The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have signed today (13 October) a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development and growth of the UAE's fintech sector.

The central bank also signed an agreement with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to develop the UAE's FinTech sector in similar vein through joint initiatives and activities.

The MoU was signed by HE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM, and HE Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, as part of CBUAE's inaugural Future of Finance conference, held during Expo 2020 on 13-14 October 2021.

Under the agreement, CBUAE and ADGM will further enhance the collaboration under their co-sandbox programme that will enable FinTech companies to test their innovative solutions under the existing digital sandbox programme.

The agreement also stipulates collaboration on FinTech initiatives and activities between the parties, including accelerator programmes, competitions, workshops, seminars, conferences and projects.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, said: "The UAE's ability to develop a regulatory environment conducive to innovation and digitisation is amongst the foremost determinants of the future of its financial system.

Our signing of this agreement with ADGM plays an important role in CBUAE's commitment to enabling greater proliferation of FinTech solutions across the
UAE. We are confident that this agreement will attract key FinTech players to the country and result in an enhanced environment that enables innovation to thrive, in alignment with the nation's ambitious economic growth plans and digitisation aspirations."

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM, said: "The Fintech sector is fast shaping the face of the global financial system, requiring
coordinated attention by regulators to ensure its robust development and integration.

ADGM has, since its inception, striven to introduce regulatory frameworks and solutions, as well as partner with leading regulators locally and globally, to create an environment that enables innovation and progressive technology adoption.

Our agreement with the Central Bank of the UAE further reinforces this joint commitment to bolstering the UAE's thriving Fintech sector. We are confident our continued relations with the CBUAE will result in greater regulatory excellence and further opportunities in the Fintech field for international and local talent alike."

The agreement with DIFC  was signed by H.E. Khaled Mohammed Balama Al Tameemi, Governor of the Central Bank of UAE, and H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, as part of CBUAE's Future of Finance conference, held during Expo 2020 on 13-14 October 2021.

CBUAE will work with DIFC on CBUAE and DIFC strategies to jointly advance the competitiveness and digital transformation of the UAE financial sector to be recognised as a leading global FinTech hub. This will include the development of a co-sandbox and other joint initiatives to enable FinTechs and regulators to test and enhance CBUAE, DFSA or joint regulations and guidance leveraging existing DIFC's FinTech programmes and capabilities.

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: "As the leading global financial centre in the MEASA region and one of the world's top ten FinTech hubs, we are focused on building a strong ecosystem of opportunities to tap the potential of FinTech. Ensuring an enabling environment for start-ups and young entrepreneurs is central to this. Through our partnership with the UAE Central Bank, we will offer FinTech entrepreneurs the confidence to realise their entrepreneurial dreams, and further contribute to Dubai and the UAE's position as the global hub for the FinTech sector."

DIFC is home to more than 60 per cent of FinTech and innovation related companies in the GCC and provides the most comprehensive proposition in the region that includes, education, incubation and acceleration programmes, regulatory and operating licenses, mentoring from global financial institutions and funding opportunities. The approach is enabling DIFC to make a significant contribution towards Dubai becoming a global hub for innovation."