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CBUAE issues new anti-money laundering guidance for financial institutions

July 27, 2021

LFIs should develop, implement and regularly update an appropriate sanction compliance programme

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) on Monday issued a new guidance on anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for its licensed financial institutions (LFIs) on the implementation of targeted financial sanctions (TFS).

The newly issued guidance is supplementary to the one on TFS for financial institutions and designated non-financial business and professions, issued in May 2021, the central bank said in a statement.

According to the new guidelines LFIs should develop, implement and regularly update an appropriate sanction compliance programme.

This should be applied across their institutions, including branches, subsidiaries, and other entities in which LFIs hold a majority interest.

LFIs must register on the Executive Office’s website to receive automated emailed notifications on the listing and de-listing of individuals or entities in the United Nations Consolidated List and the Local Terrorist List.

They are required to regularly screen their databases and transactions against the names that appear on the lists.

When a match to a listing is found through the screening process, LFIs must, within 24 hours without delay and prior notice, freeze the funds of the listed individuals or entities.

LFIs must immediately notify CBUAE, as well as the Executive Office, of any freezing measures and/or attempted transactions, the guidelines stated.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, said: “The threat of money laundering and terrorist financing on the UAE’s financial system is one that we aim to address through rigorous regulatory oversight and continuous clarification of LFIs’ obligations.” He said the regulator will continue to issue many more such guidelines in future.


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