Tuesday, April 20, 2021

UAE fines 11 banks for violating anti-money laundering rules

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The UAE Central Bank has imposed financial sanctions of over Dh45.75 million on 11 banks for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

The financial sanctions were imposed on January 24, 2021, under Article 14 of the Federal Decree Law No. (20) of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations (AML/CFT Law).

“The financial sanctions take into account the banks’ failures to achieve appropriate levels of compliance regarding their AML and Sanctions Compliance Frameworks as at the end of 2019,” said the Central Bank.

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The Central Bank didn’t disclose the names of 11 banks.

Last week, India’s Bank of Baroda said in a statement to the National Stock Exchange, where it’s listed, that the UAE Central Bank had imposed Dh6.833 million (Rs135.6 million) in financial sanctions for violating anti-money laundering regulations. The lender is in talks with the relevant stakeholders and exploring its options, including filing an appeal to get the financial sanctions lifted.

The Central Bank said it aims to maintain high levels of AML/CFT compliance and warned that it will continue to impose further administrative and/or financial sanctions, as per the law, in cases of non-compliance.

The UAE Central Bank noted that all banks operating in the country have been given ample time to remedy any shortcomings and were instructed in the middle of 2019 to ensure compliance by the end of that year.

It had warned banks then that further shortcomings with regard to AML would result in penalties.

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