Federal Decree Law No. 14
Issued on 23/09/2018
Corresponding to 13 Muharram 1440 H.
ON THE CENTRAL BANK AND THE ORGANISATION OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Amended by:
Federal Decree-Law no. 1 dated 09/07/2020
Abrogating:
Federal Law no. 10/1980 dated 02/08/1980
Federal Law no. 6/1985 dated 15/12/1985
We, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates,
Pursuant to the perusal of the Constitution;
Federal Law no. (1) of 1972 on Competencies of the Ministries and Powers of the Ministers and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (5) of 1975 on the Commercial Register;
Federal Law No (10) of 1980 on the Central Bank, the Monetary System and the Organisation of Banking and its amendments;
Civil Transactions Law promulgated by Federal Law no. (5) of 1985 and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (6) of 1985 on the Islamic Banks, Financial Institutions and Investment
Companies;
Penal Code promulgated by Federal Law no. (3) of 1987 and its amendments;
Law of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Transactions promulgated by Federal Law no. (10) of 1992 and its amendments;
Civil Procedure Law promulgated by Federal Law no. (11) of 1992 and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (18) of 1993 on the promulgation of the Commercial Transactions Law;
Federal Law no. (4) of 2000 concerning the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority and
Market and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (4) of 2002 on the Criminalization of Money Laundering and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (8) of 2004 on the Financial Free Zones;
Federal Law no. (17) of 2004 on combating Commercial Concealment;
Federal Law no. (1) of 2006 on Electronic Transactions and Commerce;
Federal Decree-Law no. (4) of 2007 on the Establishment of the Emirates Investment Authority and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (6) of 2007 AD on the Establishment of the Insurance Authority and the
Regulation of its Operations and its amendments;
Federal Law no. (6) of 2010 concerning Credit Information;
Federal Law no. (1) of 2011 concerning the State Public Revenues;
Federal Decree-Law no. (5) of 2011 on the Organisation of Boards of Directors, Boards of
Trustees and Committees in the Federal Government;
Federal Law no. (8) of 2011 on the re-organisation of the State Audit Institution;
Federal Decree-Law no. (8) of 2011 on the Rules for the preparation of the State Budget and Final Account;
Federal Law no. (4) of 2012 on the organisation of Competition;
Federal Decree-Law no. (5) of 2012 on Combating of IT Offences and its amendments;
Federal Decree-Law no. (7) of 2014 on combating Terrorist Offences;
Federal Law no. (12) of 2014 on the reorganisation of Auditors’ Profession;
Federal Law no. (2) of 2015 on Commercial Companies and its amendments;
Federal Decree-Law No (9) of 2016 concerning Bankruptcy;
Federal Law no. (20) of 2016 on Mortgaging Movable Assets as Security for Debts;
Federal Law no. (7) of 2017 on Tax Procedures;
Federal Decree-Law no. (9) of 2018 concerning Public Debt;
Federal Decree-Law no. (10) of 2018 concerning netting; and
Based on the proposal of the Minister of Finance and the approval of the Cabinet.
Have issued the following Decree-Law:
Article 1- Definitions
In application of the provisions of the present Decree-Law, the following terms and expressions shall have the meanings assigned thereto, unless the context otherwise:
State: United Arab Emirates
Government: Federal Government
Ministry: Ministry of Finance
Minister: Minister of Finance
Central Bank: Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates
Regulatory Authorities in the State: Central Bank, Securities & Commodities Authority, and Insurance Authority
Board of Directors: Board of directors of the Central Bank
Governor: Governor of the Central Bank
Public Sector: Federal Government, governments of the Member Emirates of the Federation, and the public authorities, institutions and companies that are fully owned thereby, which provide public services and do not primarily exercise any activities relating to monetary and capital markets
Government Bodies: Juridical person in which the Government, any of the governments of the Member Emirates of the Federation, or any of their respective affiliated companies, owns more than fifty percent (50%) of the capital
Financial Free Zones: Free zones that are subject to the provisions of Federal Law no. (8) of 2004 on the Financial Free Zones and its amendments.
Licensed Financial Institutions: Banks and other financial institutions that are licensed in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law to exercise one or more Licensed Financial Activities, including those which exercise all or part of their business in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Shariah, and are either incorporated inside the State or in other jurisdictions, or have branches, affiliates or representative offices inside the State
Banks: Any juridical person licensed in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, to primarily exercise “deposit taking” activity, and any other Licensed Financial Activities
Other Financial Institutions: Any juridical person, other than Banks, licensed in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, to exercise one or more of the Licensed Financial Activities
Higher Sharia Authority: The Authority referred to in Article (17) of the present Decree-Law
Exchange House: A juridical person licensed under the provisions of the present Decree-Law to exercise money exchange activity and carry out money transfers within and outside the State, and any other activities determined by the Central Bank
Representative Office: Office licensed under the provisions of the present Decree-Law to represent a financial institution incorporated in other jurisdictions
Licensed Financial Activities: Financial activities subject to Central Bank licensing and supervision, which are specified in article (65) of the present Decree-Law
Authorised Individual: Any natural person authorised in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law to exercise any of the Designated Functions
Designated Functions: Functions exercised by the Authorised Individual for or on behalf of Licensed Financial Institution, whose nature would affect the Institution's activities
Bank’s Own Funds: Capital of the Central Bank and its reserves that are referred to in Article (5) of the present Decree-Law
Foreign Reserves: Foreign assets kept by the Central Bank, denominated in any reserve currency and deployed to cover the Bank’s liabilities
Primary Dealers: Any bank acting as a principal or on behalf of another person, which purchases, sells or recovers any securities issued inside the State by the Public Sector, in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed by the Central Bank
Available Facilities: Monetary policy tools that are made available to deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions, to enable them manage their liquidity
Financial Infrastructure System: Means either (1) a clearing and settlement system or (2) a retail payment system, established, operated, licensed, or supervised by any of the Regulatory Authorities in the State
Selected system: Any Financial Infrastructure System designated by the Central Bank as statutorily important, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law
Clearing and Settlement System: Any system established for the following purposes: (1) clearing or settling payment obligations or (2) clearing or settling obligations to transfer specific book-entry securities, or transfer of such securities
Retail Payment System: Any system of transfer of funds and relevant instruments, mechanisms, and arrangements that serve handling a large volume of relatively low-value payments in such forms as cheques, credit transfers, direct debit, or card payment transactions
Stored Value Facilities: Non-cash facilities, in electronic or magnetic form, which are bought by a user to be used as means of making a payment for goods and services
Participant: When it comes to a Financial Infrastructure System, shall mean any person who is party to the arrangements for which the system has been established
Settlement Institution: When it comes to a Financial Infrastructure System, shall mean a person providing (1) settlement accounts to the Participants and to any Central Counterparty, in a Clearing and Settlement System, in order to settle transfer orders through the system, and provide credit facilities for settlement purposes when needed, or (2) providing settlement services for any Retail Payment System
Default Arrangements: When it comes to a Financial Infrastructure System, means the arrangements set in the system to limit systemic and other types of risk should there be any Participant who appears to be, or is likely to become, unable to meet his obligations that are related to the Transfer Order, including any arrangements set by the system operator or by its Settlement Institution for the following: (1) Netting the obligations owed to or by a Participant, (2) Closing a financial position opened to a Participant, or (3) Liquidating collateral securities to secure payment of obligations owed by a Participant
Transfer Order: When it comes to a Financial Infrastructure System, shall mean any of the following instructions: (1) instructions by a Participant to put the funds at the disposal of another Participant, to be transferred, on book-entry basis, in the accounts of the Settlement Institution for a Clearing and Settlement System, or (2) instructions for releasing the party from the obligation to pay, for the purposes of the operational rules of the Clearing and Settlement System, or (3) instructions by a Participant to either settle an obligation of transferring a book-entry security, or transferring such securities, or (4) instructions by a Participant that result in assumption of responsibility or in releasing the party from the obligation to pay the amounts owed for retail operations
Netting: When it comes to a Clearing and Settlement System, means the conversion of the various obligations owed to or by a Participant towards all the other Participants in the system, into a single net obligation owed to or by the Participant
Mandatory Reserve: Percentage of deposits held by deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions, which the Board of Directors may decide to keep with the Central Bank, in accordance with the terms and conditions determined thereby
Eligible Securities: Securities approved by the Central Bank, which deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions may present as collaterals to draw from the Central Bank funds
Currency: The State’s official national currency banknotes and coins, having “Dirham” as monetary unit
Monetary Base: It includes the following: (1) Issued Currency, (2) the sum of balances of current accounts of Licensed Financial Institutions with the Central Bank, inter alia the Mandatory Reserves, in addition to any other funds deposited with the Central Bank for clearing and settlement purposes, and (3) the outstanding balance of securities and financial instruments issued by the Central Bank
Grievances and Appeals Committee: The committee referred to in Article (136) of the present Decree-Law
Person: Any natural or juridical person as the case may be
Year: Gregorian year
Title 1
Central Bank
Chapter 1
Organisation and Objectives of the Central Bank
Article 2- Independence of the Central Bank
1- The Central Bank shall be deemed a Federal public institution having independent legal personality and enjoying financial and administrative autonomy and the legal capacity required for the performance of all businesses and activities which ensure the fulfilment of its objectives.
2- The provisions of the laws related to public finance, tenders and auctions, public accounts and civil service shall not apply to the Central Bank, as the Bank’s regulations shall apply in their respect.
3- The functions of State Audit Institution according to Federal Law No. (8) of 2011 on the reorganisation of the State Audit Institution shall be limited to post-audit operations over the Central Bank’s activities, and may not interfere in running the Central Bank business or prejudice its policies.
Article 3- Headquarters of the Central Bank
Headquarters of the Central Bank and its official address, along with its main branch shall be located in the State’s capital and may, upon Board of Directors approval, establish subsidiaries and open branches, offices and agencies inside and outside the State, and appoint agents and correspondents inside and outside the State.
Article 4- Principal Objectives and Functions of the Central Bank
The Central Bank aims at achieving the following objectives:
1- Maintain stability of the national Currency within the framework of the monetary system.
2- Contribute to the promotion and protection of stability of the financial system in the State.
3- Ensure prudent management of the Central Bank’s Foreign Reserves.
For the purpose of achieving its objectives, the Central Bank shall assume the following functions and jurisdictions:
a- Draw up and implement monetary policy while considering the State’s general strategy.
b- Exercise the privilege of Currency issuance.
c- Organise Licensed Financial Activities, establish the foundations to exercise them, and determine the standards required for development and promotion of prudential practices in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law and the international standards.
d- Set the regulations and standards appropriate for the protection of customers of Licensed Financial institutions.
e- Control the credit status in the State in order to contribute to the achievement of balanced growth in the national economy.
f- Manage foreign reserves to maintain, at all times, sufficient foreign currency assets to cover the Monetary Base according to the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
g- Regulate and develop the Financial Infrastructure in the State, including electronic payment systems, digital currency, and Stored Value Facilities, and maintain their integrity.
Chapter 2
Capital, Reserves and Accounts of the Central Bank
Article 5- Capital and Reserves
1- The capital of the Central Bank shall be AED Twenty Billion (20,000,000,000).
2- A sum of AED Seventeen Billion Five Hundred Million (17,500,000,000) shall be transferred from the General Reserve Account, to increase the capital to the amount referred to Clause (1) of this Article.
3- The capital may be increased by virtue of a Federal Decree issued based on the suggestion of the Board of Directors, the proposal of the Minister, and the approval of the Cabinet. Such increase shall be paid either by transfer from the General Reserve Account or directly by the Government.
4- The capital of the Central Bank may only be reduced by a Law.
5- The Central Bank shall create a General Reserve Account that should not exceed four (4) times the paid-up capital mentioned in Clause (1) of this Article. The remaining net profits shall then automatically devolve to the Government.
6- The Board of Directors shall, by the end of each fiscal year, determine the Central Bank’s annual net profits after deducting administrative and operational expenses, and allocating the funds necessary for the amortisation of assets and reserves as provisions for bad and doubtful debts and end of service gratuities for the staff of the Central Bank, as well as for emergencies and/or other purposes to be determined by the Board of Directors; and in general, all other financial expenses normally deducted from net profits by banks; and the resulting net profits for each fiscal year shall be deposited in to the General Reserve Account.
7- The Cabinet shall issue a decision specifying the percentage of profits to be kept by the Central Bank until the total balance of the General Reserve Account reaches the limit referred to in Clause (5) of this article.
8- Should the balance of the General Reserve Account, at end of any fiscal year, be insufficient to cover the losses of the Central Bank, the Government shall cover the deficit.
Article 6- Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Central Bank shall commence on the 1st of January and end on the 31st of December of each Year.
Article 7- Organisation of Operations and Accounts
The Central Bank’s operations shall be conducted and its budgets and accounts shall be organised in accordance with international standards and the banking rules and customs. The Central Bank’s operations with third parties shall be considered of commercial nature.
Article 8- Auditing of Accounts
The Central Bank’s accounts shall be audited by one or more auditors to be selected periodically by the Board of Directors, and their annual remunerations shall be determined by said Board.
Article 9- Accounting Data and Reports to be Submitted
1- Within three (3) months from end of the fiscal year, the Central Bank shall submit to the President of the State an annual report covering the following:
a- The Central Bank’s balance sheets of the year, certified by the auditors of accounts. Such sheets shall be published in the Official Gazette.
b- Central Bank’s activities and businesses during the fiscal year.
c- An overview of monetary, banking and financial developments in the State.
2- The Central Bank shall submit the following to the Minister:
a- A copy of the annual report referred to in Clause (1) of this article.
b- The information the Minister may request in respect of monetary, banking and financial developments in the State, along with semi-annual reports covering all aspects of such developments.
c- A quarterly statement on the Central Bank’s assets and liabilities. Such statement shall be published in the Official Gazette.
Chapter 3
Management of the Central Bank
Part 1
Board of Directors
Article 10- Members of the Board of Directors
The Central Bank shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven (7) members, including the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and the Governor.
Article 11- Appointment of the Members
1- The Members of the Board of Directors shall be appointed by a Federal decree upon the recommendation of the Cabinet for a term of (4) years renewable to similar periods.
2- Each of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Governor, shall have the rank of Minister. The Vice-Chairman shall replace the Chairman in the latter’s absence or in event of vacancy of his position; and in case of absence or vacancy of position of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, they shall be replaced by the Governor.
Article 12- Membership Conditions
Article 12 was replaced by virtue of Article 1 of Federal Decree-Law no. 1 dated 09/07/2020, to read as follows:
The member of the Board of Directors shall fulfil the following conditions:
1- Hold UAE nationality.
2- Have experience in economic, financial or banking affairs.
3- Not have been declared bankrupt or failed to repay his debts.
4- Not have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanour involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, unless rehabilitated.
5- Not be an active minister, except for the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
6- Not be a member of the Federal National Council
7- Not be holder of any position, post or membership in the Board of Directors of any institution licensed by any of the Regulatory Authorities in the State or in the Financial Free Zones.
8- Not be a controller or auditor of accounts of a Licensed Financial Institution, nor owner, agent, or partner in any auditing firms.
Article 13- Resignation or Vacancy of a Post
Should a member of the Board of Directors resign, or if his post becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever prior to the expiry of his term of office, a successor shall be appointed to serve for the remaining term of office of the Board of Director as per the membership conditions mentioned in Article (12) of the present Decree-Law.
