The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has fined global mortgage company Enness Limited $105,000 for engaging in “unauthorised activity” outside the scope of its licence at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Enness’ representative office in the DIFC is only permitted to carry out a narrow set of activities relating to the marketing of mortgage services offered by its head office based in the United Kingdom, a statement said.
However, an investigation by the DFSA – regulator of the DIFC – found that between November 2017 and January 2019, Enness DIFC arranged mortgages for its clients, and provided them with mortgage advice.
“Enness DIFC was not authorised to engage in such activity, and in doing so acted outside the scope of its representative office licence, in breach of the DFSA’s laws,” the statement said.
However, the company fully cooperated with the DFSA’s investigation and has sought to obtain an appropriate DFSA licence authorising it to carry out the wider financial service of arranging credit and advising on credit, the authority added.
Enness DIFC also agreed to settle the DFSA’s action at an early stage of the investigation and hence qualified for a discount under the DFSA’s policy for early settlement.
Without the discount, the company would have faced a fine of $150,000.
Bryan Stirewalt, CEO of the DFSA, said: “The DFSA takes the failure by representative offices to act within the scope of their licences seriously. We expect that all representative offices in the DIFC understand what they are authorised to do and have controls in place that ensure they only engage in authorised activities. ”