UAE and Egypt's central banks sign supervision agreement

The regulators will cooperate on overseeing acquisitions, licensing requests and the policing of financial crime

The Central Bank of the UAE and the Central Bank of Egypt signed an agreement to strengthen the supervision of licensed financial institutions, such as banks, finance companies and foreign exchange businesses.

The agreement sets up mechanisms to oversee the licensing and ownership structure of LFIs, the examination of their operations and the authorisation of acquisitions. The regulators also agreed to cooperate on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism through the exchange of confidential information.

“The signing of the MoU with the Central Bank of Egypt will allow us to comply with best international practices in supervising cross-border banking operations. This agreement comes in the right time, given the deepening ties between our financial systems and our economies,” Khaled Mohamed Balama Al Tameemi, governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, said.

The agreement will "strengthen the robust relationship between the two countries”, Egypt's central bank governor Tarek Amer, said.

Authorities in the UAE have been strengthening the nation's regulatory framework governing financial crime over the past 12 months, with a new agency affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation established in February and a specialist court set up in Abu Dhabi to tackle money laundering and tax evasion cases.

On Thursday, the UAE Ministry of Economy said it fined Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions Dh5 million as part of an ongoing inspection campaign that has so far identified 100 violations of money laundering and the financing of terrorism rules. DNFBPs are not licensed financial institutions but are sectors deemed to be susceptible to potential money launderers, such as gold and precious metals dealers, real estate brokers, auditors, lawyers and corporate service providers, such as company formation agents.

The ministry had set a deadline for all DNFBPs to register with its anti-money laundering platform, goAML, by the end of last month.

It urged them to use the system and to "submit reports of suspicious transactions and activities ... to enhance the ability of the regulatory authorities to analyse and assess risks".