Article 14- Termination of Membership
1- Membership in the Board of Directors shall terminate by the end of the term of office without renewal, by death, or by resignation. Membership of the Board of Directors may also be terminated by a federal decree, based on the Cabinet approval, in any of the following cases:
a- Should the member have committed serious mistakes in management of the Central Bank or have seriously breached his duties.
b- In the event of absence of the member in three (3) consecutive meetings without the Board of Directors’ consent, unless he was absent for being on an official mission, or on annual or sick leave, or due to any other acceptable excuse.
c- If the member no longer satisfies any of the membership conditions specified in Article (12) of the present Decree-Law.
d- Should the member have become incapable of performing his functions, for any reason whatsoever.
2- In the event the term of office of members of the Board of Directors has expired without renewal, the members of the Board of Directors shall continue to perform their functions until new members are appointed.
Part 2
Competences and Meetings of the Board of Directors
Article 15- Powers and Functions of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall, within the limitations imposed by the provisions of this decree-law, exercise all powers required for achieving the objectives for which the Central Bank has been established.
The Board of Directors shall, in particular, exercise the following:
1- Issue the regulations, rules, standards, instructions and business controls to perform its functions and jurisdictions, and take all measures and actions necessary for the application of the provisions hereof.
2- Set the polices related to the deployment and management of the Central Bank’s Funds and assets and supervise the implementation of said policies.
3- Decide on the matters related to the issuance of Currency and demonetisation.
4- Issue the regulations governing the organisation of Licensed Financial Activities and decide on related matters, including regulations and procedures of control and supervisions thereof, and determine the conditions and rules for granting licenses to exercise Licensed Financial Activities and authorisations to exercise Designated Functions.
5- Develop policies, and issue regulations related to preventive supervision, and the standards and guidelines related to Licensed Financial Activities.
6- Set regulations and standards for the protection of customers of Licensed Financial Institutions.
7- Issue regulations, controls, and procedures to face money laundering and combat terrorism financing and unlawful organisations.
8- Take necessary actions and procedures and impose administrative penalties against any Person violating the provisions of the present Decree-Law, and the regulations issued in implementation thereof.
9- Approve the rules and regulations related to maintaining integrity and efficiency of Financial Infrastructure Systems licensed, established, developed, or operated by the Central Bank.
10- Approve risk management and compliance policies at the Central Bank.
11- Approve the Central Bank’s bylaws, issue the organisational structure and the administrative, financial and technical regulations, and determine powers and competencies, within the limits of the provisions hereof.
12- Approve human resource policies at the Central Bank.
13- Approve the rules for the Central Bank’s institutional governance which include a set of rules and regulations aiming at achieving quality and excellence of performance, in line with the Government’s strategic plans and objectives.
14- Determine the loans and advances to be granted to the Government, according to the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
15- Approve settlements and reconciliations relating to Central Bank’s businesses.
16- Approve the Central Bank’s draft annual budget and any modifications made to it during the year.
17- Approve the Central Bank’s annual balance sheets the amount of annual net profits.
18- Consider all other matters that fall within that fall within its powers, and which achieve the objectives of the Central Bank and serve the execution of its functions according to the provisions hereof.
Article 16- Formation of Committees and Delegation of Powers
1- The Board of Directors may form the committees it deems appropriate to assist it in the performance of its functions and competences in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law. Such committees may be formed either from within or from outside the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may form committees and advisory boards, which include in their membership Persons from outside the Central Bank, and may determine the remunerations of members of such committees and boards.
2- The Board of Directors may delegate some of its powers to the Chairman, the Governor, or any committee formed from within the Board of Directors.
3- The Board of Directors may review the competences and performance of the committees formed in accordance with Clause (1) of this Article on annual basis, and may take necessary actions to ensure compliance with professional and international standards, business controls and governance.
Article 17- Higher Sharia Authority
1- Under the present Decree-Law, an Islamic authority called “Higher Sharia Authority” shall be established with no less than five (5) members and no more than seven (7) members from among experts and specialists in the jurisprudence of Islamic financial transactions.
2- The Board of Directors shall issue a decision to form the authority and appoint its members. The decision shall determine the work mechanism of the authority, its functions, the duties of its members and their term of office. This authority shall be affiliated to the Central Bank.
3- Licensed Financial Institutions which exercise all or part of their businesses and activities in compliance with Islamic Shariah shall bear all expenses of the Authority mentioned in Clause (1) of this Article, including remunerations, allowances and expenses of its members and the mechanism of funding its establishment and continuity of its functioning, as determined by the Board of Directors.
4- The Higher Sharia Authority shall set the rules, standards, and general principles applicable to the businesses and Licensed Financial Activities which comply with the provisions of the Islamic Sharia, and shall undertake to control and supervise the internal Sharia supervisory committees of the Licensed Financial Institutions referred to in Article (79) of the present Decree-Law.
5- The Higher Sharia Authority shall approve Islamic monetary and financial tools issued and developed by the Central Bank to manage monetary policy operations in the State, and provide its opinion regarding the specific regulatory rules and instructions relating to the operations and activities of Licensed Financial Institutions which exercise all or part of their business and activities in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia.
6- The Fatwas and opinions of the Higher Shariah Authority shall be deemed binding upon the internal committees of Islamic supervision referred to in Article (79) of the present Decree-Law, and upon the Licensed Financial Institutions which exercise all or part of their business and activities in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia.
7- The Higher Sharia Authority may seek the assistance of a specialist, whenever necessary, to conduct Sharia external audit of the business of any Licensed Financial Institution, which exercise all or part of their businesses and activities in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia, and the conditions and procedures determined by the Authority, at the expense of the concerned institution.
Article 18- Appointment of Senior Central Bank Executives
Upon the recommendation of the Governor, the Board of Directors may appoint senior Central Bank executives as deputies or assistants of the Governor or any other job titles the Board of Directors may deem appropriate. The decision appointing the deputies and assistants shall determine their competences, salaries, and allowances.
Article 19- Working Full Time for the Central Bank
1- The Governor, his deputies and assistants shall devote their full time to their work at the Central Bank, and none of them may hold any paid or unpaid position, or be a member of the Board of Directors of any of the Regulatory Authorities in the State, or in the Financial Free Zones or the Board of Directors of any Licensed Financial Institution, or enter, directly or indirectly, in any contracts concluded by the Public Sector.
2- The prohibition referred to in Clause (1) of this Article shall not apply to assignments entrusted to any of them by the Government in the Public Sector, including representation in international conferences, or representation of the Public Sector in the various committees, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
Article 20- Allocations and Entitlements
The Board of Directors shall set up a regulation regarding the salary and other rights of the Governor and his other entitlements, and the remunerations of the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors. A federal decree, in this respect, shall be issued.
Article 21- Meetings of the Board of Directors
1- Upon convocation by the Chairman, the Board of Directors shall hold an ordinary meeting, at least once every sixty (60) days.
2) The Chairman of the Board of Directors may convene the Board of Directors whenever needed.
3) The Chairman of the Board of Directors shall convene the Board of Directors upon request of at least three (3) of its members.
Article 22- Quorum
1- The Board meeting shall not be deemed valid unless attended by five (5) members including the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, or the Governor.
2- The decisions of the Board of Directors shall be issued by a majority vote of the members present. In the event of equality of votes, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
Part 3
Powers of the Chairman and the Governor
Article 23- Powers of the Chairman
The Chairman of the Board of Directors is the legal representative of the Central Bank and shall sign, in the Bank’s name, all instruments, contracts and documents. The Chairman may delegate some of his powers and competencies to the Governor.
Article 24- Responsibilities of the Governor
The Governor shall be responsible for the application of the present Decree-Law, the Central Bank’s Regulations and the decisions of the Board of Directors. He may delegate some of his powers and competencies to any of his deputies, assistants, or certain senior officers of the Central Bank.
Part 4
Other Provisions
Article 25- Exoneration from Responsibility
1- The Central Bank, members of the Board of Directors, members of committees formed by the Board of Directors, whether from within its membership or from outside, staff of the Central Bank and its duly authorised representatives, shall all be exonerated from civil responsibility towards third parties with respect to:
a- Exercising or failing to exercise, the functions, powers, authorities and activities of the Central Bank, or their own functions, competencies and powers, authorities, and all related practices.
b- The instructions, guidelines, declarations, data, statements and opinions given by them in relation to the exercise of the Central Bank’s functions, powers, authorities and activities, or their own functions, competencies, authorities and activities;
unless bad faith is established.
2- The Central Bank shall bear all charges, costs, expenses, and attorney fees in relation to defending the persons mentioned in Clause (1) of the present Article, in lawsuits related to the performance of their duties at the Central Bank.
Article 26- Confidential Information
1- Any member of the Board of Directors, or of the committees formed by the Board of Directors, any officers or representatives of the Central Bank, any experts, technical personnel, or academics staff the dealt with by the Central Bank deals shall be prohibited from disclosing any information deemed confidential, unless such disclosure is consistent with the provisions of Clause (3) of the present Article. Such prohibition shall remain applicable even after the end of membership, service or duty.
2- Confidential information include all information accessed by any of the Persons mentioned in Clause (1) of this Article, either ex officio, or in the course of performing their duties, as long as such information were not made available to the public through official or legal means.
3- Without prejudice to the provisions of Article (28) of the present Decree-Law, confidential information may be disclosed where such disclosure is permitted, legally prescribed, or addressed to authorities and agencies within the State or in other jurisdictions.
Article 27- Disclosure in Case of Conflict of Interest
1- A member of the Board of Directors shall, upon his appointment, disclose his interests if they conflict with his membership at the Board of Directors, and whenever a conflict of interest arises. Should any member of the Board of Directors have a personal interest in any contract or dealing to which the Central Bank is a party, such member shall disclose those interest before going ahead; withdraw from the meeting when such dealing or contract is discussed, and should not participate in voting pertaining thereto, in accordance with the code of conduct and governance rules issued by the Board of Directors.
2- Every employee or representative of the Central Bank shall disclose to his manager, or his immediate superior, any interest which may be in conflict with the discharge of his functions, and he may not participate in exchange of opinions, and decisions or measures, taken in this regard.
3- The Board of Directors shall establish codes of conduct for employees and representatives of the Central Bank, as well as procedures of disclosure, compliance, and governance.
Article 28- Cooperation with Local and International Authorities
1- The Central Bank may, within the scope of its jurisdiction and in accordance with the Law, cooperate with the concerned regulatory authorities in other countries, and with international institutions, in providing assistance and exchanging information, subject to the following:
a- The request is made on basis of reciprocity.
b- The request does not contravene any of the State’s established laws and regulations.
c- The request is serious and important.
d- The request is not in conflict with the public interest and public order requirements.
2- The Central Bank shall, in coordination and collaboration with the concerned regulatory authorities, within applicable laws, exercise its powers over Licensed Financial Institutions operating outside the State or in Financial Free Zones.
Article 29- Seeking the Assistance of Experts, Technical Personnel and Academics
The Central Bank may seek the assistance of experts, technical personnel and academics and determine their remunerations and allowances. The Board of Directors may also invite to its meetings whomever it may wish to hear their opinion regarding a specific matter, without them having any counted vote in deliberations.
Article 30- Publication of Draft Regulations and Draft Rules
1- The Central Bank may publish the draft regulations and draft rules it issues, which relate to the organisation of businesses of Licensed Financial Institutions and Licensed Financial Activities to express opinion thereon, via a public notice to the concerned parties.
2- The Central Bank may invite the concerned parties to express their opinion on the draft regulations and draft rules referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, within the period prescribed by the Central Bank.
3- The Central Bank may decide not to publish the draft regulations referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, if it deems that such publication is contrary to the public interest, or hinders the achievement of the Central Bank’s objectives and the assumption of its functions.
Chapter 4
Monetary Policy and Financial Stability
Article 31- Objectives of the Monetary Policy
1- The monetary policy shall aim at maintaining integrity and stability of the monetary system in the State, in order to ensure stability and required confidence in the national economy.
2- The Central Bank shall determine the monetary tools and practical means for to achieve the objectives sought from the monetary policy, including policies relating to the management of the exchange rate of the national Currency and money markets in the State.
3- Based upon the proposal of the Board of Directors and approval of the Cabinet, the Central Bank shall determine the exchange rate regime for the national Currency.
4- For operational purposes, the Central Bank may take the necessary measures to manage and control the official exchange rate for the national Currency, according to the guiding principles prescribed by the Board of Directors.
Article 32- Mandatory Reserve
1- In line with the objectives sought from the monetary policy objectives and the current and forecasted liquidity status, the Central Bank may impose a minimum Mandatory Reserve for each type of deposits or on the total deposits held with deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions. The Board of Directors shall determine the method of calculation of the Mandatory Reserve Ratio, as it deems appropriate.
2- The Central Bank shall specify all operational arrangements related to the requirements of maintaining the Mandatory Reserve referred to in Clause (1) of this Article.
Article 33- Controlling Credit Conditions
The Central Bank may set a regulation or rules to determine the maximum limit for credit operations conducted by Licensed Financial Institutions with their customers, compared to their total stable resources or the total deposits of their customers. Such limits may be set for a specific Licensed Financial Institution or for all Licensed Financial Institutions.
Article 34- Coordination between Monetary and Financial Policies
Each of the Central Bank and the Ministry shall develop a mechanism of coordination between monetary and financial policies in order to achieve balanced growth in the national economy. Such coordination shall take place before the beginning of each fiscal year and whenever necessary, and shall cover the volume of government expenditure, indebtedness of the Government and of the governments of the Member Emirates of the Federation and the bodies affiliated to the Government as well as the companies and institutions which they own, in which they hold shares, or which they manage, and their plans regarding domestic and foreign public debt.
Article 35- Designating Licensed Financial Institutions with Systemic Importance
The Central Bank shall solely have exclusive power to classify the Licensed Financial Institution as having systemic importance. For such purpose, the Central Bank may require the designated Licensed Financial Institution to take the measures and procedures required.
Article 36- Domestic Market Statistics
1- As deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors, the Public Sector and other entities shall provide the Central Bank with all the information and statistics it needs in order to perform its functions under the provisions of the present Decree-Law. Such information and statistics include all monetary and economic statistics, as well as the balance of payments statistics and consumer prices. The Central Bank may publish all or part of the statistics it deems appropriate.
2- The Central Bank shall obtain the approval of other Regulatory Authorities in the State with respect to the provision and/or publication of unpublished information and statistics related to the institutions that are subject to the control of such authorities.
Article 37- Research
1- The Central Bank may conduct research and analyses in the fields of macro-economy, management of monetary policy and banking and financial operations, as deemed of strategic importance to the State’s economy.
2- The Central Bank shall publish and issue regular statistical reports, quarterly and annual reviews of the Central Bank, policy briefs and worksheets containing analyses of the relevant data to verify the integrity and effectiveness of policy decisions.
Chapter 5
Central Bank Operations
Part 1
Operations with the Public Sector
Article 38- Advisor to the Government
The Central Bank express its opinion to the Government on matters falling within its scope of competence, and shall give its advise on monetary, banking, and financial affairs as requested by the Government.
Article 39- Financial Agent for the Government
1- The Central Bank shall participate in negotiations relating to the Government’s international monetary and financial agreements, and it may be assigned implementation of provisions of such agreements.
