UAE and Saudi Arabia deepen ties to strengthen anti-money laundering efforts

Officials from the Emirates benefit from the kingdom’s success in combating financial crimes

The Central Bank of the UAE in Abu Dhabi. Sammy Dallal / The National
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The UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's two largest economies, are stepping up efforts to strengthen anti-money laundering regulations and to use knowledge transfer to combat the financing of terrorism, state news agency Wam said on Sunday.

An official delegation from the Emirates, headed by Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, and the Central Bank of the UAE governor Khaled Balama, visited the kingdom on July 13 and 14.

"The visit of a high-level delegation of experts from the UAE comes within the framework of enhancing co-operation with our strategic partners ... in addition to exchanging experiences and expertise as part of effective communication with the relevant Saudi governmental agencies," Mr Al Sayegh said.

The UAE has strict measures to combat money laundering. It set up an agency this year to identify money launderers and those suspected of financing terrorists and organised crime. The Central Bank regularly issues guidelines on how companies can assess money laundering risks.

This year, the banking regulator signed an agreement with the Central Bank of Egypt to strengthen the supervision of licensed financial institutions, such as banks, finance companies and foreign exchange businesses. The regulators also agreed to co-operate on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism through the exchange of confidential information.

The recent visit allowed the UAE to benefit from the kingdom’s success in these fields by exchanging expertise, discussing the importance of keeping to relevant international standards and fostering close co-operation and communication with one of the UAE’s key strategic partners, Wam said.

The meeting was also attended by Fahd Al Mubarak, governor of the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia and chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Permanent Committee; Ayman Al Sayari, deputy governor of the Saudi Central Bank, and representatives of governmental agencies in the kingdom.

Updated: July 25, 2021, 4:16 PM