In 2021, the PCMA worked on implementing a number of awareness activities related to developing the legal environment, developing the technical work of the PCMA, and raising public awareness of the importance of the non-banking financial sector, which is an essential pillar of the PCMA’s duties towards the public in Palestine. The PCMA seeks, on an ongoing basis, to enhance citizens’ financial capabilities and culture in the sectors it supervises, in addition to strengthening its internal and external relations, based on its plans, programs and tasks entrusted to it by virtue of the law and the strategic objectives specified in the strategic plan for the years 2021-2025. We hereby outline a set of activities and awareness programs that were implemented in the said year:
Launching the community dialogue on the draft of the new insurance law addressing the shortcomings in the existing legislations
The PCMA launched a community dialogue on the draft of the new insurance law that addresses the shortcomings in the existing legislations, and sent the draft law to a group of syndicates, unions, research, legal and academic institutions, and Palestinian civil society institutions, to expand the circle of participation and consultation on the draft law, in order to reach a law that meets all needs and addresses shortcomings.
Working on a new insurance law aims to keeping pace with developments in the insurance industry, in line with best practices and international principles issued by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and in the context of strengthening and fortifying the legislative environment regulating the insurance sector in Palestine and addressing deficiencies in existing legislation, in coordination with international experts and specialists in the field of preparing insurance laws and accompanying legislation.
As part of the community dialogue, the PCMA organized a dialogue session with a number of Palestinian journalists on the draft insurance law, and a number of journalists specialized in the economic press, and representatives of the local written, electronic, radio and television media participated in the dialogue, and the PCMA also held a meeting with the legal committee of the union Palestinian insurance companies, to discuss the draft of the new insurance law.
Launching “EBTAKER” Innovation Hub
At the beginning of 2021, the PCMA launched the “EBTAKER” platform, a regulatory innovation hub, which specializes in the PCMA’s receipt of innovations relating to financial technology in the non-banking financial sector, and directing it from the supervisory point of view, which contributes to creating an environment conducive to innovation and leadership in digital financial services. It is also considered one of the first supervisory platforms in the region concerned with providing supervisory and regulatory supervision in the non-banking financial sector for people with entrepreneurial ideas.
Regulating dealing in foreign currencies and precious metals on foreign exchanges
The PCMA decided to regulate dealing in foreign currencies and precious metals in foreign stock exchanges, in accordance with the provisions of Decree number (17) of 2009 regarding dealing in foreign stock exchanges, and in line with the provisions of the Securities Law number (12) of 2004, and Capital Market Authority Law number (13) of 2004.
This was completed through the implementation of the study regulating dealing in foreign stock exchanges, including foreign currencies, precious metals, and others, by securities companies licensed by the PCMA, to the extent that achieves the PCMA’s objectives and its strategic plan for organizing the informal financial sector and protecting its dealers from dealing with many entities and persons who are not licensed to carry out such activities, which represents a violation of the Decree number (17) of 2009, and in order to achieve financial inclusion in Palestine.
Launching the strategic framework for Islamic financial services in Palestine
The PCMA launched the strategic framework for Islamic financial services in Palestine, in partnership with the Palestine Monetary Authority, in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and under the sponsorship of the Minister of National Economy Mr. Khaled al-Osaily.
This framework is considered the first step on the way to developing Islamic financial services in Palestine, and work is underway to develop the necessary plans for implementation on the ground in order to achieve the desired positive results out of this project, and to provide investments and Islamic financial tools inside Palestine, thus making Palestine attractive to financial investments in general, and Islamic in particular.
The PCMA grants a letter of no objection to the foreign non-profit Middle East Investment Initiative
The PCMA has granted a no-objection letter to the foreign non-profit Middle East Investment Initiative that owns the “Tamweely” platform in Palestine, qualifying the Initiative to provide insurance networking services through the platform. The letter includes approval to integrate a new segment of insurance applicants into the insurance sector, by linking them with insurance companies. The Initiative submitted a request for a no-objection to the PCMA to provide the services of networking citizens with insurance service providers, in addition to raising awareness about insurance services through its website “Tamweely/insurance.”
For the fourth time in a row
The PCMA participates in the World Investor Week organized by (IOSCO)
In partnership and cooperation with the Palestine Exchange, the PCMA launched the activities of the “Global Investor Week 2021”, which is an international initiative launched by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The initiative, in its fifth edition, aims to enhance the culture and protection of investors at the global level.
This year’s week came under the title “Sustainable Finance and Fraud Prevention”, and witnessed many events, especially via the cyberspace, to focus on this issue in parallel with the securities and exchange authorities around the world, as well as nearly (100) countries around the world.
Among the activities that were implemented during the investor week, a virtual event held through the Zoom application, represented by a workshop entitled “Ring the bell” for financial knowledge “Sustainable Finance and Fraud Prevention”, which dealt with five working papers focused on sustainable development, sustainable financing and fraud prevention, in addition to launching an awareness campaign on social media platforms, in order to broadcast important messages that carry important indicators and guides for investors about sustainable development and sustainable financing. A short video was also produced for the same purpose.
The PCMA launches the “Financial Journalism Lab” during the year
The PCMA and the Journalists Syndicate launched the “Financial Press Lab” program over two rounds; The first was in the city of Nablus, over two days, with the aim of strengthening the capabilities of male and female journalists in the field of financial journalism, especially in the non-banking financial sectors, under the sponsorship of the Ministry of National Economy, and in cooperation with the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).
The program comes within the vision of the PCMA, which responds to the national strategy for financial inclusion in Palestine, and to promote financial technology in the non-banking financial sectors, by enhancing public awareness, and enhancing the role of the financial press in Palestine in raising financial awareness among various segments of society.
The PCMA organizes a meeting on the opportunities and prospects of financial technology in the securities sector
The PCMA organized a meeting on financial technology in the securities sector, which was attended by representatives of all components of the sector via virtual platforms. The meeting took place in the presence of the Director General of the PCMA, Mr. Barraq Al-Nabulsi, and His Excellency the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Exchange, Mr. Maher Masri. Representatives from the securities sector, including the Palestine Exchange, securities companies, custodians, issuance managers, and investment advisors also participated in the meeting.
Discussing national efforts in regulating the work of real estate developers
The PCMA discussed with the Land Authority the efforts made to regulate the work of real estate developers, as the real estate sector is witnessing rapid growth as a result of the increase in population and changes in the family structure in Palestine, in addition to the movement of many families to cities for work necessities. However, the rapid growth in the construction of real estate units and the subsequent sale on maps and instalments operations, has resulted in a set of problems relating to the establishment of the rights of the both parties, and the need to fulfil the obligations of both parties, in the absence of legislation that defines and clarifies the nature of the relationship between the various parties and how to protect their rights.