18 July 2018 at 15:57 BST

UAE tops list of compliance complexity while Ireland is simplest

UAE is joined by Qatar, China, Argentina and Malaysia in the top five most challenging countries for companies to manage compliance.


The United Arab Emirates is the most complex country for corporate compliance officers and lawyers to navigate, while Ireland is the least complicated, according to a new report by TMF Group a global investment business service provider.

Many changes for UAE

The United Arab Emirates has the most complex compliance regime of any country in the world. By contrast, Ireland is the simplest country in corporate compliance terms. It is followed by its Middle Eastern neighbour Qatar, then China and Argentina. By contrast, Ireland is the simplest country in the world in corporate compliance terms, followed by Denmark and Curaçao. The Compliance Complexity Index examined the difficulty of adhering to business regulations across 84 countries. It includes areas such as the ease of setting up a company; the information firms must report to local authorities; and the relative difficulty of complying with national legislation locally. The UAE is the most complex location for corporate compliance departments partly because a recent introduction of VAT has created a wider array of compliance changes that businesses must adjust to. It has also begun to implement two international regulatory programmes, the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and Know Your Client (KYC), both of which cause short-term spikes in complexity for businesses operating in it. By contrast, Ireland’s regulatory system has been comparatively stable in recent years and provides relatively little challenges for business people or legal teams.

Nerve wracking

Leila Szwarc, Global head of compliance and Strategic Regulatory Services at TMF Group, said ‘in recent years international corporate compliance has become both more transparent and more complicated, costly and nerve wracking for global players, all in the aim of levelling the international playing field. A large number of new international regulations have been implemented across the globe, which in general promote visibility but the way and speed in which they are implemented differs from country to country, meaning the overall complexity picture is far from uniform.’ The full report can be downloaded here.


Also read...

A&O's five-step plan for India

Allen & Overy sets out agenda to end institutional care in India and Nepal as pro bono team supports Hope and Homes for Children.