2- The Central Bank may, directly or through Primary Dealers, sell and manage securities issued or secured by the Government or governments of emirates members of the Union, in accordance with an agreement with the concerned government.
Article 40- Bank for the Government
1- In order to achieve the objectives sought by its monetary policy, and in order to meet the concerned Emirate’s needs of national currency and/or foreign currencies, the Central Bank shall buy or sell foreign currencies to the concerned government, according to the exchange rates prevailing in the markets.
2- The Central Bank shall carry out banking operations and services for the Government, whether in the State or in other jurisdictions in return for fees. The Central Bank may also perform banking operations and services for governments of member emirates of the Federation in return for fees.
3- The Government and the governments of the member emirates of the Federation shall open accounts in the national Currency and in foreign currencies with the Central Bank, and carry out transfers through such accounts.
4- Government funds in the national Currency or in foreign currencies shall be deposited with the Central Bank, and the latter shall pay or charge interest thereon based on the prevailing market rates. Governments of the member emirates of the Federation may also deposit funds in the national Currency or in foreign currencies with the Central Bank, on which the latter shall pay or charge interest based the prevailing market rates.
5- Other Public Sector entities may deposit their funds in the national Currency or in foreign currencies with the Central Bank. The Central Bank shall pay or charge interest on such funds as determined by the Central Bank.
6- The Central Bank may grant advances or other credit facilities to the Government, at interest rates set according to the terms and conditions of the agreement signed between the Central Bank and the Ministry in this regard, provided that such advances and credit facilities are destined to cover a temporary, unforeseen deficit in Government revenues compared to its expenses. The Government may not relend or grant such advances to any other party. The advances granted shall at no time exceed ten percent (10%) of the government’s average revenues in the budgets of the last three (3) years. The Government shall repay these advances within a period not exceeding one (1) year from date of granting them. In case advances were not repaid within the time-limit specified in the present Clause, the outstanding balance should be subject to an interest charge as specified in the agreement signed between the Central Bank and the Ministry.
7- The Central Bank may subscribe to securities and debt instruments issued by the Government with crediting periods exceeding one (1) year, only in the cases designated by the Board of Directors. The Government shall repay the amounts due, including interests in a timely manner. In case of late or early payment an interest charge shall be imposed, as specified in the debt agreement.
Article 41- Investment and Deployment of Government Funds
Except for the funds deposited with the Central Bank according to the provisions of Article (40) of the present Decree-Law, the Central Bank may not interfere in the investment and deployment of funds of the Government or of governments of the Member Emirates of the Federation, unless it has been entrusted to do so according to the agreement concluded between the concerned government and the Central Bank.
Part 2
Operations Conducted with Financial Institutions, Monetary Authorities, and other Central Banks
Article 42- Opening Accounts
1- The Central Bank may open the following accounts:
a- Accounts in the National Currency or in foreign currencies for Licensed Financial Institutions, and shall accept deposits from them and pay or charge agreed-upon interests on such deposits.
b- Accounts for monetary authorities, other central banks, foreign banks, international financial and monetary institutions, as well as Arab and international monetary funds. The Central Bank may pay or charge interests on such accounts and serve as agent or correspondent for such entities.
2- The Central Bank may open accounts with monetary authorities, central banks, foreign banks or international financial and monetary institutions, as well as Arab and international monetary funds.
Article 43- Operations of Money and Capital Markets
The Central Bank may conduct the following money and capital markets operations:
1- Purchase, re-purchase, sell, accept deposits of gold bullion or coins and precious metals.
2- Accept and place monetary deposits and pay or charge interest thereon, subject to the provisions of Article (62) of the present Decree-Law.
3- Issue bills payable upon demand and other types of payable financial transfers, at its head office, branches, and the offices of its agents or correspondents.
4- Conduct all foreign currency operations and external transfer operations with the Government, the governments of the member Emirates of the Federation, public authorities, local and foreign banks, licensed Exchange Establishments, other monetary authorities and Central Banks, and other Arab and international financial institutions and funds.
5- Issue securities in the Central Bank’s name, and sell, re-purchase, discount, rediscount and redeem them for the purpose of managing monetary policy operations.
6- Purchase, re-purchase, sell, discount and rediscount Eligible Securities and other securities related to the management of its Own Funds and/or Foreign Reserves according to the adopted conditions and provisions.
7- Purchase, re-purchase, and sell commodities and securities complying with the Islamic sharia, in order to develop liquidity management instruments for Islamic Licensed Financial Institutions.
8- Grant loans, advances, other credit facilities, and financing facilities complying with the Islamic sharia to Licensed Financial Institutions, for the purpose of managing monetary policy operations, in accordance with the terms and conditions the Central Bank deems appropriate and sets from time to time.
9- Grant collateralised loans and advances to monetary authorities, Central Banks, foreign banks, and international financial institutions, and obtain loans and advances therefrom, provided that such operations are consistent with the Central Bank’s functions and jurisdictions. Interest or commission may be paid or charged for this purpose.
10- Obtain, guarantee or secure loans and advances or issue credit, in any currency inside the State or in other jurisdictions, in accordance with the terms and conditions the Central Bank deems appropriate for the purpose of conducting its business.
11- Conduct all other operations that serve achieving the Central Bank’s objectives.
Article 44- Protecting Deposit-Taking Licensed Financial Institutions
The Central Bank shall take all the measures it deems appropriate to maintain proper and effective conduct of operations by the deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions, within the frameworks and limits set by the Board of Directors.
Article 45- Appointment of Primary Dealers
1- The Central Bank shall set-up rules to regulate securities issued by the Central Bank or the Government in coordination with the various stakeholders. Such rules shall include all aspects of issuance, custody, trading of these securities in the State.
2- The Central Bank may appoint Primary Dealers for securities issued inside the State by the Central Bank or the Public Sector, in accordance with the terms and conditions set by the Central Bank.
3- For the purpose of listing securities issued by the Public Sector in the State’s financial markets, the Central Bank shall appoint Primary Dealers approved by it an whom comply with the requirement of the concerned regulator.
Part 3
Investment of Central Bank’s Foreign Reserves and Its Own Funds
Article 46- Foreign Reserves
In accordance with the instructions and rules prescribed in the investment policy and the guiding principles approved by the Board of Directors, the Central Bank may invest its Foreign Reserves in all or any of the following instruments:
1- Gold bullions, gold coins and other precious metals.
2- Currency notes and coins, callable funds, and placements in foreign countries.
3- Securities issued or secured by governments of foreign countries and related entities, or by international monetary and financial institutions.
4- Financial derivatives and other financial instruments required for the management of Central Bank’s exposure to interest rates, currencies, credit, gold, and other precious metals.
5- Any other financial assets the Central Bank deems appropriate for investment as foreign assets, upon the consent of the Board of Directors.
Article 47- Bank’s Own Funds
According to the investment policy and the guiding principles set by the Board of Directors, the Central Bank may deploy or invest part of its Own Funds in the following:
1- Buy and sell securities and subscribe to loans issued or guaranteed by the Public Sector, or buy shares in any entity wherein the Government or the governments of the member emirates of the Federation hold shares, or is granted a concession in the State.
2- Invest in investment projects, investment funds and financial institutions that are not licensed by the Central Bank.
3- Own real estate properties, equities, movable properties and all related matters.
Article 48- Appointment of External Parties to Manage Foreign Reserves and the Bank’s Own Funds
The Central Bank may appoint external parties to manage its Foreign Reserves and Own Funds, in accordance with the investment policy and the guiding principles set by the Board of Directors.
Chapter 6
Miscellaneous Provisions
Article 49- Establishment of Companies and Commercial or Financial Institutions
For the purpose of achieving its objectives and in the course of execution of its duties as prescribed in Article 4 of the present Decree-Law, or for specific purposes within the State or in other jurisdictions, the Central Bank may, either on its own or in partnership with any other party, establish companies or commercial or financial institutions, and may exercise any commercial activity, or own moveable and immoveable properties, as per the controls issued by the Board of Directors.
Article 50- Lien and Guarantee of the Bank’s Own Rights
1- The Central Bank’s debts shall have the same lien enjoyed by the Government’s debts over the properties of its creditors. The Central Bank’s debts shall be collected in the same manner and through the same means prescribed for the collection of the debts and properties owed to the Government.
2- Except for the Mandatory Reserve referred to in Article (32) of the present Decree-Law, the Central Bank shall have a lien over the properties of Licensed Financial Institutions to ensure imbursement of all its claims and dues of cash balances or assets which serve as guarantees for such claims and dues upon their maturity.
3- The Central Bank may, whether consensually or by forced sale, buy or own moveable or immovable properties in settlement of any of its debts, provided that it sells such property within the shortest period possible, unless the Central Bank decides to use same for the conduct of its business, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
4- The Central Bank may accept, by way of pledge, mortgage or alienation, any real estate or movable properties, as guarantee for payment of its rights.
5- Should the Central Bank’s secured rights not be paid thereto on their maturity date, it may, after ten (10) days from the date of due notification of the debtor, proceed with sale of any pledged properties, without prejudice to Central Bank’s right to institute other legal proceedings against the debtor, until its secured rights are fully paid.
6- The sale of pledged properties shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Clause (5) of this Article through the competent court, at the request of the Central Bank.
7- The Central Bank shall collect its dues from the proceeds of the sale conducted in accordance with the provisions of Clause (6) of this Article. Should such proceeds exceed the value of the dues owed to the Central Bank, the surplus shall be deposited with the Central Bank, at the debtor’s disposal, without any interests being charged.
Article 51- Financial Exemptions
1- The Central Bank shall be exempt from the following:
a- Taxes, fees, and costs relating to its capital, reserves, money supply, or income.
b- Taxes, fees, and costs relating to its contribution, shares, or profits in any company or establishment in which it owns a part of the capital.
2- The Central Bank and the companies and establishments in which it owns the majority of shares shall be exempt from the bail bonds and court costs prescribed by law.
Article 52- Guardianship of Premises and Safety of Transport of Funds and Valuables
The Government shall, without any charge, provide guardianship and protection for the Central Bank’s premises and the security needed to ensure safe transport of funds and valuables.
Article 53- Dissolution of the Central Bank
The Central Bank may only be dissolved by virtue of a law specifying the manner and time schedules of its liquidation.
Title 2
Currency
Chapter 1
Currency Unit and Currency Issuance
Article 54- Currency Unit
The Official Currency of the State “Dirham” shall be referred to as ((د ه أ in Arabic letters and as (AED) in Latin letters. The dirham is subdivided into 100 fils.
Article 55- Currency Issuance
1- Issuance of Currency shall an exclusive right of the State and shall be exclusively exercised by the Central Bank.
2- It is prohibited for any person to issue or put into circulation any currency notes, currency coins, or any instrument or token that is payable to bearer on demand and that has the appearance of is confused with currency, or that may be circulated as money in the State or in any other state.
Article 56- Legal Tender Force
1- The currency notes issued by the Central Bank shall have absolute legal tender force for the payment of any amount they represent, up to their full-face value.
2- Currency coins issued by the Central Bank shall have absolute legal tender force in the State for the payment of any amount they represent, up to their full-face value, without exceeding AED fifty (50). However, should such Currency coins be presented to the Central Bank, they shall be accepted by the latter without any limitation to their quantity.
Article 57- Currency Specifications, Features and Denominations
1- Currency notes shall be issued by the Central Bank according to the denominations, designs, specifications, and other features decided by the Minister upon the proposal of the Board of Directors. Currency notes shall be signed by each of the Minister and the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
2- Upon proposal of the Board of Directors, the Minister shall determine the weight, composition, mixing ratios, allowed variation, and all other specifications of Currency coins as well as the quantities to be minted for each denomination.
3- The Central Bank take the procedures required for printing the Currency notes referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, and for minting the Currency coins referred to in Clause (2) of this Article, along with all matters relating to such printing, minting and safekeeping of such Currency notes and coins and the related plates and dies.
4- The Central Bank shall publish the Currency issuance decision, with the specifications, designs and all other features, in the Official Gazette.
Article 58- Gold and Silver Coins and Commemorative Coins
1- The Board of Directors shall set the conditions for sale and purchase of gold and silver coins at the Central Bank.
2- The Central Bank may issue commemorative Currency notes or coins for any party that asks for such issuance, in accordance with the rules and conditions set by the Board of Directors.
3- Upon proposal of the Board of Directors, the Minister shall determine the specifications, calibre, weight, measures, allowed variation, and all other specifications of Currency coins as well as the quantities to be minted for each denomination.
4- The Central Bank take the procedures required for minting the gold and silver coins referred to in this Article, along with all matters relating to minting and safekeeping of such Currency coins and the related plates and dies.
Chapter 2
Currency Circulation and Withdrawal
Article 59- Currency Notes
1- New Currency notes shall be put in circulation by a Board of Directors’ decision specifying their denominations and quantities. The decision shall be published in the Official Gazette and communicated to the public through appropriate media.
2- Upon the approval of the Cabinet, the Board of Directors may withdraw from circulation any denomination of Currency notes in return for payment of their face value. Such decision shall be published in the Official Gazette and communicated to the public through appropriate media.
3- The withdrawal decision shall specify the time limit for exchange that shall not be less than three (3) months from date of publication of this Decision in the Official Gazette. Such time limit may be reduced to fifteen (15) days whenever necessary.
4- Currency notes not presented for exchange before the expiry of the time-limit mentioned in Clause (3) of this Article shall lose their legal tender force and may not be circulated. However, holders of such Currency notes shall have the right to redeem their face value at the Central Bank, within ten (10) years from the effective date of the withdrawal decision. Currency notes not exchanged upon expiry of said ten-year period shall be taken out of circulation and their value shall be added to Central Bank account.
5- In application of the provisions of Clause 4 of the present Article, the Central Bank shall destroy the Currency notes withdrawn from circulation in accordance with the instructions issued by the Central Bank in this regard.
6- The Central Bank shall not be bound to pay the value of any lost or stolen Currency notes, or to accept or pay for counterfeit Currency notes.
7- The Central Bank shall pay the value of torn, mutilated or imperfect Currency notes, which satisfy the conditions prescribed in the instructions issued by the Central Bank in this regard. However, currency notes not satisfying those requirements shall be withdrawn from circulation without any compensation to their bearers.
Article 60- Currency Coins
1- Currency coins of various denominations shall be put into circulation by a Board of Directors’ decision specifying their respective quantities. This decision shall be published in the Official Gazette and communicated to the public through appropriate media.
2- Any denomination of the Currency coins referred to in Clause (1) of this article may be withdrawn, by a decision of the Board of Directors, in return for payment of its face value. Such decision shall be published in the Official Gazette and communicated to the public through appropriate media.
3- The withdrawal decision shall specify the time limit for exchange, which shall be of no less than six (6) months from the date of publication of the decision in the Official Gazette.
4- Currency coins not exchanged before the expiry of the time-limit referred to in Clause (3) of this Article shall lose legal tender force, may not be negotiated, shall be taken out of circulation and their value shall be transferred to a special Central Bank account.
5- Should Currency coins lose their features, become mutilated, imperfect or changed in shape for any reason other than normal use, the Central Bank must withdraw such coins from circulation without any compensation to their holders.
