Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Bank Negara Malaysia to revise rules against money laundering

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Bank Negara Malaysia is finalizing revisions to guidelines against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The central bank will publish a draft and seek feedback on the changes in September, Assistant Governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid said in the text of a speech Thursday.

Starting next year, the regulator is increasing its supervisory and enforcement of anti-money laundering compliance, with plans to pursue more deterrent action, he said.

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“Bank Negara Malaysia has, increasingly over the years, taken more stringent enforcement actions on reporting institutions for non-compliances with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism requirements,” Adnan Zaylani said in the speech at a joint conference with the Malaysian Bar in Kuala Lumpur.

Related: Malaysia: 1MDB sabotage by current Bank Negara governor

Malaysia has been on a drive to curb corruption following the scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB that led to the ouster of former leader Najib Razak and ensnared Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in its first criminal case. Najib is undergoing trial to face dozens of money-laundering and corruption charges linked to his alleged role in 1MDB.

Recouping assets believed to be lost through the fund and bringing those responsible to justice were top on the list of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s campaign promises when he returned to power last May.

In a June interview,  Bank Negara Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the central bank can’t allow another scandal like 1MDB.

“This 1MDB affair has put a spotlight not just on Malaysia but also on banks in a number of other countries,” she said, adding that there are areas of improvement.

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“These include controls and governance in the banks as well as the prosecution system in Malaysia that needs to target more on high-risk crimes.”

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