Skip to content
Employee Conflicts of Interest Insider Trading MENA UAE

The Implications Of The UAE’s Shortened Workweek On Compliance

It may be just a four-hour difference, but all it takes is one misstep for a firm to find itself dealing with the kinds of regulatory problems that could damage the bottom line and the firm’s reputation. Here’s how it could happen and how to prevent it

On January 1, 2022 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the first nation to legally shorten its workweek. The rationale behind the long-rumored shift is at least partly due to enhancing social wellbeing, with Friday afternoons off. However, it also could increase UAE’s global competitiveness in the economic and business sectors. In fact, by changing the working days from the Sunday through Thursday workweek favored in the region to the global standard of Monday through Friday, the new workweek better aligns the nation’s financial sector with global real-time trading and communications-based transactions.

While a boon for the majority of workers, though, this lost time could pose problems for compliance. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the UAE’s financial institutions aren’t yet fully equipped with compliance automation. Should something go awry, compliance teams will be playing multi-jurisdictional catchup come Monday morning. With the help of insider trading software solutions, however, and the added efficiencies they bring, compliance teams will be able to monitor every deal, transaction, and conflict-decision automatically seven days a week.

Firms based in the UAE also often maintain branches and investments in other countries. Compliance process automation enables compliance teams to easily monitor that kind of global activity. And with an ever-growing and increasingly dispersed workforce, chances are good these firms employ people in and from other counties. Expats make up nearly 89% of the UAE population. Compliance process automation will also be invaluable in that regard.

Though insider trading is a relatively rare occurrence, the sophistication of UAE firms’ activities—combined with the global nature of its investments and transactions—makes it more important than ever to invest in automated compliance monitoring technology. Compliance automation offers the controls necessary to handle such challenges while saving compliance teams a great deal of time and effort in the process. 

Beyond that, the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has been making moves to tighten regulations on insider trading at publicly traded companies listed in the UAE capital markets. If the trend continues on its current trajectory, compliance officers will require coverage for whatever additional resolutions are to come. The answer can often be found in a centralized compliance platform that offers a single source of truth. Centralizing the compliance function in a software solution, however, can do more than consolidate the view of transactions. Where automated compliance monitoring technology really shines is its ability to provide:

Think of compliance automation as a business-driven rules engine, one which is entirely configured to your operational requirements. Forms, attestations, declarations, permissions, and more can all be configured to meet any firm’s needs. Should the market environment or regulations change, compliance software can be rapidly reconfigured. 

When financial firms operate internationally, it only makes sense to invest in a compliance solution that can monitor and react to an employee transacting in another region. That is, it must be able to adapt to different regulatory requirements, multiple currencies, time zones, and languages. As your business grows, compliance software and the automation it brings will grow with you.

If compliance monitoring technology doesn’t offer a good user experience, employees won’t use it. The STAR Platform empowers the frontline by offering on-the-go actions through our STAR Mobile app. Compliance officers can review time-sensitive requests right from their phone, and then issue instant approvals or denials. The system also provides in-app Tool Tips & Walkthroughs, so the help users need is right there in front of them.

StarCompliance has built a compliance automation solution that expands compliance team bandwidth by providing a holistic view of data, integrating proprietary data with third-party data, broker feeds, and more. Customized data-visualization then allows compliance teams to review the information however they see fit. And with automated case-management workflows, our technology helps decrease false positives and aids compliance teams throughout the investigative process.

StarCompliance values the security of both your business and your data. Our infosec team takes every precaution to guarantee data security. Trust that the information housed in the STAR Platform is always secure. 

While the UAE has taken great strides in regulating capital markets and preventing insider trading, the shortened workweek has complicated matters for compliance teams. It may be just a four-hour difference when all is said and done, but all it takes is one misstep for a firm to find itself dealing with the kinds of regulatory problems which could result in significant fines as well as significant loss of international reputation.