Article 61- Currency Mutilation, Destruction or Shredding
It is prohibited for any person to mutilate, destroy or shred Currency in any manner whatsoever. The Board of Directors shall issue a regulation to replace mutilated, destroyed or shredded Currency.
Chapter 3
Monetary Base
Article 62- Monetary Base Coverage
The Central Bank shall at all times keep reserves of foreign assets to cover the Monetary Base in accordance with the provisions of Article (63) of the present Decree-Law. Such reserves of foreign assets shall consist of one or more of the following instruments:
1- Gold bullion and other precious metals.
2- Cash, deposits and other monetary and payment instruments denominated in foreign currencies, and freely convertible in global financial markets.
3- Securities denominated in foreign currencies and issued or guaranteed by foreign governments and the companies, entities, establishments, and agencies affiliated to said governments, or by international monetary and financial institutions, or by multinational corporations, and which are tradable in global financial markets.
Article 63- Foreign Reserves for Monetary Base Coverage
1- The market value for balance of the Foreign Reserves referred to in Article (62) of the present Decree-Law shall at no time be lower than seventy percent (70%) of the Monetary Base’s value.
2- The Board of Directors may reduce the Monetary Base coverage ratio referred to in Clause (1) of this article for a period not exceeding twelve (12) months.
Title 3
Organisation of Licensed Financial Institutions and Activities
Chapter 1
General Provisions
Article 64- Prohibition of Exercising or Promoting Financial Activities Without a License
1- No Licensed Financial Activities may be exercise, whether in or from within the State, unless in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, and the regulations and decisions issued in implementation thereof.
2- Promotion of any of the Licensed Financial Activities and financial products may only take place in or from within the State, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, and the regulations and decision issued in implementation thereof. The promotion referred to in this Clause shall mean any form of communication, by any means, aimed at calling or offering to enter into any transaction, or offering to conclude any agreement related to any of the Licensed Financial Activities.
3- The Board of Directors may issue the regulations, rules, standards and instructions related to the prohibition of exercising any Licensed Financial Activities without a prior licence and the prohibition of promoting Licensed Financial Activities and financial products, and shall take all measures and actions necessary in this respect.
4- The Board of Directors may exempt any activities or practices, or exempt natural or juridical persons, either generally or in particular, from the prohibition of exercising or promoting Licensed Financial Activities.
Chapter 2
Licensing
Part 1
Licensed Financial Activities
Article 65- Financial Activities
1- The following activities shall be considered financial activities subject to Central Bank’s licensing and supervision in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law:
a- Receiving all types of deposits, including sharia compliant deposits.
b- Providing all types of credit facilities.
c- Providing all types of funding facilities, including Sharia-complaint funding facilities.
d- Providing currency exchange and money transfer services.
e- Providing monetary intermediation services.
f- Providing stored values services, electronic retail payments and digital money services.
g- Providing virtual banking services.
h- Arranging and/or marketing Licensed Financial Activities.
i- Acting as principal for financial products that affect the financial position of the Licensed Financial Institution, including but not limited to foreign exchange, financial derivatives, bonds and sukuk, equities, commodities, and any other financial products approved by the Central Bank.
2- The Board of Directors may:
a- Classify and define Licensed Financial Activities and the practices related to them.
b- Add activities or practices to the list of Licensed Financial Activities mentioned in Clause (1) of this article, or delete activities or practices from the aforesaid list or modify them, after coordination and agreement with the Regulatory Authorities in the State, through the Financial Activities Committee referred to in Article (66) of the present Decree-Law.
3- In case a Licensed Financial Institution wishes to exercise any financial activities licensed by Regulatory Authorities in the State or the regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions, other than the activities referred to in Clause (1) of this article, such institution must obtain the Central Bank’s consent, before obtaining a licence from the concerned regulatory authority.
Article 66- Financial Activities Committee
1- A technical committee called “Financial Activities Committee” shall be established in the Ministry by a Cabinet Decision, under the chairmanship of the Ministry with the membership of a representative of each of the Regulatory Authorities in the State. Said committee shall look into and express opinion on any proposal to regulate a financial activity other than those mentioned in the laws of the regulatory authorities in the State. The decision shall specify the committee’s competences and the mechanism of exercise of its functions.
2- The approval of the concerned regulatory authority shall be obtained in case the financial activities committee propose adding a specific financial activity not mentioned in the law of the concerned authority to the list of activities under its licensing and regulation.
Part 2
Licensing the Financial Institutions
Article 67- Licensing Application
1- In accordance with the regulations set by the Board of Directors, anyone may apply to the Central Bank for a license to exercise one or more Licensed Financial Activities or for adding of one or more Licensed Financial Activities to an issued license.
2- The Board of Directors shall issue rules, regulations and standards, and set the conditions for licensing the exercise of Licensed Financial Activities, including the following:
a- Eligibility criteria.
b- Resources required for exercising the activity.
c- Control and monitoring systems.
3- The Board of Directors may add any requirements or conditions to be fulfilled by the applicant for a license, at its own discretion and as it deems appropriate to serve the public interest.
Article 68- Compliance with Scope of the License
1- Every licensed financial institution shall exercise its business within the scope of the license granted to it.
2- It is prohibited for anyone to represent themselves as a Licensed Financial Institution if this is not the case.
Article 69- Deciding on the Application for a License or Extension of its Scope
1- Deciding on an application for a license or extension of its scope shall take place within a period not exceeding sixty (60) working days from date on which all conditions and requirements for licensing are met. The lapse of this period without any decision on the application shall be considered as an implicit rejection.
2- The Board of Directors may reject an application for a license, or an application to add any financial activity based on the absorptive capacity of the financial sector in the State and the needs of the local market.
3- The Board of Directors may, before issuing the rejection decision, request the applicant to fulfil the licensing requirements and conditions within a period determined by the Board of Directors.
4- The applicant shall be notified of the reasoned rejection decision by a formal notice within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance, provided that such formal notice includes the following information:
a- Content of the rejection decision.
b- Reasons for the rejection.
c- A statement informing the applicant of his right to file a grievance against the rejection decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of this decree-law.
Article 70- Imposing Conditions and Restrictions for the License
1- The Board of Directors may impose conditions or restrictions for the licence to exercise Licensed Financial Activities, or change or cancel the conditions or restrictions imposed for the licence.
2- The Board of Directors may, before issuing the decision referred to in Clause (1) of this article, request the concerned financial institution to submit its observations regarding the reasons for the decision, within a period specified by said Board.
3- The licensed financial institution shall be notified of the reasoned decision by formal notice within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance, provided that the notice includes the following information:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement informing the licensed financial institution of its right to file a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 71- Suspension, Withdrawal, or Revocation of a License
1- The Board of Directors may suspend, withdraw, or revoke a license issued to a Licensed Financial Institution, in the following cases:
a- If the Licensed Financial Institution no longer meets or breaches any of the conditions or restrictions prescribed for the license.
b- If the Licensed Financial Institution breached any of the State’s applicable laws and regulations, or the regulations, rules, standards, instructions, or guiding principles issued by the Central Bank.
c- If the Licensed Financial Institution failed to take any measures or procedures determined or set by the Central Bank.
d- If the Licensed Financial Institution failed to exercise one or more Licensed Financial Activities for a period exceeding one year.
e- If the business or activities were suspended for a period exceeding one year.
f- If the Central Bank deems, at its own discretion, that fully or partially withdrawing, revoking, or suspending the license is necessary for the achievement of its objectives and the execution of its duties.
g- If the concerned Licensed Financial Institution submitted an application for full or partial suspension or revocation of the license.
h- If the Licensed Financial Institution’s liquidity or solvency is at risk.
i- If the capital of the Licensed Financial Institution is lower than the minimum level required in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, or the regulations, rules, or standards issued by the Central Bank.
j- If the Licensed Financial Institution is merged with another financial institution.
k- If the Licensed Financial Institution is declared bankrupt.
l- If the Licensed Financial Institution’s officials, employees, or representatives refused to cooperate with Central Bank’s officials, representatives, or inspectors or abstained from providing required information, statements, documents, or records.
m- If the license of a foreign Licensed Financial Institution is revoked, or if the Institution is liquidated at the home country or if the businesses of its branch or affiliated companies or Representative Offices in the State are ended.
2- The Licensed Financial Institution shall be notified of the reasoned withdrawal, cancellation or suspension decision by a formal notice within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance, provided that the notice includes the following information.
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement informing the Licensed Financial Institution of its right to file a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
3- The decision issued by the Central Bank shall, following decision on the grievance or appeal, if presented to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, or expiry of the period specified in clause (2) of this article, be published in two local newspapers, one in Arabic and another in English, and on the Central Bank’s official website. Such decision may also be announced by any other means if necessary.
Article 72- Use of the Term “Masrif” or “Bank”
1- Entities other than the Banks that are licensed in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law may not use in their business addresses or advertisements the expressions “Masrif” or “Bank” or any other expression derived therefrom or similar thereto, in any language, and in any way that may mislead the public as to the nature of business.
2- The following entities shall be exempted from the provisions of Clause (1) of this Article:
a- Monetary authorities and Central Banks.
b- Any federation or association established for protection of Banks’ interests.
c- Any other institution exempted by the Board of Director.
Article 73- Entry to the Register
1- An electronic register called “Register of Licensed Financial Institutions” shall be created in the Central Bank, to which names of Licensed Financial Institutions and all their data and any modification thereto shall be entered. A decision specifying the rules and conditions for entry to such register shall be issued by the Board of Directors. The decision to license such institutions and any amendments thereto shall be published in the Official Gazette. This register shall be published on the Central Bank’s official website.
2- No Licensed Financial Institution may engage in any Licensed Financial Activity unless its name is entered to the register.
3- Proceeds of the fees prescribed for licensing and entry to the register shall be deposited in a special account with the Central Bank. A decision shall be issued by the Board of Directors to regulate the operation of said account and to determine the rules of withdrawal therefrom.
Article 74- Legal Form
1- Banks shall take the form of public joint-stock companies, with incorporating law or decree so permits. Branches of foreign banks operating in the State shall be exempt from this requirement.
2- Other Financial Institutions may take the form of joint-stock companies or limited liability companies, in accordance with the conditions and rules set by the Board of Directors.
3- Exchange Houses and monetary intermediaries may take the form of sole proprietorship or any other legal form in accordance with the conditions and rules issued by the Board of Directors.
Article 75- Minimum Capital Requirements
The Board of Directors shall set a regulation governing the minimum capital requirement for Licensed Financial Institutions, and the conditions and cases of increase or decrease of capital, and shall specify its risk-based requirements and the necessary measures in case of capital shortfall, in addition to the measures to be taken by the Central Bank in this regard.
Article 76- Shareholding and Ownership Ratios in Licensed Financial Institutions
1- Taking into account the financial and commercial activities reserved for UAE nationals, as prescribed in any other law, the Board of Directors shall specify the conditions and controls for ownership, by Persons, of shares of Banks incorporated in the State and the ratios of shareholding in their capital, provided that the national shareholding ratio is in no case than sixty percent (60%).
2- The Board of Directors may set the conditions and controls for the percentage of ownership of shares, and the shareholding ratios in the capital of Other Financial Institutions incorporated in the State by national and foreign Persons.
Article 77- Amendment of the Articles of Incorporation and Statutes
1- Licensed Financial Institutions shall seek Central Bank’s approval for any amendments they decide to make to their Articles of Incorporation or Statutes. Such amendments shall only come into effect after being entered in the register.
2- The Central Bank shall decide on the application. Should the Central Bank refuse to enter the amendment, the matter shall be presented to the Board of Directors and the latter shall take a final decision thereon.
Part 3
Provisions for Islamic Licensed Financial Institutions
Article 78- Scope of the Activity
1- Licensed Financial Institutions that exercise all or part of their businesses and activities in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia may exercise the Licensed Financial Activities referred to in Article (65) of the present Decree-Law, whether on their account or on behalf of or in partnership with third parties, provided that such activities and businesses are Sharia-compliant. The Board of Directors shall issue regulations specifying the aspects related to the activities, conditions, rules, and operating standards for these institutions, commensurate with the nature of the license granted to them.
2- As to their Sharia-compliant businesses and activities exercised on behalf of their customers and not for their own account, the Licensed Financial Institutions referred to in Clause (1) of this article shall be exempted from:
a- The provisions of Clause (1) of Article (93) of the present Decree-Law.
b- The provisions of Clause (2) of Article (93) of the present Decree-Law, without contradicting the provisions of local legislations applicable in the concerned member Emirate of the Federation.
Article 79- Internal Sharia Supervision
1- An independent committee called “Internal Sharia Supervision Committee” shall be formed within each Licensed Financial Institution that exercises all or part of its activities and businesses in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia. The members of the aforesaid Committee shall include experts and specialists in Islamic financial and banking transactions jurisprudence. The Committee shall undertake to carry out Sharia supervision over all businesses, activities, products, services, contracts, documents, and business charters of the concerned institution and shall approve them and set their Sharia requirements, within the framework of the rules, principles and standards set by the Higher Sharia Authority, in order to ensure compliance thereof with Sharia. Fatwas or opinions issued by the Committee shall be binding.
2- The Internal Sharia Supervision Committee shall be appointed by the general assembly of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution, in accordance with the provisions of the referenced Commercial Companies law. Names of members of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee shall be presented to the Higher Sharia Authority for approval before their presentation to the general assembly and the issuance of a decision approving their appointment.
3- Members of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee shall be prohibited from occupying any executive position in the institution referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, or provide any service to it outside its scope of work, or hold shares in said Institution or have for themselves or for any of their relatives up to the second degree any interests associated with said institution.
4- Should there be any disagreement over a Sharia opinion, between members of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee, or a disagreement between the Internal Sharia Committee and the Board of Directors of the concerned financial institution over the compliance of a particular matter with the provisions of Sharia, the disagreement shall be brought before the Higher Sharia Authority, and the latter’s opinion on the matter shall be final.
5- In each institution referred to in Clause (1) of this Article, an administration or an internal department shall be established depending on the size of the businesses and activities of the concerned institution. Such administration or department shall undertake to carry out internal Sharia audit and monitor compliance of the concerned institution with the fatwas and opinions of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee. Such administration or department shall report to the Board of Directors of the concerned institution, and its employees shall not have any executive powers or responsibilities towards the businesses, activities and contracts they review or audit from to verify their compliance with sharia provisions. The aforementioned administration/department shall be chaired by a Sharia controller appointed by the Board of Directors of the concerned institution.
Article 80- Report of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee
1- The Internal Sharia Supervision Committee shall prepare an annual report to be submitted to the general assembly of the Licensed Financial Institution which exercises all or part of its activities and businesses in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia. The report shall be prepared in accordance with the form prescribed by the Higher Sharia Authority, and shall indicate the extent of compliance of the administration of the concerned institution with the provisions of Islamic Sharia in all the businesses and activities it carries out, the products it offers, the contracts it concludes and the documents it uses. The aforesaid report shall include the following:
a- A statement showing the extent of independence of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee in assuming its functions.
b- A statement showing the extent of compliance of the policies, accounting standards, financial products and services, operations and activities in general, along with the articles of incorporation and the statutes and financial statements of the concerned institution, with the provisions of Islamic Sharia during the ending fiscal year.
c- A statement showing the extent to which the distribution of profits, bearing of losses, costs, and expenses among the shareholders and investment account holders, comply with the fatwas and opinions of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee.
d- A statement showing any other violations to the provisions of Islamic Sharia and the controls set by the Higher Sharia Authority.
