UAE Central Bank imposes $525,000 fine on exchange house for compliance failure

Banking regulator says company did not secure documentation to conduct certain business relationships

The UAE's banking regulator works to ensure that exchange houses abide by the laws of the country’s financial system. Photo: UAE Central Bank
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The UAE Central Bank 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 Dh1.92 million ($525,527) on the exchange house in accordance with the law on anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and the financing of illegal organisations.

“The fine is the result of the findings of an examination conducted by the Central Bank, which revealed that the exchange house failed to obtain letters of no objection from the regulator to enter into certain business relationships,” the regulator said on Wednesday.

“The findings also showed that the exchange house had a weak compliance framework regarding the required due diligence policies and procedures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.”

The UAE has strict laws to prevent money laundering, as well as the financing of terrorism, and has 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 2020, the Ministry of Economy set up an anti-money laundering department to ensure that all non-financial businesses and professionals comply with local laws.

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

Updated: December 07, 2022, 11:42 AM