Central Bank of UAE fines exchange house for compliance failure

Banking regulator levies a $1.4 million penalty against the business

The UAE Central Bank works to ensure that all exchange houses abide by the laws of the country’s financial system. Photo: Central Bank of the UAE
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The Central Bank of the UAE has penalised an exchange house operating in the country for failing to achieve the appropriate levels of compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

The banking regulator imposed a fine of Dh5.2 million ($1.4m) against the exchange house in accordance with the law on anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and the financing of illegal organisations.

“The financial sanction comes as a result of the examination findings conducted by the CBUAE and revealed that the exchange house had a weak compliance framework regarding the required due diligence policies and procedures to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism,” the central bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has strict laws to prevent money laundering as well as the financing of terrorism and has consistently issued regulations over the years to clamp down on financial crime.

Last year, the country established the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, an agency to deal with money launderers, organisations and people suspected of financing terrorists and organised crime.

In November 2020, the Ministry of Economy set up a new anti-money laundering department to ensure that all non-financial businesses and professionals comply with local laws.

Last year, Dubai set up a special court that focuses on fighting money laundering and other financial crimes to strengthen the integrity of its financial system.

The central bank works to ensure that all exchange houses and their staff abide by the UAE laws to safeguard the transparency and integrity of the country’s financial system, the regulator said.

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Updated: July 27, 2022, 8:33 AM