2- The Internal Sharia Supervision Committee shall provide the Higher Sharia Authority with a copy of its report within a period not exceeding two (2) months from end of the fiscal year, for the Authority to express its remarks before the general assembly of the concerned institution is held.
Article 81- State Audit Supervision
In cases where a Licensed Financial Institution, exercising all or part of its business and activities in accordance with Islamic Sharia, is subject to the supervision of the State Audit Institution, as per the aforementioned Law on the Re-organisation of the State Audit Institution, the duty of the State Audit Institution shall be limited to post-audit, and shall not interfere in the conduct of business or the policies of the such institution.
Article 82- Violating Islamic Sharia Provisions
Should it be established that a financial institution, exercising all or part of its businesses and activities in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia, has conducted any businesses that are not compliant with said provisions, according to the fatwas and opinions of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee and those of the Higher Sharia Authority, the Central Bank shall notify the concerned institution accordingly after consulting the Higher Sharia Authority, and shall require the institution to regularise its status within thirty (30) working days from date of notification, under the supervision of the Internal Sharia Supervision Committee. However, the Central Bank shall take the appropriate corrective measures and actions should the concerned institutions be unable to regularise its status.
Part 4
Provisions Related to the Assumption of Designated Functions Requiring Central Bank’s Authorisation
Article 83- Designated Functions
1- The Board of Directors may issue the regulations, rules, standards, conditions, and instructions determining the Designated Functions requiring Central Bank’s authorisation and the individuals who shall obtain such authorization to exercise said Functions, including eligibility conditions, and the provisions of exemption from such conditions or standards.
2- Subject to the provisions of Clause (1) of this article, the Designated Functions requiring Central Bank’s authorisation shall include those exercised by members of the boards of directors of Licensed Financial Institutions, and their chief executive officers, senior managers, executives, and Authorised Individuals.
3- No individual may assume any Designated Functions at a Licensed Financial Institution, without the Central Bank’s prior authorisation.
4- The Licensed Financial Institutions shall take all measures and actions to ensure that no official, employee, or any other individual representing them will exercise any of the Designated Functions without obtaining the Central Bank’s prior authorisation.
5- Any Individual authorised in accordance with the provisions of this article shall abide by the limits of powers granted to them in the authorisation.
6- No individual may represent himself as an Authorised Individual unless he is authorised by the Central Bank.
Article 84- Applying for an Authorisation to Assume Designated Functions
1- A Licensed Financial Institution may apply to the Central Bank for authorisation of any individual to undertake any of the Designated Functions or to undertake additional Designated Functions.
2- The Central Bank may require the applicant to provide all information necessary to enabling it to decide on the application.
3- A Licensed Financial Institution shall notify the Central Bank of any substantial change related to the conditions for granting an authorisation to assume the Designated Functions.
Article 85- Deciding on an Application for Authorization to Undertake or Add other Designated Functions
1- Deciding on application for authorization or extension thereof shall be within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of meeting all conditions and requirements for authorization. The lapse of this period without decision on the application shall be considered an implicit rejection thereof.
2- The Board of Directors may reject an application for authorization or addition of other Designated Functions to an Authorised Individual if it considered that such rejection would serve public interest or that conditions and requirements for authorization were not fulfilled.
3- The applicant shall be notified, officially, of the rejection decision within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issue. The notice shall include the following:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- A statement advising the applicant of his right to submit a grievance against the rejection decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 86- Imposing Conditions and Restrictions to an Authorization to Assume Designated Functions
1- The Central Bank may decide to add conditions or restrictions to an authorisation to assume Designated Functions.
2- Before issuing the decision referred to in Clause (1) of this article, the Central Bank may request the concerned Licensed Financial Institution to give its remarks on the reasons for the decision, within a period it determines.
3- The Licensed Financial Institution shall be notified, officially, of the decision within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issue. Such notice shall include the following:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement advising the Licensed Financial Institution of its right to submit a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of this decree-law.
Article 87- Suspension, Withdrawal, or Revocation of Authorization to Assume Designated Functions
1- By an official notice, the Central Bank may suspend, withdraw, or revoke the authorisation issued to an individual to assume Designated Functions, in the following cases:
a- If the Authorised Individual ceased to meet, or violated one or more of the eligibility criteria and other conditions or restrictions imposed to the authorisation of assuming Designated Functions.
b- If the Authorised Individual violated any of the laws and regulations applicable in the State and the regulations, rules, standards, or guiding principles issued by the Central Bank.
c- If the Authorised Individual failed to take any measures or actions prescribed by the Central Bank.
d- If the Central Bank considers that full or partial withdrawal, revocation, or suspension of the authorisation, is necessary for the achievement of its objectives and the assumption of its functions.
e- If the Authorised Individual is declared bankrupt.
f- If the Authorised Individual refused to cooperate with the officials, representatives, or inspectors of the Central Bank, or abstained from submitting required information or records.
2- In all cases, the authorisation shall be revoked if a cancellation application is submitted by the Licensed Financial Institution for which the Authorised Individual works or in case of termination of his relationship to said institution.
3- The Licensed Financial Institution, where the Authorised Individual works shall be notified in writing of the decision to withdraw, revoke, or suspend the authorisation within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance. Such notice shall include the following:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement notifying the concerned Licensed Financial Institution and the Authorised Individual of their right to file a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, according to the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 88– Prohibiting the Assumption of Designated Functions at Licensed Financial Institutions
1- The Central Bank may prohibit any individual from working, or undertaking Designated Functions related to Licensed Financial Activities should it deem that the concerned individual is not fit and eligible to work or assume such Designated Functions.
2- The concerned Licensed Financial Institution shall be notified, by formal notice, of the decision to prohibit the concerned individual from working or assuming Designated Functions thereat, within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from the date of its issuance; provided that such notice includes the following:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement notifying the Licensed Financial Institution and the concerned individual of their right to file a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Chapter 3
Responsibilities of Deposit-Taking Licensed Financial Institutions
Article 89- Compliance with the Central Bank’s Instructions
1- Deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions shall comply with all the rules, regulations, standards, circulars, directives and instructions issued by the Central Bank with regard to lending or other matters it deems necessary for the achievement of its objectives.
2- The Central Bank may take all necessary measures and actions, and use the means intended to ensure proper conduct of business at deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions. Such instructions, directives, measures, procedures, or means, may either be general or specific.
Article 90- Central Bank Risk Bureau
The Risk Bureau at the Central Bank shall assume the duties of compilation, exchange and processing of credit information obtained from Licensed Financial Institutions or any party in the State the Central Bank deems necessary. The aforesaid bureau shall operate within the limits of the conditions and controls determined by the Board of Directors.
Article 91- Protection of Depositors’ Interests
1- Each deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institution shall prepare a quarterly statement, in the form set by the Central Bank, indicating all the credit and funding facilities granted such Licensed Financial Institution to:
a- Any member of the board of directors of the concerned institution.
b- Any establishment or company where the concerned institution is a partner, manager, agent, guarantor or sponsor.
c- Any company where a member of the board of directors of the concerned institution is a manager or agent.
d- Any company where an employee, expert or representative of the concerned institution is a manager, executive officer, agent, guarantor, or sponsor.
e- Any Person holding controlling interest in the concerned institution’s capital, or a company related to it, as per provisions of Article (95) of the present Decree-Law.
f- Any subsidiary of the group owning the concerned institution.
g- Any company related to the concerned institution, according to the controls set by the Board of Directors.
h- Any Person having any direct or indirect relation to any member of the board of directors of concerned institution, as per the controls set by the Board of Directors.
i. Any other Person specified by the Board of Directors as per the rules laid down thereby.
2- A copy of the statement referred to in Clause (1) of this shall be provided to the Central Bank within a period of ten (10) working days from the end of each quarter of the fiscal year, or the date of the relevant request submitted by the Central Bank.
3- The Central Bank may take one or more of the actions listed hereunder, should it decide, based on the review of the statement referred to in Clause (1) of this article, that any of the credit or funding facilities granted by the Licensed Financial Institution or any exposure to a particular Person may result prejudice to the interests of depositors of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution:
a- Require the concerned institution to allocate provisions for these facilities, or reduce its exposure to a particular Person, within such period and as per such mechanism as it determines.
b- Prohibit the concerned institution from extending further credit facilities to the concerned Person, or impose specific restrictions on facilities extended to the concerned Person, as it deems appropriate.
Chapter 4
Prohibitions
Article 92- Prohibition of Carrying out Certain Operations
1- The Central Bank may prohibit Licensed Financial Institutions from conducting all or some of the following acts:
a- Dealing in particular assets, investments, or monetary and financial instruments.
b- Closing deals, or conducting specific operations or commercial transactions.
c- Dealing with specific Persons.
2- The Board of Directors may issue the regulations, rules and standards relating to the operations referred to in Clause (1) of this article, and take the necessary measures and actions it deems appropriate.
3- The concerned Licensed Financial Institution shall be notified by formal notice of Central Bank’s decision within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance; provided that the notice includes the following:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement notifying the Licensed Financial Institution of its right to file a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 93- Prohibition of Exercising Non-Banking Activities
Banks shall be prohibited from carrying out non-banking activities, particularly the following activities:
1- Exercising, on its own behalf, any commercial or industrial activities or acquiring, owning or trading in goods, unless the acquisition of such goods is for the settlement of debts due by third parties, in which case the goods must be disposed of within the period determined by the Central Bank.
2- Purchasing real estate on its own behalf, except in the following cases:
a- In case the real estate’s value does not exceed the ratio set by the Board of Directors from its total capital and reserves.
b- In case the real estate is owned as direct settlement of a debt and its value exceeds the ratio mentioned in paragraph (a) of this Clause. In such a case the bank shall sell such properties within a 3-year period which may be extended by an approval from the Central Bank based on the guidelines set by the Board of Directors.
3- Purchasing, acquiring or dealing in shares of the Bank, in excess of the ratios set by the Board of Directors, unless the excess has devolved to it in settlement of a debt, in which case the Bank shall sell the shares in excess of the said ratio, within a period of two (2) years from date of acquisition.
4- Purchase shares of commercial companies, except within the ratio of the Bank’s own funds as set by the Board of Directors, unless acquired in settlement of a due debt, in which case the excess must be sold by the bank within two (2) years from date of acquisition.
5- The Board of Directors shall issue a regulation for the Banks regarding the maximum limits for purchasing and dealing in securities issued by any foreign government or their related entities, or by any foreign commercial company. Such limits shall not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the Public Sector.
Article 94- Restrictions on Granting Credit Facilities
1- By way of exception from the provisions of Article (153) of the Commercial Companies Law referred to above, the Licensed Financial Institutions may grant credit facilities to members of their boards of directors, their employees, and their relatives as specified by the Board of Directors.
2- The Board of Directors shall determine the conditions and requirements for credit facilities, which may be granted to the categories referred to in Clause (1) of this Article.
3- A deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institution may not grant credit facilities to its customers to guarantee their shares therein.
4- The Board of Directors shall issue a regulation, for the deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions, on the limits of granting credit facilities for the purpose of constructing residential or commercial buildings.
Chapter 5
Control and Supervision of Licensed Financial Institutions
Part 1
Provisions related to Control and Supervision
Article 95- Provisions Related to the Holders of Controlling Interests
1- No person my hold or increase a controlling interest in any Licensed Financial Institution, nor exercise powers resulting in considering them as holders of controlling interest, at the Central Bank’s discretion, unless he obtains Central Bank’s prior approval.
2- A Licensed Financial Institution shall also not allow any Person to hold controlling interest therein, unless it obtains Central Bank’s prior approval.
3- The Board of Directors shall issue the regulations, rules, standards, conditions, instructions, and restrictions related to interests and cases of control.
Article 96- Opening Branches Inside the State and in Other Jurisdictions
No Licensed Financial Institution may open any branch inside the State or in other jurisdictions, or relocate or close any existing branch without Central Bank’s prior approval.
Article 97- Providing the Central Bank with Information and Reports
1- The Licensed Financial Institutions shall:
a- Provide the Central Bank with the reports, information, data, statements and other documents, that the Central Bank determines and considers necessary for the achievement of its objectives and the execution of its functions.
b- Appoint qualified employees to prepare the reports required by the Central Bank.
c- Take appropriate measures to ensure and facilitate the obtainment of the information required for the preparation of the reports by the person in charge, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this Clause.
2- The Licensed Financial Institutions shall be prohibited from issuing instructions or directives, or from agreeing with any manager, officer, or employee working for it, or any agent representing it, or auditor of its accounts, to abstain from providing the Central Bank with the requirements referred to in Clause (1) of this article.
3- The Central Bank shall set the rules and guiding principles to periodically collect information from Licensed Financial Institutions.
4- The Central Bank shall determine the nature, forms and deadlines of submission of information. The Licensed Financial Institutions shall provide such information to Central Bank in accordance with the instructions issued by the Bank in this regard.
5- The provisions of this article shall apply to branches of foreign Licensed Financial Institutions operating in the State.
6- The Central Bank may issue the regulations, rules, standards, and instructions related to the provision of the requirements referred to in this Article, and may take all the measures and actions it deems appropriate against the concerned institution or any of its employees referred to in paragraph (b) of Clause (1) of this article.
Article 98- Reporting of Violations
1- The Licensed Financial Institutions, along with their legal representatives, compliance officers, and auditors of accounts shall be responsible for immediately reporting any of the following to the Central Bank:
a- Occurrence of any material or substantial developments, which may impact its activities, structure, or overall position.
b- Occurrence of any violation to the provisions of the present Decree-Law or the decisions, regulations, or instructions issued in implementation thereof.
2- The persons referred to in Clause (1) of this article shall not be considered to have breached any of their obligations if they have filed a report, in good faith, as per provisions of this article or provided information or opinion to the Central Bank. The Licensed Financial Institution may not dismiss the persons mentioned in Clause (1) of this article without obtaining approval of the Central Bank.
3- The Central Bank shall set a mechanism for receiving reports concerning violations referred to in Clause (1) of this article.
Article 99- Data to be Submitted to the Central Bank on the Financial Position
1- Each Licensed Financial Institution shall be required to provide the Central Bank with the statements and reports relating to its financial position.
2- Each Licensed Financial Institution shall be required, within a period not exceeding three (3) months from end of the fiscal year or within such period as the Central Bank may determine, to provide the Central Bank with the following:
a- Copy of the audited balance sheet, showing use of assets and liabilities arising from the operations of the concerned institution.
b- Copy of the audited profit and loss account, and any relevant notes.
c- Copy of the report of auditors of accounts of the concerned institution.
d- Copy of report of the board of directors of the concerned institution.
3- The Central Bank may also require the Licensed Financial Institution to provide the following:
a- Copy of the interim profit and loss account, on semi-annual basis or for other periods as determined by the Central Bank.
b- Any other additional reports, data or information it deems necessary.
Article 100- Merger and Acquisition
1- No Licensed Financial Institution may merge with or acquire any other institution, regardless of its activity, or transfer any part of its liabilities to another person, without obtaining Central Bank’s prior approval.
