UAE threatens anti-money laundering crackdown as 11 banks fined

The UAE’s central bank has fined 11 banks a combined total of US$12.5mn for anti-money laundering (AML) failings, following warnings that the Middle Eastern state was looking to shed its reputation as a financial crime hotspot. The central bank announced on January 31 that enforcement action had been taken against the 11 banks, which are not named but are accused of having inadequate AML and sanctions controls at the end of 2019. “All banks operating in the UAE have been allowed ample time by the [central bank] to remedy any shortcomings and were instructed in the middle of 2019 to ensure compliance by the end of that year,” the authority says. It adds that the institutions were warned “that further shortcomings would result in penalties”. The central bank says it “will continue to impose further administrative and/or financial sanctions, as per the law, in cases of non-compliance”. Though the fines handed out are relatively small, the announcement marks the first enforcement action taken in the UAE since a damning review of the country’s efforts to fight financial crime, published last year by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF, a highly influential standards-setting body that operates a blacklist of… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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