CBUAE issues new guidelines on anti-money laundering for insurance sector CBUAE issues new guidelines on anti-money laundering for insurance sector
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Central Bank of UAE issues new guidelines on anti-money laundering for insurance sector

Central Bank of UAE issues new guidelines on anti-money laundering for insurance sector

The guidelines will support licensed financial institutions effectively implement their statutory obligations related to anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism

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CBUAE issues new AML CFT guidelines

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has issued new guidance on anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for licensed financial institutions (LFIs) in the insurance sector, including insurance and re-insurance companies, agents and brokers.

The guidelines, which came into effect on December 22, will assist LFIs’ understanding of risks and effective implementation of their statutory AML/CFT obligations, taking Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards into account.

The guidance requires LFIs to demonstrate compliance with its requirements within one month. It also states the money laundering and financing of terrorism risks (ML/TF) relevant to life insurance and other investment-related insurance products, and how insurance operators can apply preventive measures to identify, assess, manage, and mitigate them.

According to the new guidelines, insurance operators are required to perform, document, and keep up to date an enterprise risk assessment.

CBUAE has stated that LFIs must perform customer due diligence, understand the nature of the customer’s business and the nature and purpose of the operator’s relationship with the customer, including the expected uses to which the customer will put the operator’s products or services, and subject all customers to ongoing monitoring throughout the business relationship.

Operators must also apply enhanced due diligence measures if they identify a customer or relationship presenting higher ML/TF risks.

In addition, insurance operators should maintain transaction monitoring systems equipped to identify patterns of activity that appear unusual and potentially suspicious, and must report any behaviour that they reasonably suspect may be linked to ML/TF or a criminal offence by submitting suspicious activity or transaction reports directly to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit using the “goAML” portal.

All of these preventive measures should be integrated into their AML/CFT compliance programme and supported with appropriate governance, training and independent audit.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, governor of the CBUAE, said: “Anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism is our top priority, as we work with the LFIs and the relevant authorities to prevent and mitigate these types of financial crime activities. We expect from the LFIs of the insurance sector, to comply with this guidance and enhance their measures and efforts to maintain the soundness of the sector.”

Earlier in August, CBUAE issued guidelines for AML/CFT for LFIs related to politically exposed persons.

Read: CBUAE issues anti-money laundering guidelines related to ‘politically exposed persons’

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