2- Without prejudice to the legislation applicable in the State concerning merger and acquisition, the Board of Directors may issue all the regulations, rules, standards, conditions, instructions, and directives pertaining to merger and acquisition.
3- The concerned Licensed Financial Institution shall be notified, by formal notice, of Central Bank’s decision rejecting the proposed merger or acquisition within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance, provided that the notice includes the following:
a- Content of the decision.
b- Reasons for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement notifying the concerned Licensed Financial Institution of its right to file a grievance against the decision, by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 101- Cessation of Business
No Licensed Financial Institution may fully or partially cease to operate or to exercise all or part of its Licensed Financial Activities without approval of the majority of its shareholders and the Central Bank’s approval.
Article 102- Authority to Issue Instructions and Directives for Precautionary Purposes
1- For precautionary supervision purposes, the Board of Directors shall issue necessary instructions and directives to a particular Licensed Financial Institution or to a number of Licensed Financial Institutions within a specific category, with respect to:
a- Compliance with Central Bank instructions and directives relating to the precautionary ratios determined by the Board of Directors, regarding capital adequacy and liquidity or any other purposes.
b- Compliance with appropriations or treatment of specific assets.
c- Adherence to the credit concentration limits.
d- Adherence to limits of exposures to relevant parties.
e- Satisfying any additional requirements relating to the submission of reports.
2- The Central Bank may take any actions in addition to those mentioned in Clause (1) of this article.
3- The Central Bank may instruct any subsidiary of a Licensed Financial Institution to take particular actions, or abstain from exercising particular activities, in the following cases:
a- If the Central Bank is the consolidated regulatory authority of the entities referred to in this Clause.
b- If the Central Bank decides that such instruction is necessary for the exercise of effective and consolidated precautionary supervision of the entities referred to in this clause.
4- The instructions and directives referred to in Clause (3) of this article may include the following:
a- Requiring the subsidiary of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution to stop the provision of particular services, or to refrain from exercising particular businesses or activities, including closing any of its offices or branches outside the State, if such services, businesses or activities may expose the concerned Licensed Financial Institution to additional risk, or to risks that cannot be managed effectively and appropriately.
b- Requiring the subsidiary of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution to take all necessary actions to remove any impediments that may prevent effective consolidated supervision.
Article 103- Limits of Operations
The Central Bank may set limits by which deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions shall abide in their operations, which include the following:
1- The maximum limit of total discount operations or loans and advances the Licensed Financial Institution may conduct, as of a certain date.
2- The maximum limit the Licensed Financial Institution may lend to a single Person in proportion to the person’s own funds.
3- Any other maximum limits the Central Bank may determine.
Article 104- Governance of Licensed Financial Institutions
1- The Central Bank shall set a general framework for governance of Licensed Financial Institutions, issue the regulations and rules related to the organisation of works of their boards of directors and determine the conditions to be met by the candidates for membership of their boards of directors, and the requirements and conditions for appointment of their senior staff; provided that Licensed Financial Institutions listed in the State’s financial markets adhere to the minimum requirements of corporate governance issued by the concerned regulatory authority.
2- The Licensed Financial Institutions shall obtain the Central Bank’s prior approval for appointment, nomination of any Person for membership of their boards of directors or renewal of his membership, and appointment or renewal of the employment contract of any of their senior employees.
3- As it deems as appropriate to achieve public interest, the Board of Directors may refuse to appoint or nominate any person for the membership in a Board of Directors of any Licensed Financial Institution or renew such membership, and may refuse to appoint or renew the employment contract of any of senior employees of said Institution.
Article 105- Rule Book
The Central Bank shall prepare an electronic rule book containing all the regulations, rules, standards, decisions, and circulars issued by the Central Bank in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law. Such guide shall be published and regularly updated on the Central Bank’s website.
Article 106- Retroactive Effect of Central Bank’s Regulations and Decisions
The regulations, decisions or instructions issued by the Central Bank in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law shall have no retroactive effect, and shall not prevent the implementation of any agreements concluded between the Licensed Financial Institutions and their customers prior to their issuance. The Central Bank shall set the necessary time-limits for the Licensed Financial Institutions to regularise their statutes, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 107- Inspection
1- The Central Bank may at any time send any of its employees or any third party authorised to act on its behalf to Licensed Financial Institutions and their owned companies or subsidiaries, if it deemed it necessary to check the soundness of their financial positions and their compliance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law and the regulations and decisions issued in implementation thereof, and other laws and regulations applicable in the State.
2- In case of inspection of companies owned by Licensed Financial Institutions or their subsidiaries which are regulated by any of the Regulatory Authorities in the State or in other jurisdictions, the Central Bank shall coordinate with the concerned regulatory authority on the matter.
3- In coordination with the concerned agencies in the State, the Central Bank may inspect the premises of any person suspected of exercising any of the financial activities referred to in Article 65 of the present Decree-Law without a license. In this respect, the Central Bank may impose upon the suspected person to provide all information, documents, and records related to the unlicensed financial activities and to qualify such information, documents and records.
4- Licensed Financial Institutions, their owned companies and their subsidiaries shall provide the employees referred to in Clause (1) of this article with all information, records, books, accounts, documents and data relating to the inspected matter, along with any information he may ask for in a timely manner.
5- Within the context of the inspection process, the Central Bank’s staff may summon any relevant person, on the time and at the place they may determine, to provide information, data, documents, or records related to the examination process.
6- The Board of Directors may issue the regulations, rules, standards, directives and instructions related to the processes and procedures of inspection of the Licensed Financial Institutions.
7- The Central Bank may take all the measures and actions it deems appropriate for the achievement of its objectives and the assumption of its functions in accordance with the present Decree-Law, and should it appear that the provisions of the present Decree-Law or the regulations and decisions issued in implementation thereof were violated, it may particularly take the following actions:
a- Impose restrictions to certain operations or activities exercised by the concerned Licensed Financial Institution.
b- Require the concerned Licensed Financial Institution to take necessary actions to rectify the situation immediately.
c- Appoint a specialized expert, or a qualified employee of the Central Bank to give the required recommendations to the concerned Licensed Financial Institution or supervise some of its operations, within a specified period set by the Central Bank, provided that the concerned Licensed Financial Institution bears the remunerations of such employee, if he is an expert from outside the Central Bank.
d- Take any other action or measure, or impose any penalties it deems appropriate.
8- The Licensed Financial Institutions shall bear all costs for the inspection and investigation process when outsourced to a third party by the Central Bank, should it be established that such process was conducted in violation of the provisions of the present Decree-Law, and the regulation and the decisions issued in implementation thereof.
Article 108- Inspection of Entities of National Licensed Financial Institutions Operating in Other Jurisdictions
The Central Bank may send one or more of its inspectors to inspect entities of national Licensed Financial Institutions operating abroad, in cooperation and coordination with the concerned regulatory authorities in such jurisdictions, including entities of the national Licensed Financial Institutions operating in Financial Free Zones in the State, in cooperation and coordination with the Regulatory Authorities of the concerned Financial Free Zone.
Article 109- Expert Report
The Central Bank may assign an expert or a person qualified and competent in the field of the Licensed Financial Activities, to provide it with a report on any matter specified by the Central Bank, in relation to direct and indirect businesses and activities of a particular Licensed Financial Institution, in accordance with the conditions and procedures prescribed by the Central Bank, and at the expense of the entities referred to in this article.
Article 110- Law Enforcement Authority
The Central Bank’s staff designated by a decision issued by the Minister of Justice, in coordination with the Governor shall be granted law enforcement authority to establish acts of violation of the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Article 111- Requesting Intervention in Lawsuits and Judicial Proceedings and Notification of Investigations
1- Subject to the provisions of the Civil Procedures Law, the Central Bank may request intervention in any lawsuit filed with the judicial authorities to which a Licensed Financial Institution is party.
2- Law enforcement agencies and other concerned authorities shall notify the Central Bank of any investigations or proceedings initiated against the Licensed Financial Institutions. The Central Bank may provide such authorities with any clarifications, statements, or information it may deem appropriate in this respect.
Part 2
Financial Accounts
Article 112- Fiscal Year of Licensed Financial Institutions
The fiscal year of each Licensed Financial Institution shall begin by the first of January and end on the thirty first of December of each year, except for the first fiscal year which shall begin from date of registration of the institution and end by the end of the following fiscal year.
Article 113- Accounts of Licensed Financial Institutions
1- The branches of foreign Licensed Financial Institutions shall keep separate accounts for all their operations in the State, including the balance sheet and profit and loss account.
2- local branches and sections of a local or foreign Licensed Financial Institution operating in the State, shall, for the purposes of bookkeeping, constitute one financial institution.
Article 114- Auditors of Accounts of Licensed Financial Institutions
1- Every year, each Licensed Financial Institution operating in the State shall appoint one or more auditors from amongst the auditors approved by the Central Bank to audit its accounts. Should the concerned Licensed Financial Institution fail to appoint an auditor, the Central Bank shall appoint an auditor for said concerned institution and determine its remunerations, provided that they are borne by the concerned institution.
2- The auditors’ task shall include the preparation of a report for the shareholders on the balance sheets and the profit and loss accounts. The auditors shall show in their report whether the annual balance sheet and profit and loss accounts are true and acceptable, and whether the concerned Licensed Financial Institution has provided them with all the information and clarifications requested for performance of their mission. The concerned Licensed Financial Institution shall, at least twenty (20) working days before convening of the general assembly, provide the Central Bank with a copy of the auditors’ report, along with copy of the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.
3- The general assembly of a Licensed Financial Institution may not be convened before receipt of Central Bank’s notes on the report. Within ten (10) working days from date of receipt of the report referred to in Clause (2) of this article, the Central Bank may decide not to approve the profits proposed for distribution to shareholders, in case of inadequate financial appropriation below the minimum limit set by the Central Bank, or should there be a decline in the capital adequacy ratio below the minimum limit set, or in case of any reservation indicated in the auditors’ report or by the Central Bank if deemed to have any effect on distributable profits.
4- The auditors’ report, along with the report of the board of directors of the Licensed Financial Institution shall be read to the shareholders at the annual general assembly whether concerned institution is incorporated in the State. Within twenty (20) work days from date of convening of the general assembly, the Institution shall provide the Central Bank with three (3) copies of each report. If the concerned Licensed Financial Institution was incorporated in another jurisdiction, a copy of the auditors’ report shall be forwarded to its head office and three (3) copies thereof shall be submitted to the Central Bank within twenty (20) working days from date of its issuance.
5- The auditors may not be members of the board of directors of the Licensed Financial Institution having appointed them to audit its accounts, nor shall them be employees in the Institution’s staff or provide advisory services to said institution.
6- A Licensed Financial Institution may not grant credit facilities, of any type, to the auditors of its accounts. An auditor approved by the Central Bank may not commence to assume its functions at a Licensed Financial Institution, unless any obligations it may have towards such institution are settled.
7- The auditors shall be responsible for the contents of their report on the financial statements of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution. If failure to properly perform their assigned duties or violation of provisions of this decree-law and the regulations and decisions issued in implementation thereof was established, the Central Bank may take any necessary measures or procedures, in collaboration and coordination with the concerned authorities in the State to strike their names from the established registers. The Central Bank may, at its own discretion, take any administrative or legal actions against the negligent or violating auditors.
8- The Central Bank may, at its discretion, require the auditors of a Licensed Financial Institution, or its subsidiaries or affiliates to submit a report at the expense of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution, to prove their compliance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law and the regulations issued in implementation thereof.
9- The Board of Directors shall issue a regulation and a register for its approved auditors who are authorised to audit the accounts of Licensed Financial Institutions.
Article 115- Publication and Posting of Account-Related Statements
1- Each Licensed Financial institution shall publish and post the following information and statements on its website, and in each of its offices and branches in the State:
a- Copy of its audited balance sheet and profit and loss account and copy of the auditors’ report. In case a Licensed Financial Institution is incorporated in other jurisdictions, such statements may be posted and published in a manner consistent with laws of the concerned jurisdiction.
b- List of names of members of the board of directors, senior executives and their deputies and assistants.
c- Names of all wholly or partially owned subsidiaries, or entities related to the concerned Licensed Financial Institution.
2- The Central Bank may require any Licensed Financial Institution to publish or display any information or statements relating to its accounts, in addition to the requirements stated in Clause (1) of this article, as it deems appropriate.
Part 3
Restructuring and Liquidation of Licensed Financial Institutions
Article 116- Unbalanced Financial Position
1- The Board of Directors shall establish a restructuring framework for deposit-taking Licensed Financial Institutions in order to minimize the effects that a deficiency in their financial position may have on the financial system in the State, including the effects related to the imbalance of the financial position of companies owned by the Licensed Financial Institutions or their subsidiaries.
2- The restructuring framework shall include a set of precautionary and qualitative triggers referring to material risks that would result in an unbalanced financial position of the institutions referred to in Clause (1) of this article. For this purpose, the Central Bank shall, at its own discretion, take any of the following measures and actions to protect the concerned institution and its depositors:
a- Impose a minimum limit for liquidity of the concerned institution, commensurable with the risks associated resulting from its activities.
b- Impose upon the concerned institution to provide, additional financial resources to support its paid-up capital, in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed by the Board of Directors.
c- Issue a decision to merge the concerned institution with another Licensed Financial Institution.
d- Approve any Financial Institution’s request to acquire the concerned institution.
e- Form an interim committee to manage the concerned institution. Such committee may take any actions it deems appropriate, as per conditions and controls determined by the Board of Directors, including the possibility of taking the decision to terminate or suspend all or part of the activities of the concerned institution whether immediately or within another timeframe, as well as consequential actions.
f- Directly undertake to manage the concerned institution over a period specified by the Board of Directors. In this case, the Central Bank shall replace the Board of Directors of the concerned institution in the exercise of all powers, including financial and administrative powers. The powers of the Board of Directors of the concerned institution and its general assembly shall immediately be frozen until the expiry of the interim management period.
g- Ask the competent authorities in the State to temporarily confiscate the concerned institution and seize its assets, properties and shareholders’ rights.
h- Issue a decision to request the competent court to liquidate or dissolve the concerned institution, develop a plan for liquidation or transfer of its assets and liabilities and all related settlements and releases as it deems appropriate, and implement or supervise the implementation of the liquidation plan, or issue a restructuring decision, or request the competent court to declare bankruptcy in accordance with the applicable laws.
i- Upon the issuance of a decision to merge or liquidate a Licensed Financial Institution incorporated in another jurisdiction while having a branch operating in the State, the same procedures applicable in the concerned jurisdiction of incorporation shall apply if such procedures ensures better protection for customers in the State, unless otherwise agreed with the concerned authority.
j- Any other measures or actions to be taken by virtue of a decision issued by the Board of Directors.
3- The Central Bank may coordinate with the relevant federal and local authorities before issuing any decision by the Board of Directors in accordance with the provisions of this article, if necessary. The Central Bank may request the competent judicial authorities to take protective and urgent measures and any other actions intended to ensure the protection of properties and interests of investors and depositors, or as required to serve the public interest.
Article 117- Publication of the Restructuring or Liquidation Announcement
1- In cases of restructuring or liquidation of a Licensed Financial Institution, the relevant announcement shall be published in the Official Gazette, and in two local Arabic and English daily newspapers at least for a period of no less than three (3) business days.
