CBUAE issues new AML guidance for financial institutions
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CBUAE issues new AML guidance for financial institutions

CBUAE issues new AML guidance for financial institutions

The central bank’s guidance highlights the risks of dealing with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers and their business models

Kudakwashe Muzoriwa
CBUAE, HKMA partnership

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has issued new guidance on anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for financial institutions operating in the country including banks, finance companies, exchange houses, payment service providers, registered hawala providers and insurance firms, agents and brokers.

The new guidance will assist financial institutions’ understanding of risks and effective implementation of their statutory AML/CFT obligations and takes Financial Action Task Force standards into account.

CBUAE’s guidance also spotlights the risks of dealing with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers and their business models.

“The new guidance related to the virtual assets sector contributes to strengthening the supervisory and regulatory frameworks of the Central Bank to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” said Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE.

“We are constantly working to enhance efforts and strengthen the awareness of licensed financial institutions to prevent all kinds of financial crime activities and reduce potential risks to protect the financial and monetary system and maintain its soundness and stability, in line with the Financial Action Task Force standards.”

UAE global financial collaborations

Meanwhile, the central banks of the UAE and Hong Kong have agreed to enhance collaboration between the financial services sectors of the two jurisdictions.

CBUAE and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) agreed to strengthen cooperation in three major areas including financial infrastructure, financial market connectivity and virtual asset regulations and developments.

The central banks also facilitated discussions between their respective innovation hubs on joint fintech development initiatives and knowledge-sharing efforts. The two central banks created a joint working group to take forward the agreed initiatives.

“We are pleased to have welcomed the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and its delegation to the UAE as we look to build on our central banks’ existing and robust relations,” said Balama.

Following the bilateral meeting, the central banks held a seminar on key opportunities to pursue between the two countries. The seminar was attended by global, Chinese and UAE banking groups including HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citi, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD.

CBUAE and HKMA discussed possible arrangements to facilitate cross-border trade settlement, and how UAE companies can better use Hong Kong financial infrastructure platforms to access Asia and the Mainland markets.

The central banks also discussed financial and investment solutions and capital markets opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).

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

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