The final Law Update of 2022 is here, and it’s packed full of articles. The double edition features two focus areas, first is a spotlight on Energy and Resources and second we feature a collection of articles on Transport and Logistics. The developments occurring in these sectors in the MENA region are unprecedented and our lawyers cover vast themes for you.
The Energy and Resources focus features topics such as diversifying energy resources, solar PV, mining in the Middle East, renewable energy and green hydrogen. From a transport perspective, we draw attention to the Bahrain metro project, discuss the challenges and remedies associated with the repossession of an aircraft, and there is advice on what to consider should a party vary the terms of a shipping contract.
This edition navigates you through updates from across jurisdictions such as, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, and the UAE. Each article is timely and provides insights into legal issues and cases that are affecting these sectors across the region.Read the full edition
Financial Consumer Protection Regulatory Framework
As announced last year, the Central Bank of Oman’s (“CBO”) Financial Consumer Protection Regulatory Framework (“FCPRF”) comes into force next year and licensed banks and finance and leasing companies (“Licensed Entities”) will be required to disclose the status of financial consumer protection in their 2023 annual reports.
Actions to be Taken
Under the FCPRF, Licensed Entities must conduct an impact analysis and submit a board-approved plan of action to ensure its structures, policies, procedures, practices and systems comply with the FCPRF to the CBO. Subject to the outcome of the analysis, the Licensed Entities are subsequently required to ensure compliance within eighteen months of the FCPRF’s issuance (i.e., by 29 June 2023).
Since the application of, and compliance with, the FCPRF is the responsibility of the board of directors of Licensed Entities, Licensed Entities are encouraged to form separate board-level committees to oversee the application of the FCPRF and, at a minimum, include the FCPRF in the terms of reference of existing board-level committees.
Failure to Comply
The CBO will take any necessary regulatory actions where the standards of the FCPRF are not being met. Violations may be subject to penalties and other measures the CBO deems appropriate.
Key Learnings from the UAE
While every jurisdiction within the GCC has its own particular considerations, one cannot ignore the recent implementation of a very similar consumer protection regime in the UAE. It marked a fundamental change to the financial industry in the UAE and can provide useful lessons during the transition in Oman.
The UAE Consumer Protection Regulation (“CPR”) was issued on 31 December 2020 and became ‘live’ on 1 January 2022 after a 12 month transitional period. Al Tamimi & Company has been instrumental in working with many financial institutions in the UAE to ensure compliance with the CPR. Key learnings during the course of overhauling the documentation and internal processes include the following:
How can we help?
Al Tamimi & Company’s Banking & Finance team can help clients navigate compliance requirements and the actions required under the FCPRF. For any queries in Oman, please don’t hesitate to contact the lawyers below.