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Robo-advisory firm is first graduate of DFSA's regulatory sandbox

Dubai Financial Services Authority issues innovation testing licence to Sarwa, a low-cost investment advisory platform

Robo-advisory firm is first graduate of DFSA's regulatory sandbox
Sarwa is offering automated investment advice.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has announced that robo-advisory firm, Sarwa, has become the first participant to graduate from its regulatory sandbox following nearly 12 months of testing.

As the first firm within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to be granted an innovation testing licence (ITL), Sarwa said it promises to "make investing easier, secure and more affordable".

Sarwa, a low-cost investment advisory platform, offer automated, low-fee, investment and wealth management services via digital platforms.

DFSA said Sarwa's successful completion of its regulatory test plan demonstrates the importance of regulatory sandboxes in fostering innovation and facilitating both established companies and start-ups as they create new solutions in financial services.

Its support of FinTech development is part of the National Innovation Strategy set out by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to form an innovation-friendly nation, it said in a statement.

Bryan Stirewalt, chief executive of the DFSA, said: "When we first introduced the ITL programme our goal was to offer firms the flexibility to test their new business models and solutions, so they can develop innovative products and services to tackle the growing needs of the region's financial services industry. Sarwa's progress is the first tangible demonstration that this goal can be achieved. We look forward to more firms following suit."

The DFSA said it continues to receive positive feedback around its regulatory sandbox and encourages firms with innovative ideas to apply for the 2018 winter cohort, which is currently accepting applications.

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