2- The announcement shall include the following:
a- Granting a grace period of no less than three (3) months for the customers of the concerned Licensed Financial Institution to take necessary actions to protect their rights.
b- Name and contact details of the entity assigned to carry out restructuring and its functions or the liquidator and his functions.
3- If the restructuring or liquidation occurred as a result of writing off the Licensed Financial Institution for the Licensed Financial Institutions Register, the Chairman of the Board of Director or his delegate may specify in the writing off decision the date of closure of the concerned institution, the entity assigned to carry out the restructuring or the liquidation of any outstanding operations on such date.
Article 118- Supervising the Efficiency of the Licensed Financial Institutions Under Restructuring or Liquidation
The Central Bank shall continue to supervise the efficiency of any Licensed Financial Institution under restructuring or liquidation, until final closure of its offices.
Article 119- Non-Prejudice to the Provisions of Other Laws Governing Restructuring or Liquidation
The provisions of Article (116), (117), and (118) of the present Decree-Law shall not prevent the application of any effective legal provisions prescribe in the State in respect of restructuring and liquidation.
Chapter 6
Customer Protection
Article 120- Confidentiality of Banking and Credit Information
1- All data and information relating to customers’ accounts, deposits, safe deposit boxes and trusts with Licensed Financial Institutions and related transactions shall be considered confidential in nature, and may not be accessed, or directly or indirectly disclosed to any third party without the written permission of owner of the account or the deposit, or his legal representative or authorised agent, and in cases authorised by law.
2- Such prohibition shall remain applicable even after the end of the business relationship between the customer and the Licensed Financial Institution for any reason whatsoever.
3- The Chairmen and members of boards of directors, managers and employees of Licensed Financial Institutions, and any experts, consultants and technicians assigned therein shall be prohibited from disclosing any information or data related to their customers, or their accounts or deposits or transactions relating thereto, or enabling third parties to assess them, in other than the cases authorised by law.
4- Such prohibition shall apply to all entities and persons and whoever has access to the above-mentioned information and data ex officio due to his profession, position or nature of work.
5- The Central Bank shall lay down the rules and conditions organizing exchange of banking and credit information, in its capacity as the competent Regulatory Authority in the State in this regard.
6- The provisions of Clauses (1) and (2) of this article shall not prejudice any of the following:
a- The powers legally conferred to security and judicial authorities, the Central Bank and its staff.
b- The duties assigned to auditors of accounts of the concerned institutions.
c- The concerned institutions shall undertake to issue a statement of the reasons for declining to cash a check upon the beneficiary’s request.
d- The concerned institutions shall undertake to issue a certificate of partial payment of value of a check, in accordance with the provisions of the Commercial Transactions Law referred to above.
e-The concerned institutions shall have the right to disclose whole or part of the data relating to a customer’s transactions if such disclosure is necessary for them to establish their right in a legal dispute arising between them and the customer in respect of such transactions.
f- The provisions of the laws and international agreements applicable in the State, in addition to the provisions related to combating money laundering, terrorist financing and illegal organisations.
Article 121- Protecting the Customers of Licensed Financial Institutions
1- The Central Bank shall set the regulations governing the protection of customers of Licensed Financial Institutions, in line with the nature of activities exercised by said institutions and the services and the financial products they provide.
2- The Central Bank and the Licensed Financial Institutions shall work together to raise public awareness of the types of banking services and financial products, and their inherent risks, through all available means of communication and media, according to the relevant controls prescribed by the Central Bank.
3- The Licensed Financial Institutions shall not be permitted to charge any interest on any accrued interest already charged on any credit or funding facilities granted to the customers.
Article 122- Deposit Guarantee Scheme
In coordination with the Ministry, the Board of Directors may issue a scheme to guarantee the deposits and the rights of depositors of the Licensed Financial Institutions. Such scheme may include the creation of a compensation fund and determination of its structure.
Article 123- Financial Inclusion
The Board of Directors shall set the regulations necessary to ensure that all natural persons enjoy the right to receive, from the Licensed Financial Institutions, all or part of the banking and financial services and products they suit them.
Title 4
Financial Infrastructure
Chapter 1
Transfer of Funds and Settlement of Securities
Article 124- Clearing and Settlement Operations
1- The Central Bank may:
a- Establish, develop and/or operate one or more clearing or security settlement systems for the transfer of funds and the settlement of securities issued by the Central Bank or the public sector and other obligations among the persons participating in such systems, and may conduct such on its own or in partnership with any other party or by outsourcing.
b- Link the systems referred to in paragraph (a) of this Clause to similar systems inside and outside the State.
c- Establish and/or operate central depository for securities issued by the Central Bank or the Public Sector and data repository systems for monetary and financial transactions in the State, and link such systems to similar ones inside and outside the State.
2- The Central Bank shall coordinate with the concerned other regulatory authorities and in the State and other concerned bodies, for matters related to the establishment of data repository systems for monetary and financial transactions referred to in paragraph (c) of Clause (1) of this article.
3- The Board of Directors shall issue the regulations related to the systems referred to in Clause (1) of this article, the rules of participation in such systems, and the rules to execute the operations related to them.
Article 125- Retail Payment Operations and Related Electronic Services
The Central Bank shall solely:
1- Have the authority to issue regulations, rules, and procedures relating to electronic banking operations, digital money, Stored Value Facilities, and the authority to regulate Retail Payment Systems and related electronic banking and financial services requiring licensing and supervision by the Bank.
2- Take all measures and procedures it deems appropriate to reduce the risks to the State’s financial and economic systems associated with operations and systems referred to in Clause (1) of this article.
Chapter 2
Powers and Functions of the Central Bank Pertaining to Financial Infrastructure Systems
Article 126- Selection of Systems
1- The Central Bank may select any Financial Infrastructure System as statutorily significant if it considers, at its own discretion, that any malfunction or inefficiency in the operation of such system would negatively impact processing of the daily operations of financial institutions operating in the State, or the stability of the financial system in the State.
2- In order for a Financial Infrastructure System to be selected, it shall meet one of the following conditions:
a- The concerned system shall be operating in the State.
b- The concerned system shall be flexible in terms of accepting clearing and settlement of financial Transfer Orders denominated in national Currency, without prejudice to provisions of Article (28) of the present Decree-Law.
c- The concerned system shall be flexible in terms of providing transfer, clearing or settlement of financial Transfer Orders for retail payment activities, denominated in any currency.
3- Should the Central Bank intend to select any of the Financial Infrastructure Systems it licenses as statutorily important, it shall:
a- Notify the operator of the system or the Settlement Institution of the intent to select the system as statutorily important by formal notice in a manner clarifying the reasons for such selection, in addition to any other terms and conditions accompanying the selection decision.
b- Grant a period of no less than ten (10) working days from the date of notification in the notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this clause, within which the system operator or its Settlement Institution may express their opinions or state the reasons in case of rejecting the selection.
c- Issue its decision on the selection of a system, within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of receipt of responses from concerned parties, or from the date of expiry of the period specified in the notice without any response.
4- The operator of the selected System or the Settlement Institution may file a grievance against the selection decision referred to in clause (3) of this article by applying to the Grievances and Appeals Committee in accordance with the provisions of Title 5 of the present Decree-Law.
5- The Clearing and Settlement Systems set, developed, and/or operated under the provisions of Article (124) of the present Decree-Law shall be deemed as Selected Systems.
6- Should the Central Bank intend to select any of the Financial Infrastructure Systems licensed by any of the other Regulatory Authorities in the State or in other jurisdictions as statutorily important, it shall submit its opinion in this regard to the concerned regulatory authority. Should the concerned regulatory authority not have any objection against such selection decision, it shall:
a- Notify the operator of the system or its Settlement Institution, by formal notice, of the intention to designate this system as systemically important, and clarify the reasons for such selection, in addition to other terms and conditions accompanying such decision.
b- Grant a period of no less than ten (10) working days from the date of notification in the notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this clause, within which the system operator or its Settlement Institution may express their opinions or state the reasons in case of rejecting the selection.
c- Issue its final approval or disapproval decision of the Central Bank’s request to select the concerned system in accordance with the provisions of this article within a period not exceeding twenty (20) working days from date of receipt of responses from the concerned parties, or expiry of the period stated in the notice, without response.
7- The Central Bank may revoke the selection of any Financial Infrastructure System it licenses or request such revocation from the concerned regulatory authority, should it consider, at its own discretion, that the system is no longer of statutory importance. The concerned regulatory authority, the operator of the system, or its Settlement Institution shall be notified of such decision by formal notice depending on the circumstances.
Article 127- Supervising the Systems
1- The Central Bank shall have exclusive power to supervise the operations of the systems it licenses and ensure their robustness, in accordance with relevant international standards. For this purpose, the Central Bank may require the operators of systems or their Settlement Institutions to take required measures and procedures.
2- The Central Bank shall be responsible for controlling the implementation of required additional supervisory measures and procedures on the selected systems licensed by any of the other Regulatory Authorities in the State or in other jurisdictions, in collaboration and coordination with the concerned regulatory authority; and for this purpose, it may request the following from the concerned regulatory authority:
a- Impose upon the operators of the selected systems or their Settlement Institutions to comply with the instructions it issues in this respect and any relevant international standards.
b- Verify the proper and regular functioning of selected systems.
c- Verify the soundness of the financial position of the operators of the selected Systems and their Settlement Institutions, when necessary.
d- Require the operators of the selected Systems or their Settlement Institutions to provide it with the information it deems appropriate for the achievement of its objectives and the assumption of its functions.
3- The Central Bank may appoint whoever it deems appropriate from among the experts and consultants specialised in financial infrastructure to assist the Central Bank in performing its duties and functions in accordance with the provisions of Title 4 of the present Decree-Law, and to keep up with the best international standards and practices in this field.
Article 128- Suspension or Revocation of a License
1- The Central Bank may suspend or revoke a licence granted to a Financial Infrastructure System under the provisions of Articles (124) and (125) of the present Decree-Law, by a formal notice to the operator or the Settlement Institution of the concerned system and take necessary actions in this regard depending on the circumstances, should it consider that the system no longer serves the conduct of its operations. Such period shall be granted as specified in the notice referred to in this clause, and it shall be of no less than twenty (20) working days from date of the notice, within which the concerned system operator or its Settlement Institution may object to the Central Bank’s decision to suspend or revoke the license and provide their justifications for such objection, as per the provisions of Title 4 of the present Decree-Law.
2- Should the Central Bank deem that any Selected system licensed by any of the Regulatory Authorities in the State or in other jurisdictions no longer serves the conduct of its operations, it may ask the concerned regulatory authority, via an official notice, to suspend or revoke the license of this system and take necessary actions in this regard, depending on the circumstances. The concerned regulatory authority shall have the right to approve or reject the request of the Central Bank. In case of approval, the procedures and controls in force by the concerned authority shall be apply.
3- In all cases, the suspension or revocation of a license granted to a Selected system in accordance with the provisions of this article shall not affect any transaction cleared or settled in the concerned system before the effective date of suspension or revocation.
Article 129- Authority to Issue Regulations and Instructions
1- The Board of Directors shall issue the regulations, rules, instructions, directives, and controls it deems appropriate for the application of the provisions of Title 4 of the present Decree-Law, and for the achievement of the Central Bank’s objectives and the assumption of its executive functions, including:
a- The regulations, conditions and rules related to the licenses granted by the Central Bank in accordance with the provisions of Articles (124) and (125) of the present Decree-Law, to the operators of the Financial Infrastructure Systems or the Settlement Institutions for such systems or the persons participating therein.
b- The regulations, rules and standards related to the selection and supervision of the Financial Infrastructure Systems, as per the provisions of Articles (126) and (127) of the present Decree-Law, and to controlling the operations of such systems and setting compliance requirements for the persons participating therein.
2- The Central Bank may exempt the operators of the Financial Infrastructure Systems licensed thereby, or the Settlement Institutions of such systems or the Participants, in a general or specific manner, from the provisions of any of the regulations, instructions, rules, directives, and controls issued by it.
Article 130- Specifying the Violations
1- The Board of Directors shall issue a regulation specifying types of violations related to Financial Infrastructure Systems licensed by the Central Bank, and any of the following cases shall be considered a violation to the terms and conditions relating to such systems:
a- Violation of the operational requirements for the relevant systems, rules and settlement procedures.
b- Failure of an operator of a system or its Settlement Institution to comply with a Central Bank’s request of provision of required information or documents.
c- Failure to comply with Central Bank’s decisions and instructions, and to take a particular action the Central Bank considers necessary for the system to conform to the standards it sets.
d- Failure of an operator of a system or its Settlement Institution to report any action taken with respect to a Participant, under the systems Default Arrangements.
e- Failure of a Participant to notify the system operator, its Settlement Institutions, and the Central Bank of the issuance of judgment declaring it bankrupt or placing it under liquidation.
f- Operating a system without having obtained a license in accordance with the provisions of Articles (124) and (125) of the present Decree-Law.
g- Failure of an operator of a system or its Settlement Institution to comply with any request from the Central Bank or any other government agency, related to a default in payment within a specified time period.
h- Failure of an operator of a system to notify the Central Bank of issuance of judgment declaring a Participant bankrupt or placing the latter under liquidation.
i- Providing the Central Bank with untrue or misleading information.
j- Adding any false entry to any registration book or any document related to a particular system, or causing alteration, deletion or obliteration of such entry.
k- Any other action related to the clearing and settlement operations or to the retail payment operations the Central Bank considers a violation.
2- The Central Bank may take whatever actions it deems appropriate to correct any violations referred to in Clause (1) of this article and determine the method of settlement of such violation.
3- The Central Bank shall notify the violator, by formal notice, in accordance with Clause (1) of this article, of any actions and measures that shall be undertaken against them. The Central Bank shall grant the violator a period not exceeding ten (10) working days from the date of notification to file a grievance against the Central Bank’s decision. In the event of rejection of the grievance, the violator may bring the matter before the Grievances and Appeals Committee in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law. The decision of the Grievances and Appeals Committee on the matter shall be final. Should the violator not respond to Central Bank’s decision within the period prescribed in this clause, the Central Bank’s decision on the matter shall be final and enforceable.
Chapter 3
Finality of Transactions and Procedures
Article 131- Finality of Payment and Settlement
1- All transactions conducted through a Financial Infrastructure System, which meets one of the selection conditions referred to in Clause (2) of Article (126) of the present Decree-Law shall be final, irrevocable and irreversible, in any of the following cases:
a- Transfer of funds from or to the account of a Participant.
b- Settlement of a payment obligation.
c- Settlement of an obligation to transfer, or the actual transfer of book- entry securities.
2- No transfer or settlement related to the transactions referred to in clause (1) of this article may be cancelled, set aside, re-paid, or reversed, nor shall it be rectified, whether by a court judgement or order, or by virtue of a law.
Article 132- Priority of Implementation of the Rules and Procedures of a Financial Infrastructure Systems over the General Insolvency and Bankruptcy Rules and Procedures
1- None of the following operations and procedures conducted through Financial Infrastructure Systems, which meet one of selection conditions referred to in Clause (2) of Article (126) of the present Decree-Law, may be prejudiced upon the commencement of realization of assets of a Person under liquidation, insolvency, financial restructuring, or bankruptcy:
a- A Transfer Order.
b- Any disposition of property by virtue of such Transfer Order.
c- The Default Arrangements of such systems.
d- The rules and procedures of such systems with respect to the settlement of Transfer Orders not being dealt with under their Default Arrangements.
e- Any action taken for the purpose of realizing collateral securities for persons participating in such systems, other than their Default Arrangements.
