GCC must create globally harmonised laws: Experts Staff Report

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GCC Financial Markets and Treasury Conference 2016

The 2nd GCC Financial Markets & Treasury Conference opened in Dubai with the theme of the direct impact of the 'new oil order' on GCC countries and the anticipated economic implications of the rise of fiscal deficits in the region.

One of the high profile speakers at the event, Marshall Bailey, President of ACI International, analysed what progress has been made in developing and enforcing codes of conduct and risk management in the GCC during a panel discussion. "A lack of harmonisation in rules and regulations continues to be a major cause for concern among market participants," said Bailey. "The vast majority of institutions operate globally, and therefore, have to comply with multiple laws and codes of practice at the same time. When these rules diverge, contradict or are unclear, compliance becomes confusing, resource-heavy and requires additional personnel, time and money," he explained.

For GCC regulators, the message from Bailey is to create laws which are as globally harmonised as possible, although he acknowledges there are further implications in relation to codes of conduct, and to invest time and money into educating traders.

He added: "The number one rule for any global code to be effective is that it has to apply universally across borders, so all participants are clear on what is and is not acceptable behaviour. "The second is education and awareness of the rules. Trader education, not regulation, is the key to solving the current market issues, and once individuals are made aware, their managers and compliance departments need to make sure it is enforced appropriately."

In order to create clarity in the market, Bailey advises national regulators to adopt the clearly defined codes and if necessary, back those up with laws to embed the national financial regulations and guarantee strong enforcement.

"Levelling the playing field internationally in this way will provide much needed clarity for financial market professionals - something that many institutions are crying out for. It is also beneficial for regulators, as they can measure the behaviour, ethics and conduct of all participants by the same criteria, regardless of whether they are in New York, London, Dubai, Singapore or Japan, and any misdemeanours can be immediately addressed."

The ACI Model Code will be highlighted by Bailey at the conference as the best place to start because it is widely accepted as the most complete of codes and provides a comprehensive moral compass to which professionals can adhere globally.

The GCC Financial Markets & Treasury Conference is organised by the UAE Financial Markets Association, in association with strategic partner Dubai International Financial Centre, which has been instrumental in connecting financial institutes together.

Other speakers at the event include:

  • Thunayan Al Ghanim, Honorary President, ICA and KFMA Kuwait;
  • Professor Tom James, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Novita's Resources;
  • Fahad Al Turkic, Chief Economist and Head of Research, Jada Investment; and
  • Mohammed Alsahlawi, Professor of Economics, King Fahad University of Petroleum.

More information available on the Khaleejtimes website.


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