firms to specific issues which might arise in the marketplace or as part of our regulatory scope.

Although these letters are not legally binding, we do expect firms to consider their content and react appropriately.

To subscribe to receiving an e-mail update when new SEO letters are issued, please click here.


Current SEO Letters

20 July 2015: DFSA Policy on Permissible Company and Trading Names for Entities in Established in the DIFC

12 July 2015: The United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) - Authorised Firms' (AF) Obligations

20 April 2015: Supervisory Priorities and Issues

20 April 2015: The Marketing of Foreign Exchange ("FX") and other Highly-leveraged Products ("HLPs") to Retail Investors by Authorised Firms and Representative Offices

6 April 2015: Annual Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Return

Previous SEO Letters

17 November 2014: The DIFC Authority's Announcement - DIFC Registrar of Companies (Registrar) Role Regarding Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

1 May 2014: United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA)

13 March 2014: Retail Foreign Exchange ("RFX") Transactions in the DIFC

27 February 2014: Retail Foreign Exchange Risk Disclosure - in English

27 February 2014: Retail Foreign Exchange Risk Disclosure - in Arabic

27 February 2014: Retail Foreign Exchange Risk Disclosure - in Tagalog

27 February 2014: Retail Foreign Exchange Risk Disclosure - in Chinese

27 February 2014: Retail Foreign Exchange Risk Disclosure - In Hindi

29 January 2014: Thematic Review - Corporate Governance

4 February 2014: Awareness Survey of the US Foreign Accountant Tax Compliance Act

5 December 2013: Remuneration Thematic Review

4 November 2013: Trading Desk Survey

9 July 2013: Implementation of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive

6 December 2012: New and Enhanced PIB Module of DFSA Rulebook – Roll-Out and Implementation

28 November 2012: Markets Law 2012 Article 38 Declaration

4 November 2012: Public Offers of Securities in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

21 October 2012: Outcome of Thematic Review - Client Take-On Processes and Suitability

13 March 2012: Thematic Review - Client Acceptance and Take-On Processes

8 February 2012: Dubai Financial Services Authority Stakeholder Survey - 2011

2 March 2011: UNSCR 1970 (2011)

27 January 2011: MENA Region PEPs

3 November 2010: New Risk Management Concerns

17 August 2010: Outcome of Thematic Review - Client Assets and Insurance Monies

29 July 2010: Notification of Theme Review - Corporate Governance

20 June 2010: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010) and Related Matters

17 March 2010: Outcome of Thematic Review - Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing

17 March 2010: AML/CTF Alert - Financial Task Force Public Statements on High Risk Jurisdictions

20 December 2009: Outcome of DFSA's Controls Questionnaire 2009

16 September 2009: Outcome of Theme Review - Outsourcing of Functions

23 June 2009: Importance of UN Security Council Sanctions and Customer Due Diligence

11 June 2009: Enhancements to our Supervisory Programme for Authorised Firms 

20 April 2009: Suitability & Fair Treatment of Customers Theme Review

19 August 2008: DFSA Stakeholder Survey and the executive summary of the Chant Link Report

12 May 2008: Compliance with Federal Law Provisions on Dealing in Dirham and Deposit Taking

12 May 2008: Capital Adequacy Planning and Monitoring Processes Theme Review

6 January 2008: Financial Action Task Force Statement on Iran

1 November 2007: Changes in the Frequency and Scope of On-site Risk Assessments for Low-Risk Firms

6 September 2007: Results of AML/CTF Theme Review

Supervised Firm Contact Form

Before you contact us, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page, as it might be able to answer your question.

If you have a complaint, please visit the DFSA Complaints Portal for more information.​​​​