UAE Anti Money Laundering Rules Get Strict
AML compliance in UAE has become unavoidable now following the imposition of latest penalties by the relevant authority. The UAE central bank is going strict for compliance with the country’s Anti Money Laundering (AML) laws. A fine of Dh352,000 was imposed on a local exchange house for not complying with the anti-money laundering laws. Recently UAE regulators have imposed strict compliance requirements on the financial services sector, penalizing banks for their lack of vigilance.
According to a statement issued by the central bank of UAE, it is determined to restrict all financial institutions in the country to maintain a higher level of compliance with AML or Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT). Further administrative or financial restrictions are expected to be imposed for non-compliance to the relevant laws.
This year the central bank has been imposing heavy fines on various exchange houses for any negligence when it comes to AML compliance. Banks were also given warnings for being extra cautious. It was made clear, by the central bank of UAE, in various meetings with senior bank executives that no leniency is to be tolerated by the bank regarding the AML matters.
Recently, a bank received a sanction of Dh19.5 million under the anti-money laundering law. This resulted because the bank failed to adopt appropriate levels and measures of compliance with Anti Money Laundering and sanctions compliance framework over a long period of time.
The central bank of UAE has given enough time and prior warnings to the related banks and exchange houses to take necessary measures in order to combat and develop appropriate AML compliance program. All the registered banks in the UAE are required to comply with the AML/CFT requirements. However, the concerned bank will be given the right to appeal against the sanctions imposed.
The regulator has started monitoring and guiding the banks about the importance of AML compliance program and appointment of AML compliance officers in order to suggest urgent and necessary actions to affect the remediation of AML and also structure a framework for sanctions compliance. Due to massive amount of data with banks, automating the AML compliance function has become inevitable and this is where AML consultants’ role become extraordinary essential.