2- The official receiver, or the trustee in bankruptcy or any person appointed to manage the bankruptcy procedures in cases of bankruptcy or liquidation, shall not take any actions or procedures that are inconsistent with the provisions of the present Decree-Law, or that would preclude or affect the Default Arrangements of systems referred to in Clause (1) of this article.
3- An obligation arising from a Transfer Order, within the framework of the Default Arrangements of the systems referred to in Clause (1) of this article, may not be established in case of bankruptcy or liquidation procedures, until completion of the transfer or payment order.
4- A debt or other liability, under the provisions of Clause (3) of this article, which is not established, may not be used for any set-off, offset, or net out of debt or obligations until the completion of the action taken under the Default Arrangements of such systems.
Article 133- Netting of Obligations of Insolvent or Bankrupt Participants
1- The operator of a Financial Infrastructure System, which meets any of the selection conditions referred to in Clause (2) of Article (126), may carry our Netting of all obligations owed to or by a Participant in this System, which incurred before the point of time where the competent court has made an order for bankruptcy or liquidation of the concerned Participant.
2- In case Netting has taken place as provided for in Clause (1) of this article:
a- Netted obligations shall be disregarded in the bankruptcy or liquidation procedures.
b- Any net obligation owed to or by the Participant that has not been discharged shall become payable to the Participant and may be recovered for the benefit of his creditors, and are provable in cases of bankruptcy or liquidation, depending on the circumstances.
3- Netting operations processed by the concerned system operator in accordance with Clause (1) of this Article, and any financial transfers already paid in accordance with paragraph (a) of Clause (2) of this article shall not be cancelled during a bankruptcy or liquidation process.
Article 134- Preservation of Rights Related to Transactions
1- Except as expressly provided for in the present Decree-Law, this Decree-Law shall not limit, restrict or otherwise affect:
a- Any right, title, interest, privilege, obligation or liability of any Person, arising from any transaction related to a Transfer Order entered into a Financial Infrastructure System, which meets any of the selection conditions referred to in Clause (2) of Article (126).
b- Any investigation, legal proceedings or remedies related to any such right, title, interest, privilege, obligation or liability.
2- Nothing in Clause (1) of this article shall be interpreted as requiring:
a- The cancelation of any Netting done by the operator of the concerned system, whether pursuant to its Default Arrangements or otherwise.
b- The cancelation of any Transfer Order issued by a Participant, having been entered into the concerned system.
c- The reversal of a payment or settlement made under the operating rules of the concerned system.
Article 135- Participant’s Obligation of Insolvency Notification
1- A Participant in a Financial Infrastructure System, which meets any of the designation conditions referred to in Clause (2) of Article (126) shall notify the operator of the system or its Settlement Institution, the concerned regulatory authority, and the Central Bank, as soon as practicable, should said Participant become aware of the occurrence of any of the following events whether in the State or in other jurisdictions:
a- Filing for bankruptcy or liquidation.
b- Issuance of a judgement declaring his bankruptcy or liquidation.
c- Proceeding in the request of declaration of bankruptcy or liquidation based on the request of the owners, shareholders, or administration of a Participant.
2- A Participant shall not be deemed to have failed to notify of a relevant event referred to in Clause (1) of this article within the required timeframe if:
a- He took reasonable steps to comply with the provisions of Clause (1) of this article.
b- The entities referred to in Clause (1) of this article were already aware of the relevant event by the time the Participant was required to notify the operator under the provisions of this article.
Title 5
Deciding upon Grievances and Appeals
Article 136- Grievances and Appeals Committee
1- An independent committee, called “Grievances and Appeals Committee” shall be established in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-law under the chairmanship of a judge in the Court of Appeal, and with the membership of two (2) judges from the same court, in addition to two experts nominated by the Board of Directors.
2- The Cabinet shall issue a decision nominating the chairman and members of the committee, based on the nomination of the Higher Judicial Council, with respect to the chairman of the committee and its member judges.
3- Based on a proposal by the Board of Directors, the Cabinet shall issue a decision setting the rules of procedure of the Committee, including:
a- All rules and procedures related to the settlement of grievances and appeals, including due fees.
b- Bonuses and allowances of the members of the committee.
4- The term of office of the committee shall be of (4) years, renewable to similar period(s). In the event that the position of any member becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever before the expiry of the term of office, a successor shall be appointed for the remaining term, in the same method of selection of the previous member.
5- The Committee members nominated by the Board of Directors may neither be members of the Board of Directors, nor occupy any position at the Central Bank or at any of the Licensed Financial Institution.
6- The chairman of the committee or any of its members shall have no interest with any party to the dispute, otherwise he shall be required to disclose such interest, in which case another member shall be temporarily nominated to hear the dispute brought before the Committee.
7- The Committee shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to decide upon grievances and appeals against any decisions by the Central Bank related to licensing, authorisation of individuals, and licensing and selection of Financial Infrastructure Systems, and may for such purposes take all or some of the following actions:
a- Require any Person to appear before it to present any evidence, testimony, information or statement and examine same.
b. Hear the testimony of any witnesses after taking oath.
c- Delegate any experts it deems appropriate to express opinion on any matter relating to the dispute.
d- Take any actions and issue any instructions as it deems appropriate for the assumption of its functions.
8- Should the Committee decide to dismiss a grievance or appeal filed to it on the grounds that it was filed by a party lacking standing or having no interest, the Committee may impose on the applicant a fine not exceeding (200,000) Dirhams.
9- The Committee may order stay of execution of the contested decision if it deems it necessary, until a decision is issued on the dispute.
10- A decision issued by the Committee on a grievance or appeal shall be final and may only be contested before the Federal Supreme Court within a period of twenty (20) working days from date of its notification. Upon a request of the appellant, the Federal Supreme Court may order stay of execution of the decision issued by the Committee until a decision is issued on the matter, should it consider that the appeal is based on substantial grounds and that executing the Committee’s decision will have irreversible consequences.
Title 6
Administrative and Financial Sanctions and Penalties
Chapter 1
Administrative and Financial Sanctions
Article 137
1- Without prejudice to any other sanctions prescribed in any other laws in the State, and upon the establishment of a violation by any Licensed Financial Institution or by any Authorised Individual of any of the provisions of this the present Decree-Law or the regulations, decisions, rules, standards or instructions issued by the Central Bank in implementation thereof, or any measures taken by the Central Bank, including procedures to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and illegal organisations, the Central Bank may, at its own discretion, decide to impose one or more of the following penalties or take any of the following measures:
a- Send a warning to the violator may any means whatsoever.
b- Require the violating Licensed Financial Institution to take necessary actions and measures that the Central Bank deems appropriate to correct the violation.
c- Prohibit the violating Licensed Financial Institution from conducting some operations, or exercising some Licensed Financial Activities, or imposing any restrictions, conditions or limitations on all or some operations and activities.
d- Impose conditions or restrictions to be applied to the license the violating Licensed Financial Institution.
e- Reduce or suspend the capacity of the violating Licensed Financial Institution to draw on the Central Bank’s funds through available facilities.
f- Require the violating Licensed Financial Institution to deposit funds with the Central Bank without any return and for the period Central Bank deems appropriate, in addition to the credit balance set forth in Article (32) of the present Decree-Law.
g- Impose a fine of (400) basis points over the prevailing base interest rate of the Central bank on any shortfall in the Reserve Requirements referred to in Article (32) of the present Decree-Law.
h- Require the violating Licensed Financial Institution to return to customers the funds it obtained as a result of the violation of the provisions of the present Decree-Law, and any excess funds including revenue and profits shall devolve to the Central Bank.
i- Impose a fine equal to one to ten times the value of illicit enrichment as determined by the Central Bank, that the violating Licensed Financial Institution unlawfully acquires as a result of the violation.
j- Impose a fine of no less than AED two million and no more than two hundred million (200,000,000) on the violating Licensed Financial Institution.
k- Delink the violating Licensed Financial Institution from one or all of the Financial Infrastructure Systems.
l- Withdraw the license of the violating Licensed Financial Institution and write it off the Register.
m- Impose conditions or restrictions on the authorisation of the violating Authorised Individual.
n- Impose a fine equal to no less than AED 100000 and no more than AED 2000000 on the violating Authorised Individual.
o- Prohibit the violating Authorised Individual from undertaking any Designated Function at the Licensed Financial Institution he works for or any other Licensed Financial Institution.
2- The imposition of the sanctions referred to under paragraphs (a, b, c, e, f, g, and h) require a decision by the Governor and other sanctions require a decision by the Board of Directors.
3- In all cases, the violator shall be notified by formal notice of the justified decision within fifteen (15) working days from date of its issuance. Such notice shall include the following:
a- The content of the decision.
b- The rationale for the decision.
c- Effective date of the decision.
d- A statement informing the violators of their right to file a grievance against the decision by applying before the Grievances and Appeals Committee, in accordance with the provisions of the present Decree-Law.
Chapter 2
Penalties
Article 138
Without prejudice to any harsher penalty prescribed in any other law, the offences referred to in the following articles shall be punishable by the penalties prescribed therein.
Article 139
Every employee or representative of the Central Bank or any member of the committees formed within the Central Bank, or any member of the Board of Directors, who discloses any confidential information in violation of the provisions of Article (26) of the present Decree-Law, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of no more than (3) months and to a fine of no more than (100,000) Dirhams, or by either one of those two penalties.
Article 140
Whoever issues ant Currency in violation of the provisions of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twenty (20) years and to a fine not exceeding AED (100,000,000), or to either of those two penalties.
Article 141
Whoever, publicly and intentionally mutilates, destroys or tears up Currency, shall be sentenced to a fine equal to no more than (1,000) Dirham or ten (10) times the value of the mutilated, destroyed or torn Currency.
Article 142
1- Whoever violates the provisions of Clause (1) of Article (68) of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment and to a fine of n less than AED (200,000) and no more than AED (10,000,000), or to either of those two penalties.
2- Whoever violates the provisions of Clause (2) of Article (68) of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6) months and to a fine of no less than AED (100,000) and no more than AED (5,000,000), or to either one of those two penalties.
Article 143
Whoever violates the conditions and restrictions imposed on a license to carry on Licensed Financial Activities, shall be sentenced to a fine of no less than AED (200,000) and no more than AED (10,000,000).
Article 144
Whoever violates the Central Bank’s instructions regarding the financial position unbalance referred to in Article (116) of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of no less than one (1) year and to a fine of no less than AED (1,000,000) and no more than AED (10,000,000), or to either one of those two penalties.
Article 145
Whoever violates any of the provisions of Articles (72) or (96) of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment and to a fine of no less than AED (500,000) and no more than (10,000,000) Dirhams, or to either of those two penalties.
Article 146
Whoever violates any of the provisions of Article (83) of this the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of no less than one (1) year and to a fine of no less than AED (500,000) with an additional daily fine of AED (50,000) should the violation continue, provided that the total sum of the fines does not exceed AED (5,000,000), or to either of those two penalties.
Article 147
Imprisonment for a period of no less than (2) years and a fine of no less than AED (500,000) and no more than AED (5,000,000), or either one of those two penalties shall be imposed on whoever commits any of the following violations:
1- Provides wrong or incomplete facts, information, or data in any statements or documents presented to the Central Bank.
2- Conceals any facts from the statements, information, minutes, papers, or other documents submitted to the Central Bank or to its representatives, employees, or auditors.
3- Destroys, mutilates or alters any document related to a matter that is the subject of investigation by the Central Bank or brings or causes bringing such document outside the State.
4- Obstructs, resists, or causes the delay of the conduct of an investigation by the Central Bank or the provision of information to the Central Bank.
5- Act in collusion with another person to commit any of the acts referred to in Clauses (1) to (4) of this article.
Article 148
Whoever intentionally discloses the confidential banking and credit information referred to in Article (120) of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment and to a fine of no less than one AED (100,000) Dirhams and no more than AED (500,000).
Article 149
1- In cases where a violation is committed by a juridical person, the official in charge of management shall be sentenced to the same penalties prescribed for the acts committed in violation of the provisions of the present Decree-Law, whenever it is established that said person has become aware of the violation, or if the violation was committed a result of said person’s negligence or failure to perform their duties.
2- The juridical person and the manager in charge shall be jointly liable in respect of the adjudged financial penalties and damages, if the violation was committed, in the judicial person’s name and on behalf thereof, by one of said person’s employees.
Article 150
Whoever commits any of the violations relating to the Financial Infrastructure Systems referred to in Article (130) of the present Decree-Law shall be sentenced to imprisonment and to a fine of no less than AED (100,000) and no more than AED (10,000,000) Dirhams, or to either one of these two penalties.
Title 7
General Provisions
Article 151- Scope of Application of the Decree-Law
The provisions of the present Decree-Law shall apply to the Central Bank, the financial institutions, financial activities, and the persons subject to it; and shall not apply to the Financial Free Zones and the financial institutions regulated by the authorities of these zones.
Article 152- Applicable Regulations Remaining in Force
The regulations, decisions and circulars, issued in accordance with the provisions of Federal Law no. (10) of 1980 on the Central Bank, the Monetary System and the Organisation of Banking and its amendments, and Federal Law No. (6) of 1985 on the Islamic Banks, Financial Institutions and Investment Companies shall remain in force, until the regulations, decisions and circulars replacing them are issued, within a period not exceeding three (3) years from the effective date of the present Decree-Law.
Article 153- Regularisation of Situations
All entities and persons that are subject to the provisions of the present Decree-Law shall regularise their situations in accordance with its provisions, within the period determined by the Board of Directors.
Article 154- Abrogation of Contradicting Provisions
Any provision that is inconsistent with or contradicts the provisions of the present Decree-Law shall be abrogated. Federal Law no. (10) of 1980 on the Central Bank, the Monetary System and the Organisation of Banking and its amendments, together with Federal Law No. (6) of 1985 on the Islamic Banks, Financial Institutions and Investment Companies shall be also abrogated.
Article 155- Fees and Charges
The Central Bank may impose fees and charges in return for providing the service, granting licenses and authorisations, as deemed appropriate based on the nature and scope of functions, activities, and controls determined by the Board of Directors. A decision to such effect shall be issued by the Board of Directors and shall be published in the Official Gazette and on the Central Bank’s official website.
Article 156- Applicability of the Provisions of Foreign Judicial Authorities
Judgments and decisions issued by foreign judicial and law enforcement authorities, in respect of national Licensed Financial Institutions and branches of foreign Licensed Financial Institutions operating in the State, shall apply in accordance with the legal proceedings and applicable laws in force in the State.
Article 157- Interpretation of the Technical Terms Referred to in the Decree-Law
The Central Bank may issue a glossary interpreting the technical terms mentioned in the present Decree-Law. This glossary shall be published on the Central Bank’s official website.
Article 158– Effective date of the Decree-Law
The present Decree-Law shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall come into force on the day following date of its publication.
Issued by us at the Presidential
Palace in Abu Dhabi
On 13 Muharram 1440 Hijri
Corresponding to 23/09/2018 H
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
President of the United Arab Emirates
The present Federal Decree-Law was published in the Official Gazette issue no. 637 (annex), p. 13.

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